Dell Refreshes Mobile Workstation Lineup
New Notebooks Support i7 Extreme Edition CPUs, 1866MHz RAM, and NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro
Dell upgraded its mobile workstation lineup today, with new 15-inch and 17-inch models accommodating powerful graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD, up to 32 GB of RAM, and Intel Core i5, i7, and i7 Extreme Edition processors.
The M4700 has a 15.6-inch display and the M6700 boasts a 17.3-inch display. On the high end, the scarlet-backed M6700 Covet workstation comes standard with a 17.3-inch IPS RGBLED panel with an ultra wide viewing angle and extended color gamut. The 15-inch model starts at $1649, the 17-inch at $2199, and the 17-inch Covet at $3579. They are available worldwide starting today, Dell said.
In a press briefing, Dell was keen to tout the power that can be packed in both computers, such as the ability of both models to take advantage of fast RAM (not just 1600 MHz but, optionally, a speedy 1866Mhz) and faster processors. "That's part of our smart design," said Mano Gialusis, senior product manager for Dell Precision, in an interview. "We designed the 15-inch workstation to be as light and thin as it is, but to still handle the performance and power requirements of key components like the Extreme Edition processor."
If you want graphics horsepower, you'll have to invest in a 17-inch model, which offers NVIDIA Quadro K3000M (2 GB), K4000M (4 GB), and K5000M (4 GB) options as well as the entry-level AMD FirePro M6000 (2 GB) card. The 15-inch version only supports FirePro M4000 (1 GB) and Quadro K1000M (2 GB) and K2000M (2 GB). Both workstation designs have three external video outputs (VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort 1.2), meaning they can support up to three external monitors on their own or up to four external monitors in a docked configuration.
Another advantage of the physically larger machine is storage space — the M6700 and Covet accommodate up to four storage devices (for a potential total of 2.8 TB) while the M4700 goes up to 1.8 of storage with three devices. One of those locations is actually the optical drive cavity — you pull out the optical drive and swap in a hard disk.
We asked about a typical storage configuration for a power user on the 17-inch system, and Gialusis suggested making use of the system's mSATA mini card slot, which is accessible underneath the battery and supports a 128 GB or 256 GB SSD. "It's a solid-state drive, but just a tiny little card that resides under the big bottom door," he explained. "That's large enough to hold your OS and primary applications. And then you would have your primary hard drive, which is ejectable, as your data drive. If you RAID it with the secondary drive location [also accessible under the battery], it's all backed up."
The M6700 also supports NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro, a wireless active-shutter 3D display system that employs an RF emitter inside the system rather than infrared, using internal antennas to transmit a signal to the glasses. "It's faster and more accurate, and you're allowed to connect more goggles at the same time," said Gialusis.
For more information: www.dell.com