The gargantuan workstation arms race continues, now with Dell tossing its Nehalem hat into the ring with the Precision T7500 Workstation. Dell's answer to HP's Z800 workstation we favorably reviewed earlier this week, this flagship of Dell's line of three new workstations is also aimed at those rocket scientists who must have the most powerful PCs in the world.
It matches the HP Z800's specs closely, with that awesome capability to install 196GB of ram (no joke here, really), two of the Intel's fastest quad-core Xeon 3.2GHz W5580 "Nehalem" processors, room for five of those ultra-fast 15,000rpm SAS (Serial-Attached SCSI) drives, and support for two 4GB NIVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 graphics cards. Perhaps because the Dell T7500 offers space for one less hard disk than the Z800 does (five instead of HP's six), Dell offers an eSATA port for an external hard drive that the HP workstation lacks. (Update: But now we're told HP offers up to 4 eSATA ports as an option.)
The one big difference between the two Godzilla machines is the price, where a Dell Precision T7500 configured identically to the HP Z800 we're testing here costs an eye-popping $14,379, compared to $10,787 for the HP Z800. And on a superficial scale, the Dell's case has the same design it did four years ago, while the HP's gleaming aircraft-like case was designed by BMW DesignworksUSA inside and out. Easy choice.