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Dell Refreshes Precision Desktop and Rack-Mounted Workstations

At SIGGRAPH today, Dell refreshed its workstation line-up, promising more choice in CPUs and memory configurations for greater flexibility than in previous generations.

Included in today's announcement is a bit of a name change. Dell is re-classifying all of its dual-socket Precision workstations as part of the 7000 series, which will now include the new T7810 tower alongside the high-end T7910 and the R7910 rack-mounted workstation. Also introduced today is the T5810, which replaces the existing T3610.

"We're refreshing all four with next-generation Intel architecture," Don Maynard, senior product manager for Dell Precision workstations, told StudioDaily during a briefing last week. "Our graphics partners, AMD and Nvidia, are also refreshing the vast majority of their graphics cards, so our customers will have new Intel Core technology and graphics at the same time."

Along with the advance in processor architecture comes support for up to 1 TB of DDR4 RDIMM memory, Maynard said. "Today, we're at 1866 MHz with DDR 3, and we'll be moving to 2133 MHz with next-generation E5 processors from Intel."

At the entry level, the new T5810 will emphasize CPU frequency rather than number of cores since it's largely targeted at interactive applications that benefit most from CPU speed, Maynard explained. However, Dell is making allowances for users who need more horsepower. Higher core counts will be available on the entry-level system for customers that use multi-threaded apps or engage in multitasking or running multiple instances of analysis or simulation. "More cores is a win for them," Maynard said. "We'll offer them up to three new higher-core-count processors on our entry-level single-socket workstation." The single-processor machine will support Nvidia K6000 graphics for the first time, and Thunderbolt 2 and FireWire IO will be available for all three of the tower workstations via an optional PCIe card. And v2 of the Dell Precision Optimizer, set for release September 4, will offer 13 software profiles, including Autodesk 3ds Max and inventor for the first time.

Remote access to Dell's rack-mounted workstation has been enabled on previous generations using PC-over-IP (PCoIP) technology — a Teradici card that captures pixels from the graphics card and sends them to a client device. This time around, Dell and Teradici are jointly announcing a new software version of the PCoIP host that doesn't require dedicated hardware to allow a user to connect remotely. Dell is also adding official support for virtualization via VMware ESX hypervisors and Citrix XenServer in this generation, along with remote manageability in a "lights-out" environment, Maynard said.

The new hardware is expected to be available in early September.

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