by Lyle Smith

Dell Precision 7530 Workstation Review

The Dell Precision 7530 is a high-end mobile workstation designed to excel during graphic or data-heavy applications. To emphasize its capabilities, Dell boldly claims that it is the world’s most powerful and first "Ready for VR" 15-inch mobile workstation to hit the market. That said, users can certainly outfit the 7530 with some pretty impressive builds, which is highlighted by 8th Gen Intel Core and Xeon 6-core processor options and Radeon Pro and NVIDIA Quadro professional GPUs. The mobile workstation also supports up to a whopping 128GB of 3200MHz SuperSpeed memory with a maximum storage capacity of an impressive 6TB via up to three 2TB PCIe Solid SSDs or 2x and 1x 2.5” HDDs.



Users have the option to upgrade their 7530 to a 15.6” UltraSharp 4K UHD display or if they want to spend a little less cash, they can go for the less expensive 15.6” FHD TN 1920x1080 option. The 7530 also supports an 8K resolution and HDR for those looking for extreme quality and a separate, compatible monitor ready to plug in via a single cable with DisplayPort 1.4. Users have a range of different professional graphics cards, ranging from entry (NVIDIA Quadro P1000, NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Radeon Pro WX 4150) to mid-range (NVIDIA Quadro P3200) models. For those who don’t need a professional graphics card due to the nature of their work, users have the choice of going with the on-board Intel HD option.

The Precision 7530 also supports the Dell Precision Optimizer (DPO). This handy software specifically allows users to auto-optimize any application they use on their Precision workstation--ISV (independent software vendor) or custom-written-- via artificial intelligence-based technology. After selecting the application to optimize, DPO studies its behavior and identifies optimization opportunities using machine learning. It then applies performance improvements. Users can customize the optimization as much as they want or use pre-defined profiles to optimize the performance of commonly used ISV applications.

As far as connectivity goes, the new Precision mobile workstation is host to a wide range ports for further flexibility, including USB 3.1, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI port and Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports. Our build is highlighted by an Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU @ 2.90GHz, 32GB of DDR3 RAM (4 x 8GB at 2667MHz), a Samsung PM961 NVMe 512GB SSD and a NVIDIA Quadro P3200 professional graphics card.

Dell Precision 7530 Specifications

Processor family

Intel 8th Generation Processors
Intel Xeon E-2186M, 6 Core Xeon, 12M Cache, 2.90GHz up to 4.60GHz Turbo, 45W, vPro
Intel Core Processor i9-8950HK, 6 Core, 12MB Cache, 2.90GHz up to 4.60GHz Turbo, 45W
Intel Xeon E-2176M, 6 Core Xeon, 12M Cache, 2.70GHz up to 4.40GHz Turbo, 45W, vPro
Intel Core Processor i7-8850H, 6 Core, 9M Cache, 2.60GHz up to 4.3GHz Turbo, 45W, vPro
Intel Core Processor i7-8750H, 6 Core, 9M Cache, 2.20GHz up to 4.1GHz Turbo, 45W
Intel Core Processor i5-8400H, 4 Core, 8M Cache, 2.50GHz up to 4.1GHz Turbo, 45W, vPro
Intel Core Processor i5-8300H, 4 Core, 8M Cache, 2.30GHz up to 4.0GHz Turbo, 45W

Operating System

Windows 10 Home 64
Windows 10 Pro 64
Windows 10 Pro for Workstations 64
Ubuntu 16.04 SP1
Red Hat 7.5

Chipset Intel Mobile CM246
Memory 4 DIMM slots:
Up to 128GB 2666MHz DDR4 NECC
Up to 32GB 3200MHz SuperSpeed DDR4 NECC
Up to 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC
Graphics Intel HD GFX
Radeon Pro WX 4150 w/4GB GDDR5
NVIDIA Quadro P1000 w/4GB GDDR5
NVIDIA Quadro P2000 w/4GB GDDR5
NVIDIA Quadro P3200 w/6GB GDDR5
Display Options 15.6” FHD TN 1920x1080 Anti-Glare, non-touch, FHD camera/mic options, 42% color gamut
15.6” UltraSharp FHD IPS 1920x1080 Anti-Glare, non-touch, FHD/IR camera/mic options, 72% color gamut,
w/ Premium Panel Guarantee
15.6” UltraSharp FHD IPS 1920x1080 Touch, FHD camera/mic, 72% color gamut, w/ Premium Panel Guarantee
15.6” UltraSharp UHD IGZO 3840x2160 Anti-Glare, non-touch, FHD camera/mic, 100% Adobe color gamut, w/ Premium Panel Guarantee
Storage Options Support for 3 storage devices: Three M.2 PCIe solid state drives or two M.2 PCIe solid state drives and one 2.5” SATA SSD/
HDD drive: Dell Fast Response free fall sensor standard
Hard Disk Drive (HDD): 2.5” 500GB, 500GB FIPS SED (Check regional availability), 1TB 7200RPM up to 2TB 2.5”
5400RPM SATA 6Gb/s
Solid State Drive (SSD): 256GB, 512GB, 512GB SED (Check regional availability), 1TB 2.5” SATA 6Gb/s M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive (M.2 SSD): 256GB, 512GB, 512GB SED, 1TB SED (Check regional availability), 1TB, 2TB SSD
Communication Options Wireless :
Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 9260 802.11ac MU-MIMO 2x2 + Bluetooth 5.0 vPro
Qualcomm QCA61x4A 802.11ac Dual Band 2x2 Wireless Adapter + Bluetooth 5.0
Optional Mobile Broadband :
Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A DW5811e - CAT 6 LTE
Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A DW5816e - CAT 6 LTE
Multimedia Dual integrated high quality speakers and optional dual integrated noise cancelling digital array microphones
MaxxAudio Pro by Waves
Optional integrated light sensitive HD video webcam
I/O Ports and Connectors 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports w/PowerShare, 2 x Thunderbolt 3 type C ports, SD Card reader, mini Display Port 1.4, HDMI port
2.0, Ethernet port, Headphone jack, FPR optional, IR camera optional, Smartcard reader, contactless Smartcard reader
optional
Security Intel Platform Trust Technology, Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 (Check regional availability),
Chassis lock slot support
Support for optional Computrace and Optional Contactless SmartCard Reader/Fingerprint Reader or FIPS Fingerprint reader
(Check regional availability)
Dimensions and Weight Width X = 13.29” (337.6mm)
Depth Y= 9.89” (251.3mm)
Height Z= front .98” (25.mm) – rear 1.17” (29.95mm)
Starting at 5.57lbs, 2.53kg
Battery 4-cell 64Wh Lithium Ion battery with ExpressCharge
6-cell 97Wh Lithium Ion battery with ExpressCharge
6-cell 97Wh 3 Year Warranty Lithium Ion battery
Power Adaptor 180 Watt AC adapter
Regulatory and Environmental
Compliance
EPEAT registered
TAA Configurations available YES (Check regional availability)


Design and Build

The new Precision 7530 is a slick-looking, premium mobile workstation, sporting a unique-looking cover with a cross-hatch design. Dell states a 14% decrease in size compared to smaller previous generations as well as 15% decrease in weight due to the use of smaller AC adapters.



Despite this reduction, the 7530 is 1-inch thick, just over 13 inches tall when opened, and weighs in at 5.75lbs, the latter which is a bit heavy for a 15-inch notebook (for example 15-inch Dell Precision 5520 weighs just 3.93lbs). Though that's the price you pay when it’s packed tight with performance-driven components.

Facing the monitor at the top middle you will see the camera, camera-status light, infrared (IR) emitter/cameras, and microphones all of which are optional features depending on your build. 

Located on the left side of the Precision 7530 are the audio jacks, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports with PowerShare and the security lock. On the back is the RJ4, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI port and Power adapter port, while the left side is home to the two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports, an SD card reader and Smartcard reader (which is optional).

As we indicated above, the Precision 7530 can be outfitted with several low- to mid-range professional graphics cards, including a selection from the P-series of NVIDIA's Quadro line (P1000, P2000 and P3200). These cards are known for delivering performance similar to cards that have a much larger footprint. Users can also choose to go the AMD route with the small-form factor Radeon Pro WX 4150, a mid-range card designed specifically for workstations.

NVIDIA Quadro P1000 Specifications

  • GPU Memory: 4GB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface: 128-bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: Up to 82GB/s
  • NVIDIA CUDA Cores: 640
  • System Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x16
  • Max Power Consumption: 47 W
  • Thermal Solution Active
  • Form Factor: 2.713” H x 5.7” L, Single Slot, Low Profile Display
  • Connectors: 4x mDP 1.4
  • Max Simultaneous Displays: 4 direct, 4 DP 1.4
  • Multi-Stream Display Resolution:
  • 4x 4096x2160 @ 60Hz
  • 4x 5120x2880 @ 60Hz
  • Graphics APIs: Shader Model 5.1, OpenGL 4.53, DirectX 12.04 , Vulkan 1.03
  • Compute APIs: CUDA, DirectCompute, OpenCL

NVIDIA Quadro P2000 Specifications

  • CUDA Cores: 1024
  • Peak Single Precision FP32 Performance: 3.0 TFLOPS
  • GPU Memory: 5 GB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface: 160-bit
  • Memory Bandwidth: 140 GB/s
  • System Interface: PCI Express 3.0 x16
  • Maximum Power Consumption: 75 W
  • Energy Star Enabling: Yes
  • Thermal Solution: Ultra-quiet active fansink
  • Form Factor: 4.40” H x 7.90” L, Single Slot
  • Display Connectors: DP 1.4 (4)
  • DisplayPort with Audio: Yes
  • DVI-D Single-Link Connector: Via included adapter
  • Number of Displays Supported: 4
  • Maximum DP 1.4 Resolution: HDR 5120 x 2880 at 60Hz (30-bit color)
  • 5K Display Support: HDR 5120 x 2880 at 60Hz (30-bit color)
  • 4K Display Support: HDR 4096 x 2160 at 60Hz or 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz
  • Maximum DVI-D DL Resolution: 2560 x 1600 at 60Hz via 3rd party adapter
  • Maximum DVI-D SL Resolution: 1920 x 1200 at 60Hz via included adapter
  • HDCP Support: Yes
  • Graphics APIs: Shader Model 5.1, OpenGL 4.5, DirectX 12.0, Vulkan 1.0
  • Compute APIs: CUDA, DirectCompute, OpenCL
  • Warranty: 3 Years

NVIDIA Quadro P3200 Specifications

  • Architecture: Pascal
  • Base frequency: 1088 MHz
  • Memory Type: GDDR5
  • Memory Frequency: 1753 MHz
  • Memory bandwidth: 168.3 GB/sec
  • Power consumption: 75 W
  • Cores: 1792
  • Maximum frequency: 1210 MHz
  • Memory Capacity: 6GB
  • Memory bus: 192-bit
  • GPU Clock: 1328 MHz
  • Boost Clock: 1476 MHz
  • Memory Clock: 1753 MHz

AMD Radeon Pro WX 4150 specifications

  • GPU Architecture: Polaris
  • Lithography: 14nm FinFET
  • Stream Processors: 896
  • Peak Single Precision (FP32) Performance: 1.89 TFLOPs
  • Peak Double Precision (FP64) Performance: 118 GFLOPs
  • Memory Size: 4 GB
  • Memory Type (GPU): GDDR5
  • Memory Bandwidth: 96 GB/s
  • Memory ECC Support: No
  • Bus Type: PCIe 3.0 x16
  • TDP: 45W

Performance

To test the Precision 7530's performance in resource-intensive environments, we put the workstation through three specific benchmarks. These tests will also show how well the Quadro P3200 performs inside the Dell mobile workstation. We've also compared it to the following workstations:

This first benchmark used to test the 7530 is the SPECviewperf 12 benchmark, which is the worldwide standard for measuring graphics performance based on professional applications. SPECviewperf runs 9 benchmarks called “viewsets.” These represent graphics content and behavior from actual applications and include categories such as 3D Max, CATIA, Creo, Energy, Maya, Medical, Showcase, Siemens NX, and Solidworks.

SPECviewperf 12
Viewsets Dell Precision 7530  Dell Precision 5520 HP ZBook 15u G5
3dsmax-05 103.66 N/A 13.19
catia-04 122.13 21.55 14.02
creo-01 109.82 19.29 12.84
energy-01 11.03 0.45 0.30
maya-04 77.73 22.22 13.53
medical-01 52.50 7.77 4.79
showcase-01 59.66 14.18 7.52
snx-02 122.59 26.73 3.07
sw-03 139.67 33.4 26.31

The Precision 7530 recorded very impressive results, showing just how massive of a leap in performance compared to mid-range mobile workstations. It is also the best-performing Dell mobile workstation we've tested to date and even performed better in some categories when compared to the Dell Precision 7820 Tower (Creo, Solidworks).

Next up is our SPECwpc test. This benchmark is designed for gauging all of key aspects of workstation performance and consists of over 30 workloads related to CPU, graphics, I/O, and memory bandwidth. The workloads fall under broader categories, such as media and entertainment, financial services, product development, energy, life sciences, and general operations, which are an average of all the individual workloads in each category. The Dell Precision 7530 showed the following results when equipped with a Quadro P3200.

SPECwpc v2.0
Category Dell Precision 7530 Dell Precision 5520 HP ZBook 15u G5
M&E 2.92 2.25 1.47
ProdDev 3.05 2.21 1.39
LifeSci 3.25 2.35 1.5
Energy 3.36 2.17 1.29
FSI 4.57 2.99 2.05
GeneralOps 1.29 1.33 1.39

Again, the 7530 boasted recorded some pretty impressive numbers, showing that it can leverage the professional graphics ....

Using our ESRI benchmark, we look at several aspects of the ArcGIS program; however, we are most interested in the average of the drawtime, average frames per second (Average FPS), and minimum frames per second (Minimum FPS). Looking at drawtime, the Dell Precision 7530 showed an average time of 0:09.925, while average and minimum FPS recorded a solid 157.33 and 51.33, respectively.

ESRI Benchmark
Drawtime Average
Dell Precision 7530 00:00:09.925
Dell Precision 5520 0:00:09.94
HP ZBook 15u G5 00:02:03.086
Average FPS Average
Dell Precision 7530 157.33
Dell Precision 5520 99.14
HP ZBook 15u G5 25.37
Minimum FPS Average
Dell Precision 7530 51.33
Dell Precision 5520 53.60
HP ZBook 15u G5 8.75

Conclusion

Though it's not entirely certain that the Precision 7530 lives up to the hype of being the fasted mobile workstation ever to hit the market, it certainly is the best-performing mobile workstation we've reviewed to date, and even gives tower form factors a run for their money. To achieve this feat, the Precision 7530 features a very impressive list of component options, including 8th Gen Intel Core and Xeon 6-core processor options, mid-range Radeon Pro and NVIDIA Quadro professional GPUs, a very generous (up to) 128GB of 3200MHz SuperSpeed memory, and (up to) 6TB in solid-state storage via three PCle NVMe SSDs.

Looking at the specifics of its performance, Dell's new Precision mobile workstation excelled in our graphics-intensive SPECviewperf, SPECwpc, and ESRI benchmarks with bar-setting performance. In our SPECviewperf test, the Precision 7530 posted numbers that really showed just how big the performance gap is when comparing it budget and mid-range, boasting numbers that matched (and sometimes were even better than) desktop workstations like the Precision 7820 Tower. This was particularly noticeable in the Creo and Solidworks categories. The 7530 continued this performance trend in our SPECwpc (which tests CPU, graphics, I/O, and memory bandwidth) and ESRI (ArcGIS program) benchmarks

The Precision 7530 is an impressive release from Dell. Though you will have to open up your wallet pretty wide to get this bar-setting performance, you can rest assured that this mobile workstation sitting in your work area (or when you're on the go) will do everything you need it to do when using professional graphics-intensive applications. And it will do it with ease.

Dell Precision 7530 

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