Dell Announces Four New Tower Workstations

23 Apr, 2012 By: Nancy Spurling Johnson

T7600, T5600, T3600, and entry-level T1650 offer innovations including front-accessible hard drives, an externally removable power supply, and automatic notifications of suboptimal system performance.

Dell recognizes that many users of the Dell Precision line of professional workstations are first and foremost designers — including engineers, architects, and digital artists — and want to focus on design, not on hardware. Today the company introduced four new desktop models that aim to deliver the power, reliability, and data security required for professionals to excel at high-end design work without being sidetracked by IT concerns.

The new towers will even automatically notify users when the hardware is not performing optimally, whether the problem be with CPU, hard drives, the power supply, or any other components, allowing users to easily pinpoint problems and restore productivity.

'With the Dell Precision T7600, T5600, T3600, and T1650, the company wanted to create a system that designers would design themselves. The new models have been completely redesigned inside and out; they feature new technology that reportedly eliminates nearly all memory errors, and are said to be one of the only tower workstations to offer front-accessible hard drives and an externally removable power supply.

New Dell Precision tower workstations: the T7600, T5600, T3600, and the entry-level T1650. All images Courtesy of Dell, Inc.
New Dell Precision tower workstations: the T7600, T5600, T3600, and the entry-level T1650. All images Courtesy of Dell, Inc.

The four new models feature Intel microarchitecture and eight-core CPUs for multithreaded applications; generation three PCIe I/O support for improved visualization performance with next generation graphics; and up to 512 GB quad-channel memory for running large data sets in memory. They also offer the new NVIDIA Maximus technology, which allows users to run visualization and simulation tasks simultaneously. A range of professional-class graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA is available, up to the AMD FirePro V7900 and NVIDIA Quadro 6000.

Systems are certified to support a variety of high-end design and engineering applications from companies including Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, PTC, Siemens PLM Software, Adobe, and ESRI.

System Specs

The Dell Precision T7600 is the most powerful and expandable workstation in the line, designed for working with massive data sets such as those integral to video, animation, engineering, simulation, and scientific analysis. It reportedly features some of the highest-performing CPU stacks, power supplies, and graphics power for a dual-socket system. It offers as many as two Intel Xeon E5-2687W 150-W processors with a total of 16 computational cores, a 1300-W, 90% efficiency power supply, up to 600 W of graphics, and up to four full x16 graphics slots, which can power up to an NVIDIA Quadro ultra high-end 6000 professional graphics card and two NVIDIA Tesla C2075 processors at the same time.

The Dell Precision T5600 is designed for space-constrained environments that need substantial compute capability. The dual-socket workstation is built to support complex 3D modeling, creating film and video content, and performing complex engineering and analysis work. It features up to two Intel Xeon processors, each supporting eight processing cores, 128 GB of quad-channel ECC memory, two power supply options of 635 W or 825 W and up to an NVIDIA Quadro 5000 high-end professional graphics card and NVIDIA Tesla C2075 processor.

The Dell Precision T3600 is built to carry mid-range workloads, offering a balance of performance and scalability for mainstream 3D, CAD, computer-aided-manufacturing, and digital content creation. Key features include Intel Xeon processor E5-1600 or E5-2600 family, two power supply options, up to 64 GB 1600-MHz ECC or non-ECC memory and up to a single NVIDIA Quadro 6000 or two NVIDIA Quadro 5000 professional graphics cards, and an NVIDIA Tesla C2075 processor.

The entry-level Dell Precision T1650 is designed for users who don't need high-end power but understand the benefits and importance of running professional applications on a professional workstation, according to Dell. It will offer certified performance for professionals working with 2D CAD drawings and basic 3D models, editing photos, or developing web content. It will feature next-generation Intel Xeon processors, up to 75 W for graphics and new ISV and graphic certifications.


Joe Curley, director of marketing, with Intel's Data Center Group, said, "Workstations are the platform you use when the results really matter." He discussed the Intel Xeon E5-1600/2600 (also known as Sandy Bridge), saying it's faster, but there's a lot more to it than that. The new processors offer fast performance that enables users to do more work in less time, examine more what-if and what else scenarios — leading to what he termed "more ideas per second."

"There's a lot of art that's built in to the processor to help people bring out their ideas," Curley continued, adding that Intel spent a lot of time improving power (and noise) management in the new E5 products — another advancement that helps keep users focused on their work and not their hardware.

System Design

In addition to offering great advances in component technology, the new Dell Precision towers also introduce numerous design innovations. Ken Musgrave, IDSA, director of Dell's Experience Design Group, said, "Users made it very clear they wanted a very purposeful design. We listened and paid a lot of attention to their requests." This customer influence was universal, Musgrave said, regardless of the users' applications or fields of work.

Designers of the Dell Precision T3600 and other models in the new line paid a great deal of attention to internal design details.
Designers of the Dell Precision T3600 and other models in the new line paid a great deal of attention to internal design details.

Design features that resulted include the following:

Users have instant, tool-free access to the removable power supply, as shown here on the Dell Precison T7600.Users have instant, tool-free access to the removable power supply, as shown here on the Dell Precison T7600.
  • Externally removable power supply, said to be the industry's only toolless externally removable power supply on a mainstream tower workstation. The power supply is lockable and has a built-in handle that lights up green when functioning properly.


  • Front-accessible hard drives. The T7600 chassis design provides one of the only front-accessible, quick-release hard drives on a tower workstation, Dell reports.


  • Remote access. The T7600 easily converts to a rack solution, which can be mounted to any standard Dell PowerEdge server rack. By centrally locating the workstations, businesses can help maintain a clean and quiet work environment, keep hardware safe, and give remote workers access via a Dell Precision FX100 zero client.


  • Reliable Memory Technology. Another industry first, Dell reports, is Reliable Memory Technology (RMT), a Dell-patented code programmed at the BIOS level that eliminates virtually all memory errors on high-end workstations. RMT extends the capability of ECC memory by detecting the location of the corrected memory error and prevents the system from writing to that spot again following a reboot. Available on the T3600, T5600, and T7600, RMT increases the reliability of the workstations and eliminates the need for extensive full memory tests, IT support calls, and memory DIMM replacement, according to Dell.



"We wanted a clean design," Musgrave explained. "We started with the inside." Designers divided the chassis, moving the motherboard over so computing takes place on one side of the system and data processing on the other. Optical drives are declining in popularity but are still in use by some, Musgrave said, so the optical drive on the new systems can be repurposed to be a hard drive. "Many users tell us, 'You can never have enough hard drives.'"

Attention to detail is present in even the less-obvious design decisions, such as lightweight but strong aluminum handles, USB ports positioned on the top of the system with extra space between them, and a small tray designed into the top of the housing to hold a device such as a phone or camera while connecting to the tower.

Components inside the new towers can be added and removed without tools, and the externally accessible power supply can be replaced in "literally minutes, or even seconds," Musgrave said. "Every component, every design decision, was made for a reason. We wanted to be able to point to any component in the system and be able to tell our very sophisticated users [why we did that]."

The Dell Precision T3600, T5600, and T7600 are EPEAT registered and offer ENERGY STAR 5.2 configurations, including 80 PLUS-registered Gold power supplies to help reduce the impact on the environment and operating energy costs.

Data security. Dell ensures digital assets are safe with state-of-the-art security services like Dell Data Protection | Encryption, which helps keeps data safe wherever it goes. The new tower workstations also provide optional Intel vPro technology, lockable ports, and the Trusted Platform Module that offers security for network-based client computing. Dell's optional ProSupport services provide end users and IT professionals with remote and on-site technical support solutions for all of their Dell and non-Dell hardware and software needs.

Pricing and Availability

The Dell Precision T1650, T3600, T5600, and T7600 workstations will be available for purchase worldwide starting in May.

  • Dell Precision T7600 pricing starts at $2,149
  • Dell Precision T5600 pricing starts at $1,879
  • Dell Precision T3600 pricing starts at $1,099
  • Pricing for the T1650 will be available in May


Add comment

Note: Comments are moderated and will appear live after approval by the site moderator.

AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter

Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition