As an old adage goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”, and we are all trying to gain something by venturing. We just can’t be passing away the time idly. Many of us need to be on the run and yet be able to do our work. It is such people notebooks were invented for. But if we focus on the still narrower circle of people who work in heavy resource-consuming applications that process realistic, highly textured models in CAD systems, create 3D content and special effects, etc. and whose time is very precious, we’ll find that they have no use for an ordinary notebook.
They wouldn’t be satisfied with a simple, even though highly functional, portable computer. They need a full-featured workstation. The last word sounds bulky a priori since there have not been portable counterparts to high-performance desktop computers which can solve a complex problem but don’t offer mobility (to take a stationary computer with you, you must spend some time to disassemble and then assemble it again and must have a car to take it with you).
A team of engineers and designers of a renowned American brand which specializes on solving complex problems was the first to offer to the public its vision of a tool just for such situations. In the spring of 2006 the Dell Precision notebook series was announced. These are full-featured workstations, but mobile workstations! They allow to work everywhere making full use of your time. The 15.4” Precision M65 model came to replace the M60 and the 17” Precision M90 that we are going to discuss today takes the baton from the M70. These machines are identical on the CPU level, being both based on the Napa platform with Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo CPUs on Yonah or Merom cores, respectively. Yet there is one significant difference between the two models.
Today’s PC users are well aware of the power of dual-core CPU architectures, but an Nvidia Quadro FX graphics subsystem, comparable to desktop graphics solutions in speed, is something to be surprised at. Such graphics cards deliver tremendous performance, although their heat dissipation, even optimized for portable computers, is still rather high. The capacious batteries of the Precision notebook are going to be swallowed by the advanced configuration at a gulp. Well, that’s just our supposition that yet needs to be verified.
The Dell Precision M90 will undergo our examination following the long-established pattern: exterior, interior and performance tests. After thinking for some time over what notebook could make a worthy opponent to that monster, we took an ASUS Lamborghini VX1 which has a somewhat faster CPU (a 2GHz one as opposed to the 1.83GHz CPU of the Dell Precision M90), with twice the amount of system memory working in dual-channel mode, and with a GeForce Go 7400 VX graphics processor, which is the fastest model in the 7400 series. Let’s see if the workstation from Dell can keep up the pace of the “racing” notebook.