back to article Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

Dell’s started selling a pair of “mobile workstations” with specs that wouldn’t disgrace low-end servers. Both the Precision 7530 and Precision 7730 can run a six-core Xeon E-2176M at 2.70GHz and can ship with up to 64GB of RAM (but can handle 128GB if Dell gets around to shipping 32GB DIMMs for the four-slot beasts). The …

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  1. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    And no doubt you've asked nicely to get one for a long term 'review' :-)

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Demo version?

      Do Dell do demo versions of their laptops for resellers/partners? I was able to get a MS SP4 with i7 for £500 as it's classed as a demo. Sadly, it looks like MS have tightened up their systems since then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      meltdown and spectre proof? I think not

      If they were giving them away then you could always strip the components and sell them to buy something secure

  2. Mycho Silver badge

    What does it run?

    If I can get it in a seamless penguin suit I'm tempted.

    1. Peter Mount
      Linux

      Re: What does it run?

      So would I. Just took a look & hidden under a "more" button is this:

      Ubuntu Linux 16.04 - $107.85

      So they are definitely penguin friendly

      1. yoganmahew

        Re: What does it run?

        Will it run W10 basic edition without hanging?

        The jury is still out...

      2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: What does it run?

        Charging for Linux? Or is that a price reduction?

        1. Peter Mount

          Re: What does it run?

          That was a reduction hence I put -$107

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: That was a reduction hence I put -$107

            Ah. I thought that was a dash, rather than a minus, in the original post, especially as there was a space on *both* sides of it! :-(

        2. 2460 Something

          Takes time

          It has a price reduction for Ubuntu as you don't need to pay for the Windows license.

        3. J. Cook Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: What does it run?

          @ herman, @ Alladdin Sane:

          It's a price reduction. the -$107 was the amount they take off the price.

          For me, that's a drop in the bucket, as I fully maxed it out and spun the price up north past $11,000 USD. (quad 2 TB NvE sticks @ $1600+ EACH- Hoo RAH!)

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: What does it run?

      That kind of machine, you're going to want VMWare or similar anyway.

      That's a waste to use it for just one OS with those cores and RAM, when you can run everything at the same time.

      Linux as the base OS, maybe, but good luck getting all the drivers (especially for the RAID etc.).

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: What does it run?

        Multiple drives, multiple bootable OS types ergo no need for VMWare.

        1. Geoff Campbell
          Facepalm

          Re: What does it run?

          Multiple boot drives? What is this, the 20th century?

          GJC

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What does it run?

            Oh I don't know. Used to have a secondary Dell disk carrier we could slot in any works Windows Dells and boot to Linux with a full set of licences keys and software. Great for customer demos.

        2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

          Re: What does it run?

          I have to admit I do multi boot, as I need to test bare metal behaviour at times, but this really is a minority pursuit.

          For well over 90% of purposes, virtualisation with standard or virtualised hardware is fine.

          For the parts that need direct unvirtualised hardware, virtualisation with PCI passthrough (VT-d), gets to the next 5%.

          Of the last 5% the vast majority will be one operating system on bare metal, the number of people that need multi boot is minimal.

          The main reason I multi boot between Windows and various Unixes is because the USB 3 controller doesn't pass through nicely to a VM, and life's been too short to try yet more hacking, and trying later versions of Xen..

        3. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: What does it run?

          Lee;

          I see nothing on those that I don't have drivers for on most of my systems. Stop.

        4. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: What does it run?

          linux base, KVM , guests running clustering software.

          Test deployment and update/upgrade processes before they go anywhere near a live cluster.

          Yeesh. why do I have a 6 year old HP "worktop" --

          32G ram , I7, 1Tb spinning rust 500Gb SSD.

          I'll take two please, with the Nvidia cards since that means I can play WOW on wine on my laptop.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What does it run?

        On these machines, often you don't want anything unneeded between your application and the CPUs/GPUs. Usually OSes don't need many cores and RAM, but some applications may want all the cores and RAM you can throw at them. And some people don't really have many OS and applications to run, they may use only a few if not only one application, albeit a very hungry one.

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: What does it run?

        That kind of machine, you're going to want VMWare or similar anyway.

        Indeed, you could set up a small network of servers in your backpack.

        1. Smoking Man

          Re: What does it run?

          Including a mainframe :)

          Well, an emulator at least.. http://www.hercules-390.org/

        2. dnicholas Bronze badge

          Re: What does it run?

          I do this already but kind of limited in performance by a quad core i7 and single SSD for all the VHDs

        3. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: What does it run?

          >Indeed, you could set up a small network of servers in your backpack.

          So yesterday in your thinking :)

          Relabel as a personal/mobile cloud as you'll probably have VC's throwing money at you.

          I wonder if Tintri will release all their code to the public...

        4. onefang Silver badge

          Re: What does it run?

          "Indeed, you could set up a small network of servers in your backpack."

          When I was secretary of a local Unix users group, it was often my job to carry the proxy server and all the networking gear to and from the big regular meetings. I'd also be carrying my own desktop system. So that was two medium sized desktop boxen, one WiFi AP, two or three 24 way hubs / switches, a few hundred meters of network cable, one monitor, keyboard, mouse, power cables, and assorted power bricks. In my backpacks (one of those hybrid packs where the day pack can clip to the main pack, and bounce on your tummy as you walk), either walking for two hours, or on the bus.

          And people kept wondering why I was always pushing to get the proxy server replaced by something physically smaller.

          None of this was battery powered though.

          1. I3N
            Boffin

            Re: What does it run?

            So what you are saying is that you never had to use the forward hatch of a Los Angles class to set up ...

            Gawd almighty, loved them there 17" Nanao's with the Trinitron tubes.

      4. RGE_Master

        Re: What does it run?

        You clearly haven't used Autocad or any sort of video rendering applications. They will rip through that laptop and make it cry like a small child with a skinned knee.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What does it run?

          I have run full-fat EDA place & route software on laptops back in the day. Just sayin'

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What does it run?

          "You clearly haven't used Autocad or any sort of video rendering applications. They will rip through that laptop and make it cry like a small child with a skinned knee."

          I've seen AutoCAD running with perfectly acceptable performance on a (laptop) Core i7-powered NUC. I use Visual Studio with large projects on a laptop with a dual-core Core i7, and it's fine, performance-wise. If people use MacBook Pro's for video editing, then these laptops will be fine.

      5. herman Silver badge

        Re: What does it run?

        Err... two posts above you listed the Linux price tag of $107.

      6. Avatar of They Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: What does it run?

        Confused. My Ubuntu server has raid and hasn't been an issue for about 3 years its been running. (Basically a NAS)

        And my Dell Ubuntu XPS 13 laptop runs 3 VMwares, windows 7, Kali Linux and I tried an El Capitan VM once. All using the VMWare workstation 12 which is fully supported in Linux. It ran all three at once - because I could.

        However my ubuntu laptop was ubuntu because I tried windows 10 and was officially told windows 10 once installed can't dual boot because of UEFI (I was asking for the ubuntu install disk) So probably because of Dell not windows, I had to send back and get a new one.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi

          Re: What does it run?

          tried an El Capitan VM once

          You could try El Capitan itself (using a custom EFI bootloader that's easily found on Google).

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: What does it run?

            People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago.

            Having to shut down one OS to run another is ridiculous in the modern age, where you can run both simultaneously without issue.

            Honestly, we stopped doing that the second virtualisation instructions were put into processors.

            1. ibmalone Silver badge

              Re: What does it run?

              I am in fact still dual booting my home machine, because Windows gets used for games. Occasionally.

            2. JDX Gold badge

              Re: People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago.

              I really hope you don't work in IT. Because in 1998 VMWare was still being founded, and Parallels only came on the scene in 2006.

              Even in 2018, GPU-related things don't work well in virtualisation (Parallels doesn't support modern OpenGL). And these days, GPUs are no longer just used for gaming.

              So no, dual-booting may be defunct in certain areas of IT but even outside gaming, it is required in others.

              1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

                Re: People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago.

                GPU related things work reasonably well in virtualisation, but you need to use PCI passthrough if the emulated accelerated graphics adaptor isn't good enough.

                In order of ease of use ESX passthrough does work, as does KVM (KVM is definitely the most functional solution, slightly harder to set up). Xen also works, but passthrough to NVidia cards needs a Quadro or some unsanctioned patches, AMD cards work with caveats usually as a secondary card to the emulated primary.

                When passthrough does work, it works well, and fast.

              2. fruitoftheloon
                Happy

                @JDX:Re: People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago.

                JDX,

                quite, it's amazing how many people don't realise that the rest of the world uses tech in a different way to them...

                Cheers,

                Jay

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What does it run?

              Downvoting you because I've ran into at least 3 specific cases where the thing needed to be ran on bare metal install before it would thingy its thing how we needed it to thing. Plus lots of things we thingy are now behaving differently if they are ran in a vm and we need native thingyness to test what we need to test properly.

              I have some hypervisor boxes that run instances too, they have their places in our armoury.

              You might not need to dual boot to start word up occasionally or save a few quid on servers, but please, don't try to tag the entire world with your use case with some smug but ultimately technically clueless attitude.

            4. onefang Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: What does it run?

              "People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago."

              You are almost correct. My test box has 20 partitions, with 20 different bootable OSes on it (plus or minus, it varies sometimes). So to be pedantic, that's not "dual-boot". Among other things, I do virtual world and VR development on it, where direct access to the 3D hardware helps a lot. That's actually the reason I bought it, I tried to get Oculus Rift DK2 to run on a VM, wasn't gonna happen, needed a new computer for that dev job. Since then, it's my general purpose test box that I do crazy shit on.

            5. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

              Re: What does it run?

              "People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago."

              Not true. More like 7 years ago for my home rig, the problem being the cost and RAM limitations of consumer grade gear.

              For example bumping my 2010 PC from the supplied 2GB RAM to 4GB cost USD 50, but 8GB was going to cost USD 200. Yes, I did manage to run a few VMs within 4GB but it was a tight fit for the stuff I was trying to do.

              Roll on to 2014 and things got a lot better. I was able to stuff 16GB into 3 systems which only officially supported 8GB and affordably too.

            6. Faceless Man

              Dual-booting has its uses

              Being able to load up a minimal OS and app suite if one were, say, forced to power up your computer at a security checkpoint, such as one of your fine International Entry Points. Or maybe getting the hardware repaired by a local tech services company, and you don't want to give them root access to your system, or let them go through your personal data.

              Also, you can use it to totally isolate environments (although VMs these days are pretty good at doing that, too).

            7. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What does it run?

              "People stopped dual-booting 20 years ago."

              Nope. Started doing that again after Oculus decided that "the new software required Windows 10 for the best experience". Weird thing is I specifically bought the rift because it had Win 7 support.

              "Having to shut down one OS to run another is ridiculous in the modern age, where you can run both simultaneously without issue."

              If you don't do any serious stuff.

              As you can't virtualize your graphics card with the consumer-grade virtualization options. VMware is useless for a VR-HMD or any other serious game. Then we haven't talked about video-encoding/converting which uses the GPU for rendering these days.

              "Honestly, we stopped doing that the second virtualisation instructions were put into processors."

              You mean YOU stopped doing that. I have no other choice. Since the virtualization options that could do full hardware virtualization (including gfx-card) are too expensive or too complicated for an average user like me.

              SO, Nope. I'm again starting to multi-boot. Not by choice, though.

              1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

                Re: What does it run?

                Oculus CV1 is one of the reasons my main system is multi boot, but it can be made to work in a VM.

                For the home user the easiest option is definitely KVM, as it has some settable flags to prevent consumer NVidia cards from disabling their passthrough ability. AMD works too but isn't always as good at surviving multiple VM reboots. This generally (but not necessarily) also requires multiple graphics cards so the host OS has something to display on. Xen/ESX work too but have more caveats. KVM may also now have the ability to blit the output of the passthrough card to the desktop - I know someone was working on it.

                The issue I found was on Xen with USB passthrough. Virtualised USB is horrid in KVM, somewhat better in Xen, but VR really/ideally needs a discrete USB card with multiple host controllers on it (each USB3 port providing 5Gb/s, usually this is shared) passed through directly. The card I found works fine in FreeBSD VMs, but not in a Windows VM on passthrough with an earlier version of Xen, and I've not had the time/priority to fix it.

                Nevertheless, there are configurations out there that do work.

              2. onefang Silver badge

                Re: What does it run?

                'Nope. Started doing that again after Oculus decided that "the new software required Windows 10 for the best experience". Weird thing is I specifically bought the rift because it had Win 7 support.'

                Oculus used to support Linux and Mac, but dropped them before release of the CV1. They said at the time support might come back, but I could see the writing on the wall. I could also see them dropping support for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 in the future. These are major parts of the reasons I cancelled my CV1 pre-order shortly before release. I'll stick with my DK2, and not update the drivers. Only used for development anyway, and I finished that job long ago. Google Daydream, while only 3DoF, is much more fun, I use that all the time.

          2. Avatar of They Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: What does it run?

            To be honest I only tried it to have a look and after a couple of months I just couldn't find a use for it in my normal routine.

            I had the ubuntu laptop and the VM of windows was for a few steam games when away from my main rig in a hotel.

            I did like it but just never used it. My next laptop may well be that direction however.

        2. kain preacher Silver badge

          Re: What does it run?

          Avatar of They

          Either Dell lied to you are is doing some thing weird

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: What does it run?

            I asked the question as the comment wasn't clear whether it was an increase or decrease, and companies have been caught charging for Linux in the past. Fuck knows why I got downvoted.

            1. Sixtysix
              Happy

              Re: FCUK knows why I got downvoted.

              Probably not a David Bowie fan...

              Or people who thought the whole world should know that Dell offer Ubuntu as a menu option on most all laptops...

              Or trolls.

              Yeah, probably Trolls.

        3. guyr

          Re: What does it run?

          However my ubuntu laptop was ubuntu because I tried windows 10 and was officially told windows 10 once installed can't dual boot because of UEFI (I was asking for the ubuntu install disk) So probably because of Dell not windows

          Perhaps Dell didn't something nasty to impose that limitation. I bought a refurb HP Pavilion 500-314 that came with Windows 8 pre-installed, which I then upgraded to 10. This is a UEFI system. I then installed Ubuntu in its own partitions. Without any work from me, Ubuntu made itself the bootloader, and added Windows as a boot option.

          I wouldn't be shocked if Dell tried to prevent that, but you probably would have been successful if you tried.

      7. Waseem Alkurdi

        Re: What does it run?

        Linux as the base OS, maybe, but good luck getting all the drivers (especially for the RAID etc.).

        Dell ships Linux with these, meaning that Dell's already sorted that out for you.

        1. Random Handle

          Re: What does it run?

          >Dell's already sorted that out for you.

          They're also certified for RHEL

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