Dell Precision 5510 review – the portable workstation


  1. Shin

    March 23, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Andrei, have you used the XPS 15?

    Would be great if you reviewed that using the same techiques and points as this Precision review and/or did a comparison, as the current XPS review is by Douglas Black and doesn’t even have FPS ratings for games – despite the XPS being targeted at that more.

    Would be great know how heat/noise/throttling compares.

    The precision has a 10 watt lower GPU, so wonder if that makes much of a difference with regard to throttling and heat/noise etc.

    Also is there any difference between the Xeon and i7s in terms of heat/noise/throttling?


    • Andrei Girbea

      April 2, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      I haven’t used the XPS 15 and chances are slim I’ll actually get to review it this generation. Sry.

      The Xeon compared to the i7-6700HQ runs at a slightly higher clock and gets more cache RAM, but the differences between the two are minimal. If you have any questions about noise, heat, thrttling on the XPS 15, please ask Doug, he’s active in the comments section of his posts.

  2. Mike D

    March 25, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    CTRL+F hooter

    Also I’m confused why one would compare an XPS to a business grade line like the Precision, wouldn’t comparing the Latitude to the Precision be a more apt comparison?

  3. Alex. Bartko

    April 1, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Hi, are You REALLY sure 5510 supports ECC memory?

    • Andrei Girbea

      April 2, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      I haven’t tried it, so I’m not 100% sure. But the XEON processor does support ECC memory, is there a reason you doubt it will on this laptop?

  4. Karis

    May 26, 2016 at 1:56 am

    I’m looking for a notebook to run cad,3ds max, revit. The throttling of this model concerns me are there any alternatives you would suggest?

    • Andrei Girbea

      May 26, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      Do you want something portable? If yes, then throttling in certain cases is something you’ll have to accept, especially from a computer with a Xeon processor. If not, there are plenty of workstations out there. It’s hard to make a suggestion without knowing what you need and what you’re willing to pay for that laptop.

  5. Glen

    June 27, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Would just like to point out that this machine does NOT support ECC memory. It will not boot with ECC memory installed.

    • Andrei Girbea

      June 27, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Thanks. Can you share a bit more details on the exact type of RAM you’ve tried, so I can update the post?

      • King

        June 30, 2016 at 8:55 pm

        Dont believe it supports ECC. Even the recent announcement of update did not include 5510 i.e.

        Excellent review! Pity the keyboard(bad layout,fault) and battery,I reluctantlyhave toreturn it. But looking forwardsfor improvement fromDell soon.

  6. Kartik Pachoriya

    July 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I my country Xps 15 is not available so should i buy Precision 15 5510 with i7 or xeon for gaming like call of duty,tomb raider,bio shock like games.I also video editing,photoshop.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 7, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      I wouldn’t buy a Precision for gaming, you can get far more powerful options with less money.

  7. Ruth Wright

    September 28, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I recently bought this Dell Precision laptop after using an HP ProBook for many years. Although the performance is excellent, there are 2 aspects of this laptop that make me wish I had never bought it. They are constant irritations and therefore make them deal-breakers for me:
    1) The keyboard is really awful. The low 1.3mm travel causes me to constantly make typing errors even though I have had the machine now for over 3 months. The “minimalist” nature of the keyboard is a tactful misnomer for a really stupid use of the expansive real estate of the laptop. It’s a 15″ laptop … why on earth did Dell decide to waste this space by placing such a tiny keyboard, with commonly used functions relegated to Ctrl and Fn secondary use (e.g. PgUp, PgDn)? I still have not got used to the cramped keys compared to my old 14″ HP laptop which had a much larger keyboard for a much smaller laptop.
    2) Secondly, the limited tilt angle of the screen is a CONSTANT irritation when I am using the laptop on my lap. All my old laptops (Dell and HP) tilted almost to 180 degrees. This Dell just does not go far enough (far less than 135 deg) and as a result I am constantly having to tilt the whole laptop to be able to see the screen comfortably. This makes for an uncomfortable experience while lying an bed and scrolling through news channels at the end of a tiring day. Sometimes I feel like chucking the whole thing in the ocean it is so frustrating.

    So I would not buy this laptop again.

  8. Mathew

    December 8, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    What Profile in the precision optimizer would you use when you are gaming?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 9, 2016 at 11:39 am

      I no longer have the laptop around so I can't tell. Try the most powerful one.

  9. pawan

    December 28, 2016 at 4:37 am

    My work will be 3D modelling (CAD) & Rendering . Unable to choose between XPS15 and Dell Precision 5000 as with almost the same configuration on Precision series, only difference being the Graphics Card, the price difference is enormous. Will the graphic card make such a huge difference related to my work?

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 29, 2016 at 7:08 am

      Personally, I think it doesn't, but my experience with 3D rendering is quite limited. You should look at reviews.

      PS: I'd get the XPS 15 and with the remaining funds I'd probably snatch a Razer Core and a big graphics chip, that would be a far more powerful combo. Not very portable though, so not for everyone.

  10. Josh

    February 7, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I wish to leave this comment in case anyone reads this before purchasing.

    My company standardized on the Dell Precision 5510 in 2016 for most of our office that had a laptop refresh. I only wish I had a time machine to go back and warn our IT folks what a terrible mistake this was.

    I have to tell you, I have never hated a laptop as much as I hate this laptop. First, and foremost – it looks pretty, but its design is a trap designed to pinch your skin and introduce daily frustration.

    First, the hinge on the back of this abomination can and will pinch, to the point of drawing blood, and skin in contact with it when you open the laptop. Have your laptop balanced on your arm, or legs? Prepare for pain. I literally have a scar on my arm from the first time I made this mistake.

    Second, the bevel between the screen and keyboard is completely flush – there is no leverage to open the laptop, no knob, no indentation. You'll need to carefully align your fingers, push against it to gain sufficient traction and pry a gap large enough to slide your fingers in.

    Third, the webcam. What were they thinking? We call it the knuckle cam. Because it is at knuckle level. I teleconference daily, but have stopped using my webcam in any circumstances because they seen nothing but my fingers as I type, or if I tilt the screen far enough back to remove my fingers from view, they are no treated to a wonderful shot straight up my nostrils.

    Fourth, the dock is a joke! If you use external monitors with this, you must pray to the elder gods of Dell that this time your monitors might show up, and might remember your settings. Don't even THINK about plugging in your dock with your laptop closed, thinking it will just work. It will not. Your screens will flicker forever until you relent and open up the laptop's little screen – only to have your settings for your docked monitors instantly get blown away.

    Please, do not buy this laptop. I've used plenty of other wonderful Dell laptop, but I've grown a seething hatred for this one.

  11. Erwin Richard

    April 7, 2017 at 5:25 am

    I have this machine now for over a year. Great Performance but big issues with the original dockingstation TB15 (now recalled and replaced with TB16). Be aware that using the TB16 docking station results in constant fan noise even if the laptop is not under load. I suspect a thermal problem when using the TB dock. So the thunderbolt docking is sadly not usable at all.

  12. Scott Wiggins

    March 7, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Any recommendations for the monitor?

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