After a very long wait, I finally received my new company laptop this past week, which is a very fast Dell Precision M4600. This particular unit has the 2.3GHz Core i7-2820QM quad-core processor, with 8MB of L3 cache. It uses Turbo Boost 2.0 to increase the clock speed to 3.4GHz. There is one slightly faster processor available, which is the 2.5GHz Core i7-2920XM Extreme quad-core with 8MB of L3 cache. The Extreme i7-2920XM processor is roughly 5-10% faster than the i7-2820QM, yet it costs slightly over twice as much, and it requires more power, so I don’t think it makes sense for a laptop.
I also have 16GB of DDR3 RAM, although we did not order it from Dell, since they want $880.00 for 16GB of RAM, which is about nine times the fair market price! If you are buying a new laptop, you should take a look at the pricing from the manufacturer vs. pricing from somewhere like NewEgg.
It also has the standard ATI FirePro 5950 1GB graphics card with a very nice 1920 x 1080 screen. This card is plenty good enough for for non 3D gaming usage, with a 6.9 WEI rating for both graphics and gaming graphics, (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Dell Precision M4600 Windows Experience Index Scores.
The unit came with a 256GB Plextor LAT-256M2S SATA III SSD, which uses a Marvell controller. It is not as fast as the SandForce 2281 controller based SSDs such as the OCZ Vertex 3, but hopefully it will be more reliable than the SandForce drives. Its 1000MB CrystalDiskMark scores are shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: CrystalDiskMark Scores for 256GB Plextor LAT-256M2S SSD
The M4600 also has a second drive bay, so I will eventually put a second SSD in it.
Figure 3: Intel Core i7 2820QM CPU-Z Screen
This laptop has a pretty impressive Geekbench score, shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Dell Precision M4600 Geekbench Scores
On the slight downside, this is a pretty heavy laptop, especially compared to my little 3.2 pound Toshiba Portege R835-P55X. It also has a very big and heavy 180 watt power adapter. Overall, I think I am going to like this laptop quite a bit.