Monday, April 23, 2012

Dell Precision Tower

Today Dell announced a new line of Dell Precision Tower Workstations. Dell was nice enough to invited me to San Francisco last week to attend the event. Apple Event 003The new line appears to have some great new features.

Over the years many products have been optimized for maintainability and assembling. This new lines incorporates many of those tried and true features in some of the components that users commonly remove and replace. For this product the main parts are the hard drives and power supply. The hard drives have doors at the front of the unit to provide easy access. Open the door, pull out the hard drive, and then slide it back in. While not a feature I could see used commonly with Civil 3D, I could have used that feature when I traveled between office locations at my last regular office job. The company had mostly standardized the computers, instead of dragging around a computer I could just bring my hard drive and slide it in and start working with the workspace that I’m accustomed to.

If you work in a large office the easy exchange of the power supply might come in handy. Just pull the unit out from the back andApple Event 002 slide a new one it. No extended downtime waiting for the IT person to replace it. Another feature is the ability to store the tower workstation in a rack. This feature could be useful in your office if you start to do renderings in 3ds Max. Create a server farm when people go home, and have a central place to make sure all of the workstations are on. Save some time of not having to wander around the office to make sure the machines are on before you go home for the night.

The price points of the product are fairly reasonable for a workstation.

Pricing and Availability:
The Dell Precision T1650, T3600, T5600 and T7600 workstations will be available for purchase worldwide starting in May. Pricing for the T1650 will be available in May.

  • The Dell Precision T7600 pricing starts at $2,149 USD
  • The Dell Precision T5600 pricing starts at $1,879 USD
  • The Dell Precision T3600 pricing starts at $1,099 USD

One thing of note, besides the product launch was some of the items talked about. With lower prices of computers and devices we can have multiple devices to fit the type of work we are doing. A tower at the office, a tablet in the field, and a smart phone as we travel between meetings. I feel it’s probably a fact that I have been overlooking with the drop in prices of devices.

The Intel representative talked about computing power. He mentioned how we aren’t using all of the power in the devices that we do have. He talked about one case where a relatively small amount of code change, around 15 lines of code, provided a large reduction in the time to process the data. This is definitely true of Civil 3D. I can see many instances where multithreading could improve the performance of Civil 3D. Think how much quicker a drawing could be opened if the graphics card and 8 cores could work together to make sure all of the labels in a drawing are up to date.

Since I purchased a Dell Precision laptop last year, I don’t see a Tower in my future. But I’ve been happy with my existing laptop and would look to purchase Dell products in the future.

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