updated 01:10 pm EST, Tue February 8, 2011
Dell Precision Mx600, T1600 and Optiplex arrive
Dell on Tuesday focused some attention on its pro-level Precision and Optiplex systems. Its most Precision M4600 and M6600 are the most genuinely new models and also the most secretive. The two should replace the 15.6-inch and 17-inch existing workstation notebooks and are likely to use Intel's 2011 Core (Sandy Bridge) processors along with new workstation graphics and a slightly refreshed design.
Most details aren't expected for months due to the Sandy Bridge chipset glitch, although it's unclear how long this will last.
More concrete information has come surrounding the Precision T1600, an entry pro tower using its familiar design. The system can use anything from 2011 Core processors through to the similarly new Xeon E3-1200 series, which brings quad cores between 3.1GHz and 3.5GHz. Video options range from as little as Intel's own graphics to an NVIDIA Quadro 2000 for pro rendering.
Three Optiplex PCs finish the lineup in the 390, 790 and 990 series, which as before range from as big as a mini-tower to an ultra small form factor model meant to graft on to the back of a PC. With the exception of the 390's use of mostly first-generation Core iX, Celeron and Pentium processors, most use Intel's 2011 Core family. Almost all have the option of upgrading past Intel video to an AMD Radeon HD 6350 or 6450.
The designs are cosmetically similar to their 2010 counterparts but have a very minimalist shape designed to maximize the airflow and the ease of getting inside.
While the Precision notebooks won't get pricing for some time, the Optiplex 390 will be the least expensive of the new workstations at a $650 asking price. Precision T1600 buyers can expect to pay at least $840. Ship dates are due in the "coming weeks," again likely due to the Sandy Bridge bug.
Optiplex 2011 family