Precision 7750/7550 release date?

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Kyle, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    Precision has thankfully not been following this trend. I do not believe they will be going downhill in this manner with the Precision 7000 series. They are remarkably consistent with the slots/ports/etc... for going on a decade now.

    Only things that I can think of to complain about:
    * Transition from socketed to soldered CPUs (but... that was actually Intel, all mobile CPUs are soldered since 6th gen)
    * No SATA drive (without battery compromise) in the latest systems... but, with both the physical space savings and performance gain, it is time to make this transition (and you can still use SATA M.2 drives in some slots if you want something a little cheaper)
    * Transition from MXM graphics to DGFF (but that's still a big step up from a soldered GPU, which would make no sense to do in a system with this level of purchase-time configurability)

    Precision M6500-M6800 (2010-2013):
    3x SATA, 1x mSATA
    4x SODIMM
    97 Whr battery

    Precision 7710/7720 (2015-2017):
    2x NVMe
    1xSATA (or additional 1xNVMe)
    4x SODIMM
    91WHr battery

    Precision 7730/7740 (2018-2019)
    4x NVME
    0x SATA (or 64Whr battery)
    4x SODIMM
    97Whr battery

    15" systems are the same, other than losing one drive slot in all cases.
     
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  2. Ionising_Radiation

    Ionising_Radiation ?v = ve*ln(m0/m1)

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    There was also transition from the e-Port to 2× TB3 and the fiascoes that have been the TB18/19 docks.

    But I agree with this mostly. The key thing, @etern4l, is that Precisions aren't Alienwares.

    What @Aaron44126 has listed proves that the word 'business notebook' still holds some weight at Dell, and shows they're (still) beholden to corporate requirements for easily-repairable notebooks.

    With respect to the AGA: That's never going to happen on a Precision notebook, full stop. Once again, it's the Alienware Graphics Adaptor, and expecting it on a Precision would be... unrealistic.

    As for ECC memory, it's better to have it than not, and what's more, the new Ryzen 9 4900H supports it out of the box.

    Mobile Xeons being more expensive than their non-ECC versions has more to do with Intel artificially inflating prices, than Dell, which is, once again, beholden to business clients who require ECC for whatsoever purpose.

    I agree with your point about the neutered performance of the GPUs, and unfortunately we can't really do anything about it (though there might be progress in this, later this May or June when I try hardware-programming the VBIOS). Furthermore, it is NVIDIA which sets the VBIOS limits, and the 110 W limit on the RTX 5000 is actually the TDP rating from NVIDIA. The desktop card runs at more than twice the power (250 W).

    The Precision GPUs weren't even meant to be upgraded in the first place (which brings us to the question: why DGFF, then?) and the fact that driver mods are needed even for a next-generation upgrade (like what I have done), is testament to that.

    Finally, about price—these notebooks are meant to be sold to workplaces in bulk, rather than to end users. Hence the high price.

    In Singapore, where I live, there isn't even a portal to click through configuration options for the Precisions, and I had the machine delivered by a third-party contractor. Likewise for the HP ZBook 15 G5/6.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
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  3. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    Glad to hear, and hopefully it stays this way, although the recent statements and attitude of the Dell rep here are a bit unsettling. Note that in the case of the 15 inch Alienwares it was a bit of a shock rather than a trend, and similar changes affected other Dell product lines. Best case scenario is that Frank Azor was singularly to blame, but I doubt it, since he would only ever show up in public with the result of the opposite and positive shock at Dell: the 51m. He didn't even seem to know the specs of the bastardised m15 R2.

    I wouldn't like to be in a position of having to buy a new performance laptop from Dell now - 15" AW line has been castrated, 15" Precisions are not an option in the UK, 17 inch options are better but there is no AGA port and top GPU option pricing is not exactly compelling. The 51M on the other hand, is the king of the hill in terms of performance, has the AGA port, however, it lacks Optimus resulting in atrocious battery life. Two power bricks are not an issue really: you can just carry one if you are happy to accept Precision/m15/m17-level performance, and the design of the black variant would be acceptable in all but most conservative office environments.

    About price/configurability: yes, similar problem in the UK - there used to be full configurability, which again is one of the USPs of Dell, but they are scaling that back here too. Seems like waving the white flag in the face of onslaught from the likes of Lenovo and HP. The last time I saw a Dell workstation in any office was around 2010.

    Regarding the VBIOS limits: we've already established earlier than in the case of your RTX 5000 Max-Q a 90W variant exists, so Dell can't explain the 80W away using Nvidia-imposed limits. Moreover, they could have used an unlocked non-MaxQ variant and dial TDP down a notch if needed. Or they could do what Alienware did with the 51M and take a 150W TDP mobile 2080 and permit overclocking to 180-200W.

    Anyway, Alienware and Precison are just Dell brands now. Hopefully, someone at Dell is aware that it's 2020 and people need a lot of GPU power in many professional areas. If not for Alienware, they would be lagging in that department. A market-leading eGPU offering would help bolster their other brands.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2020
  4. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

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    Agree on GPU upgrades. The fact that it works at all is a bonus. DGFF was likely put in place just to avoid having to make motherboard variants for each combination of CPU and GPU. (They already have to make a different motherboard model for each CPU.) MXM did require "double-stacking" (GPU PCB sits on top of the motherboard PCB) which DGFF does not (motherboard and GPU do not overlap at all), which simplifies their "all-in-one heatsink" design and frees up a few millimeters from the system height.

    Price I can see as a stickler. The top GPUs in particular cost way too much. I would love it if they offered GeForce options but I do not think that NVIDIA allows this in a system marketed as a "workstation". And the power cap is too tight. I think that they have room to push that further, but I also don't think that it would add more than maybe 15% or 20% to the performance before hitting thermal throttling. They are not too far off from the best that can be done with this form factor.

    It looks to me like the Dell business line has been subject to a lot less of a shake-up than the consumer line. Inspiron and Alienware have changed a lot over the years, and not for the better in my opinion. Before my Precision M6700, I had an Inspiron 1720... a wonderful machine with top-specs for the day. You can't get an Inspiron at that level anymore. I'm not sure what's going on with Alienware. The early 2010's machines seemed great but they keep taking away flexibility. (51M actually has a lot of flexibility/upgrade options but again is just too large for me.) Latitude, Precision, and even XPS lines have been subject to a lot less shake-up and they continue to get yearly spec bumps and other upgrades that just make sense. Business laptops are business laptops. Like @Ionising_Radiation said, Dell understands that the repairability factor matters to people in this space as well.

    I also agree with the idea that there is no way that the AGA port will come to the Precision line. It doesn't make sense given the market that these machines are targeting. Gotta either pony up for an expensive Quadro, or use the Thunderbolt port and hook up whatever GPU that you want.

    When considering what to eventually replace my M6700 with, I have kept an eye on the larger Alienware systems but there is nothing out there that looks interesting to me right now. It will probably be another 17" Precision (2021 or 2022 model), cost be darned.
     
  5. Ionising_Radiation

    Ionising_Radiation ?v = ve*ln(m0/m1)

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    See, there's where expectations don't match: volume-wise, the Alienware Area-51M is nearly twice as large as the Precision 7740, and is nearly a kilogram heavier. Things like this are never going to happen to a business notebook, we can save our breaths waiting.

    Lenovo's notebooks go to the RTX 5000, maximum, same as the Dell Precisions and the HP ZBooks. The halo product is the RTX 6000 in the weird Asus ProArt StudioBook One, and I've never seen it anywhere around, nor in any other notebook.
     
  6. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    You are probably right, unfortunately, and thanks for correcting my RTX 8000 fake news. I can only hope Dell come to their senses with the 15 inch Alienware line, since I can't really use a 17 inch laptop of any kind. Just too cumbersome on the go. I don't mind the weight though - I did long mountain treks with my 3kg AW 15 + gear in my backpack. Yes, the 2kg m15 is more pleasant to handle (but it also gets quite hot when plugged in and not on a cooler), but it's not the primary concern for me.

    In summary, they won't improve the Precision line such that it suits my needs :), so either they fix their 15 inch thin AW laptops, make a 15 inch version of 51M, or I'm out.

    TB3 eGPUs are far too inefficient to sensibly host high-end cards.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2020
  7. Ionising_Radiation

    Ionising_Radiation ?v = ve*ln(m0/m1)

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    There always is the Clevo P870, or this Schenker/XMG Apex 15 for your needs :)
     
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  8. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    Nice. May I enquire about battery life? :)
     
  9. Ionising_Radiation

    Ionising_Radiation ?v = ve*ln(m0/m1)

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    For the Precision, or those notebooks? No idea about them, but likely rather poor, given neither implements Optimus or some form of graphics switching, and both use a desktop CPU/chipset combination.

    As for the Precision 7530, battery life is anything from terrible to incredible: check out this post to see what I mean. Things have changed slightly since then: for some reason, Windows keeps Paint 3D open now, so I don't need to open Lightroom to see power draw improvements.
     
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  10. etern4l

    etern4l Notebook Deity

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    I meant the particular Schenker laptop. AMD CPUs presumably have no iGPU? If so, battery life would be terrible, even if the CPU wasnt a desktop model.

    Re Precision: same story with the m15. Battery life plummets once dGPU gets activated for whatever reason since that adds 8W+ power draw.
     
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