Dell targets finance, architecture with new Precision workstations

Dell stressed its uber-small, entry-level workstations will offer higher performance for "desktop PC prices."


SAN FRANCISCO -- Dell is aiming to knock out two records in one day with the unveiling of two new Precision workstations.

Up first, there is the Dell Precision R7610, advertised to be the world’s most powerful rack workstation.

Promising higher return on investment rates, the R7610 runs on dual Intel E5-2687W 150-watt eight-core processors with expanded memory up to 256GB spread across 16 DIMM slots.

Furthermore, the R7610 supports up to four single wide graphics cards. Dell specified Nvidia's Quadro K2000 and AMD FirePro W5000 mainstream cards as entry-level examples, followed by higher-performance Nvidia Quadro K4000 cards, or up to three double-wide NVIDIA Quadro K5000 cards.

Dell said that support for 512GB of memory and Nvidia GRID with virtualized graphics will be added later this year.


Dell is also spinning a cloud-friendly angle for this piece of hardware through Citrix XenServer 6.1.0 and XenDesktop HDX 3D Pro integrations. These certifications are supposed to enable the resources of a dedicated discrete graphics card to be shared with multiple users across a hosted-shared environment or made available to a single user or virtual machine within a virtualized environment.

The second debut is the the Dell Precision T1700 small form-factor, boasted to be the smallest tower workstation chassis in its class. Dell said it is at least 30 percent smaller than comparable offerings from Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo.

Targeted toward engineering, architecture and finance professionals, the T1700 small form-factor as well as the mini-tower version support Nvidia and AMD professional-grade graphics cards with PCIx x16 Gen 3 slots and expanded ISV certifications.

Running on Intel Xeon and Core processors, Dell also asserted the small form-factor is the only entry-level workstation to sport two front USB 3.0 ports, making it more accessible for external media and accessories.

During a media presentation on Tuesday, Efran Rivera, executive director of the Precision workstation team at Dell outlined some of the market trends that inspired the blueprints for the new Precision workstation line.

This ranges from basic trends enabled by social, mobile and cloud technologies such as a growing global workforce, enhanced software suites, and application bundling.

On a more industry-specific level, Rivera pointed towards greater system demands like 3D simulation and analysis.

But in order to address these realities, Rivera stressed integrations and certifications with industry partners, highlighting those across manufacturing, engineering, entertainment, finance and energy verticals.

The new workstations rely upon the recently introduced Precision Performance Optimizer platform, touted by the PC maker as the first automated workstation software for improving application performance -- especially through automatic performance tuning, system maintenance, and tracking and reporting schemes.

With a starting price tag of $2,179, The Dell Precision R7610 rack workstation will roll out first on May 21.

The Precision T1700 small form-factor and mini-tower models will follow worldwide on June 4. Pricing on the latter two will not be revealed until next month.

However, in Thursday's announcement, Dell noted that these entry-level workstations will offer higher performance for "desktop PC prices." Considering the costs for Dell PCs are typically on the lower end of the spectrum, this hints that the workstations will follow suit.

Images via Dell