My new Dell Precision M4400

Finally bit the bullet last night and purchased a custom M4400. After looking at everything from a tablet to MacBook Pro, I think I’ve found a great computer that will fulfill my needs (Rhino, CS4, Solidworks, etc.)

I went with just about every option, but had them load XP Pro on it until the first Service Pack Release for Windows 7 comes out (which was included also.)

I got:

WUXGA LCD, 15.4"
Intel Core 2 Duo T9900, 3.06GHz, 1066MHz 6M L2 Cache
4 GB Ram
512MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 1700M
320 GB 7200rpm Hard-Drive
Illuminated Keyboard
Top-of-the-line Support
Dual-monitor Docking Station

All in all, I think a good $2600 spent. I mean, it’s not flashy, but it’s what I NEED to get my work done.

Thanks for reading, I’m just excited! My first new computer in 5.5 years!!

thats a bad ass box and what we run at design engine. If you are on the extreme budget (and you should be) you can purchase those precision workstations from the dell referb part of the dell website.

We need a few new laptops. Anyone research those? If

If you like it, then that’s what’s important. So don’t take this the wrong way, but you got ripped off. I know you probably paid a premium for that Quadro, but a Quadro is just a GeForce 9800 with different drivers. There are so many newer graphics cards that are faster for cheaper now, and so many faster processors.

Maybe, but unless you can trick the computer into installing the quadro drivers you’re going to see performance drops as many programs won’t enable proper acceleration without them. And if you have issues in programs, they’ll probably put blame on the geforce. Nvidia also knows about this trick so even if you do it, opengl acceleration is throttled.

That said, I believe the 8800 family is the last one you can easily mod. GT becomes an “FX4200”

I wrote a long post about this a while back, but if you run software that needs CAD certified drivers to run correctly, then having a Quadro makes a difference. There are a lot of functions that many may not use, but that if you try running on a gaming class card they won’t work. I know a lot of Alias hardware shade modes and Showcase functionality doesn’t work right on my home Geforce 260 compared to my workstations FX4600.

So yes, they are all the same physical hardware - but you pay for the drivers. It’s expensive, but in a world where a seat of CAD software costs $3k+ an extra grand for a video card is just another business expense.

Although I see what you guys are talking about in regards to being “ripped off,” I must say in my defense that I simply needed a powerhouse machine to work out of the box and have great support should something run amuck.

I’ve had the computer for about 5 days now and it is screaming fast and smooth with Solidworks, CS4, tough Rhino models, etc. I don’t want to ever have to mess with drivers, etc. That’s why I got the Pro Support too.

I know I could have built a computer up that would have been just as fast for much, much less, but the peace of mind is worth the money to me. It just needs to work.

never build a computer when you can purchase one that is rated to run the software … tested and tried. Dell is the way to go and precision is the king.