Needing to buy new workstation, Will this Dell work?

Pardon me if this is not in the correct section, I couldnt find a hardware section or antything.

Anyways, I’m shopping for a new workstation and I apologize for being computer illiterate. I was told Dell workstations are very good and was looking at the Dell Precision Tower 5810.

Intel® Xeon® Quad Core Processor
Windows 7 Professional
16GB Memory
1TB Hard Drive

Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-1620 v3
16GB (4x4GB) 2133MHz DDR4 RDIMM ECC
graphics- AMD FirePro™ W4100 2GB (4 mDP) (4 mDP-DP adapters)

That might as well be hieroglyphics to me… any help is appreciated. thanks! There is a sale and it would only be around $1200.
Thank you

Well it sounds good except the Windows part . . I would suggest upgrading to Linux (Ubuntu 16.04 64bit ) as the main Operating System then load the program ( free ) Virtual Box and put the windows 7 inside of that . . Let Virtual Box install the mouse driver and Video driver ( under guest additions when installed ) then you WILL NEVER have a major problem with the mouse or video part of Sketch UP
This is how I run SketchUp Make and never freeze mouse always works
I added a folder on the desktop called Win something and it is for trading files back and forth in
Also have to add the Extension file to the Virtual Box so the USB port work in windows
The ones who run this will scream at me for suggesting this but it runs and runs and runs never ever has froze up or had Video Problems . . That I get a kick out of reading almost every morning . .

Just a suggestion there . .

SU doesn’t profit from workstation hardware sothat e.g. a Dell (or HP or Lenovo) consumer system with a faster intel i6700K and a nVidia GeForce GTX 960/970 (can be upgraded later on by yourself) is performance-wise a better and probaly cheaper choice.

running a virtualized Windows under a host operating syytem for using SketchUp f. Windows is obviously pretty nonsense and btw not supported by the SU system requirements.


This is referring to the suggestion from above correct? running the operating sytem that roundabout way.

I may be able to load the intel i6700k or nvidia geforce but this would be bought through my company and not really able to get those installed and I would know nothing about installing it myself. Looking for just clicking purchase and be done with it.

Are there any workstations ready to go that you suggest on under the $1400 range?

This is referring to the CPU chip. Unless the motherboard has the same exact socket AND the BIOS supports both processors, then you cannot just swap them out.

We are guessing at what you will use the workstation for, as you have not yet said.
Also have you read any of the other topics on system buying advice ?

I will be using some basic cad, some solidworks and a lot of Sketchup with render plug ins and others.
Photoshop and Illustrator will be used as well.

Often multiple programs will be open at once.

I have tried searching for what computer setups are recommended but not finding much. maybe my choice of words are not matching up the best in the search bar. I am more than happy to read up on anything you suggest would help. thanks

This means as much RAM as possible. The problem with buying “canned” workstations (and laptops) from Dell, Acer, HP, etc. is that they fill all the RAM slots with small SIMMs. So in your example, they’ve filled all 4 slots with small 4GB SIMMs.

To upgrade memory later, you’ll have to pull some of these and put aside (hopefully you can use them somewhere else, like a printer or whatever.)

They could have installed two 8GB SIMMs and left you 2 open slots to expand into, and then you’d not need to toss out 2 small SIMMs.

This is standard procedure for all the companies out there, unless you order special.

Basically “you get what you pay for.”


Upgrading later on was meant concerning the graphics card, not the main processor.

The better Dell Precision workstations do in general use the Xeon CPU and AMD FirePro GPU. The best non-workstation system is probably the XPS 8900 with an i7-6700 (non-K version) and a subclass GeForce GTX 745…

… and get a SSD (instead of a HDD) at least for the system volume (256+ GB).

my recent pre-configured HP Envy H8 with 16 GB working memory was delivered with 2x 8 GB RAM modules with 2 slots free… but as Dan already said, you never know before.

ok thanks for all the help guys. looks like i may be needing more research. I still don’t think i can go the cutsom route because of the scenario it is being purchased under, have to keep it simple on the books…

the dell seems like it would work however correct? might not be the best in the world, but it will function correctly and i’ll be able to get work done. Or maybe i should look at HP, ive just always heard Dell is a better choice for some reason.

the OpenGL stack of AMD graphics cards resp. their drivers do unfortunately have shown some incompatibility issues (artefacts, crashes) in the past, especially in connection with but not limited to the 64-bit version of SketchUp.


oh really, i did not know that, well that would effect the thought of that purchase i guess… What about Nvidia cards?

I created a standalone wikilist of collected topic threads:
Hardware Purchasing Advice For SketchUp & LayOut

Yes, IMO, get an Nvidia card if you can and more RAM.

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the nVidia GeForce GT(X) consumer series (not Quadro CAD series) do regularly run without probs, thus my recommendation above.

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I like my GTX 750. more so than Quadro at my work.
It never gave me any problem and runs well.

You may benefit from SSD when reading and writing large files?
I got 256 SSD for primary drive and 2 TB for storage.

And actually I own Dell XPS desktop I think the model name was 8800. But Radeon card has been swapped with nVidia, and more RAM has been put in with more capacity PSU. Only Mainboard and CPU is how it was shipped :smiley:

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all the invidia cards offered for substitues in the dell are quadros. would these not work well then?

the nVidia Quadros will do as well but are slower compared with a GeForce at the same price range.

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So, this is the strategy that I took when I was purchasing my machine:

I found a deal for XPS desktop. No monitor, just some accessories included in the deal.
Customized to have not the top of the line, but higher spec CPU and Motherboard (you don’t really get any motheroard choice)
And the rest of the components were all selected for the default or lower range.
Then I purchased my own choice of GPU and additional RAMs, SSD with some online deals. The original components included with the case were swapped and sold off on ebay for extra cash (MINT OEM PARTS).

A bit of hassle I went through 3 years ago. When I had plenty of time on my hands :smiley:

I didn’t break any law here, did I? I hope I didn’t say anything wrong in public.

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Quadros do work very well, but they are expensive in relation to the GeForce cards that give more performance with less money. If you decide for a Quadro, do not select from the low end of the spectrum or you will be disappointed. The M2000 would probably suffice.



thanks everyone. I talked with the boss and apparently they have a guy they have build computers for them from time to time. Hes going to put in a top processor which would you prefer? (i7 or xeon?)r, 16g ram, invidia 5000 because my boss has one and likes it. lol on windows 7 pro