Dell Precision T5600: Two Eight-Core CPUs In A Workstation

Test System And Benchmarks

iBuyPower provides our reference workstation hardware, and we continue using the company's P500X as the baseline point of comparison in our workstation coverage. Check out our review of that system in iBuyPower P500X And P900DX Workstations, Reviewed

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Test System Specifications
Row 0 - Cell 0 iBuyPower P500XDell T5600
CPUIntel Xeon E3-1270 v2 (Ivy Bridge), 3.5 GHz, Quad-Core, LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled2 x Intel Xeon E5-2687W (Sandy Bridge-EP), 3.1 GHz, Octa-Core, LGA 2011, 20 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
CoolerAsetek 550LC2 x Dell Heat Sink and Fan Combo
MotherboardAsus P8B WS, Intel C206 PCH, BIOS 2009Dell 0Y56T3, Intel C602 PCH, BIOS A08
RAM2 x Kingston KVR1333D3E9S/4G, ECC DDR3-1333 CAS98 x Hynix HMT325R7CFR8C, ECC DDR3-1333 CAS9
GraphicsPNY Quadro 2000 1 GB625 MHz GPU, 1300 MHz Memory128-bit GDDR5, 42 GB/s Memory Bandwidth192 CUDA coresPNY Quadro K5000 4 GB706 MHz GPU, 1350 MHz Memory256-bit GDDR5, 173 GB/s Memory Bandwidth1536 CUDA cores
RAID ControllerN/ADell PowerEdge RAID Controller H310, SAS/SATA RAID, PCIe 2.0 x8
SSDKingston Hyper-X SH100S3B/120G, 120 GB MLC SSD2 x Samsung PM830 MZ-7PC256D, 256 GB MLC SSD
Hard DriveHGST HDS732020BLA642 2 TB, 7K3000, 7200 RPMN/A
OpticalLite-On iHAS124-04(C) 24x Dual-Layer DVD±RW WriterSamsung/Toshiba SN-208 Slimline 8x DVD+/-RW SATA
SoundEcho Digital Audio AudioFire 2 (not included in price)Echo Digital Audio AudioFire 2 (not included in price)Creative Labs Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe (not used in testing)
NetworkingIntegrated Intel 82574LIntegrated Intel 82579
FireWireIntegrated VIA 6308SLSI L-FW323-07 Three-Port PCI FireWire Card
Power SupplyCorsair TX650 V2, 80 PLUS Bronze, 650 WDell H825EF-00, 825 W
CaseCooler Master Silencio 550Dell T5600 Case
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional x64Windows 7 Professional x64
Graphics DriverQuadro Driver 320.49Quadro Driver 320.49
Audio Driver5.85.8
ASIO DriverIncluded in audio driverIncluded in audio driver
Warranty and Price
WarrantyThree-year labor, one-year partsThree-year basic hardware service with three-year NBD on-site service after remote diagnostic
Price As Configured$1999$8012

Since our last workstation review, Adobe shipped its Creative Cloud suite, while Autodesk released the 2014 versions of their apps. So, the workstation tests are updated to reflect those changes.

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Application Benchmarks and Settings
7-ZipVersion 9.28: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
WinRARVersion 4.2: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
Content Creation
Newtek Lightwave 3D 11.5Custom workload: High-polygon-count Tom’s Hardware logo, Modeler test: Scripted cloning of surface details across a segment of the logo, Render test: 1920x1080 render of logo with photoreal motion blur, ray-traced shadows, global illumination, OpenGL Test: Generate OpenGL preview of animation for real-time playback on screen
BlenderVersion: 2.68a Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, Resolution: 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Render: THG.blend frame 1, Cycles renderer and internal tile renderer (9x9)
e-on SoftwareVue 11 Infinite PLECustom workload: Landscape (generated in Vue 8 full version and imported into PLE)
Autodesk 3ds Max 2014Space Flyby Mentalray, Frame 248, 1440x1080 Tom’s Hardware Logo render in V-Ray, 1920x1080, global illumination, photorealistic motion blur, ray-traced shadows, Create Nitrous preview of logo scene, to Y: RAM drive, Autodesk chair scene in iray, 1920x1080, 250 passes, GPU (CUDA) only rendering, Car render in V-Ray RT, 1920x1080, 256 passes, CUDA-only
Autodesk Maya 2014Tom’s Hardware Logo render in mental ray, 1920x1080, global illumination, photo-realistic motion blur, ray-traced shadows, OpenGL Test: Generate Playblast (OpenGL preview) animation to Y: RAM drive
Maxon Cinebench r11.53D Rendering and OpenGL Benchmarks, built-in benchmarks with default settings
Adobe Premiere Pro CCCustom Workload: Edit of 59.94 fps 720p DVCProHD footage, with transitions and some color correction, Render To H.264 720p
Adobe Photoshop CCFilter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates filters
Adobe After Effects CCCustom Workload: SD motion graphics sequence with three picture-in-picture frames sourced from 720p HD QuickTime, Same scene rendered using a frame sequence instead of from QuickTime sources, HD redo of the project using frame sequences, to 1080p
Adobe Acrobat XIVersion 11: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encryption
Reaper v.4.402DAWBench Universal 2012: Test number of simultaneous copies of ReaXComp that the system can effectively run, Custom Workload: Render and mix down to .wav custom score project, multiple tracks of audio, VST synthesizers and effects
Visual Studio 2010Compile Chrome project (1/31/2012) with /build Release
Encoding Benchmarks and Settings
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48,000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
SPECviewperf 11Default GUI options; Workloads: CATIA, EnSight, LightWave, Maya, Pro/E, SolidWorks, Teamcenter Visualization Mockup, Siemens NX
LuxMark 2.0OpenCL-based rendering benchmark, default settings
CASE Euler3DCFD simulation over NACA 445.6 aeroelastic test wing at Mach 0.5
Thesycon DPCLatDPC Latency Checker, run with default settings
SiSoftware Sandra CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/Multimedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark, Cryptography
Iometer 1.1.0Workers = 1, 16 GB repeating data, 4 KB random, 128 KB sequential
AS SSD 1.7.4739Sequential, 4 KB Random, and 4K-64 THRD tests
  • kennai
    Would it be possible for you guys to test this in gaming applications? I was really curious how well these CPU's would do in gaming with high end gaming GPU's, since it's pretty much my dream CPU set up >.>.

    Also, good job on the review as always.
  • tuffjuff
    So here's what I don't get. With ALL that CPU power, why only 16GB of RAM?
  • Am I reading this right, in the SPECviewperf 11 bench graph: the ($480-ish) PNY Quadro 2000 (P500X) beat the ($ 1800-ish) PNY Quadro K5000 by significant margins in the SW-02, as well as some other ones as well. This sure has makes me think twice about wanting to upgrade my 2000 to a K4000.
  • blackjackedy
    11768418 said:
    Am I reading this right, in the SPECviewperf 11 bench graph: the ($480-ish) PNY Quadro 2000 (P500X) beat the ($ 1800-ish) PNY Quadro K5000 by significant margins in the SW-02, as well as some other ones as well. This sure has makes me think twice about wanting to upgrade my 2000 to a K4000.

    It says this right beneath the graph:

    The tests seem evenly split between single- and multi-threaded workloads, and some of them incur little or no hit from AA, which points to something other than the GPU bottlenecking performance. In fact, SolidWorks performs better with AA on. How odd is that?

  • antemon
    You know, why isn't this sexy casing available in non-business models?
  • 11768444 said:
    11768418 said:
    Am I reading this right, in the SPECviewperf 11 bench graph: the ($480-ish) PNY Quadro 2000 (P500X) beat the ($ 1800-ish) PNY Quadro K5000 by significant margins in the SW-02, as well as some other ones as well. This sure has makes me think twice about wanting to upgrade my 2000 to a K4000.

    It says this right beneath the graph:

    The tests seem evenly split between single- and multi-threaded workloads, and some of them incur little or no hit from AA, which points to something other than the GPU bottlenecking performance. In fact, SolidWorks performs better with AA on. How odd is that?
    Correct if I am wrong, but as far as I know the basic S*#tWorks is not optimized for multi-threading (hence I am only running an i7 3820 and anything higher would not benefit the performance). Now SW Simulations and PhotoView360 is a different story.

    I just might run SpecviewPerf 11 on my system to see how it performs. To others it might matter, but in my design, I could care less about AA; I am just happy when SolidWorks does not crash.
  • Draven35
    Yes, several of the tests the P500X's higher CPU speed makes a huge difference. Also, ViewPerf uses Solidworks 2010 code, AFAIK.

    Photoview 360's renderer is written by the guys at Luxology, based on the renderer from their 3d application Modo, and is very well multithreaded.

    Tuffjuff: I asked myself the same question about the RAM. The machine would have performed vastly better in the AE tests with 32 GB, because i could have used all of the physical CPU cores.
  • bambiboom
    A very good and welcome review. The systems compared were, however, not at the same level relative to their categories. More would have been revealed if the P500X used something like a GTX 680 (In other words,about 2nd from the top of their respective lines) rather than a Quadro 2000 which is two generations past and in effect, just a much lower line ancestor of the K5000. I imagine these tests are complex and time-consuming, but it would have provided perspective if at least one direct competitor from HP and/or Lenovo appeared.

    A couple of comments on the T5600 design.

    1. I can understand the trends toward more compact cases, and even the need to pander to styling and branding, but the TX600 series is inexecusably short on drive bays. My mother's 2010 dual-core Athlon X2 in a $39 case, "Grandma's TurboKitten 3000", has more expansion bays. Still, the T5600 situation is better than the impending Mac Dustbin Pro.

    2. The brutalist architecture may have convenient handles, but to me is a clunker, both visually and in features. I don't know anyone in architecture, industrial design, graphic design, animation, or video editing that doesn't keep their workstation vertically, who doesn't also hate vertical optical drives, and also often have two of those plus a card reader. Also, As Jon Carroll mentions, this is short on front USB 3.0 ports. I would question a workstation at this level without at least three USB 3.0 ports on the front. There are never enough USB ports on a workstation. The Precision T5400 has two front, six rear, and two on the back of the (SK-8135) keyboard! USB 2.0 ports and I still have to add a four-port hub on one of the back ports.

    Oh, and Jon, the indentation on the top of the T5600 is not for car keys- that's where you would set your short-cabled USB external drive(s)- and flash drives-if there were enough USB 3.0 ports. My Precision T5400 I think is wearing in an indentation in that exact location from a WD Passport.

    3. As tuffjuff also comments, 16GB of RAM is not nearly enough for this kind of machine. Dual CPU systems divide the RAM equally between the processors- these motherboards have separate slots and special sequences of symmetrical positioning. This means that the test system had, in effect, only 8GB of RAM per CPU or as I like to express it- 1GB per core. There's a reason the T5600 .supports 128GB and the T7600 can use 512GB of RAM- Windows, programs and files are big and in these systems, a lot of programs are running at once. I use a formula of 3GB for the OS, 2GB for each simultaneous application and 3GB for open files. As my workstations often use five or six applications plus a constant Intertubes and Windows Exploder, sorry, Explorer, my new four-core HP z420 has 24GB of RAM (6GB/core). If I had a dual E5-2687w system, given there are so many more cores to feed, I would therefore consider 64GB a reasonable level- 32GB per CPU (4GB/core).

    4. The most worrying comments in the review concerns the noise. Of course, a system with two 150W CPU's and school bus- sized GPU needs good airflow, but this one devotes so much of the facade to the grille that the optical drive has to be in the stupid vertical position, and apparently this openness that lets the air in also lets the noise out. But, in my view, noise from a workstation is close to being a deal-breaker. This is another reason why the vertical drive is so silly- few put their workstation horizontally on the desktop right in front of them because of the noise.

    Dell apparently wants to ease out of the declining PC business, and these kinds of design decisions might help that process. I think though that Dell, plus Autodesk and Adobe that want to force eternal cloud computing subscription fees are going to find many, many workstation users that will object and going to buy AutoCad 2014 and CS6, run them on Precision T7500's, and preserve the DVD's in hermetically sealed containers. I, for one, will never, ever be sending my industrial design files into the ether and onto other firms' servers.

    This assessment is a good demonstration of the way in which workstations and creation applications continue to evolve each other. However, as many workstations applications have become far more capable, especially in 3D modeling and simulation, there is still a vast under-utilization of multiple cores in those applications. It's not accidental that the T5600 review emphasized rendering as that it's an example where the core applications have adapted to the availability of multiple cores and also can take advantage of GPU co-processing. It's an odd thing and a puzzle> make a model in Maya and run simulations in Solidworks or Inventor essentially on a single core, but make a rendering of that model using fourteen cores. I make Sketchup Pro models that when they go over about 20MB become almost unusable without navigating in monochrome and clever, careful, and constant fussing with layers. Rendering is very calculation intensive, but so are thermal, gas flow, atmospheric, molecular biological, and structural modeling and simulations.

    The T5600 review, as it's concentrates on applications that reveal the whole capabilities of the $4,000 of CPU's and $1,800 of CUDA cores also reveals this fundamental engineering hollow in workstation applications > and indeed in another important realm. I'm not a gamer, but on this site I can feel gamers wondering the same thing as workstation wonks > Software companies > there are billions of CPU cores waiting for something to do! Why the hell aren't there more multi-core applications?



    1. Dell Precision T5400 (2009)> 2X Xeon X5460 quad core @3.16GHz > 16 GB ECC 667> Quadro FX 4800 (1.5GB) > WD RE4 / Segt Brcda 500GB > Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit > HP 2711x 27" 1920 x 1080 > AutoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Sketchup Pro, Corel Technical Designer, Adobe CS MC, WordP Office, MS Office > architecture, industrial design, graphic design, rendering, writing

    2. HP z420 (2013)> Xeon E5-1620 quad core @ 3.6 / 3.8GHz > 24GB ECC 1600 > Firepro V4900 (Soon Quadro K4000) > Samsung 840 SSD 250GB / Seagate Barracuda 500GB > Windows 7 Professional 64 > to be loaded > AutoCad, Revit, Inventor, Maya (2011), Solidworks 2010, Adobe CS4, Corel Technical Design X-5, Sketchup Pro, WordP Office X-5, MS Office

  • Shankovich
    My school updated our lab with these. We run CFD or FEA on them mostly, and it's godly.
  • chrpai
    It sure would have been nice to see Visual Studio compile times of Google Chrome.