Heat, Noise, and Power Consumption

Since we already addressed build quality previously when discussing the entire new Precision line-up, now we can see if the claims of both silence and improved thermal performance really hold up with Dell's Precision T3600.

As far as noise goes, the T3600 remains whisper quiet at idle and only really kicks up under extreme load. Even then, the fan noise is a very low rush that still remains below 40dB. Dell's guests spoke about how quiet the top of the line T7600 workstation was, but the T3600 is pretty stellar on its own.

Thermally, though, there's a minor cost. It's clear Dell tuned the T3600 for silence rather than thermals, and while the heat isn't terrible (and is in fact well within spec), it's not perfect either. With that said, Dell's cooling system also seems to have a decent amount of headroom to it given how quietly it runs at these temperatures, so having a series of workstations rack-mounted probably won't be an issue so long as their exhausts aren't blocked.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption

Finally, as the most powerful desktop workstation we've tested and the first one running enterprise-class Sandy Bridge-E hardware, the T3600 winds up pulling the most power from the wall. In perspective, however, the 97 watts of idle draw and 262 watts of full load power are still nowhere near what an enthusiast-class gaming system can pull. Despite the combined rated TDP of 272 watts (130W on the CPU and 142W on the GPU), the T3600 draws just 10 watts shy of that under stress.

Workstation Performance Conclusion: Most Improved Since 2011


View All Comments

  • eanazag - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    I'd like to see how their new cards compete in this all nVidia review. The only problem I see is I can't make sense of how many different series AMD has.

  • thetuna - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    One of us doesn't know what a page fault is... Reply
  • YaBaBom - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    I like the Dell workstations, and administer a few of them. But I have to agree with cjcoats--the limited options for disk expansion--especially in the 7x00 series--are inexcusable.

    I wish they would take a queue from something like the Fractal Design Arc Midi that has 8 internal 3.5" bays.
  • bobj3832 - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    The machine itself is nice but it is the custom power supply, custom drive brackets, etc. that I hate.

    We have a ton of Dell computers at work. The ability to change out the PSU quickly is great for an IT department IF they buy some extra power supplies and have them sitting in a closet. Unfortunately our IT dept doesn't. PSU blows and it will either be 2 days to get a new one FedEx'd or Dell is out of stock for the 3 year old computer PSU model. With regular ATX PSUs I can buy a new one at a local store and put it in in less than 5 minutes.

    I also couldn't put a full length graphics card or double slot graphics card in some Dells at work.

    A CPU fan died and I can't just replace it with an off the shelf model because it's enclosed in this giant custom Dell air vent.

    Rant over.
  • killazys - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Hi, could someone elaborate exactly what testing is being dome with x264? What's the source clip, encoding settings, whether or not avisynth is being used, etc? Its interesting that the gpu is listed, because x264 encoding is purely software based unless you're using something like DGSource in Avisynth. Reply
  • killazys - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    Done*. Please excuse me as I am posting from my phone. Reply
  • Rocket321 - Monday, April 23, 2012 - link

    I've long been jealous of the enterprise/workstation Cases from both HP and Dell. They are designed for such ease of service and have good attention to airflow and ascetics. My HP z600 at work is great with the handle/latch side door, steel panels, etc. I wish an aftermarket case maker would copy some of this stuff! Reply
  • otherwise - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Agreed. I've been building computers for almost 20 years now, and the Z600 has to be the best designed case I've ever worked in. Reply
  • randinspace - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Is Dell hoping to bring up fond memories of the Playstation 2 or something? Reply
  • cjb110 - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    The model name orientation suggests they designed it to be horizontal, but the logo on the mesh suggests vertical?

    Unless they have a rotatable logo like the PS3? :)

    Interestingly at work we've just switched outsourcing from HP to IBM, and as part of that any new desktops and laptops are now all Dell. Not this class though, just the i3/i5 models. They definitely look nicer and don't scrimp on memory like the 1/2gb HP ones did.

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