Dell has upgraded its line of PC workstations for creative professionals to support Intel’s forthcoming generation of Xeon processors. The company has also launched version 2.0 of its Optimizer software that automatically tunes a workstation’s settings for best performance in specific applications from the likes of Adobe and Autodesk, which will ship to current Dell workstation owners on September 4.
The Dell Precision Tower 5810, 7810 and 7910 are upgrades to the current line of the T3610, T5610 and T7610. The 5810 is a single-processor model, the 7810 is a ‘small form-factor’ dual-chip machine and the 7910 is the flagship leviathan with two chips and lots of space for RAM, drives and storage. The Rack 7910 (above) is a 2U, rack-mounted version of the 7910.
Dell hasn’t released any info about the chips that are going into the Tower 5810, 7810 (below), 7910 and Rack 7910 beyond saying that they have been “updated with Intel’s Xeon processors”. However, it’s common knowledge that Intel has been supplying workstation vendors with the yet-to-be-announced Xeon E5 V3 processors, which are based on the Haswell architecture. Dell’s current line – like those from HP, Lenovo, Apple's Mac Pro and specialist vendors like Armari and Boston – use Xeon E5 V2 processors, which are based on the previous Ivy Bridge architecture.
What Xeon E5 V3 means for creative applications
What these chips and architecture deliver for creative work is faster performance in CPU-based tasks and access to faster (2,133MHz) RAM – and more of it, with twice that of the previous generation (up to 1TB on the Tower and Rack 7910 – though only 512GB will be available on launch.).
The workstations will support the latest AMD and Nvidia graphics cards, and have optional Thunderbolt 2 connections for super-fast data connectivity and 4K video editing.
The Precision Tower 7910 (above) has been given a design spruce-up to make it easier to repair. It’s up to 49 per cent quieter than its predecessors and features a lockable front, quick-release hard drives, an externally accessible power supply that can be replaced without tools.
The Precision Rack 7910 supports Citrix XenServer and VMware ESX hypervisors, so can be used to power a number of terminals for a distributed creative architecture.
The workstations begin shipping on Septemer 9. Pricing has yet to be announced.