New Dell Precision M4600 Mobile Workstation

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).

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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.

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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.

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Figure 3: Intel Core i7 2820QM CPU-Z Screen

This laptop has a pretty impressive Geekbench score, shown in Figure 4.

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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.

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6 Responses to New Dell Precision M4600 Mobile Workstation

  1. spaghettidba says:

    Thank you for your review!
    I bought this same laptop and it arrived two weeks ago. I must say I’m very happy with it.
    You say that it has a second drive bay but I could not configure it with a second drive. Dell customer service told me that it’s a single drive laptop and there’s an issue with the online configurator. This is a bit disappointing, as I would have liked it with a SSD drive, but it would have costed a crazy amount of $$$ with a big disk. I really would love to add a second SSD drive just for the OS and leave data on the 7200 RPM disk, but I think it can only be done using a miniPCIe SSD disk attached to the WWAN port, such as the renice 120 GB K3VLAR (http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/renice-120gb-k3vlar-70mm-mini-pci-e-sata-ii-ssd-with-sandforce-1200-controller/).
    Another disappointing thing is the docking station: it’s the same old multiport dock Dell has been selling for years and it has no USB3 ports.
    Overall, I like this laptop a lot.

  2. Pingback: RunCore mSata SSD on Dell precision laptops « spaghettidba

  3. willibrandon says:

    Thanks a lot for this post Glenn. Just ordered mine a week ago, should be here on Monday🙂

  4. msteineke says:

    If you are looking to replace the DVD with a secondary hard drive… Try this…
    http://www.newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_3&products_id=269

    Works great in mine!

  5. msteineke says:

    If you want to replace the DVD bay with a second hard drive, try this…

    http://www.newmodeus.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_3&products_id=269

    It works great in my M4600

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