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  • headbox - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    Yeah, but how many fps do you get playing Quake?

    Anyways. Resale value/demand for the Precision line is very bad. I've had two that I paid over $2k for, and couldn't get more than $400 a couple years later. Meanwhile I had a Macbook Pro I paid $1800, and sold it over 2 years later for $1400. The quadro is about the only thing that makes the Precision line worth considering, and very few people will benefit from it. Modern 2D and 3D apps makes good use of the CUDA cores in the GeForce cards just fine.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    Look at the SPECviewperf results. Consumer GPUs are still woefully inadequate for a lot of workstation tasks that Quadros are geared towards. The GPUs in MBPs may be fine for video and image editing, but that's really about it.

    Also, MBPs are ever increasingly locked down, making them poorer and poorer choices for enterprise.
  • Zodiark1593 - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    For once being reputed for the "Pro", you'd have thought Apple would have at least offered Quadro or FirePro GPUs as options. Reply
  • Steveymoo - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Actually, the GPUs are nearly identical. It's the drivers, and the customer support that you pay extra for with workstation GPUs. You can even use forceware to install quadro drivers for consumer cards - but obviously you won't get any support if anything goes wrong. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    exactly, it's not like the quadro line is really that much superior to the Geforce line it is just the Geforce line has been artificially handicapped through software and I would guess some hardware features disabled. Software and driver qualifications for the most part just mean that you will never be able to have the latest updates or features because your driver model advances at a glacial pace and you pay extra for that. Quadro workstations are a niche product and should be relegated to that. I think the only reason Apple likes to use Quadro's is because then they don't have to mess with driver releases and charge even more than they already do for a unique product most Mac users don't even understand they don't need. Reply
  • RandomUsername3245 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Can you post a link on how to get quadro drivers to work with geforce cards? I know people could hack cards in the past to do this, but I haven't seen it work in the last few years. The Quadro drivers (and nvidia-enabled hardware) on Quadro cards make allow for huge performance gains in some CAD applications. Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Apple's resale value has everything to do with the supply. You want to get an OSX capable machine from other place rather than Apple with lower prices you have no choice but to pay those high resale values. Good for you, bad for the purchaser but way better than buying straight from Apple. Reply
  • Solandri - Monday, December 17, 2012 - link

    The high resale value is because Apple makes it virtually impossible to tell which year the laptop was made. They're all called Macbook or Macbook Pro. You buy a used "Macbook" off of craigslist and you pretty much need a tech guru with you to figure out what year it was made. (The label with the model number is hidden underneath the battery, and you have to cross-reference it with wikipedia since Apple's page of model numbers hasn't been updated in a year and a half.)

    So basically, the prices are high because a bunch of computer neophytes (most Mac users) are buying 2-5 year old laptops thinking they are 1 year old. My cousin almost bought a new Macbook at his school store on sale for $900. He called me first and I talked him through how to find the model number. It was an ancient Core 2 Duo model when the latest were sporting Sandy Bridge CPUs.

    If you desperately want to run OS X on a cheap machine, get the VMWare hack to unlock the limitation that only allows OS X Server to run. Then you can run vanilla OS X under Windows or Linux. (How you get the copy is another matter...)
  • robinthakur - Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - link

    That's not really true though and is a gross over simplification. Perhaps just for uninformed people such as your cousin. The majority of smart people making an investment in the region of £1300-£2000 do quite a lot of research before parting with their cash. If you look on Craigslist/Gumtree etc. it will most usually say what the CPU and RAM are and you can work it out from this, or just look on the box label/System Information in OSX if you really can't work it out. You can also buy them reconditioned cheaper directly from Apple's website where it gives you a detailed system spec along with when it was originally released. I own a Macbook Pro retina and a Win8/Hackintosh which I built myself from scratch. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    .. Which is exactly why I bought a Precision on ebay! A fantastic way to get a great machine. Reply
  • ShieTar - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    You are not supposed to actually pay the $2k, you are supposed to get a "Buy DELL exclusively, only pay 50%" contract and then pay $1k. And then pay $100 for a 5$ keyboard.

    Why would you expect to get much resale value out of it anyways? It is clearly a business notebook, with a very reduced value for private use. For every 20 business notebooks flushed into eBay when they are 3 years old, there is maybe 1 person who is actually looking for a good 3 year old busines notebook. The other 19 just go cheap to students.
  • Calista - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I love the crappy resale value of business notebooks. Paid $170 for a Latitude E4200 with a 128GB SSD and 5GB RAM. And it's still covered by a two year next-day warranty. It's with me daily and I don't care the least if it gets scratched or dinged. Reply
  • jacobdrj - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - link

    How? Where? Reply
  • sjalsevac - Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - link

    I waited a long time for Dell to bring out its latest Precision. I had a series of them, the latest being the M4400. When the M4700 came our recently I ordered a fully loaded one. It came and was very regrettably sent back within a couple of days. Here is why:

    1. The unit is a bulky, heavy beast. I could not bear the thought of lugging this thing around on all my travels. The M4400 proved to be too heavy and bulky and its huge and heavy power supply added a lot to the burden. Two generations later I assumed Dell caught on with modern developments. Nope. Not even remotely.
    2. The layout of the keyboard with the touch pad off center over to the left was weird and not logical.
    3. The time of startup and shut down was still way too long and no better than my old M4400 despite the M4700 having been ordered with high level current processor, video card, memory and other options.

    In sum, very, very disappointing. Dell does not seem to have its customers needs in mind when designing these things. I presume engineers' preferences, rather than customers' needs were allowed to be the dominant priorities - a sure sales losing strategy.

    I have been with Dell for many years. I very reluctantly switched for the first time to a Macbook pro (Retina). It starts and shuts down instantly, weighs a lot less and is far less bulky than the Dell and has many other benefits such as long battery life and 750 GB of solid state drive. There are also many downsides to the MacBook Pro and the transfer to Apple has been brutal. Still, carrying around that very powerful computer has been a Great relief. I no longer experience feeling as though my arm and shoulders are going to give out carrying my laptop on travel assignments. The Macbook's instant start and shutdown all means a lot for my very heavy and constantly changing work routines.

    If Dell introduced a comparable new Precision I would consider going back to Dell. I prefer the Windows operating system. Windows 7 is responsible for that. I have been very impressed with many aspects of it but not its terribly slow startup and shut down. However, I waited for a number of years and could wait no longer for Dell to do what was naturally expected to do.

    They just don't seem to understand or want to understand the current needs of customers. Very strange. I would say Dell risks going the way of RIM.
  • Zodiark1593 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Obviously, you don't need the Quadro, or one of the fastest Mobile CPUs on the market if you so easily went Macbook. This workstation is meant for if you actually need a rendering machine on the go, and in this case, weight is sacrificed in the name of performance. Reply
  • jabber - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    So let's get this straight.

    Basically you made an expensive blind purchase and that's Dell's fault?

    You didn't bother to check the specs for size and weight? Didn't think to check an option for SSD or install one yourself?

    I don't think the problem is with Dell really.
  • ijozic - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I guess he needs a Macbook Pro counterpart and not a workstation and blames Dell for not having converted its workstation to something like Asus U500.

    While Dell might want to consider jumping that bandwagon, I see no reason why he would expect them to kill the serious workstation line for something flashy and overheating when subjected to a more serious load.
  • peterfares - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    If the MBPr is useful for what you do, then you didn't need a Dell Precision. Reply
  • Stuka87 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    1: Its a workstation, all mobile workstations are bulky. They are intended to be desktop machines that you can move around.

    2: This is normal for any machine that has a num pad. The touch pad is centered with the keyboard. If it was centered on the machine your palm would be sitting on it.

    3: Sounds like you ordered it with a standard hard drive. Which is the limiting factor when booting up. Get it with an SSD and you will boot up in just a handful of seconds.

    Over all it sounds like you are just shopping for the wrong type of machine. It doesn't sound like you need a workstation.

    I own an M4600 (Same chassis, only with Sandy Bridge) and I am very happy with it. Best Dell laptop I have ever owned. Typically use it as a desktop connected to two 24" displays. But then take it home to work remote when needed.
  • ndornquast - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Seriously ugly brick. I am really shocked that this would be produced (on purpose) today. This is the type of workstation required by graphic artists and architects. Are we to suppose there is no need for beautiful form with this group of users.. purely function.

    And what's with the small, 3-button trackpad?

    Not to be the FanBoi.. but Dell needs to take a page from Apple's book. Or at least revive the Adamo (possibly Dell's only foray into the land of style).
  • bramv101 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Architects and graphic designers?
    Google for CFD, FEA, Siemens NX, Catia --> these are the type of software that dell keeps in mind when designing this mobile workstation, and I would say that this type of industry is considerably bigger then the photoshop/maya users out there.

    I think most scientist/engineers like myself would not consider apple for any serious work.

    Macbook pro is targeted at another market that does not need this type of quadro GPU or high level CPU
  • ingwe - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    ndornquast: People who are buying this to use for work probably don't care that much about the aesthetics.

    bramv101: I am an astrophysicist who is currently working as an engineer and most all of my colleagues and previous colleagues use an apple for just about everything (the main exception is if they are putting simulation work on a cluster). Apples definitely have their place in the scientist/engineering world, but it definitely depends on what the workload is going to be. The CPUs in the current line definitely aren't slouches. I can understand how a lot of people can't use them because of the lack of workstation graphics though.
  • A5 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I'm an embedded systems engineer, and none of the software I need to do my job (besides Office I guess) is available natively on OS X. I'd actually have an easier time switching to Linux than OS X at work :-p Reply
  • A5 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    That said, we have a couple Macbooks for people that travel a lot, but the first thing we do to them is Boot Camp Win7 and set it as the default OS. We don't do our heavy stuff on the road, so a 13-inch MBP running some of our on-site tools is a great option. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I am certainly all for form following function...or at least form being somewhat aesthetically informed by function (ThinkPads for the win)...

    ...but good god. That thing looks exactly like what you'd get if you bought a laptop-shaped Christmas ornament. It's like a parody of laptop design, but they're being serious.
  • CobaltFire - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    As an owner of an Optimus equipped Quadro 4000M packing M6600, I will say it (Optimus) works fine. What stops it from functioning is the IPS display. The bit width (8 or 10, I cannot remeber) means that the IGP cannot actually run the display.

    This is a known fact for those of us who put our money down for these, and affects the PremiereColor machines as well.
  • CobaltFire - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I meant that the issue affects both PremiereColor (Dell) and DreamColor (HP) alike. This is an issue unique to the IPS panels, and why many buyers purchase the quite good standard 1080p models. Reply
  • ijozic - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Yeah, exactly. I'm surprised that the reviewer doesn't know this. The IPS panels are 10-bit, while the Intel IGP is again 8-bit.

    Dell actually went the extra mile here compared to the HP - the HP just circumvented the IGP together and the Optimus is not supported even if you get the non-IPS configuration. Dell M6700 (as the M6600 before it) on the other hand has two display connectors on their mainboards, one which circumvents the IGP, one which takes the IGP output. So, if you configure your Dell with a regular screeen (supposedly, the 3D screen isn't supported by the IGP, neither), you can get the Optimus functioning and double your battery life.

    I don't get the rage about the keyboard. For instance, I use arrow keys rather than numpad to get around (I presume the reviewer uses the numpad arrows) so the document keys above the numeric keypad are almost unusable as they are hard to reach. Getting the PgUp/PgDn keys finally next to the arrow keys is a godsend and I only wish they had the secondary Home/End functionality added in combination with the Fn key.

    The whole review seems rather subjectively negative like it stems from the fact that the reviewer prefers the HP design and keyboard (which has awful arrow keys, personally). Yes, I prefer the HP boxy aluminum looks, too (apart from that ugly silver panel under the display) and think that M6700 is somewhat a step back from the M6400/M6500 (the two-tone inside colors and the keys remind me of the HP 8740W design), but I would still go for the M6700 as it has better cooling, QC (from what I'm reading in the owners threads) and Optimus support.
  • kabelmk - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    So, is the MacBook Pro Retina 15" 8-bit or 10-bit? Reply
  • kabelmk - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Or is it 6-bit panel? Reply
  • ijozic - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure, do a search on the net? I think it's probably an 8-bit IPS since it has switchable graphics.. Reply
  • kabelmk - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I've tried to do a quick search and i couldn't find something concrete. I didn't know about Intel integrated graphics limitation (that can drive up to 8-bit panels only).
    Based on anandtech color gamut chart, it seems like the Retina MBP panel can't be better than 8-bit.

    Hm, interesting ...
  • j_newbie - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I bought a m4600 refurb last year.
    I mainly use ansys and other cae software on it.
    I can honestly say that it has been an amazing laptop, mainly thanks to the cooling system. I can run 24 hours at 100% cpu load with the hdd not even 50 deg C.

    Its a little bulky granted.

    The user access panel allows you to pull the fans out for cleaning which not many other notebooks do.

    They need to redesign the 180W power brick though, its too big.

    The touchpad buttons are great and the layout is fine with me.

    Its worth it if you can buy@dell outlet. some great deals out there.

    I picked up mine for 1000$ came with i7-2720qm, fast 7200 rpm disk, 4 gb ram, long life 87wh battery, 1080p screen, firepro m5950.

    Currently its got 32gb ram, a second hdd using an aftermarket caddy.

    I can play Dota 2 on it with the thermals barely above 60 deg C (Its the only game I play)

    Its taken a few drops and falls, some tough field conditions and lots of other abuse and it just keeps going.

    I usually change my laptop every year (buying midrange stuff) but this one I am keeping for another year atleast.

    Great job dell, who cares about the aesthetics, Reminds me a bit of the original thinkpads, tough as nails and looks like your grandpa's laptop.


  • AnnoyedGrunt - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I have the smaller, previous generation 4600 for my work machine and find it to be a great laptop.

    I'm a mechanical engineer, and use it for Solidworks, Pro/E, their respective FEA programs, CFD, and Matlab, and have been very happy with the laptop so far.

    The only flimsy thing I notice is that when closed, the screen does not clamp firmly to the base. The latches leave quite a bit of play, but at least they are metal and look to be robust.

    I typically have the laptop docked at work, but can easily take it home when necessary. I can run Solidworks for a few hours on battery power, and with the three button trackpad can scrape by without a separate mouse if necessary (although it is painful). I don't notice the keyboard layout issues much, but that's because I'm not big on the document navigation because I almost alway have a mouse in hand for CAD work.

    Overall I'm quite happy with the machine, but haven't had any others to compare it to.

  • piroroadkill - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    "I may be too critical of Dell's Precision M6700. It has the performance, it has the price, it has the expandability, and looks aren't everything."

    I think you are, definitely. Most people at their desk are going to use it in a docking station with external KB/monitor/mouse.

    The sheer amount of expansion available in this and the power makes it unrivalled. Who cares about the rest of the stuff you mentioned?
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Just to expand on this - people who actually need to get shit done are going to pick this up.

    If you're not that guy, you shouldn't be bothering with reading about a workstation, surely..
  • Siorus - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I'm really surprised by the tone of the article and a lot of the comments here. I strongly disagree with your assessment of the M6700's chassis, Dustin; the things that you find nonsensical appear to be quite straightforward to me.

    I can't speak to the relative feel of the HP chassis vs. the Dell, because I haven't used the HP. I do, however, have a M6600-which uses an identical chassis to the M6700-and having read your own review of the HP I would argue your contention that the HP is more functional.

    I use the calculator shortcut on my machine multiple times a day, and I prefer the page up/page down keys next to the arrow keys as opposed to up at the top of the machine. Why? Because it requires that I move my hand a shorter distance to access them, and I use them quite literally hundreds of times a day; it's an easier, faster method of scrolling than using the touchpad, particularly if you read as quickly as I do. The media keys make no difference to me one way or the other; I never use them, but I don't see what they'd be replaced with that would improve the functionality of the keyboard.

    I do not find the touchpad too small; I don't need or want a large touchpad. Why on earth would you want to map cursor movement across a larger space when you can accomplish the same thing in 1" (which is about how much of the touchpad on the Dell I make use of)? You wind up moving your finger further-and thus taking more time-for no reason. Is the average person's hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness really so poor that they need to map cursor position on a 17" screen across a 4" touchpad for accurate mousing? It just strikes me as a wholly unnecessary waste of space.

    Regarding ease of service, I think you have latched onto the least relevant aspect of the whole process. Go back and look at your review of the HP, specifically the picture with the bottom cover removed. Quite a bit of the machine is still obscured by the case. On the Dell, the entire underside of the machine is exposed, including both of the fans, which are easy to remove either for replacement or to properly clean the heatsinks. The HP's fan is only accessible if you disassemble the entire machine, and if you look at the relative thermal performance of the two machines you will find that the HP's thermal solution is an exceptionally-indeed, inexcusably, in this class of machine-poor piece of engineering.

    The HP's CPU temperatures are comparable to the Dell's, but the HP's 2820qm is a 35w part versus the 55w 3920xm in the Dell, and the Dell's GPU runs considerably cooler than the HP's, despite having an identical TDP (for the record, I have several M6600s with Quadro 5010ms and i7 2960xms deployed that also run considerably cooler than the HP you tested does.).

    I think the quick release hard drive that's screwed into the chassis that you complained about makes quite a bit of sense if you view it as a security feature. The drive does not need to be screwed into the chassis to stay in place, the quick release mechanism alone will hold it securely. You have the option of screwing the drive into the machine, which makes running off with the drive somewhat more inconvenient.

    With respect to the "cobbled-together" impression you got from the M6700, my personal M6600 took an unprotected fall out of the back of a Yukon XL onto asphalt, landing on the right rear corner. The case had some minor damage but the machine was 100% functional. The only piece that I can find on these things that feels flimsy and "cobbled together" is the plastic bezel around the keyboard, which needs to be removed to access two of the four RAM slots. On the other hand, judging by the pictures of the HP, you'll be removing the keyboard to get access to two RAM slots on that, too, and since the whole top panel on that appears to be one piece, I'm going to guess that that's probably a much more involved process than it is on the Dell.

    I'm afraid that I just can't see any relevant criterion by which the HP could be judged to be a better machine. It's both heavier and larger than the Dell (although the differences in both measurements are, admittedly, essentially academic in nature), the thermal performance is embarrassing, and-once the bottom cover is removed-it is not as easily serviced as the Dell. It seems to me that if you buy the HP, you're paying more for the privilege of owning a lower quality machine.

    With respect to the commenters comparing this machine to anything Apple makes, all I can say is "get real." I own two Macbook Pros, a Macbook, two iPads and an iPhone; I'd hardly call myself biased against Apple products. But any attempt to present a Macbook Pro as a credible alternative to a mobile workstation such as the M6700 or the HP 8770w is indicative of a complete lack of even the most basic understanding of either product.

    Apple does not build high end mobile computers for serious business applications; in fact, they don't really build high end computers for serious business applications, full stop. If all you want to do is watch movies, play some fairly lightweight video games, or do some very basic work in programs like Photoshop or Lightroom, the Macbook Pro will suit your needs just fine.

    But the Macbook Pro will not handle serious CAD applications; there is no Solidworks or Pro-E on the Apple platform because their machines use consumer GPUs that do not have the driver support for proper OGL acceleration in CAD/CAM applications, and the machine does not support the installation of enough RAM to maintain acceptable performance if you're trying to use it for serious engineering work.

    The M6700 and the 8770w are not designed for or marketed to people wanting to do copy editing for a newspaper. They are built for people that need mobile platforms on which they can do real work.

    The TDP of the CPU and the GPU COMBINED in the current, TOTL 17" Retina MBP is less than the TDP of the graphics card alone in the M6700 in this article, and the Mac has problems handling *that* heat load. The kind of power that is required to render a solidworks assembly with hundreds or thousands of parts in real time doesn't fit in a 3/4" thick notebook. Cosmetics aren't real important in this category; the target market for these machines is the manufacturing industry, not graphic designers.

    The Macbook Pro is not a high end mobile workstation; it never has been. And that's fine, it has its own niche and its own design criterion which it meets very well. But to compare it with the class of PC notebooks which the M6700 is a member of is, at best, the height of ignorance.
  • theeldest - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Thank you.

    I came here to say much of the same but you did better than I ever could.

    I absolutely agree on the calculator button. I have one keyboard that doesn't have it near the numberpad and it drives me crazy.

    And finally, am I the only one that likes the aesthetics of the Dell more than the HP? Seriously, it looks better.
  • BitJunkie - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    No! you aren't. For different reasons, the company I work for has 50% Dell and 50% HP computers. I have a M6600 and wouldn't trade it for one of my colleagues HPs.

    I say that from the perspective of aesthetics, as well as performance. I don't care about how the thing looks, it's just a very fast and solid bit of kit for running 2D / 3D FEA.

    I'm not a mechanical engineer: more interested in soil mechanics and using advanced constitutive models that couple strength with stress-state and volume change: so volumetric / shear hardening and softening. I look at this for offshore structures for oil and gas projects.

    These powerful laptops have really changed our workflow and how we resolve some really difficult challenges.

    I find the pg up and pg dwn keys to be quite convenient too.

    I like the work that anandtech do, but this review is basically a consumer review of a professional bit of kit. The really important stuff about how fast a 3D mesh will generate, decompose and then be solved using different types of iterative solver is missing....

    Shame, but hey ho.
  • RedWingB - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I agree.

    I feel that this review is poor and time and time again attributes huge importance to minor differences when comparing the new Precision to HP's counterpart. For the record, I own both an 8760w and an M6600 and whilst they're both great notebooks, the significantly better thermal solution of the Precision line is what I find most useful as a power user. Pushing your system to the limits by overclocking your GPU and CPU in the Elitebook? Forget about it. The system will handle it fine but your temps will be hitting 95 Celsius + in no time, your system will sound like a jet engine, compared to the Precision whose better thermal solution allows harder overclocks, lower temperatures and lower fan noise, consistently.

    Some may also argue that the look and feel of the Precision are more business appropriate.

    As for the display comparisons between the M6700 and 8760W (PremierColor vs Dreamcolor), well I'm not too sure about this, I know for a fact that they both use identical LG panels so I guess the difference may be attributed to what happens on the software side.
  • bramv101 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I agree with most comment above. I use this workstation for small FEA and CFD runs.
    This is not to be compared to a Macbook pro, which is a machine for graphic design.

    I dont think any serious engineer would consider a macbook pro for these type of tasks
  • j_newbie - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    @Dustin Sklavos,

    Looks like Anandtech readership has a high percentage of mechanical engineers using fea and cfd programs. The benchmarks provided focus mainly on 3d modelling performance.

    One benchmark you could consider adding is specfp 2006.

    Since I am the IT dept in a small (15 engineers) services firm in Bangalore, I find it to be one of the most usable benchmarks for FEA and CFD.

    These programs rely on four things:
    FLOPS, memory bandwidth, memory size, disk speed.

    An alternative would be to ask ansys for a 64 bit copy to run benchmarks on

    something like these

    Hope these will help,

  • borceg - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Could you make a review for Lenovo ThinkPad W530 ? Reply
  • critical_ - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I've owned a W520, W530 and own a M6700 right now. It is a smaller machine with a slower graphics card. The only thing that bothers me on the W530 is the cooling system isn't great. Reply
  • borceg - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I'm looking for 15-inch machine, GPU either k1000m or k2000m should be fine. I'm not working with some ultra heavy CAD.

    How is build quality, screen, keyboard and touch-pad ?
  • borceg - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    And according to this review, temp seems fine to me (maybe I'm wrong) Reply
  • bernstein - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    with these machines the choice chart it is really really simple.

    as long as you satisfy one of these your set. otherwise buy a macbookpro or similar.

    1) you must have a quadro/firepro gpu
    2) you must have > 16GB RAM
    3) you can't live with 6% less cpu ghz
    4) you must have a 10bit panel

    and seriously hope you don't care about weight, build quality & usability...
  • Jaguar36 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    A bunch of folks I work with have these, and I'm shocked at the size of the power brick. Its about the same size as a regular desktop powersupply, and weighs more than some smaller laptops. That's completely unacceptable. Most people I know had to get two power supplies so they could leave one at the office.

    Also no-one should be comparing this to an Apple anything, nobody is going to cross shop the two.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    It's a 240W power supply; so of course it's going to be bigger than the normal 50/100W units that come with IGP/low end discrete GPU laptops. That said, unless Dell's serving up the wrong picture it looks like it's roughly 3x5x1" in size; and while the former two numbers roughly match up with an ATX supply; the latter is typically at least 5" (for the 120mm fan) in the third. Reply
  • Jaguar36 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Just measured one, its 4"x7.5"x1.75" or so. It's completely ridiculous. Reply
  • critical_ - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    It is necessary. My M6700 has a Core I7-3940XM, Quadro K5000M, 3 7200RPM HDDs and a mSATA SSD. When everything is going full blast there is quite a bit of power draw.

    The Lenovo W530 (another workstation) comes with a 170 watt power supply. It only has the K2000M which has a 55W TDP versus the 100W TDP of the K5000M. Remember, these are workhorses not aesthetic queens.
  • Gunbuster - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    You sure do a lot of complaining about aesthetics in this review yet fail to mention Dell offers a Covet edition in red with edge to edge glass screen...

    As for your HP obsession the M6700 demolishes it in nearly every one of your tests and cost 30% less (before any discounts that dell is well known for) Did HP give you the 8760W to keep or was it a really nice steak dinner? I don't understand at all.
  • cknobman - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    My company bought me a Dell m4600 which is a very similar model to the one reviewed just slightly smaller at 15.6 inches, has a i7-2720qm, and only a Quadro 1000M.

    I have been working with the laptop for a year now and it is by far the best workstation laptop I have ever used (of course most of the companies I've worked for are cheapskates and bought crap).

    I love the design, 1080p screen, and portability is pretty decent. The unit is screaming fast (I am a .Net developer and it tears through anything I have thrown at it) and even plays games like BF3 (at 1600x900) and Diablo 3 (full 1080p) with no problem.

    My only knock against the unit is the bottom access panel. It is held on with two cheap plastic tabs secured by screws and they break easily. If I am not careful I can accidentally slide the access panel open when carrying the unit around.

    My favorite aspect of the system is even with a Quadro 1000M I can flawlessly run 4 1080p screens (counting the laptops own LCD) with no problems giving me tons of workspace.
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    The QM77 chipset only supports SATA 6.0Gbs on 2 ports.

    Both the Dell and HP mobile workstations have 4 drive bays. Which bays are SATA 6.0Gbs and which are SATA 3.0Gbs?

    Or did Dell and / or HP add a third-party controller chip to bump up the number of 6.0Gbs capable drive bays?

  • critical_ - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    That is a limitation due to Intel's chipset. The primary and secondary hard drive bays are SATA 6.0Gbps. The mSATA slot, optical bay, and eSATA port are SATA 3.0Gbps. Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the precision in your reply. Very helpful :) Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    1920 x 1080 is a step backwards.

    I already have a 17" 1920 x 1200 laptop (albeit an ancient HP ZD8000).

    Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all need to pony up and try something new. How about an 18" 2550 x 1440 mobile display?

  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Where's the USB 3.0?

    Really! More than a decade later, both Dell and HP have USB 2.0 ports on their most exclusive machines?

    And they b*tch about not being able to sell PCs.

    Innovate da**it!

  • critical_ - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    There are 2 USB 3.0 ports on the right side of the laptop itself and 2 USB 2.0 ports. I'm glad USB 2.0 is included because not every rescue disc and OSs have drivers built-in to handle USB 3.0. On multiple occassions having USB 2.0 ports has saved me. Lenovo's ThinkPad workstation does this as well. Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Okay, let me restate it another way: There aren't enough USB 3.0 ports.

    This is regardless of how many USB 2.0 legacy ports they want to tack on it for disaster recovery.

    Dell, HP, Lenovo, and most others cheap out here.

    The exceptions are a few models of Asus and Toshiba. I have an all-USB 3.0 Asus machine with USB 3.0 x 3 ports and Toshiba offers USB 3.0 x 4 ports on some machines. But, those 'lesser' machines aren't in this lofty class of machines populated, really, only by Dell and HP.

    Technically its possible to do the deed. If I understand it correctly, the Intel chipsets are able to handle USB 3.0 x 4, PLUS an additional USB 2.0 ports x 2, or more.

    So there is no need to give up anything. But, the manufacturer's are stuck on offering Firewire and eSATA, at the expense of more USB 3.0.

    The subject Dell and the HP machines are supposed to be the 'best of the best' desktop replacements / mobile workstations. So 6 x USB should be considered standard in keeping with the "we charge you more, but you get more" philosophy for these computers.

    So manufacturers: Wire up those 4 ports of USB 3.0! Already!

    2007 is calling and people want to know where their long awaited USB 3.0 ports are.

  • critical_ - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    It may be technically possible but the issue is that I would much rather have more types of different ports than get stuck with a whole bunch of USB 3.0 ports. More USB 3.0 ports can be had through the port replicator, through an ExpressCard addon, or through a hub. In fact, there are still users of the M6700 that bemoan the loss of the PCMCIA slot in 2012. A fair bit of research goes into these workstation-class laptops to address the needs of large buyers. If Dell, HP, and Lenovo wanted to add a gazillion USB 3.0 ports then they would have done it but their target demographic doesn't want them. Reply
  • hrrmph - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    "get stuck"?

    With more modern faster ports?

    And I know that you haven't argued the point, but another user argued that Thunderbolt, an even faster port, was undesirable.

    And, yes I'm sympathetic to the need to have backwards compatibility for a few years, especially for industrial equipment and applications.

    But, 10 years is enough for a defunct standard.

    IEEE 1394a? That died a decade ago.

    Mobile workstations are the largest ships in their class. Are people arguing that these machines aren't physically capable of holding more ports?

    My point isn't to say that any given legacy port shouldn't be included if it is popular and needed, but rather that at this lofty level of the market, you cannot expect people to comfortably transition away from the desktop if you don't give them something closer to desktop capabilities.

    For Anand it took Thunderbolt combined with Pegasus storage to make the transition.

    As a well-versed non-Apple PC user, I'm fairly confident in saying that the non-Apple manufacturers are very late to providing modern peripheral I/O ports.

    I don't buy Apple, but I am jealous of their ability to buy machines with more peripheral bandwidth.

    I would deploy that bandwidth very quickly... if I had it.

  • ShieTar - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    What in the world does anybody do with multitudes of USB 3.0 ports anyways? Storage is generally connected through a network, and the USB ports on machines like this are usually only used for keyboard/mouse and software dongles.

    Seriously, I dare you to provide a single usage case, where the owner of such a notebook would even need the 2 USB3 ports.
  • hrrmph - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    "Seriously, I dare you..."

    Ummm... okay... let's look around my desk...

    128GB thumbdrives x 3;

    64GB thumbdrive x 1;

    External drives x 6;

    Monitor with hub x 1.

    All of them needing a USB 3.0 port to connect to... because... they are all-USB 3.0 by design.



    My photo, slide, film scanner could use more bandwidth for transferring the results back to the host machine more quickly. So as soon as a faster operating, higher bandwidth version is available, I would like to replace that piece of equipment.

    Even my printer takes too long to get rolling, so maybe more bandwidth is needed there.


    Two thumbdrives are installed at all times and two external drives are installed at all times. That's 4 ports needed to start with.

    A scanner and printer would be 2 more ports.

    2 spare ports for transient devices (the occasional visiting thumbdrive, external drive, etc.) would be nice.

    Hmm... thats 8.


    The USB 3.0 hub in the Dell 27" monitor can relieve some of that pressure, but not when I'm on the road using the display that is built in to the laptop.

    As much as I prefer the Dell and would probably buy it over the HP mobile workstation (if I had to buy today), it must be admitted that HP has a better docking station solution for USB 3.0.

    With the HP docking station's ports combined with the laptop's ports, you get USB 3.0 ports x 6 total. With Dell you get only 4.

    Still, I wouldn't pay HP an additional $800 just for 2 extra USB 3.0 ports.


    I've tried adding an ExpressCard with USB 3.0 x 2 ports to my existing ancient HP 17" machine. It works.

    I've even added USBGear Industrial Hubs x 2 with 4 additional ports on each hub. That gets me USB 3.0 ports x 8 on that old machine. It works (see my extensive reviews at Amazon for more info).

    Although it works, its not ideal. Although it is much faster than USB 2.0, the limited bandwidth of the ExpressCard port takes about a a third or so of the performance off of the top of what it could be.

    The ExpressCards themselves are bulky and stick out of the right front corner of my machine... occupying the same chunk of table real estate that my mouse would like to occupy.

    The USBGear industrial hubs are great, but as with all other hubs that need to drive several external drives, external supplemental power is needed via a wall brick plugged into mains power.

    If you use two hubs, then make that two extra wall bricks in addition to the massive wall brick needed to power a mobile workstation.


    All of this effort is just to try to bring my storage capabilities on the road up to something a little closer to what I have on my desktop machine at home.

    I have 2.5inch x 15mm x 4 bay racks x 3 on my newest desktop machines for a total of 12 possible drives. There are usually 8 drives resident.

    I could see the possibility of eventually migrating completely over to mobile workstations, but not unless the storage capabilities get better.


    All in all, its just better for the manufacturers to build the USB 3.0 port into the machine.

    A pair of Thunderbolt ports would nice too.

  • spiceshaper - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    So why the f**k would you need to connect all that sh*t at the same time? Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link



    All I hear from Dell and HP are crickets.

  • p05esto - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Really? Who uses Thunderbolt except Apple weinies who pay $50 for cables, lol. I own nothing that uses Thunderbolt. Fool. Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    HP offers a docking station that lets you add 4 more USB 3.0 ports and a bunch of other ports.

    Dell has a USB 3.0 equipped docking station, but according to Dell's website the M6700 is unlisted as being compatible.

    So Dell's most exclusive laptop isn't compatible with their most exclusive docking station?

    I'm confused. How could this be? Or is it just that Dell's website is confused about what works with what?

  • critical_ - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I have the correct docking station. It is Dell part # 331-7947 (or T0J21). It adds 2 more USB 3.0 ports. Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Again, thanks for the very helpful replies :)

    Especially regarding the part numbers for the docking stations and telephony cards. I've noted both part numbers in my 'lab' files.

    If my 17" machine dies a terminal death, I will be replacing it with a Dell or HP mobile workstation. Right now Dell has the upper hand, partially because of price for what you get.

  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link


    More crickets.

  • p05esto - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    And in a couple years where there WIFI-ac routers and services on the market I'm sure the M6900 will support it. Right now, totally not needed. Are you an Apple sheep or soemthing? Reply
  • critical_ - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Does anyone make half-length mini-PCIe 3x3 (or greater) 802.11ac cards these days? Last I checked there isn't one BUT once there is replacing the wireless card in the M6700 shouldn't be tough. Reply
  • hrrmph - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Good point.

    For what its worth, WiFi-ac is the only one of these subjects that I have any sympathy for the manufacturers on.

    It is THIS year's nascent technology. Its hard, but not impossible to get this year's new tech onto a machine.

    I use the laptop at home primarily, and infrequently in the field.

    In the field I need autonomy for up to 2 months at a time, sometimes in very far flung places with little else available infrastructure-wise besides mains power and maybe 3G or 2G GSM. Hence the obsession with local storage, but I digress.

    At home, I have ADSL.

    The NetGear WiFi-ac router R6300 is available now at Amazon. I think it is 3 x 3 so you might get close to Gigabit WiFi speeds, or in actual practice, maybe 75% of Gigabit WiFi speeds. That's a very impressive boost over WiFi-n.

    The equivalent NetGear ADSL Gateway Modem with built in WiFi-ac Router is the D6300. It is currently available at Amazon UK and should be available stateside any day now.

    WiFi-ac is today's reality. Why buy an uber-expensive laptop this year when next year's model will have wireless that is 5 times faster...

    Unless you want to gamble on the upgrade working.

    I hope that you are correct that these machines can be upgraded from WiFi-n to WiFi-ac with a simple mini-card replacement.

    But, when I tried to upgrade my existing ancient HP 17" from WiFi-g to WiFi-n, it didn't work. So I emailed HP and asked why. They said that for the newer WiFi-n mini-cards to be compatible, the BIOS needed to be changed and that HP wasn't willing to issue the necessary BIOS revision.

    Granted my machine isn't a mobile workstation (it is one grade below that). I would hope that in the future if I pony up the cash for a mobile workstation class machine, that the manufacturers would be more accommodating with BIOS revisions than what I've experienced with the "desktop replacement" class laptop that I have now.

  • ShieTar - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    So? You connect to your own company network by cable anyways, and if you are traveling, what are the chances that even if you find a WiFi-ac connection that there is an Internet-Connection behind it that is actually fast enough to utilise -ac speeds? Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    UEFI capable BIOS?

    What happens when drives exceed 2TB capacity. Is the Dell machine stuck? Or does it have UEFI so that it can keep on keepin' on?

    Th HP has it. I presume the Dell does too and the reviewer just didn't mention it. Still, it would be nice to know.

    Dell's website on the subject of UEFI: Silent.

  • critical_ - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Yes it is UEFI, has Secure Boot, etc. Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Sounds like the IPS panels are troublesome.

    Also, both Dell and HP make you drop extra equipment like the telephony SIM slots and GPS capabilities if you choose the IPS displays.

    So how much Adobe RGB gamut do we give up if we downgrade to the non-IPS panels?

    For graphics non-pros would it be noticeable? Annoyingly so?

  • critical_ - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I am a M6700 owner. The IPS display causes the loss of Optimus. This is due to the display chain being pure 10-bit throughout which the Intel HD 4000 can't do.

    As far as SIM slots and GPS goes... Dell's online configuration tool won't allow you to add these but they all come with a SIM slot and antenna leads for a WWAN (and GPS) module regardless of the screen you pick can be added separately. I'm running the Dell 5630 (Gobi 3000) without any issues that I added myself.
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Bummer on battery life...

    Anyone want to guess if Haswell fixes this?

    I'm guessing not, unless Intel redesigns the EUs.


    Sweet! on SIM and GPS.

    Just to be clear:

    Is the SIM slot full-sized? (I hate to even ask, knowing it must be, but you just never know what you aren't being told when you buy something)

    Are the antennas themselves already installed?

    If not, did they come with the Dell 5630 card?


  • critical_ - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure if Haswell will fix this but I'm hoping it does.

    Yes, the SIM is a full-sized slot. Google and download the owner's manual for the M6700 and you can see it for yourself. You can also see the slot on Page 2 of this review. It is to the left in the battery bay.

    Yes, the antennas are already installed because they form a loop around the screen. Therefore they need to be installed during assembly of the laptop. You can see them in the same picture on Page 2. It is the horizontal slot towards to back of the laptop. You can see the white colored antenna lead just sitting there. In the bigger version of the picture you can see the second black colored antenna lead.

    Dell has several WWAN cards. It is just the full length mini PCI-E module as the antennas are built in.
  • hrrmph - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Thanks again for the answers.

    Doh! I have the owner's manual for the latest HP, but I forgot to get the Dell. Thanks for your patience and help :)
  • p05esto - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Trouble? More like AWESOME. I'm typing on the M6700 right now and this screen is as good as my new Dell IPS, beautiful. Best screen I have even seen on a laptop, better than glossy crap Apple screens. Reply
  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    For non-CAD users, if you are looking at the low-end graphics options which are AMD FirePro:

    Dell: M6000 / Radeon HD7870M: 960 G-FLOPs

    HP: M4000 / Radeon HD7770M: 615 G-FLOPs

    Source: Wikipedia

  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link


    Dell: IDT 92HD93BXX

    HP: ?IDT 92HD81B1X

    What's the difference?

  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link


    Dell gives you Win7-64 Ultimate for $34 extra.

    HP tops out at Win7-64 Pro.

    Ignoring Win8, of course.

  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    As of 2012-12-13:


    Dell: $2400

    HP: $3200



    - Non-CAD user needing only low-end graphics;

    - Core i7-3840QM is "good enough" ;

    - User will install their own desired RAM; and

    - User will install their own desired SSDs and HDDs.

  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Even with a bunch of open question marks, I give:

    - Dell a narrow win on equipage and performance;

    - Dell a big win on value due to the current heavily discounted price; and

    - HP... yeah it looks and feels better... but not $800 better.

  • hrrmph - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    But really?

    A display with fewer pixels?

    A storage system that can't decide how many SATA 6.0Gbs ports it has?

    A wireless system that lacks the current top standard?

    A chassis with yesterdecade's peripheral ports?


    I think my tired ole HP ZD8000 will make it another year or two while these yo-yos get it sorted out to offer something that doesn't have so many compromises.

  • stephenv2 - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I'm finally posting a comment after consistently tired of the strong personal bias and hyperbole over minor details Dustin has in all his reviews.

    You have to dig and skim around all the personal angst over looks and minor OCPD examination of irrelevant details to glean what actually matters - in this review, it's the Dell is lighter, faster and cheaper than competition with a better display.

    As power user, if you are choosing a notebook based on how it looks - you really can't describe yourself as power user. And describing the Dell's keyboard layout as "bizarre" is schoolgirl hyperbole.

    I find myself going elsewhere these days for reviews these days. I like what Anandtech reviews, but the actual reviews are reading more and more like coffee shop poetry slams and less like substantive, objective breakdowns of performance and value.
  • Gunbuster - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I like how the HP gallery shots are pretty much pristine, yet the M6700 has greasy fingerprints all over it and you didn't even bother to remove the plastic sheet over the SD card slot. Reply
  • p05esto - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    The coating on the Dell interior is like a rubberized metal that stays warmer to the touch and does not leave fingerprints as easily. It's also feels softer and much MUCH nicer than aluminum. I'll say it again, this review is just terrible and even the pictures are horrible in the review. Yes, I own this laptop, but I own like 20 computers so I'm not that biased. Reply
  • araczynski - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    i generally like dell's hardware, but that's just fugly. reminds me of the Winbook Si models from back in the day. Reply
  • p05esto - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I bought an M6700 and LOVE it. The IPS screen and better resolution than the HP was what sealed the screen. Really 1080 on the HP, who would want that crap?

    This Dell M6700 has no equal, NONE. Only a couple laptops have IPS screens and only the Dell has the good resolution. This workstation laptop (Quad i7, 16GB Ram, fast GPU, SSD) as as fast as my tricker out and new desktop. It's got every conenction I need when I go to meetings or at home, it's freaking fast an functional for my development/web/design needs.

    Yes I'm a pretty hard core content creator and this is what this laptop is designed for. I love the color, the simplicity and industrial design. I've seen the HP the author is gushing all over and I wanted the Dell hands down. I also have the original M6500 and love that one as well. Seriously, the laptop is exactly perfect in my opinin. I live the understated design and no frills silent but powerful look. This workstation isn't meant to be carried around to classes at school, not even close. This is when you want POWER on the go, at various locations or to dock at home/work and never miss a beat.

    Seriously, this review is pretty bad, the whole point to this system is lost on most of you. Workstation replacement!!!!
  • p05esto - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Holy crap I should have proofed that comment. Sorry about that! Reply
  • lx686x - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Someone didn't do any research I see.
    The HP's have a 1080p DreamColor display, that is actually better than the one on the M6700 (I see you didn't even read the review).
  • scottwilkins - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    I think the asthetics, keyboard layout and hardware access of this laptop are top knotch! The keyboard changes are very welcome and work fantastic. The hiding of the screws for panel access are welcome too, as to not be too obtrusive. This reviewer has personal issues that he should not have shared with the community.

    Dell still blows away HP on ease of service and simplicity of configuration after purchase. Try getting the right drivers for an HP!!! Almost guaranteed to fail with an HP.

    Add to that, this notebook beats out HP on performance, and it's a no-brainer as to which notebook to get.
  • lx686x - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I never had any problems with HP's drivers...

    Where did you see it beating out the HP on performance, if you are referring to this review, it was compared to 8760w (SNB CPU and older gen GPU), compare it to 8770w and it's a tie.
  • yinkadesigncode - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    To me this review is fail, if we say this is a workstation. Den I xpect it to be reviewd like so for example u mentioed about the gpu without giving us specific gpu benchmark like iray vray rt, even mecury play back engine. All d benchmark just uses the cpu, ram hard drive nd general opengl performance plss go nd look out hw cgchannel reviews. Apart from benchmarks show us real world usage. Show us how fermi is to kepler in gpu performance like vray rt. Wow had high hopes for dis review well guess I wld continue using my hp elite book. Wirth d 5010m my cinabench cpu score is 6.3 nd gpu is 81 wow u blew dis review. Any body gettin dis machine wld be gettin it for the gpu. Also d display neva told us d advantages over say a retina macbook pro. Dis is why d pc ecosystem is dying ppl need to see how dis is in d realworld wen editing nd stuff. Reply
  • shermanx - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    at this level it would be nice to see some direct comparisons with desktop chips; I am surprised manufacturers are not able to produce significantly more powerful performances for desktop platforms given how much more space and margins they can have. It would be interesting to see a laptop beating the s**t out of the AMD 8-core power-hungry rubbish. Reply
  • ShieTar - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Manufacturers are able to produce significantly moer powerful performances for desktop platforms. The article above already shows a single Quadro K5000 in a Lenovo D30 outperforming the notebook. Dell will be happy to give you dual K5000s in a precision T7600. nVidia will happily tell you that even 4 K5000s are an option with Quadro Sync.

    If anybody will send this kind of 12k$ to 20k$ Workstation to Anandtech for testing is a whole different question.

    Also, AMDs 8-cores are not the desktop counterpart to this notebook. Think quad-socket 16-cores instead.
  • silenceisgold - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Anandtech, can you all figure out why Dell can't get any 15.6" IPS displays for the M4700? I just got one right after they took the IPS option off of their website, but the option is still everywhere on their support documentation. It really ticks me off that we just payed a ton of money for one of these, and I can't return it for one with a proper display. It would be awesome if you could blow the lid off of whatever sourcing issues they are having, since their customer service won't say anything at all. Reply
  • Alvern - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Somebody on Notebook Review said that Dell couldn't get quality screens from their supplier Reply
  • silenceisgold - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    ok, that's great. but why? LG (which I believe is the supplier) has been making IPS screens now for ages, what's going on now that would change that?

    And why did they yank the option without some sort of notification on their site. The support manual says there should be a 3D option too; not there as well.
  • critical_ - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    The M4700 had corner tint issues on the IPS display which, we assume, is what led to Dell dropping that option. Reply
  • twtech - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    Instead of trying to squeeze the keypad in, I'd prefer they just skipped it, and used the space to provide desktop-size keys. I actually don't even use a keypad on my desktop at work. As a programmer, I frequently type in numbers, but they're almost always mixed in with letters and symbols.

    I realize that some people do use the keypad, and I'm not saying that all laptops should be built that way, but I would like to have the option to buy a Windows laptop with that configuration from someone.
  • spiceshaper - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Alternating my gaze between a Microsoft Natural Keyboard and my M4700. Can't really see the difference in the key sizes. Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - link

    Are the notebook's keys slightly closer together? That's the only thing that leaps to mind when I read twtech's complaint. My 17" laptop has a full keyboard similar to the Dell's, and it does feel significantly more cramped, even disregarding the placement of the arrow/numpad keys.

    The keys are the same size, though. You're right about that.
  • superjaw - Thursday, December 13, 2012 - link

    As a user of the M6700 and MBP, I have to say most of the criticisms not to be founded.
    The case and build quality both are top notch, the palm rest has been switched to a pleasant soft touch rubberized. It is also extremely user serviceable all the way down to using MXM standard GPUs and socketed processors.

    I don't think the hardware options can be knocked in any way, full Ivy Bridge processor options and a wide range of GPU, storage, display, and connectivity options.
    Personally I don't have the IPS screen (I prefer the battery life of Optimus 7+hours), but from what I've read on the forums the Dell IPS screen when properly calibrated has a larger gamut than the HP screen.

    I appreciate an honest review that points out the potential flaws, but this review seemed to immediately counter any glimmer of positively with some sort of comment about disappointment that gives a 8.5/10 laptop a 3/10 perception. Any machine has it's negatives but it really is not a fair portrayal of an excellent machine.

    Here are some prime nbr threads:
  • hrrmph - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I wish the reviewers would be harshly critical of both the Dell and the HP mobile workstations. Actually, all 17" machines for that matter. But, especially the Dell and the HP, since we all know what they purport to be:

    They are supposed to be the ultimate in mobile computing and desktop replacement.

    I get very hopeful each time they offer a new model... but, upon closer scrutiny each 'new' model looks like a bowl of yesterday's runny oatmeal mixed with a few chunks of fresh fruit.

    It'll do, but its not an ideal representation of what could be currently had if someone would bother to do the cooking they get paid for...

    ...and we all know it.

  • spiceshaper - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Kid, buy you that MBP and be happy, stop trolling the comments here. Yes, my M4700 (15") is almost as big as my old 17" MBP. But it costs half the price (and would cost at least 1.5k less than lesser equipped current Retina MBP), has 32GB, a 830 SSD and makes me happy every day I don't start iphoto and chose some serious software instead. It weights a ton, is bulky, but it gets shit done, none of the other options would be able to.

    I don't want pretty, I want something that helps me pay my bills.

    They do the cooking, you just try to order something entirely not on the menu. Go to apple, they have that Michelin star.
  • hrrmph - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Nice try...

    But, Apple's 17" is still sporting a crappy display.

    Why 'downgrade' to a 15" machine to get a better display?

    Is no one capable of building a better 17" or 18" display?

  • PubFiction - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Is simple, the ability to put non workstation graphics in them. They would move a ton more units as gamers would start using them as conservative good looking well built gaming platforms. But they can never understand that so the price always ends up over $1000 more than a gaming notebook.

    It would add almost nothing to their supply chain as really the GPU is the only thing you need to swap out to save money. They even have 120hz displays which are lacking in even gaming laptops.
  • lx686x - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    It wouldn't be a workstation anymore.... Reply
  • ijozic - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    It's just an extra customization option - some people don't need it for professional applications, but for occasional (or full-time) gaming as they dislike the design of the gaming notebooks. If that means sticking a big disclaimer sticker on the box saying "This is not a workstation anymore", I don't think anybody would mind. Reply
  • Silma - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I am quite astonished by this test.

    First to my knowledge Dell has been number one in the Workstation market for many many years and has produced great laptop workstations for years. My M4400 was and still is outstanding.

    Second to say that the 6700 is not serviceable because you have to unscrew 2 screws for a change you rarely do is quite exxagerated.

    Last I don't know on which planet you are living but the companies I worked for purchased workstations for a reason: power, robustness and certified for the applications that will be used. And not because they won a beauty contest. So to hesitate to recommend a robust laptop with very good screen and solid performances based on looks seems strange.
  • Hrel - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    Lenovo Thinkpad's are the single best workstation laptops that exist. While I prefer working on Dell desktops over Lenovo, it's by a slim margin. Overall I'd always recommend Lenovo. Though Dell is honestly a close second, despite how much I hate their consumer offerings and general scheme of charging WAY too much for consumer products unless you're a student. Reply
  • Hrel - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I'd like to add that I'm in love with that keyboard layout. Every laptop made needs to adopt that RIGHT NOW! I prefer chicklet myself, so offer both. But that layout, damn sexy. Reply
  • critical_ - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I like ThinkPads too but I've owned the last two versionos of their W-series workstation laptop. The cooling solution is terrible. With a Core i7-2960XM and the Quadro 2000M, I found the system couldn't run full tilt for more than 60 seconds due to the single heatsink-fan used to cool the discrete GPU and CPU being overwhelmed. I even ordered a new heatsink-fan unit and used new thermal compound but that didn't solve this issue. The HP has the same issue.

    I believe Lenovo needs to redesign their cooling system on the W-series chassis. The engineers at Lenovo assume that we'll use Optimus so, at most, they're only going to be actively cooling either a CPU or discrete GPU running at full tilt but not both. Even then, the CPU will thermal throttle. When both are used them all bets are off.

    Dell has done a great job with the cooling on this system. I seldom see any issue even when the intake vents are blocked. I can leave the CPU and GPU running full tilt for days without any thermal problems. The other great thing in the M6700 is the Core i7-2920XM and i7-2960XM will run at the 4C Turbo speed forever under these situations even though there are no overclocking options in the BIOS. It is these things that a review like this cannot or does not test but should. Maybe AnandTech should add a 24 hour rendering test that utilizes the CPU and discrete CPU together and then let us know how quickly and how often the unit thermal throttled in addition to telling us how much work was accomplished in that time period.
  • Maraque - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I come to Anandtech because you used have one of the most objective reviews around. I usually prefer to be a silent reader and refrain from making comments. But this has got to be one of the most biased analysis I have ever read in any Anandtech review. After everything the benchmarks said, that the Dell outclasses the HP in all of the benchmarks (the one reviewed anyway, not the 8770w), he still rates the HP higher just because it looks better (subjective). the HP is also a great machine, no doubt, not dissing it. But if he has already made up his mind as to which business notebook is better right out of the gate based on just its looks (contrary to what actual businesses buying these types of laptops do, which base their decision on the performance, build, serviceability, certifications, etc.), I do not see what right he has to review machines like these. I would recommend a reviewer who actually has an idea of the target market for these types of systems. Reply
  • StephaneP - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    I'm using a M6500 since 3 years.

    I like it but it could be really better with :

    - A better and larger touchpad
    - A better fan controller (I hate the on/off behaviour when an intermediate speed could be near silent)

    Even though I need the dock, the 2 hdd, the numpad, I don't need Firepro or Quadro. I would like a Mxxxx with a standard and much cheaper GPU option.
  • ijozic - Monday, December 17, 2012 - link

    On my M6400, there's an engineering menu accessed by holding Fn+Shift while typing 15324. Then by pressing the Fn+R you get into a temperature overview GUI screen where you can input the fan speed manually. Be careful not to run any demanding applications while the speed is manually set as the fans won't increase their speed automatically. Reply
  • Pradip Gupta - Friday, December 14, 2012 - link

    But can it run Crysis? Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 - link

    How can a battery ever be oversized? I could see that point being true when a battery offers more than 14 hours of productivity, because nearly no one is going to work more than that each day and when you are not working /are sleeping you can charge it. But other than that, it is pretty hard to imagine an oversized battery. Reply
  • Nenad - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - link

    I have M6700, and it is great desktop replacement notebook, with few issues. Main issue I have is:

    1) when it fail to read fingerprint, it still show "logging in" message for 3-4sec, thus confusing you into thinking that scan was ok
    2) after that it show 'fail' message and asks you to PRESS OK button , thus requiring you to move hand from reader and move mouse or press key
    3) if it fail to read fingerprint few times, sometimes it move you to 'change user' instead of 'enter password' - so can easily enter your PASSWORD in PLAIN VIEW of anyone around
    4) it always show DELL picture during login, not your account picture like normal windows login

    This is part of Dell 'Data Protection', which is basically Embassy SW from Wave - and it has VERY BAD design (Since it is EMBASSY SW, it is EMBArraSSinglY bad ). On my previous notebook (Lenovo W700) , fingerprint reading was working as expected, which means it works so well that you dont notice it:
    - while it match fingerprints, if says 'processing' instead of Dell's 'logging in' (thus not misinforming you)
    - if it fail to match, it return you to same 'enter password or swipe finger' screen, thus not requiring you to press keys or mouse, just to swipe finger again
    - if it fail multiple times, it leave you at 'enter password' manually, and NOT at 'change user', meaning you can not accidentally reveal your password to others if you start typing it after fingerprint reading fails
    - it showed windows user icon instead of vendor one

    I wonder if it was so hard for Embassy and Dell, after years and years of selling SW for fingerprints, to actually make something that is at least similarly useful as competition solutions.
  • Amit kumar - Tuesday, April 02, 2013 - link

    Wow amazing…Surely it is a great and specific device with its smart look. I checked full specification of this phone this site as well. Reply

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