Up from Nehalem: Westmere-based Dell Precision workstation wows

Intel's new six-core chip delivers even more processing power to midrange workstations

Become An Insider

Sign up now and get FREE access to hundreds of Insider articles, guides, reviews, interviews, blogs, and other premium content. Learn more.

In July of last year, I reviewed a group of new Nehalem-based workstations from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo. The outstanding characteristic of these machines was the terrific performance conferred by the new Intel processor architecture. In this review, I examine an update to one of the models, the Dell Precision T5500 workstation. It now ships with the latest incarnation of Intel's Xeon family, code-named Westmere. Benchmarks show it to be stronger and faster, while consuming less power.

The result is an excellent 12-core workstation that combines top performance, excellent graphics rendering, and miserly energy consumption, all in a desktop form factor. Let's look at the details.

Dell Precision T5500: The workstation

The Dell Precision T5500 workstation is the midrange machine in the vendor's lineup. That lineup could be viewed as serving three tiers: value (sub-$5,000), which includes the T1500 and T3500 models; midrange ($5,000 to $10,000), consisting of the T5500 model; and the high-end (greater than $10,000), which includes the highly expandable T7500 model.

To continue reading this article register now