When the Dell Precision T5500 workstation was unveiled three years ago, it felt like a deja-vu for anyone familiar with the Austin-based company workstation.
The dual-socket powerhouse managed to cram a lot of expansion capabilities into a reasonably small form factor and footprint (albeit weighing nearly 19Kg) while offering some welcomed features.
The T5500 could accommodate a pair of 6-core Intel Xeon X5500 series processors (24 cores with HyperThreading, 16MB cache in all), up to 72GB of DDR3 ECC memory (thanks to nine memory slots) as well as an Nvidia Tesla C1060 GPU to create what Dell calls, your own personal supercomputer.
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Take its cover off and this workstation surprises by how easy it is to access the components most likely to fail (i.e. the hard disk drives).
Dell says that the computer can stay in Turbo Mode over an extended period because of its "advanced thermal engineering and efficient processor heat sinks".
Some clever tricks
What's more, clever organisation of the motherboard (which helps cooling critical parts of the casing), efficient 88-per cent, 875W power supply units (that produce less heat) combined with an energy-efficient chassis mean that the T5500 is uncannily quiet.
The rest of the spec sheet reads as follows. An Intel 5520 chipset, an integrated SATA host controller an integrated Broadcom 5754 GbE controller and an optical drive.
Expansion capabilities and connectivity extend to five bays, six various PCI slots (a pair of which (PCI Express x16) can support Gen 2 cards up to 150W each, an assortment of 11 USB 2.0, serial, parallel, eSATA and PS2 ports.
The Dell Precision T5500 was eventually replaced and the latest iteration of that popular workstation is the T5610, with a radically different design.