Next Update for Precision 7720? Also Alienware

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Kyle, Feb 5, 2018.

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  1. Kyle

    Kyle JVC SZ2000 Dual-Driver Headphones

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    When is the next update for the Precision 7720 going to be?

    Also, how do the precision laptops compare to the Alienwares? Build quality? Price?
     
  2. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    The Precision line follows Intel's CPU refresh schedule. Precision "7730" won't launch until Intel's full suite of mobile Coffee Lake CPUs is available... Including Xeons. As far as I know, Intel has given no guidance on when these CPUs will be available beyond "first half of 2018". There are no mobile Coffee Lake CPUs on the market yet. (Mobile 8000-series CPUs currently on the market are Kaby Lake refresh CPUs.)

    Once Intel releases these CPUs, you can expect Dell to launch a new series of Precision machines about three months later. The Precision refresh generally doesn't come until after other series like Latitude and XPS have had their refresh.

    If Intel keeps to their regular schedule, we usually see the Precision refresh after about 15 months. The 7720 was released last year in March, so we'd be looking at a new Precision launch this year perhaps in early summer this year. Sometimes Intel takes longer to get their CPU refresh to market, which was responsible for example for a two-year wait between the launch of the Precision M6800 (two generations back) and Precision 7710 (one generation back), when they had trouble getting Broadwell CPUs to market and ended up skipping that generation entirely for high-end mobile CPUs.

    I haven't used an Alienware system recently but Precision build quality and cooling is typically top notch. They are generally more expensive, especially on the graphics side (high-end Quadro costs more than high-end GeForce). You can compare that yourself on Dell's site, though...
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
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  3. Bokeh

    Bokeh Notebook Deity

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    I have used the 7720 extensively and the Alienware 17 R4 a decent amount.

    Alienware is bigger and heavier. You can fit the 7720 in a lot of backpacks and bags made for 15" machines, but the Alienware is so deep from front to back that you have to find a large bag.

    Alienware BIOS is not pro, is bare boned, and makes me nervous every time the BIOS updates.

    You have to tear down the Alienware extensively to change out the battery vs the toolless removal on the 7720.

    Alienware has 2 memory slots while the 7720 has 4.

    The Alienware only has 2 USB ports which makes VR a problem on the headsets that need 3 - the 7720 has all 3 ports in a row on the right side.

    The Alienware fans are louder.

    The thunderbolt port on the Alienware had issues with some of the devices we tried to use it with - primarily docks. This has hopefully been fixed with BIOS, firmware, and driver updates. No issues on the 7720.

    The Alienware offers some pretty cool lighting effects if you are into that. The 7720 is much more subdued.

    The Alienware offers Tobii eye tracking, which the 7720 does not.

    The Alienware has more screen options including higher refresh rates for gamers.

    The 7720 tops out with the Quadro P5000 graphics which is pretty close to a GeForce 1070. The Alienware offers a GeForce 1080, with the tradeoff being a 330 watt power adapter.

    The Alienware is probably more fun to game on, but the 7720 is no slouch at gaming. I have done plenty of 4K gaming on the 7720. The thing is that the 7720 is much better to work on and in my opinion is better for VR work. I have been around both systems and much prefer the 7720 since it has so many more options for getting work done. The 7720 has also shown itself to be a much more reliable machine.
     
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  4. ccvortex

    ccvortex Notebook Consultant

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    In my opinion the build quality between consumer products and high-end business products has narrowed considerably in the last few years - meaning the business products are coming down in quality to meet consumer products. My 7720 and my E7470 and my XPS 13 are all about identical in build quality and all have been equally unreliable. All three machines have had major parts replacement, and is why I will never, ever, buy a DELL without the in-home next business day warranty (which you can get for the Alienware).
    We've (I've) been buying DELLs for the last 20 years so my experience with them is from a user POV, not necessarily from a "technical" POV.

    Precision mobiles are not the top of the line (mass production) business machines in my opinion; that honor would go to ZBooks from HP, but you'll pay more and the warranty service is not quite as good.
     
  5. Pirx

    Pirx Notebook Virtuoso

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    Well, my conclusion after having been thoroughly disappointed with my 7720 (audio lags & interface stutter, and generally performing like a $500 bargain bin piece of garbage while costing ten times as much; not to mention the idiotic keyboard layout with no dedicated Home/End keys) my conclusion is to never, ever, buy a Dell again.
    Actually, between crappy hardware and a catastrophic disaster of an OS, my conclusion has been to migrate to Apple hardware with macOS. I'm almost done setting up my new MacBook Pro, and so far I'm pleased beyond all expectations. At this point it looks like I will be abandoning Windows PCs for good. Too bad, it's been an alright run for several decades, up until Windows 7. However, with what has happened during the last few years with no relief in sight and WinX getting worse every day, I'm done with this crap.
     
  6. ccvortex

    ccvortex Notebook Consultant

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    I can't say I blame ya
     
  7. Kyle

    Kyle JVC SZ2000 Dual-Driver Headphones

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    How are the ZBooks compared to the Precision mobiles?
    What % would be a fair premium to pay for a 17" ZBook over a similarly config'd Precision?

    I was comparing the current Precision line specs to my 4 year old Precision M6800. Quite disappointing: CPU according to passmark was only about 20% better. GPU upgrade is better, but not vastly better.

    Are the 8th gen CPUs worth the wait?
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  8. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    8th gen CPUs won't be that much faster, but we will start seeing 6-core CPUs in laptops, so that could be a nice performance boost if you have a multi-threaded workload...
    On the NVIDIA side, Pascal GPUs in the 7720 would be well over twice as fast as equivalent Kepler GPUs in the M6800.

    As far as "worth the wait" that's something that only you can decide, however I think the next line of Precisions is shaping up to be a good upgrade. On the CPU side, 6-core CPUs should be available as I mentioned. Also, the longer it is before the next refresh (looking no earlier than early summer if you ask me), the more likely it is that Volta GPUs will be available in it — as NVIDIA is starting to tickle those out on the pro side — which would naturally be even better than Pascal.
     
  9. ccvortex

    ccvortex Notebook Consultant

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    ZBooks are about 10-15% more expensive, and they are, dollar for dollar, not as well equipped; meaning lower spec'ed video cards, less ram, etc.
    However, IMHO the ZBook is built to a much higher standard than anything from DELL. HP still does rigorous testing with the military on their mobile workstations, and speaking of which, you're much more likely to find an HP inside a military facility (esp in-field ops) than you are a DELL. I know this first hand.

    Worth the wait is too subjective. Get what you need when you need it. If you continue to wait you'll never get something :)
     
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  10. ccvortex

    ccvortex Notebook Consultant

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    I saw about a 75% speed increase in Illustrator and Photoshop between those two.
     
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