The definition of ‘entry-level’ appears to be changing as Dell launches the Precision T1600, powered by mid-range professional graphics, up to 16GB ECC memory and the latest Intel processors.
The Precision T1600 is the follow up to the Precision T1500 , a single-socket, entry-level workstation designed for professional 2D and entry-level 3D applications.
When Dell launched the Precision T1500 it was marketed very much as an AutoCAD-level machine, but with the Precision T1600 Greg Weir, Manager, Dell Precision Workstation Team, was keen to emphasise how the new machine has been tested and certified to work with many more CAD/CAM/CAE applications.
On the Direct2Dell blog he explains how the Precision T1600 has 13 new ISV (Independent Software Vendors) certifications and shows an extract from the full list including applications from Alibre, Altair, Autodesk, Bentley, Dassault Systèmes, Google, MasterCAM, National Instruments, PTC and Siemens.
Of course, the main driving force behind the launch of this new entry-level workstation is Intel’s second-generation Core processor, code-named Sandy Bridge. Dell will also offer Intel’s Xeon processor as an option.
For professional 3D graphics, Dell is offering the entry-level AMD FirePro V4800 and Nvidia Quadro 600 cards and, for the first time, a mid-range professional 3D graphics card, in the form of Nvidia’s Quadro 2000.
Dell is also upping the specification of its entry-level workstation by offering the option of Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory, which was not available on the T1500 and reserved exclusively for the T3500, T5500 and T7500. Capacity has also been increased with four slots supporting up to 16GB ECC or 8GB non-ECC DDR3 DIMMs.
With all of these enhancements, it will be interesting to see how Dell differentiates the T1600 from other single socket workstations in its Precision range. We expect Dell to launch a follow up to the single socket Precision T3500 when Intel updates its Xeon chips later this year.
The starting price for the Dell Precision T1600 workstation is £499 and will be available in the coming weeks.