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Dell Precision M6700 Owners Thread

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Bokeh, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    Links to M6700 Info Threads:
    Early Info and Speculation Thread -
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/del...l-precision-m4700-m6700-preliminary-info.html

    Owner's Review of M6700 by Bokeh -
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/del...79326-dell-precision-m6700-owners-review.html

    Important Info and Links Will Go Here:





    M6700 Info from the Dell Website:


    The Dell™ Precision™ M6700 is the world’s most powerful 17" mobile workstation, with the performance, battery life and storage for demanding work environments.

    Optimize your mobile productivity.
    Achieve outstanding productivity with 3rd Generation Intel® Core i5 and i7 dual- or quad-core processor options up to Extreme Edition and up to Windows® 7 Ultimate.

    • Push the limits of processing power with 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 dual- or quad-core processor options, including Extreme Edition.
    • Get the latest productivity tools with up to Windows® 7 Ultimate
    • Power users will benefit from Intel® i7 features such as Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 for increased processor performance when needed, and Hyper-Threading Technology to enable multiple threads to run on each core.

    Tackle graphics-intensive tasks.
    Handle 3D modeling and other graphics-intensive jobs with next-gen AMD® or NVIDIA® graphics options, and take in the view with support for up to five displays when docked.
    Whether you’re a digital artist or an engineer working with complex graphics elements, you’ll benefit from the Dell Precision M6700’s graphics options.

    • AMD and NVIDIA graphics options enable you to run high-end graphics demands for all of your professional needs, from graphics rendering to modeling complex simulations.
    • Run complicated, high-demand video projects smoothly with up to 4GB1 of dedicated video memory.
    • Transfer computational demands from the CPU to the GPU. NVIDIA graphics options enable up to 1344 CUDA cores.
    • Dock your system and enjoy a lager view of your work with up to five displays (four external displays plus system display)².
    • Enable fast data throughput and outstanding graphics performance with professional-grade AMD FirePro graphics with PCIx x16 Gen 3 access.

    1 GB means 1 billion bytes and TB equals 1 trillion bytes; significant system memory may be used to support graphics, depending on system memory size and other factors.

    ² Five display capability requires an AMD graphics solution. To enable three or more monitors additional adapters/dongles may be required.

    Run high-demand applications.
    Run your professional applications and crunch large amounts of data with up to 32GB1 of system memory and up to DDR3 1866MHz memory bandwidth. From those with large-scale financial tasks to oil and gas experts working out in the field, excellent memory in a mobile workstation is a must.

    • Enjoy the speed, performance and the freedom to run multiple applications at the same time. The Dell Precision M6700 offers up to 32GB1 of system memory for those working with large data sets.
    • Run your professional software quickly and smoothly with DDR3 options from 1600MHz up to 1866MHz.
    Four DIMM slots enable you to operate high-memory configurations without breaking the budget.

    Dependable performance and sturdy construction.
    Critical applications will run smoothly with Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certification for many professional applications. Plus, Mil-spec 810G testing ensures that your Dell Precision M6700 can handle tough work environments.

    • Rest assured that your specialized professional software applications will run smoothly. The Dell Precision M6700 is ISV-certified for a wide range of professional software.
    • Durability comes standard. The Dell Precision M6700 features aluminum alloy and magnesium alloy construction and has been subjected to Mil Spec 810G testing – the same test methodology used by the U.S. military – to ensure durability you can rely on.
    • Keep it cool and make it last. Quiet-running dual fans—one for the CPU and one for the GPU—help increase component longevity and extend battery life.
    • Help make the right decision for the environment without sacrificing performance or durability. The new Precision M6700 is with 100% BFR/PVC free1, ENERGY STAR 5.2 qualified and EPEAT registered1 to offer you our most environmentally responsible mobile Dell Precision product yet.


    Secure your data and help ensure smooth operation.

    Help protect data on hard drives and removable media across your network through encryption and strong authentication.

    • Simplify end-point data security with a single solution designed for system disks and removable media.
    • Monitor client security remotely.
    • Ease compliance management and auditing with features including one touch-compliance policy templates, remote management and quick system recovery.
    • Deny access to unauthorized users in the event of loss or theft.
    • Manage and compartmentalize your data while securing it from unwanted access. Those with multiple clients or those who need to archive storage devices will appreciate easy eject feature, enabling you to quickly remove your hard drive and swap it with another or store it for security.
    • Help prevent data loss from accidental system drops with the integrated Fast Response Free Fall Sensor.

    Stay charged and stay productive.
    Long battery life helps keep you up and running while you’re out in the field, and with the option to add additional battery capacity and to enable even faster charge cycles, your mobile workstation won’t quit until the job is done.

    • Extend battery life even further with an optional battery slice module.
    • NVIDIA® Optimus™ helps optimize your workstation’s performance and extend battery life by automatically switching the graphics load to the Intel-integrated HD4000 graphics processor when only light graphic demands are placed on the system.
    • In the event that your battery ever suffers reduced performance, Dell offers a 3-year battery replacement option.
    • Charge your battery more quickly. The optional ExpressCharge feature, available on select batteries, can charge your battery up to 80% in about 60 minutes so you can get back to work.

    Store more with spacious hard drives.
    Big jobs require big storage, and the Dell Precision M6700 offers hard drive space to spare, with up to three hard drives (HDD) or solid state drives (SSD), minicard and RAID options, plus the flexibility to add even more storage with an optional optical bay module.

    • Enjoy spacious storage capability with dual HDDs or SSDs (up to 1TB1 HD and up to 512GB1 SSD).
    • Optional SSD minicard up to 256GB1 allows for OS and application storage, fast read/write performance and easy swapping of data drives.
    • RAID options including RAID 0, 1, and 5 offer the security and performance of redundant disks.
    • Keep pace with your growing storage needs. An optional optical bay module enables you to add additional storage for a total of four storage devices.

    Outstanding design features for your business.
    Experience versatile, professional viewing with NVIDIA 3D Vision™ Pro or IPS RGB LED high-color display options. Easily connect your devices with wide docking compatibility.

    • Enjoy vibrant, accurate color and a wide viewing angle with an IPS RGB LED high-color display option. PremierColor technology delivers color depth of over 1 billion colors and 110% color gamut (typical).
    • Enjoy convenient connections for your devices with e-family docking.
    • PremierColor Display calibration software enables easy adjustment of display color.
    • Appreciate added versatility with design features that include a keyboard with integrated number pad and optional backlighting.

    Go even further with the Covet Edition.
    Enjoy the special features and stunning visual appeal of the upcoming M6700 mobile workstation Covet Edition.

    • Look sharp with the Covet Edition’s brilliant Phoenix Red signature color.
    • Give your display the added protection of edge-to-edge Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2.
     
  2. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    Mine just arrived at the office.

    I'm going to unbox it and mess with it a little (can't resist) but I won't get a chance to really dig in until after work. I'll post some initial impressions and perhaps a few photos this evening. (Bokeh did a really good job with the photos already though.)

    Given the timing, I'm planning on going ahead and loading Windows 8 on it if there are no blocking issues with getting the hardware/drivers working. I don't have a Windows 8 image until next week, though, so I'll wait until then to switch to this as my primary machine. Maybe I'll use the release preview to do a trial run this weekend and see how everything works.
     
  3. Dirtnap

    Dirtnap Notebook Consultant

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    Yes, finally a M6700 owners thread.
     
  4. Dirtnap

    Dirtnap Notebook Consultant

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  5. Dirtnap

    Dirtnap Notebook Consultant

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    Aaron44126,Boken or any m6700 owners, are you going to make an unboxing video?
     
  6. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    Sorry, already unboxed. :p

    The box wasn't too exciting. There were two smaller boxes inside. One contained the power supply, recovery DVDs, literature, etc. and one contained the actual laptop, padded with styrofoam placeholders.

    Anyway, an un-fun part. The screw holding in the hard drive eject latch is super, super tight. I can't get it out with a screwdriver (afraid to try anymore, lest I strip it). Any ideas?
    [Edit] - Got it — tough work but the screw is ruined, not putting it back :p

    I bought mine with one hard drive. It does come with the screws you need to install the second drive. They are in the four screw holes that attach to nothing right next to where the hard drive tray is.

    Other than that, everything seems great. I installed my memory and SSD without any issue, the laptop boots and runs quietly, the screen seems nice. Yet to do too much with it.
     
  7. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    I can recreate it if no one else posts one.

    To be honest, the day it arrived I was waiting at Fed Ex at 9:00am waiting for them to give it to me. Could not wait for the usual 11-3 delivery time.

    When I unboxed it, I spent a lot of time just going over it, tearing it down, poking around. There were just so many little refinements. So many little changes. I pretty much geeked the hell out over it.

    Stopping to shoot a video was the last thing on my mind.
     
  8. Dirtnap

    Dirtnap Notebook Consultant

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    ha ha ha, I understand.
     
  9. Dirtnap

    Dirtnap Notebook Consultant

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    Hey, Aaron44126,Boken or any m6700 owners, is the m6700 keyboard/trackpad/touchpad better than or the same as the m6600?
     
  10. Dirtnap

    Dirtnap Notebook Consultant

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    Is the M6700, 17.3" Premium, UltraSharp FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS RGB LED Display 210 nits with a Contrast Ratio of 550:1?
     
  11. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    Can you post a link to that info?

    It is 300 nits and 600:1. There was a time when the Dell site listed that very incorrect information and I guess it is still out there. The IPS screen has always been 300 nits on the M6600 and M6700.
     
  12. awalt

    awalt Notebook Consultant

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    Got my 6700 yesterday, slowing adding stuff to it to match my 6600. So much good info here I'll add what is new:
    1. Did a copy of a large folder ~35 GB from server to laptop, on 6600 it runs around 20MB/sec - 24MB/sec. On 6700 it is 28MBs-32MBs. That's just to start. 5 minutes later on 6700 it is around 50MBs, I did not keep running it on the 6600.
    2. I got an SSD. If you do too, don't forget to turn off the nightly DeFrag in Windows tasks, no need to do that and wear out the SSD!
    3. I set it to the High Performance Power plan. There is a "Ultra Performance (max fan levels)", I seem to remember you should not run this all the time. Is that true?
    4. Windows Experience Index is 7.7, 7.9, 7.7, 7.7, 7.9. I have the Win 7 x64 Ultimate, 3920XM CPU, 16GB 1866MHz RAM, the 17.3" FHD IPS RGB display, K5000M graphics card, 512GB SSD. I plan to run a couple long-running real word apps later, to compare the two laptops. My favorite will tax memory and disk speed, it's a SQLServer local database update/processing app.

    Only issue so far, and it's not a workstation app. I was copying folders from the 6600 to the 6700, and I ran into the Win 7 (and Vista,...) slowness issue - I got around 10MB/s transfer speed. Tons of complaints about this on forums, no singular solution. That's disgraceful of MS not to have fixed that by now. That was on hard wire too.

    More later as I discover more...
     
  13. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    I'm quite impressed with the Quadro K5000M.

    I ran 3DMark11 on the stock Windows 7 install that came on the machine.

    I have the 3820QM CPU.

    Optimus ENABLED

    P5038
    Graphics: 4899
    Physics: 7668
    Combined: 3992

    Optimus DISABLED

    P4989
    Graphics: 4744
    Physics: 8970
    Combined: 3906

    The overall scores are similar enough to ignore the difference. However, I'm surprised that the physics score is so much higher with Optimus off. I know it uses DirectCompute to run some of the computations on the graphics card, but, seems like Optimus would make less of a difference with this than with actual graphics rendering.

    Bokeh (with a 3920XM and no Optimus) got...
    Score: P6048 3DMarks
    Graphics Score: 5846
    Physics Score: 9369
    Combined Score: 4753

    ... So, looks like that 3920XM sure helps out (with 3DMark anyway).

    As has been mentioned before, the Quadro K5000M is new and we'll probably see performance improvements over the next several months with driver updates from NVIDIA.

    I'm not a mega gamer but I do a bit of it in my free time. I do enjoy StarCraft II quite a bit, so I fired it up with Optimus on and maxed out the graphics settings. It runs at 60 fps without breaking a sweat. (Not the most GPU-intensive game out there, I know, but it's what I play. :p)

    The keyboard and trackpoint look the same to me. The touchpad seems decent. I can't really compare it against any other machine (I always use a regular mouse).
     
  14. awalt

    awalt Notebook Consultant

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    How do you enable and disable Optimus?
     
  15. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    There's an option in the BIOS setup utility to turn it on and off.
    (Optimus is of course only available if you have an NVIDIA card and you do NOT have the IPS screen. If it's not available I believe the option is hidden entirely.)
     
  16. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    Hi all, I just installed Windows 8 release preview on the M6700.

    Windows 8 notes

    A WDDM 1.2 driver is included for the Intel HD 4000 GPU. Brightness controls on the keyboard work without Dell's driver.

    Other drivers included out-of-the-box:
    Bluetooth
    Audio (though there doesn't seem to be a way to switch the input port to "Line In" instead of "Microphone")
    Intel LAN
    Intel WiFi (6300)
    SD card reader
    USB 3.0
    Webcam
    Smartcard reader

    I'm inclined to leave these devices alone since they work. Except maybe the audio because I would like to have the ability to use the input for "Line In."

    For the rest of the stuff, let's see how well the Windows 7 drivers work.

    Drivers from Dell website that I installed:

    Touchpad — Of course the touchpad worked, but this enables more control, gestures, and the ability to turn it on and off with Fn+F5. At first glance, the touchpad control panel thing seems to work fine.

    NVIDIA Quadro K5000M — Remember, I have Optimus enabled. Opening the "Manage 3D Settings" part of the NVIDIA control panel (where you set which apps run on which GPU) resulted in a BSOD. Afterwards, my system booted to a flickering blue screen followed by another BSOD. I turned off Optimus which seemed to solve the problem (though the screen went blank for about a minute after boot while it installed the driver again). Guess I'll leave Optimus off until this gets worked out — at least until NVIDIA releases Win8 drivers for the K5000M.

    Freefall sensor — Installer complained that the OS is not supported. Re-ran with Windows 7 compatibility mode applied, and it complained that .NET Framework 3.5 was not installed. Installed that from the control panel and the driver installed. After reboot, still shows an error in device manager. "Windows cannot load the drivers for this device."

    Fingerprint reader — Driver installed fine, haven't tried to use it yet though.
    [Edit] — Doesn't work. Gives an error when you go to enroll your fingerprints. "BrcmFMA.exe - The application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect."

    Audio — Works fine, including Line In / Mic toggle.

    Intel Rapid Storage — Actually need to install this to take advantage of advanced features of the disk controller, but it works fine without it. No problem here, though. Looks like it might also require .NET Framework 3.5 to be installed.

    There is one unknown device left. "PCI Simple Communications Controller." I'm not sure what it is. Ideas?
    [Edit] – Found it. I had to install the "Intel Management Engine Components" and it went away. Device manager is now happy except for the freefall sensor.

    Other notes.

    The start of the process to the desktop was about 20 minutes, installing off of the DVD.

    Nowhere did it ask me for the time zone, just defaulted to Pacific time. (Nothing to do with the M6700 specifically, but, ... *grumble*)

    Booting with UEFI works fine. Switch to UEFI before you start the setup process.

    The system-wide text scaling was set to 125% by default on the FHD screen.

    If you try the release preview, be sure to run Windows Update early. There's a hard-lock bug affecting systems with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs. (It didn't hit me but one of the updates fixes it.)

    I'll have a Windows 8 RTM image on Wednesday and at that point I will be switching to the M6700 as my main PC. I'll post an update but I expect the hardware support situation to be pretty much just like this.
     
  17. msjgriffiths

    msjgriffiths Notebook Consultant

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    Sounds about right.

    Anyone know if/when Dell (and its partners) will release updated drivers for Win8?
     
  18. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    Mano said in the Google+ hangout a couple weeks back that updated drivers will be released when Dell starts shipping Windows 8 on the M6700 — so, probably no sooner than general availability in October.

    Btw if anyone skipped my long post above. I have a "PCI Simple Communications Controller" left and I don't know what it is. :p
    I'd love any guesses.
    [Edit] – Found it (see above).

    Best I can tell, at this point everything works in Windows 8 except...
    - Optimus
    - Freefall sensor
    - Fingerprint reader

    None of those are blocking issues to me so I'm going to go ahead with Win8 on Wednesday.
     
  19. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    I don`t know how Bokeh got his K5000M to score 5800 with 3DMark11 since it sounds extremely little plausible if he is running on stock clocks (non overclocked)

    Why?
    GTX 680M score 60xx graphic score in 3DMark11. It have these clocks: 720/1800
    K5000M have these clocks: 600/1500

    Your score sounds just about correct considering these clocks.
    600/720 = 0.83
    6000 x 0.83 = 4980 in GPU score

    BTW: Have you monitored the GPU temperature when running 3DMark 11? What temps do you get? Does it get hot?
     
  20. Dirtnap

    Dirtnap Notebook Consultant

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    Help Me Choose: Displays | Dell
     

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