Time has come to buy a new beefy laptop for my blogging :). This time I bought Dell Precision 7510.

Dell Precision 7510

I have a history of buying Dell laptops. You can call me a fan of Dell if you want, but really I just continue buying them because they work and I have never had any issues with them, except of when I spilled tea on my XPS 13 and had to replace keyboard and screen. I’ve made few upgrades to XPS16 (RAM, SSD, battery) and now it is being actively used by my wife for some photo editing and general home use. XPS13 in some aspects is as powerful as XPS16 and at the same time weights only 1.3 Kg. It is really easy to carry everywhere. When I bought it I said that it is “thin as “Mac Air” and powerful as “Mac Pro” but costs less”. Unfortunately over time I could not feel very productive on it. Even though I could do everything I needed, I couldn’t pleasantly run heavy IDE or VMs or play games that required dedicated graphics. It felt like I needed a proper workstation.

Decision making on a new workstation went terribly wrong. I spent around 8 hours comparing options:

Choosing Laptop

I was seriously considering desktop PC instead of laptop, but eventually leaned towards powerful laptops that can be easily docked if needed. I was choosing between different Lenovo and Dell (yeap, no Mac). I stopped on Precision 7510 because it is real working station. It comes with thunderbolt interface, it is highly configurable and it is a brand I used for a long time. Another reason for choosing Dell was pricing. Since I was buying at dell.at as a small business I was able to customize my purchase very granularity: removed unnecessary support and useless stickers, selected Ubuntu OS and cheap delivery – something Lenovo was not offering. As of hardware I have chosen to reasonably max those things that I’m not going to upgrade (CPU, GPU) and leave room for other upgrades (RAM, HDD). I didn’t choose 4K touch monitor, as I don’t think it makes any sense on 15″.

 

Here below are some specifications for all of my Dell Laptops:

Dell Studio 1535

DellStudio1535

 

Dell Studio XPS 1647

DellStudioXPS

Dell XPS 13

image

Dell Precision 7510

Dell Precision 7510
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5850 2.16GHz Intel® Core™ i7-620M (Prev Gen, 2 Cores, 4 Threads, 4M Cache, up to 3.33GHz) Intel® Core™ i7-3537U (3rd Gen, 2 Cores, 4 Threads, 4M Cache, up to 3.1GHz) Intel® Core™ i7-6920HQ (6th Gen, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8M Cache, up to 3.80 GHz)
LCD (1280×800) 15.6″ FHD Widescreen WLED LCD (1920×1080) 13.3″ Hi-Def (1080p) True Life WLED Display W/1.3MP 15,6” UltraSharp FHD IPS (1920×1080)
DVD Super Multi 8X CD/DVD Burner
2GB DDR2-667 8GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3-1333MHz

(originally 4GB)

8GB Single Channel DDR3-1600MHz 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2667 MHz (two more slots available)
320GB 5400RPM 256GB SSD (originally 512GB 7200RPM) 256GB SSD 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD (I added a second 512GB 7200RPM HDD)
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 3450 ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5730 1GB  GDDR3 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Nvidia Quadro M2000M 4GB GDDR5
High Definition Audio High Definition Audio 2.0 with SRS Premium Sound Wave Maxx Audio Some Audio
Dell Wireless 1397 WLAN Mini-Card Intel® 5300 WLAN Wireless-N (3×3) Mini Card Killer Wireless-N, 1202 for Video & Voice w/ BT 4.0 Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
56 WH, 6 cell, LI-ION 85 WH, 6 cell, LI-ION 47 WH, 6 cell, LI-ION 72, 6 cell, LI-ION
Bought late 2008, alive and used by Mom for Skype, audio-jack bad, battery dead. Bought Sep 2010, heavily used, became loud, upgraded with RAM and SSD, battery replaced. Bought Nov 2013, actively used, no upgrades, screen and keyboard replaced because of tea spill, battery completely healthy. Bought Dec 2016, using it right now, added second HDD, planning for more RAM when time comes.

I have ran benchmark software on XPS16, XPS13, and Precision. While 16 and 13 were somewhat comparable, Precision speed rocked. CPU speed was 2X of 3X faster depending on calculation operations (floating, integer). GPU speed was 14X as compared to XPS13 and 3X as compared to XPS16. RAM was 3X of XPS16 and 1.5X of XPS13. SSD write speed was 2X of both.

Lots of numbers, but I can simply feel the difference. It is a pleasure to use a fast machine. Who knows what my fifth column will look like.

 

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