Among Dell's broad range of desktop PCs for the corporate executive is the T1500 Precision line, which encompasses purpose-built workstations with Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, high-end graphics processors and multi-drive RAID arrays, with all options built around its micro-ATX motherboard. At its introduction in 2009, Precision pricing started at $US840; now the machines can be had for about $US600.
We don't particularly like big, honking behemoths, even if they do break land speed records. Rather, we prefer an unimposing mini-tower like the one selected by Dell for its Precision, as long as it delivers the goods. And the Dell Precision does so quite nicely.
The silver and black mini-tower (about 17 x 14.5 x 6.5 inches) we received was equipped with an Intel Core i7 870 quad-core processor running at 2.93 GHz. The system came with 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate pre-installed and was running on 4 GB of DDR3 1333-MHz SDRAM. As for graphics, Dell populated our test Precision with an ATI FirePro v4800 display adapter, which includes 1GB of dedicated video memory, a dual-link DVI port and two DisplayPorts.
The machine was impressive even before performance tests were run. Just 35 seconds from power-on, the unit was ready to accept keyboard and mouse input. Eat your heart out, Ubuntu.
Geekbench performance was outstanding. After adjusting Windows for the best performance (under advanced properties), they ran the 64-bit version of Geekbench 2.1.11, under which the Precision delivered a top score of 9286, faster than any other production desktop PC we've tested (the next fastest was Seneca Data's Nexlink 7100 at 8513).
Next: ATI FirePro is packed with power