Five Points with Dell's Molly Connolly
Linda Romanello
December 18, 2015

Five Points with Dell's Molly Connolly

Recently, Dell introduced a new line of workstations — the Dell Precision Mobile Workstations — which are promising more power and performance in a thinner/lighter form factor. According to the company, these new workstations have been redesigned inside and out, and are offering brilliant displays along with the performance of the latest graphics technology, new processors and faster memory and storage. 

The new models — 7710, 7510, 5510 and 3510 — include the new 6th generation Intel Core processors, first Intel Xeon processors for mobile workstations and future Intel Xeon processors E3-1200 product families, and the latest professional graphics from AMD and Nvidia. 

Here, Dell’s Molly Connolly, WW industry strategist for media & entertainment, Precision Workstations, talks about the new line.

What is it about this time of year that manufacturers introduce new workstations?

“It must be coincidence! For us on the Precision team, as well as most tier 1 workstation providers, much of our new product cycle is driven by the key innovations brought to market by our technology partners, namely Intel, Nvidia and AMD. This time around, we have integrated the new 6th generation Core processors from Intel, as well as new professional graphics offerings from Nvidia and AMD, into our new portfolio of Precision Workstations out later this year.”

What are some of the standout features of the new line, and why do you think it was important to create a new line that includes these features? 

“Number 4: Memory. The new portfolio offers the best possible memory options to deliver fast, responsive operation where it matters most. DDR4 memory at 2133MHz, as well as overclocked memory options up to 2667MHz, deliver impressive performance. With new hard-drive options, including the latest M.2 PCIe interface, as well as ranked SSDs, customers can choose how aggressive they want to be with their storage. 

“Number 3: Processors. Again, Intel’s new processors are a big part of what makes these new platforms so great. They deliver better performance than the previous generation; they are also more efficient, which can enhance battery life as well as help us get more aggressive with the form factors, like in the case of the thinnest, lightest mobile workstation, the Dell Precision 5510. For the first time in mobile workstations, Intel Xeon processors are a configuration option for those that require the most powerful mobile CPUs available. Additionally, the same dynamic is at play with the graphics options on these new platforms. Nvidia has grown its line of Maxwell-class mobile GPUs, which deliver more compute capacity while maintaining extremely aggressive power consumption.

“Number 2: Screens. The new line of products offers an incredible selection of displays to ensure you get the best front-of-screen experience for your needs and budget. Specifically, our innovative new screen options include the first PremierColor 4K Ultra HD displays with 100 percent minimum Adobe RGB color gamut. Full HD and UHD options on the InfinityEdge display offers a virtually borderless screen to give you a 15.6-inch viewing area in a shockingly small form factor.

“Number 1: Our new industrial design. We built these from the inside out with specific use cases in mind. These new solutions are not only beautiful (well, gorgeous and sexy, really), they are also built tough. With carbon fiber and reinforced aluminum, these new Precision workstations offer strength and rigidity, but also lightweight and thin designs. In an effort to lead the way, these new mobile workstations were designed and purpose built for professionals who demand performance, but want a tool as beautiful as the work they create.”

What do you think is important about your Precision line for the post community to know?

“Lightweight, speed and increased performance, not to mention storage capacity with UHD screens! The latest Intel processors are amazing, and now having an option to include Intel Xeon in a mobile platform demonstrates a new era of mobile workstation performance is dawning. Faster processing means less time rendering — or — more iterations across a workflow. In either case, time is always critical to professional creators and these new workstations can help you make the most of it. 

“With today’s file sizes, storage is always important. In addition to the latest, greatest, fastest options for storage, these platforms also offer Thunderbolt 3, which is an incredible innovation for the post community, whether going ingest from cameras or managing multiple external hard drives.

“Resolutions seem to be growing by the minute and with 4K, 5K, even 6K content, seeing that true-to-life resolution and color is becoming more and more critical. The new line of mobile Precision workstations deliver some of the best ‘glass’ options to you.”

Is there a model you feel is more geared toward the postproduction user? Why?

“I’d recommend two systems: the 5510 for the lightest, smallest 15-inch workstation with a touch- enabled UHD screen, Thunderbolt 3 and 2TBs of storage, and Nvidia graphics for the editor or artists on the go, or the 7710, our most expandable mobile workstation with high-performance AMD or Nvidia graphics, UHD screen and 4TBs of storage for VFX artists who have demanding graphic needs. Use our docking accessories with these systems with single or dual displays and you have an amazing set-up.”

What needs do you feel this new line of workstations address?

“We’ve brought to market four distinctly-designed, powerful mobile workstations — each one with creative professionals in mind. We’ve thought of all of our customers, whether on a budget, needing immense on-board storage for 6 or 8K files (4TB), Thunderbolt 3 for the fastest I/O or those looking for a thin, lightweight device (under 4 pounds) with UHD screens. Dell Precision has you covered. Bring us your creative requirements and we can support you with the right Dell Precision mobile workstation for your needs. With more power, speed and faster I/O, you’ll have more time to be creative and iterate in real time.”