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Dell Precision M3800 Owner's Review

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Bokeh, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    Starting to add pictures. Review will follow. Feel free to ask questions. Will answer what I can.

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    Compared to the M6700 Covet.


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    Top view compared to the M6700 Covet.


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    Compared to a non Retina 15" MacBook Pro. The M3800 is thinner and about 1/2cm wider.


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    Back view. Not much to see.


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    Left side view. The 5 lights are the battery status. Note the slightly smaller power plug. The M3800 comes with a dongle that allows you to use normal Dell power adapters too.


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    Bottom of the machine.


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    Interior layout.


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    Note the smaller form factor used by the Intel 7260 wifi.


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    Heatsinks covering CPU and GPU.


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    Speakers a large for a laptop this small. The large surrounds allow them to have a lot of travel as well.


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    Deep fins on the heatsinks. Hinge assembly.


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    Underside of the bottom cover. Lots of subtle bracing.


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    Vents.

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    Compared to Dell's other two 130 watt adapters, Dell's 90 watt adapter, and Apple's 85 watt adapter.

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    Side view to show thickness of the adapters.

    HDMI on the U3014 ran at 2560x1600. The refresh rate was showing 59hz, which I did not expect. Most systems will only get 30hz via HDMI on the U3014. I was able to extend the desktop and also run the built-in panel at 3800x1600 at the same time.

    Switching up, I ran DisplayPort to the U3014 at 2560x1600, and HDMI to a U2410 at 1920x1200. I was able to use the M3800 display, U3014, and U2410 all at their max resolutions at the same time.

    In the pic below, the M3800 screen looks more washed out than the other two monitors. It was set to max brightness and was overexposed in the photo.

    [​IMG]

    SPECviewperf 11 Results -

    Viewset Composite
    catia-03 36.68
    ensight-04 21.18
    lightwave-01 48.20
    maya-03 49.53
    proe-05 13.88
    sw-02 40.93
    tcvis-02 33.34
    snx-01 28.44
     
    powerslave12r, SvenC, Mitlov and 11 others like this.
  2. powerslave12r

    powerslave12r Notebook Consultant

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    Q1. Upgradeable components?
    Q2. Screen as good as the specs suggest?
    Q3. Weight in hand?
    Q4. Build quality compared to regular x700, x800 precisions? Keyboard and Touchpad compared to other Precisions?
    Q5. Fan noise/heat?
    Q6. Battery life?
    Q7. Comparison to XPS 15 Haswell, (whatever is available from specs/previews)?
    Q8. Anything special to note?

    Thanks a ton!
     
  3. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    Q1. Upgradeable components?

    2 RAM slots
    mSata
    Smaller battery model has a 2.5" drive
    Larger battery model does not have 2.5" drive
    Wireless card is M.2(NGFF), so it is smaller.

    Q2. Screen as good as the specs suggest?

    QHD+ on this one. Fully covers sRGB. VERY VERY crisp, contrasty, sharp. Great viewing angles.

    Q3. Weight in hand?

    4 pounds or so. Grips well in the hand.

    Q4. Build quality compared to regular x700, x800 precisions?

    Fewer options as far as ports. Tougher than it looks. Very stiff chassis.

    Q5. Fan noise/heat?

    Only if you let the bottom vents get covered up. Carbon fiber bottom insulates the heat.

    Q6. Battery life?

    4 to 6 hours with the 61Whr battery.

    Q7. Comparison to XPS 15 Haswell, (whatever is available from specs/previews)?

    No idea. Have not seen the XPS 15.

    Q8. Anything to note?

    I really like it so far. There are a lot of new things to take in on the machine. Being a very old school M6700 user, I took a very skeptical stance with the machine. It is tougher and faster than it looks.
     
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  4. ssj92

    ssj92 Notebook Evangelist

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    Does it throttle under high load? (CPU and GPU)
     
  5. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    No it does not. The CPU never comes out of turbo mode. The GPU has "wiggle room" on the clocks, and even then the system does not overheat or throttle.

    It comes with a new smaller version of the 130 watt adapter that is basically the same size as the Latitude 90 watt thin.
     
  6. m4600

    m4600 Notebook Consultant

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    Q1. Where did you get it? According to the press release, it's not supposed to be shipping until November 14? Or is it an evaluation sample of sorts?
     
  7. ssj92

    ssj92 Notebook Evangelist

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    What are the highest temperature readings on the CPU and GPU when they are under high load?
     
  8. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    Get to know your Dell Reps. Many of them are great people. Give them lots of praise and criticism on their systems. Dell really does listen to customers. Sometimes they ask you to check out something a little early.

    I also want to add that I do NOT work for Dell. They are not asking me to do this, and are not involved in anything I say here. They just told me I could talk about it after the 22nd.

    80s CPU / 70s GPU (stock clocks)
     
  9. ssj92

    ssj92 Notebook Evangelist

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    CPU is a bit high for my taste.

    What are the system specs of the one you have?
     
  10. powerslave12r

    powerslave12r Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the replies to my earlier questions, I edited one question to add this:

    Q: Keyboard and Touchpad compared to other Precisions?
     
  11. ssj92

    ssj92 Notebook Evangelist

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    Another question. How are the speakers? Are they above average? Good highs, sufficient lows for a laptop? Does it get loud and not distort?

    Thanks
     
  12. Aikimox

    Aikimox Weihenstephaner!

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    What CPU does it have? Also, could you run Prime95 blend test while monitoring the temps and clocks?
     
  13. xthatguymikex

    xthatguymikex Notebook Enthusiast

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    Q1) What configuration do you have? What can you tell us about prices?

    Q2) Have you found anything you do not like?
     
  14. m4600

    m4600 Notebook Consultant

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    Did you try various resolutions? How is the scaling? Does the 1080p video look fine at full-screen?
     
  15. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    Eh that's about what I get in the M6700 when it is under full load so I'm impressed if it manages that without ever throttling down from max turbo.

    As for my questions.

    - Optimus enabled?
    - Glossy screen I presume?
    - I think it's supposed to support the WiGig dock, do you have the equipment for that? Would like to hear how well it works.
    - Care to snap a pic of what you can see with the bottom cover removed? :p
     
  16. ssj92

    ssj92 Notebook Evangelist

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    Really? Hmm I'm guessing the M4800 will run around the same temps too then. On my Alienware M15x and M18xR2 the temps rarely hit 70C and with custom fan control I rarely got over 63C. No throttling though under load right? Don't want to get a M4800 then have it throttle. :(

    The M3800 looks promising though.
     
  17. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    Different. Keyboard is chiclet. Touchpad is huge and the buttons are integrated into it. I had to adjust to both of them. Someone coming from a similar system or Mac would have no problems.

    80s CPU / 70s GPU are worst case scenario when both are fully loaded. Normal temps are much lower.

    4702HQ processor. K1100M. 256gb mSata. 256gb SSD. 16gb RAM. Intel 7206 wireless.

    - Optimus enabled?

    Yep.

    - Glossy screen I presume?

    Yep. Touch. Glossy, but not too bad on glare.

    - I think it's supposed to support the WiGig dock, do you have the equipment for that? Would like to hear how well it works.

    This one has the Intel 7260 wireless.

    - Care to snap a pic of what you can see with the bottom cover removed?

    Have you seen any of my other reviews? :)
     
  18. powerslave12r

    powerslave12r Notebook Consultant

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    Another quick question, does it come with the standard 3 year warranty as all Precisions?

    Thanks. This notebook looks like the dream machine.
     
  19. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    I would say above average. Not sure of how much of it is the Waves Audio processing, but volume is about the same as the M6700, but more bass and treble.

    Great for conference calls and Netflix. Good for music and movies. Very clear. Really low bass is not there, but midbass is there. Most of the bass guitar is there, but the bottom end of the bass drum after the bass drum pedal hit is not always there. Sounds best sitting on a lap or a table.
     
  20. slimpower

    slimpower Notebook Consultant

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    Great to know that Bokeh is going to be doing (another) one of his world-class reviews on this laptop. I doubt this laptop is for me as an Ethernet port is just too important (and I do not want to have to remember, or forget, add ons), and there are some other issues as well.

    Bokeh will you also be looking at the M4800 and M6800? Hope so.

    Thanks, as always!
     

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