Tired of settling for good enough performance on a system to
run 2-D and 3-D CAD applications? Dell, in
partnership with Autodesk, has come out
with the T1500, a new class of workstation specifically designed to support
The new model, the smallest single-socket workstation in
Dell's lineup with a starting price of $949, is designed for engineers who've
been using less expensive systems to do entry-level CAD work because they
haven't had the budgets to invest in higher end, professional workstations.
"It's going to provide performance benefits over someone using a gaming box or
a white box to run workstation applications - they might even be using a
business desktop with a graphics card and think they're getting away with good
enough performance," says Rick Perez, Dell's precision product manager. "We
wanted to make a more purpose-built system ... for the CAD space that offered
performance users have come to expect on a workstation-class product without
all the overhead associated with other platforms."
The first indication of less overhead is the T1500's smaller
footprint. To accommodate the smaller size, Dell designed the system with a
limited number of expansion bays and expansion slots, including four PCI slots
as opposed to the six available in other Precision workstations and support for
two SATA hard drives, as compared with other units' support for four hard
The workstation can be configured with the latest Intel Core
i7 quad core processors and fast 133 MHz DDR3 memory. It is also available with
a choice of AMD
ATI FirePro and AutoCAD-certified NVIDIA Quadro cards for
delivering 2-D and accurate 3-D CAD model views and accelerated OpenGL
performance. The other major feature:
The T1500 has been certified to work with AutoCAD 2010. "This ensures
customers that we have worked with, the vendors and ISVs to ensure not only the
hardware works with the software, but that it has been fine-tuned from a driver
perspective with the graphics cards to ensure optimal performance," Perez says.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.