Dell Precision M670021 Mar, 2013 By: Art Liddle
First Look Review: System packs high-end desktop workstation power into a portable form factor.
This is our fourth review of a top-of-the-line Dell Precision mobile workstation, beginning with the Precision M6300 reviewed in October 2008. Dell's current offering, the Precision M6700, carries on the tradition of combining excellent performance with an absolutely-nothing-left-out configuration. The Precision M6700 is a true mobile workstation.
The Dell Precision M6700 mobile workstation review unit featured an Intel Extreme i7-3920XM, a quad-core mobile CPU (8-MB cache) running at 2.9 GHz. Turbo mode, available when running a single core, bumps the clock speed to a maximum of 3.8 GHz. (New units are shipping with the i7-3940XM, the company states.)
The Dell M6700 Precision mobile workstation is available in phoenix red when you choose the Covet Edition.
Our review system arrived preloaded with the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate. It weighed in at slightly more than 8 lbs, typical for a system of its size (16.4" x 10.7" x 1.5"). The Covet Edition we received adds edge-to-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 2 and an aluminum skin over a magnesium alloy chassis. The aluminum is anodized in phoenix red, providing extra durability as well as flair.
Dell pairs its large 17.3" LED-backlit panel (16:9 format) with NVIDIA's new Kepler-based (28-nm core) Quadro K5000M graphics card that includes 4 GB of GDDR5 dedicated memory and supports a maximum resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 with an external digital monitor or projector plugged into the DisplayPort. The Precision M6700 supports a maximum onscreen resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 with 32-bit color. As for quality, images on the PremierColor IPS RGB panel are bright and extremely crisp and match Adobe's RGB color gamut.
Our review system included a generous 16 GB of 1,866-MHz, DDR3 SDRAM, filling all four of its DIMM sockets. The system supports a maximum of 32 GB of memory using slower 1,600-MHz SDRAM. A single 128-GB SATA3 solid-state drive supplied the primary file storage; Dell supports RAID 0/2/5, although this system was not configured with RAID. The secondary storage device was a 750-GB, 2.5", 7,200-rpm SATA3 hard drive, and the final drive was an 8X DVD+/-RW drive bundled with Roxio Creator CyberLink PowerDVD software. The built-in webcam supports video with a maximum resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 at 30 frames per second.
Outstanding connectivity options included a DisplayPort v1.2, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port, VGA and HDMI v1.4 connectors, IEEE 1394 port, 10-in-1 media card reader, SmartCard reader and 54-mm ExpressCard slot, microphone and headphone jacks, standard network connector, and docking connector, as well as support for wireless LAN (802.11) and Bluetooth 4.0.
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!