dealsdell precision 490 workstation - intel xeon quad…


It's at -7 yet there isn't one comment explaining why this is a bad deal. It seems like a good deal to me, is there any reason why I shouldn't pull the trigger?


@brooklyn11218: it's a 2.33ghz quadcore cpu x2 (which still sucks)

its 12gigs of ddr2 ram. ddr2 is half the speed of equivalent ddr3. we'll assume its 1333mhz ram.

500gb harddrive is nothing special, most towers come with 1tb now @ 6gb/s (2x the amount and most likely faster)

bad graphics card.

4-6gigs of ddr3 ram, a 3.00ghz dual-core (or quad) cpu, a 1tb hdd, and a halfway decent card should only run about $400. This deal is an old computer that is worse, but more expensive.


the GPU is worth at least $200 alone. Its a WORK station, not meant for gaming or every-day users, but i cant imagine that its not an amazing deal at $410

also, i was running DDR2 RAM until recently when i upgraded to very nice "gaming" grade DDR3 sticks. also was an upgrade from 3gigs to 8gigs. saw very little improvement (also upgraded my mobo at the same time). If you think this is a bad deal, you are obviously oblivious to the entire purpose for it.


This is moderately tempting, but a bit of research shows that this particular computer is based on Conroe-generation Xeons, rather than the newer Nehalem and Sandy Bridge architectures.

Basically, this computer is going to perform similarly to a quad-core CPU of the latest generation. So, it's a pretty good deal, but it's by no means the powerhouse that it appears to be.


It is not often that you see XEONs in a workstation. These are not comparable MHz to MHz with desktop processors and are much faster. Comparing benchmarks is applicable, not just clock speed.

I would spring for this in a second if I had not just built a new workstation. I spent 3/4 of this price on the processor of my new machine (i7-2700k) alone and that only has 4 cores with hyper-threading (so 8 logical cores).

That being said, you can actually find really good deals on this generation of XEONs. The only catch is that they take a more power to run than a similar desktop processor.


@isnus: The graphics card is meant for servers and not high-end graphics. It's fine for a workstation but not a gaming rig. The NVS 440 gets a g3d/passmark rating of 106 (a $100 ati 7750 will get you a 1803 g3d/passmark score) = just fyi to understand video capabilities


So, in other words, what we're hearing is that this is all old technology with enough CPU & RAM thrown in to make it competitive with new technology, for about the same price, but uses more power?

It's close, but I'd give it a pass as well.


My biggest concern is that if anything goes wrong, you'll have to call... (gulp)... DELL!

I've NEVER experienced worse customer service that when dealing with Dell, and I've dealt with Comcast and AT&T!


As part of my job I am unlucky enough to have to deal with Dell support on a regular basis. It can be painfull. Maybe 1 out of 5 calls goes smoothly. However this work station at this price is definitely a deal. Pulling trigger!


With Dell support, you literally get what you pay for. If you purchase premium support, they will literally bend over backwards to resolve your issue. Many of my friends who work in IT have at least one story where Dell went completely out of its way to resolve an issue within hours. If you're only using basic support, yes, it can be hit or miss, and I've had both exceptional customer service from India, and horrible "coast-to-coast" customer service here in the United States.


I do agree that Dell's home customer support is lacking, but their enterprise support is pretty good. This box was primarily designed for graphic specialists that do a lot of 3D modeling, but would be overkill for gaming. This rig can handle up to 32 GB of Ram, which is great if you are trying to render out a complex model of say an Alien.


@haikuginger: There were ZERO Sandy Bridge dual CPU capable machines until this spring. I doubt they'd have refurbs available for those quite yet.


People seem to think that Business Class support is as crummy as Home Class support. It isn't.


@brooklyn11218: The dual (power hogging) CPUs in this machine don't even equal one AMD FX-8120 CPU.

Where you get higher speed memory, SATA3 Support... Yadda.


@faaaaq: The GPU was $200 new. These days, there is much better Workstation GPUs for less money. Also, the only place (out of the common retailers) which is still selling this is ebay, for $80, so it's value has dropped from $200 to $80.

If you saw no performance upgrade from 3GB DDR2 to 8GB DDR3, you must not call from RAM much, which could be understandable if you're slowly building things in CAD, but if you had been running high performance coding, you'd notice a big difference.

In the end, you can probably build a better workstation computer for the same or less money, which would make this a bad deal.


@jeffjonez: Just a preview of days to come: everyone has had a bad experience with everything.


This actually is an excellently priced WORKHORSE. That Quad-monitor video card alone costs more than half the price and is a wonderful thing to have. If I was setting up another VMS in the immediate future I'd buy this in a heartbeat. (VMS=Video Management System)

All the negatives here are because most home users look at a system for gaming.
If you try to play something beyond solitaire on this you will be sorely disappointed.

I'm not familiar with this particular model, but most of these workstations support raid arrays and this likely does raid 5. Because this isn't one of the huge form factors, I'd venture a guess it might only have room for 3 or 4 in that array though.
Another benefit to these is longevity. Those Xeons are basically intended to be able to carry a heavy load forever.


I have this for my gaming rig. I got it free from work with 2x72GB SAS drives for my OS and installed 1x1TB drive for general storage. It comes with a nicely rated power supply that I'm running a GTX 275 off of. It's fairly fast and has plenty of room for expansion. I did have to buy an additional 4 pin molex to 6 pin for the video card (there is only one 6 pin in the box). As far as processing, as everyone mentioned, they are xeon processors. This is server class hardware in a box. If you are looking for a quality CAD station, digital processing, any real CPU heavy driven applications, this will do great. If you want a gaming rig, be prepared to purchase a new video card. I believe it was PCI-E 2.0 but my 2.1 does work just fine.



@jeffjonez: Hello. My name is Andy and I'm with Blair Technology Group. You're buying this computer directly from us so you wouldn't have to worry about Dell's "support". You can call us directly and we'll help with any question that you have. You'll be able to speak to the same tech every time and we'll do our best to go above and beyond for you. If you'd like, we'll even draw a dinosaur on the box before shipping.


Clarification of performance:
This rig gets you about 12 percent lower CPU sythenthetic compute performance than an i5 2500-k @ 3.3 GHz at a (total) processor power consumption of 160 watts. (Passmark benchmark of dual E5345 xeons).

That said, single threaded applications would be over 33% slower than the 2500.

These precisions come in a great case for a workstation class machine. This would make an excellent box for creating a virtual lab without much outlay. It would be an ideal purchase for a computer science major, or someone working on MIcrosoft certifications. A full active directory domain, virtual workstation running xp, 7 and 8, and an SCCM server could all run flawlessly on this config, with the single disk being the biggest bottleneck.

The video card, operating system license, case, and RAM make this box an overall good value.


I want to add something for those that may think this is a server with complicated hardware. This is a Workstation that will perform very well on many complicated tasks that an engineer or similar profession may need. It will also work beautifully as an every day computer for every day users. It essentially has the same hardware inside but it's built ten times better than the typical retail unit. These are commercial machines and the last thing a company wants is their $150k engineer dead in the water because his computer either crashed or couldn't handle what he/she needs to do. To translate this to the regular home user, they can feel confident that their computer won't crash during that masterful Facebook post about your intense workout this evening.


@blairtechnologygroup: If your organization handles the support for this box, then that'd be a serious improvement over Dell.. and makes this a much better deal that I originally thought. :)

I'd settle for a smiley face on the box, dinos scare me.


@xavoc: Doesn't matter. This computer is actually less powerful than a single quad-core Sandy Bridge.


@cdubbs684: Thats exactly what I was thinking. Been checking HCLs and it looks like this can run the free version of ESXi. Even though it may not scream on the benchmarks the dual processor goodness should perform nicely as a "Domain in a Box".


@haikuginger: Yeah, but those rank higher and still cost more than the FX-8120 from AMD... The A8 series CPUs only have a GPU for every other core...


@paradigmshyft: Since it's a WORKHORSE machine... Can you tell us how this will be faster when it's two CPUs blown out of the water by synthetic CPU benchmarks by basically ANY quad core Sandybridge CPU, and even AMD's FX-8120 which is dirt cheap? The ONLY thing it might have is a wider but lower speed memory bus. AKA 4-8 lanes of memory vs 2-4

My i5-3570K runs rings around both the CPUs in this box combined with breathing room to spare. And that's before I enable overclocking.


@blairtechnologygroup: +1 for custom Dino box graphics! My kids are more apt to play with the box anyway, so the video card specs are inconsequential.


@shadowight: the PERC 5/r SAS controller is an option. Please keep in mind that many of the lower-end SATA drive controllers that DELL uses are not ESXi compatible. The drivers disable the caching on the card, and your performance becomes abysmal. As in everything runs about 10x slower than just running Windows with no load on the drives, system, or memory bus.

I actually do know this from experience...


With some tweaking this could make a nice server. I'm thinking maybe SBS 2011


Looks like a good deal to me


@jzerkel: :D

@blairtechnologygroup - +1 for the hand-drawn Dino. i wish more companies would do that :(


I like to swear and call people names Wedit.
@isnus: I have been using Xeons and Opterons in workstations for over a decade. One is in my study. It's not uncommon at all, especially was with Intel during the Netburst era as it was the way to get 64-bit instructions.

Some people actually make use of VT-x or ECC/buffered memory. Not gonna happen on your 1155 board, and the joker who actually was conned into buying Bulldozer needs to channel his buyer's remorse elsewhere (990FX can support ECC but many boards don't and there's a hard RAM limit on the NB). This is not a machine for Call of Duty no matter how much you want it to be. It works excellently for highly threaded tasks.

It's a little disappointing that this doesn't have a SAS controller, but the SATA RAID seems decent. And for $400, who can complain? This setup was a couple thousand dollars. This would do great as a VM machine for network simulation...little overkill for NAS. You could get another GPU and do folding.


well, i just got it. i feel confident on blair's support, if i ever need it, and the fact i will use it not as a work station, but as a master computer that needs to be up and running with extra hard drives all the time to feed the other computers at home, relieves me. hopefully it won't overheat.


@rivermaidpe: and please, can it be two dinos? i have two kids and i don't want them to fight over one dino. make t-rexes, please.


@rivermaidpe: Dell Precision 490 Workstation
Desktop workstation
Pros: Speedy, compact system with many niceties; quiet, clean and attractively designed.
Cons: None significant.
Price: $5,293

omg 5k?


@blairtechnologygroup: i'm sorry, i didn't see anything about warranty... how long does it last? and also, can i get extra warranty from square trade? it would be a big plus...


@shinespark: No one said that XEONs were not possible in a desktop, just not common. Was solely pointing out the higher-class (and higher cache) cpu compared to other of the same generation. No need for name calling.


Bought one this weekend and they customized for me. Was able to remove the OS and add 3-1TB drives in a raid 5. The price for the HD's was good.


I ordered one of these. Blair Tech Group charged my credit card before the "order submitted" page had reloaded in the browser (I get email alerts for any charges over $300, so I'm 100% positive of this.) So why, after seven days, is my order still simply listed as "processing" on the blairtg web site? Amazon may be spoiling me, but if we're really buying this from Blair, then what could possibly take so long? It seems more like they're buying it from someone else, reboxing and shipping. Or they're taking the money from a two day special and heading to the Caribbean... I'm not feeling so good about this order right now...