At Siggraph Dell announced a new Anniversary
edition thin and light 5520 Precision mobile
workstation in recognition of the brands 20-year
contribution to the mobile space. While Dell was
celebrating their 20th anniversary PNY took the
occasion to throw their hat in the ring by
introducing their first workstation product, the
Prevail Pro P4000 & P3000 mobile workstations.
We had the opportunity to stack up the 20-year
veteran against the new upstart this week, as
well as others.
When evaluating a mobile workstation, from our
point of view, we think the Pmark with weight
(pounds) included is a very good base. But,
there are (at least) two ways to use the Pmark.
First, letís review what goes into a Pmark:
Price, Performance, Power, and in the case of a
mobile device, Pounds.
equation is pretty straight forward:
- One way to use it is to
pick a performance number that favors your
favorite product, and then use the published
- Another way is to run a
battery of tests and take the average
score., and use published specifications.
- A third method is to use
an average score, measure the actual power
being consumed during test.
- And lastly (for this
litany) is to use number three above and
include the weight of the power supply
We will show you our results
for item two, and four.
Many people will look at the following list and
say thatís not a fair comparison, different
CPUs, different GPUs, and different screen size.
Yes, all true, but this is a comparison. There
will always be variances in design and products,
but these products are built for the same
purpose, to provide the user with the best
mobile workstation experience.
For the performance tests, we
ran ViewPerf 12.1, Cinebench R15, Passmark, and
GeekBench 4. As you might expect, some machines
did better in one test than another, however,
the Dell 7710 did best in all tests except
ViewPerf, an in that one the PNY P4000 did 22%
better than the 7710 this was expected given the
7710ís larger form factor.
But, in terms of the Pmark, anyway you want to
use it, once again the @Xi PowerGO 15/7 took the
prize in specifications, while the Del 5510 won
on measured results.
Many reviewers will simply use
ViewPerf for evaluating a workstation, and
thatís what the consortiumís test was designed
for. ViewPerf, developed and maintained by the
Spec organization, is a tried and trusted series
of tests that incorporates several real-world
applications, and so it is not considered a
simulated test, like the others.
ViewPerf uses Catiia, Creo, Maya, Siemens, and
Solidworks, as well as a data set from MRI
files, and energy.
Each one of those tests is given a unique score,
and so if you are working in a specific field,
like say CAD, then you can look at the Siemens
or Catia results to judge how well the
workstation you are considering might do on your
For the purposes of
calculating the Pmark, we took the average of
those test scores for the ViewPerf entry in our
overall average performance number. However,
ViewPerf is an important enough test we thought
its results should be shown separately.
Depending upon what your
personal preferences are, one of these machines
should satisfy you. Jon for example wants a lot
of pixels, and no weight. The Dell 5520 is his
choice. Alex likes a big high-resolution screen
and isnít afraid of a little bulk, so he tends
toward the Dell 7710. Iím a power freak and for
me the PNY is the best choice, while Kathleen
thinks the @Xi is the coolest looking, well
performing machine. Notice, none of us put price
even in the equation. Generally speaking we
donít think many users of professional
workstations, especially mobile units put price
very high on their list.
What do we think?
The machines have a mix of Xeon and I7 CPUs, and
this will probably be the last year weíll see
that. With the introduction of the W series Xeon
processors from Dell, workstation suppliers will
be strongly discouraged from using an I7 as a
workstation processor. Intel may even go so far
as to punish such companies by denying marketing