Dell Precision Review
By business.com editorial staff, business.com Writer | Updated Aug 20, 2019
The Dell Precision 5810 is designed to allow you to precisely customize it to fit your business needs. Its value lies in its potential to grow with your company. The base model doesn't have the best quad-core processor available, but you can upgrade to a processor with as many as 14 cores. The 8GB of RAM is standard, but the motherboard can support up to 256GB of memory, which is eight times as much RAM as most business desktop PCs can support. This makes it an excellent choice for simple business software as well as the most complicated, data-intensive software available.
For our comparative review of business computers, we started by evaluating the processors of each computer, because the processor is the best indication of performance. To gauge performance, we looked to the PassMark score, an industry benchmarking score that indicates a processor's ability to handle multitasking and data-intensive tasks. Then we considered the installed RAM and storage, followed by the connectivity and expansion potential. While the Dell Precision 5810's model closest to $1,000 wasn't impressive, it has exceptional expansion potential.
The base processor is the Intel Xeon E5-1603 v3, which is on the weak spectrum for a processor. It has a PassMark score of just 5,732, which is slightly below the 6,000 mark that we deemed to be drop-off point for sufficient multitasking. While it has four cores and is capable of multitasking, it can only handle multitasking with apps that don't require a lot of resources. For comparison, the highest PassMark score in our review is 11,000. The difference in performance isn't comparable. However, as a true workstation computer, there are 10 CPU options, the best being the Intel Xeon E5-2697, which has 14 cores and 28 threads per core. This CPU has a PassMark score of over 21,000, making it one of the best processors on the market. The downside is that upgrading to this processor triples the overall cost of the computer.
One upside to the performance is the Nvidia Quadro NVS 310 graphics card. This dedicated graphics card is certified for data-intensive 2D and 3D imaging programs like AutoCAD. Since the computer has a GPU to handle the graphics, the CPU doesn't need to be as powerful.
The base memory is 8GB, which is standard for office PCs. However, you can upgrade it to 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB. The motherboard supports up to 256GB of additional RAM. It also has a dedicated graphics card with 512MB of RAM, which you can upgrade to dual graphics cards with up to 16GB of RAM just for graphics.
The biggest downside to the base model is the 500-GB hard drive. Most business computers at this price point have a 1-TB hard drive. As with most parts of the Precision 5810, you can upgrade to better hard drives, according to your needs. The best hard drive has 4TB of storage, and you can add up to four of these hard drives, plus a 1-TB solid-state drive. If you work in video editing, storage is a premium feature, and this computer has more potential than any other business desktop in our review.
The Dell Precision 5810 doesn't have the best quad-core processor, and the 8GB of memory and 500-GB hard drive aren't impressive. However, the ability to customize it to meet your needs is almost unparalleled. It can be your simple business computer as well as the most powerful computer you've ever owned.