Notebookcheck

Dell Precision 3510 Workstation Review

Tobias Winkler (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 07/24/2016

Economy project. The mobile workstation Dell Precision 3510 is an inexpensive entry-level model with many positive characteristics, but the review configuration can still not convince us.

For the original German review, see here.

Dell is one of the first manufacturers that come to mind when you want to buy a new mobile workstation. As with other manufacturers, this is obviously not a small investment. Mobile workstations are powerful business devices with a special focus on support, warranty and maintainability as well as a comprehensive port selection. You can also customize the devices very comprehensively to adjust perfectly to your own requirements.

The Dell Precision 3510 is one of the cheapest ways to get such a modern mobile workstation. Our review unit is equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700HQ quad-core CPU, 16 GB of DDR4-RAM, AMD's FirePro W5130M GPU, a 256 GB NVMe-SSD and a matte TN-HD display. The price as of this writing is around 1900 Euros (~$2086; excl. VAT) in Dell's online shop, but there are already configurations for around 1400 Euros (~$1537). Street prices at retailers start at around 1300 Euros (~$1427).

Dell Precision 3510 (Precision 3000 Series)
Graphics adapter
AMD FirePro W5130M - 2048 MB, Core: 925 MHz, Memory: 1000 MHz, GDDR5, 15.201.1101.0 WHQL / Win 10 64, AMD Switchable Graphics
Memory
16384 MB 
, 2 x 8 GB DDR4-2133, up to 32 GB in 2 slots, no free slot
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel 100 PPI, LGD04AF, K96D2_156WHU, TN LED, 62 % sRGB, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-H
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e, 256 GB 
, NVMe
Soundcard
Realtek ALC293 @ Intel Skylake High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: combined 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: Realtek PCIe UHS-II card reader, SD, SDHC, SDXC, 1 SmartCard
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22 x 377 x 253 ( = 0.87 x 14.84 x 9.96 in)
Battery
84 Wh Lithium-Ion, screwed underneath the bottom panel, but replaceable, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 17 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD Webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.42 kg ( = 85.36 oz / 5.34 pounds), Power Supply: 610 g ( = 21.52 oz / 1.34 pounds)
Price
1900 Euro

 

Case

The case of the Dell Precision 3510 Workstation is similar to that of the current Latitude 5000-series and therefore offers excellent business features. Black and gray colors create the restrained design many business customers want, so you can fully concentrate on the next project.

The base unit is quite torsion resistant, the palm rest is firm, and the display hinges keep the screen firmly in position. The stability of the lid is above average, because you can just slightly twist it with moderate pressure. At 2420 grams (~5.3 lb), the weight is pretty moderate and thanks to the long battery runtimes, you do not have to carry the power adapter (610 grams/~11 oz) around all the time.

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Size Comparison

Connectivity

One highlight in this price range is certainly the full-fledged Thunderbolt 3 port. However, currently it is not available in combination with i5 processors which is an unnecessary limitation for some users. You can attach fast Thunderbolt 3 drives with up to 40 GB/s at this port, as well as USB 3.1 drives with up to 10 GB/s. External 4K monitors can be driven at 60 Hz in their native resolution.

Dell's new Thunderbolt docks obviously work with the device as well, and these docks will probably replace the traditional proprietary docking stations (which can still be attached at the bottom) in the future. Otherwise, you still get a VGA port and HDMI, which is very popular for consumer devices.

The comprehensive and well-positioned port selection is complemented by three USB 3.0 ports, one UHS-II card reader and the combined 3.5 mm stereo jack.

Left side: Thunderbolt 3 and SmartCard reader
Left side: Thunderbolt 3 and SmartCard reader
Rear: LAN, VGA, SIM slot, HDMI, USB, power
Rear: LAN, VGA, SIM slot, HDMI, USB, power
Right side: Audio, card reader, 2x USB 3.0, Kensington Lock
Right side: Audio, card reader, 2x USB 3.0, Kensington Lock

SD Card Reader

Realtek provides the UHS-II card reader, which is attached via the PCIe interface. We can determine very good results in combination with our memory card from Toshiba. At more than 200 MB/s read and 122 MB/s write, the theoretical performance of the Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II 64 GB is utilized very well.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Precision 3510
128 MB/s ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G3
123 MB/s ∼96% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
108 MB/s ∼84% -16%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP ZBook 15 G3
206 MB/s ∼100% 0%
Dell Precision 3510
205 MB/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
197 MB/s ∼96% -4%

Communication

Comfortable SIM-tray at the back
Comfortable SIM-tray at the back

The wireless connectivity of the test device includes dual-band WLAN including the ac standard as well as Bluetooth 4.2. Both left a good impression in our review; the transfer rates were fast and inconspicuous. During the configuration process, you can also equip the device with a WWAN module (around 115 Euros/~$126 gross) for mobile Internet connections, but you can also upgrade such a module afterwards. The antennas are already installed and ready at the free M.2 slot, and the SIM-card tray can be accessed quite easily at the rear of the device.

Otherwise, you will find the mandatory Gigabit Ethernet port for wired network environments. Webcam and dual-array microphone are sufficient for the usual video chats. The picture quality of the camera is okay in good lighting conditions, but darker environments will quickly result in picture noise and paler colors.

Security

You will have to decide between SmartCard and fingerprint reader in terms of security.
You will have to decide between SmartCard and fingerprint reader in terms of security.

According to Dell's configuration list, it seems that you have to decide between the fingerprint scanner and the SmartCard reader in terms of security equipment. Apparently, it is not possible to have both at the same time in one device. This would also explain why our review model is not equipped with a fingerprint scanner, but a SmartCard reader.

Otherwise, the Dell Precision 3510 comes with a Trusted Platform Module 1.2 and the usual password protections for BIOS and the system. To safeguard the theft of the device itself, you can use a Kensington Lock in combination with the corresponding slot at the right side of the notebook.

Accessories

As with the corresponding Latitude series, Dell offers a comprehensive lineup of accessories. A small battery, old proprietary and new Thunderbolt 3 docking stations as well as generic accessories, which not only can  be used with Dell devices, but also other companies.

Maintenance

The bottom panel is screwed and can be easily removed by the user, but the maintainability and upgradeability of the test model are still not as good as those of the Dell Precision 7510, for example. A quick look inside shows why Dell's online configurator cannot combine the big 84-Wh battery with a 2.5-inch drive or a 2.5-inch drive with an M.2 drive. The designated spaces are overlapping and simply exclude each other due to the limited space.

Otherwise, the components are easy to access, the battery is secured by screws, and the fans can also be cleaned if necessary. The maximum memory equipment of the Precision 3510 is 32 GB, because not even the quad-core models get a third or fourth SODIMM slot. Dell's Owner’s Manual for the Precision 3510 shows how to reach and remove the individual components.

Warranty

As it is usual in this segment, the warranty period is 36 months (Basic Support) by default and can be expanded if necessary. An extension to a 4-year ProSupport with On-Site service, for example, is available for around 330 Euros (~$362).

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard of the Dell Precision 3510 is suitable for prolific writers and has large keys (19 mm/~0.75 in) as well as a separate numeric keypad. The matte keyboard is very firm, does not bounce and provides good feedback with a well-defined pressure point. The lettering is easy to see and is conveniently supported by the 2-stage keyboard illumination.

Touchpad

The touchpad provides very good gliding capabilities and recognizes inputs quite reliably. The dedicated touchpad buttons are smooth and quiet when you press them. The usual multi-touch gestures are supported and you can unlock additional or deactivate unnecessary features in the touchpad driver.

Business devices are often equipped with a TrackPoint as an additional mouse replacement. This is the case here and there are also separate buttons above the touchpad. The comfort of the solution, however, is not quite on ThinkPad level, because the concave surface hardly sticks out from the surrounding keys and is therefore rather tricky to use.

Very good keyboard
Very good keyboard
Convenient touchpad
Convenient touchpad
Separate numpad
Separate numpad
You have to get used to the TrackPoint.
You have to get used to the TrackPoint.

Display

You should be able to expect a display with a decent quality when you pay almost 2000 Euros (~$2196) for a notebook – especially when you buy a mobile workstation. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the test model. Dell only implements a TN panel from LG Philips, which can easily be found in the cheapest entry-level notebooks for less than 500 Euros (~$549). The biggest problem is not even the low resolution of just 1366x768 pixels, but all the characteristics together, which are clearly below the average.

217
cd/m²
187
cd/m²
185
cd/m²
223
cd/m²
199
cd/m²
191
cd/m²
217
cd/m²
197
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 223 cd/m² Average: 201.3 cd/m² Minimum: 9.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 199 cd/m²
Contrast: 498:1 (Black: 0.4 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 9.6 | - Ø
73.7% sRGB (Calman) 62.4% sRGB (Argyll) 39.6% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.41
Dell Precision 3510
LGD04AF, K96D2_156WHU, , 1366x768, 15.6
Dell Precision 3510 52452051.2
LG Display LGD049B / 156WF6, Dell P/N: F7HH2, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Sharp LQ156D1, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell Precision 5510
SHP143E, 7PHPT_LQ156D1, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
LQ156D1JW05, , 3840x2160, 15.6
HP ZBook 15 G3
Samsung SDC5344, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
15%
-11%
26%
-12%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
56 (27, 29)
40.4 (19.6, 20.8)
28%
56.4 (23.2, 33.2)
-1%
39.2 (14.8, 24.4)
30%
54 (24.4, 29.6)
4%
Response Time Black / White *
28 (11, 17)
27.6 (6.8, 20.8)
1%
34 (11, 23)
-21%
22 (7, 15)
21%
35.6 (11.6, 24)
-27%
PWM Frequency
198.4 (29)
217
198 (95)
Screen
38%
59%
61%
45%
40%
Brightness
201
335
67%
271
35%
361
80%
250
24%
289
44%
Brightness Distribution
83
83
0%
83
0%
87
5%
86
4%
85
2%
Black Level *
0.4
0.4
-0%
0.266
33%
0.4
-0%
0.31
22%
0.34
15%
Contrast
498
912
83%
1050
111%
978
96%
806
62%
900
81%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9
4.14
54%
4.85
46%
4.5
50%
5.1
43%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
9.6
3.26
66%
4.01
58%
7.2
25%
7.4
23%
Gamma
2.41 100%
2.19 110%
2.18 110%
2.31 104%
2.37 101%
CCT
10695 61%
6375 102%
7340 89%
6399 102%
7263 89%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
39.6
85.68
116%
96
142%
85
115%
63
59%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
62.4
99.72
60%
100
60%
98.6
58%
95
52%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
38% / 38%
37% / 50%
25% / 47%
36% / 41%
14% / 30%

* ... smaller is better

The maximum brightness at the left side of the display is 223 cd/m² and drops to just 185 cd/m² in the upper right corner. These results in an acceptable brightness distribution of 83% and you can only see some clouding on plain pictures. The maximum luminance is steady on battery power and you can even use the notebook outdoors at some spots thanks to the matte surface.

Precision 3510 vs. sRGB(t)
Precision 3510 vs. sRGB(t)
Precision 3510 vs. AdobeRGB(t)
Precision 3510 vs. AdobeRGB(t)
Subpixel array
Subpixel array

However, working with the screen is not an enjoyable experience since neither the contrast (498:1) nor the color gamut (62% sRGB) can meet today's standards. Depending on the viewing angle, you cannot see slightly different color shades on websites, but they just disappear into one color. The color accuracy is not good, either. While the average deviations in the ColorChecker can be reduced with calibration, there are still high DeltaE 2000 results of up to 8.5 for primary colors such as blue.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Colorspace
Colorspace
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale calibrated
Grayscale calibrated
Colorspace calibrated
Colorspace calibrated
Saturation Sweeps calibrated
Saturation Sweeps calibrated
ColorChecker calibrated
ColorChecker calibrated

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 57 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
56 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 27 ms rise
↘ 29 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 90 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (42.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8568 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

But even this value only applies to a small angle in front of the screen. Small deviations from the ideal position directly in front of the center will result in picture distortions. Brightness, contrast and colors get worse and can even wash out or invert depending on the display angle.

All things considered, this display is not up to date anymore. You do not even want to have such a panel in a cheap entry-level device nowadays. Dell does offer this panel as an inexpensive entry-level solution, but we do not think the characteristics meet the requirements of the targeted group of professional users.

Viewing angles Dell Precision 3510 with HD display
Viewing angles Dell Precision 3510 with HD display

Performance

Good workstation with limited performance under sustained loads.
Good workstation with limited performance under sustained loads.

Our review configuration of the Dell Precision 3510 is suitably equipped. A powerful Intel Core i7-6700HQ CPU, 16 GB of RAM and fast M.2 NVMe-SSD storage should be sufficient for many users. We can see a clear distinction between the Dell Precision 3510 and the more powerful Precision 7510 Workstation in terms of GPU. There is actually no choice here; all models come with AMD's FirePro W5130M.

CPU
Caches
Mainboard
RAM
RAM SPD
GPU
Latency
 

Processor

Stress test, 21 minutes
Stress test, 21 minutes
Stress test, 45 minutes
Stress test, 45 minutes
Stress test, 60 minutes
Stress test, 60 minutes

The Intel Core i7-6700HQ is a powerful quad-core processor, which supports Hyperthreading as well as Turbo Boost and can therefore provide the best performance for different usage scenarios. Single thread applications benefit from the high clocks of up to 3.5 GHz, and multithread software can utilize up to eight cores simultaneously.

Our benchmarks position the processor slightly behind the Intel Xeon E3-1505 CPU, which is also available for the Precision 3510. Performance differences of between 20 and 9% are still moderate. There are also other reasons for such a Xeon processor, such as improved performance under sustained load and the support of ECC-RAM. The latter promises better stability and accuracy in demanding and memory-intensive tasks thanks to improved error correction. Whether the small performance gains of the Xeon CPU can be utilized with the Dell Precision 3510, however, is not clear at this point.

Our stress test shows that the processor clock of the Intel Core i7-6700HQ drops to 2300 MHz after one hour of our stress test, and therefore below the base clock of 2600 MHz. HWiNFO shows core temperatures of up to 99 °C (~210 °F), so it is doubtful whether  the Precision offers cooling headroom for a more powerful CPU. The performance of the AMD FirePro W5130M is also reduced in this scenario, because according to GPU-Z the chip runs at only 475 MHz.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
162 Points ∼81% +13%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
158 Points ∼79% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
157 Points ∼79% +9%
Dell Precision 3510
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
144 Points ∼72%
HP ZBook 15u G3
Intel Core i7-6600U
143 Points ∼72% -1%
Dell Precision 5510
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
142 Points ∼71% -1%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
750 Points ∼35% +25%
Dell Precision 5510
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
732 Points ∼34% +22%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
732 Points ∼34% +22%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
729 Points ∼34% +21%
Dell Precision 3510
Intel Core i7-6700HQ
601 Points ∼28%
HP ZBook 15u G3
Intel Core i7-6600U
330 Points ∼15% -45%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9635
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20496
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5493
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
9885 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
26547 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7053 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.79 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
62.27 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.69 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
144 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
601 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
61.83 fps
Help

System Performance

The system performance of the review unit benefits from the balanced components. There are no bottlenecks in terms of the processor and graphics card. 16 GB of DDR4-RAM is provided by two memory modules in a dual-channel configuration.

Particularly fast response times are ensured by the fast solid-state drive. However, the capacity could have been larger since you cannot integrate a secondary drive. Overall, the benchmark scores are high enough to beat the established rivals. 5258 points in PCMark 8 Work is a very good result.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell Precision 3510
FirePro W5130M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5258 Points ∼81%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5221 Points ∼80% -1%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
5100 Points ∼78% -3%
HP ZBook 15u G3
FirePro W4190M, 6600U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4900 Points ∼75% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4372 Points ∼67% -17%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Quadro M2000M, E3-1535M v5, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4246 Points ∼65% -19%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Precision 3510
FirePro W5130M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4405 Points ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4023 Points ∼67% -9%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Quadro M2000M, E3-1535M v5, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4020 Points ∼67% -9%
HP ZBook 15u G3
FirePro W4190M, 6600U, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3974 Points ∼67% -10%
HP ZBook 15 G3
Quadro M2000M, E3-1505M v5, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
3959 Points ∼66% -10%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
3941 Points ∼66% -11%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4405 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5244 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5258 points
Help

Storage Devices

Besides the fixed graphics card, the storage equipment is another important point where the Dell Precision 3510 differs from other alternatives. Even though there is a slot for an M.2 drive and space for a 2.5-inch drive, you cannot use both options at the same time. Because of the limited space inside the chassis, the two areas are overlapping, so you have to decide between one or the other. If you want to increase the storage capacity at any point, you either have to replace the existing drive or switch to external solutions.

Our review unit is equipped with the Samsung SM951, which supports the NVMe protocol and is attached via PCIe. Transfer rates of almost 1900 MB/s and short response time ensure an excellent subjective performance impression with quick application launches, and fast moving of folders or copying of files.

More comparisons are available in our comprehensive HDD/SSD benchmark list.

Dell Precision 3510
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Dell Precision 5510
SK hynix SC920 512 GB
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
HP ZBook 15u G3
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
HP ZBook 15 G3
Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
-58%
18%
16%
13%
13%
Access Time Read *
0.059
0.111
-88%
0.036
39%
0.062
-5%
0.053
10%
0.031
47%
4K-64 Write
294.14
257
-13%
375.72
28%
340.7
16%
335.59
14%
257.01
-13%
4K-64 Read
1114.09
327
-71%
1066.68
-4%
1077.1
-3%
1781.37
60%
1065.76
-4%
4K Write
121.74
82.24
-32%
145.09
19%
212.19
74%
126.22
4%
173.07
42%
4K Read
46.76
17.95
-62%
49.22
5%
54.18
16%
48.7
4%
52.51
12%
Seq Write
1093
389
-64%
1484.15
36%
1251.6
15%
1105.65
1%
1180.74
8%
Seq Read
1897
474
-75%
1953.18
3%
1930.23
2%
1859.2
-2%
1841.21
-3%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Sequential Read: 1897 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1093 MB/s
4K Read: 46.76 MB/s
4K Write: 121.74 MB/s
4K-64 Read: 1114.09 MB/s
4K-64 Write: 294.14 MB/s
Access Time Read: 0.059 ms
Access Time Write: 0.03 ms
Copy ISO: 1351 MB/s
Copy Program: 454 MB/s
Copy Game: 712 MB/s
Score Read: 1351 Points
Score Write: 525 Points
Score Total: 2534 Points

GPU Performance

In addition to the integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 processor, all configurations of the mobile workstation are equipped with a dedicated professional graphics card. These chips clearly differ from the consumer Radeon GPUs by special BIOS versions, certified drivers and optimized hardware.

AMD's FirePro W5130M is a mainstream professional GPU and primarily competes with the Quadro M1000M from Nvidia. According to the specification sheet, the GPU can reach a core clock of up to 925 MHz and has 2 GB of GDDR5 video memory. The latter is attached via 128-bit interface and runs at up to 1000 MHz.

We check the performance of professional GPUs with the benchmarks SPECviewperf 11 and SPECviewperf 12. They mainly cover the CAD, CAM, geology and medical MRI application ranges. Most sequences use OpenGL optimizations that benefit from the special professional drivers. Professional GPUs can usually clearly beat their consumer counterparts (Radeon and GeForce) in these scenarios. We also included the Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M in the diagrams for a better comparison.

Within the professional group, the results show that the AMD FirePro W5130M in the Dell Precision 3510 is clearly beaten by the Nvidia Quadro M1000M in all test sequences. Nvidia took a big step with the switch to the Maxwell architecture and increased the performance, but the AMD FirePro in the Dell Precision 3510 often cannot utilize its full potential, either.

The clocks we see under load are often far from the maximum at 925 MHz. The clock will drop to 625 within a few seconds during our stress test, before it is further reduced to just 475 MHz. Even this precaution only keeps the temperatures in check for about one hour before the CPU clock will also drop below its base clock of 2600 MHz.

It seems Dell has implemented some safety limits for the quite slim Latitude chassis to keep the thermals and therefore also the noise development under control. The performance is still sufficient to beat the AMD FirePro W4190M in the HP ZBook 15u G3, but Nvidia's Quadro M1000M is often twice as fast in SPECviewperf 12.

SPECviewperf 11
1920x1080 Siemens NX
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
43.29 fps ∼100% +44%
HP ZBook 15 G3
43.17 fps ∼100% +44%
Dell Precision 5510
41 fps ∼95% +37%
Dell Precision 3510
30 fps ∼69%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
5.94 fps ∼14% -80%
1920x1080 Tcvis
HP ZBook 15 G3
44.89 fps ∼100% +461%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
43.79 fps ∼98% +447%
Dell Precision 5510
40 fps ∼89% +400%
Dell Precision 3510
8 fps ∼18%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
1.61 fps ∼4% -80%
1920x1080 SolidWorks
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
53.03 fps ∼100% +77%
Dell Precision 5510
51 fps ∼96% +70%
HP ZBook 15 G3
48.13 fps ∼91% +60%
Dell Precision 3510
30 fps ∼57%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
14.57 fps ∼27% -51%
1920x1080 Pro/ENGINEER
HP ZBook 15 G3
21.57 fps ∼100% +402%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
21.27 fps ∼99% +395%
Dell Precision 5510
21 fps ∼97% +388%
Dell Precision 3510
4.3 fps ∼20%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
2.21 fps ∼10% -49%
1920x1080 Maya
HP ZBook 15 G3
57.67 fps ∼100% +175%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
57.35 fps ∼99% +173%
Dell Precision 5510
56 fps ∼97% +167%
Dell Precision 3510
21 fps ∼36%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
19.48 fps ∼34% -7%
1920x1080 Lightwave
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
56.4 fps ∼100% +57%
Dell Precision 5510
54 fps ∼96% +50%
HP ZBook 15 G3
51.97 fps ∼92% +44%
Dell Precision 3510
36 fps ∼64%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
20.89 fps ∼37% -42%
1920x1080 Ensight
HP ZBook 15 G3
46.68 fps ∼100% +95%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
45.8 fps ∼98% +91%
Dell Precision 5510
39 fps ∼84% +63%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
34.18 fps ∼73% +42%
Dell Precision 3510
24 fps ∼51%
1920x1080 Catia
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
54.07 fps ∼100% +316%
Dell Precision 5510
54 fps ∼100% +315%
HP ZBook 15 G3
53.54 fps ∼99% +312%
Asus GL552VW-DK725T
16.28 fps ∼30% +25%
Dell Precision 3510
13 fps ∼24%
SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
74.69 fps ∼100% +133%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
68.7 fps ∼92% +115%
HP ZBook 15 G3
66.02 fps ∼88% +106%
Dell Precision 5510
62 fps ∼83% +94%
Dell Precision 3510
32 fps ∼43%
HP ZBook 15u G3
31.41 fps ∼42% -2%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
22.03 fps ∼29% -31%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02)
HP ZBook 15 G3
35.87 fps ∼100% +38%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
32.86 fps ∼92% +26%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
32.41 fps ∼90% +25%
Dell Precision 5510
31 fps ∼86% +19%
Dell Precision 3510
26 fps ∼72%
HP ZBook 15u G3
19.89 fps ∼55% -23%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
2.39 fps ∼7% -91%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01)
HP ZBook 15 G3
23.86 fps ∼100% +70%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
21.73 fps ∼91% +55%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
21.15 fps ∼89% +51%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
20.58 fps ∼86% +47%
Dell Precision 5510
20 fps ∼84% +43%
Dell Precision 3510
14 fps ∼59%
HP ZBook 15u G3
4.98 fps ∼21% -64%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01)
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
18.19 fps ∼100% +208%
HP ZBook 15 G3
15.03 fps ∼83% +155%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
14.43 fps ∼79% +145%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
12.3 fps ∼68% +108%
Dell Precision 5510
12 fps ∼66% +103%
HP ZBook 15u G3
6.09 fps ∼33% +3%
Dell Precision 3510
5.9 fps ∼32%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
37.15 fps ∼100% +69%
HP ZBook 15 G3
35.94 fps ∼97% +63%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
35.55 fps ∼96% +62%
Dell Precision 5510
30 fps ∼81% +36%
Dell Precision 3510
22 fps ∼59%
HP ZBook 15u G3
16.38 fps ∼44% -26%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
15.37 fps ∼41% -30%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01)
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
3.98 fps ∼100% +947%
HP ZBook 15 G3
3.29 fps ∼83% +766%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
3.13 fps ∼79% +724%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
0.74 fps ∼19% +95%
Dell Precision 5510
0.69 fps ∼17% +82%
HP ZBook 15u G3
0.41 fps ∼10% +8%
Dell Precision 3510
0.38 fps ∼10%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01)
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
45 fps ∼100% +125%
HP ZBook 15 G3
40.61 fps ∼90% +103%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
39.39 fps ∼88% +97%
Dell Precision 5510
34 fps ∼76% +70%
Dell Precision 3510
20 fps ∼44%
HP ZBook 15u G3
16.87 fps ∼37% -16%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
10.72 fps ∼24% -46%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04)
HP ZBook 15 G3
47.08 fps ∼100% +105%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
45.28 fps ∼96% +97%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
44.98 fps ∼96% +96%
Dell Precision 5510
37 fps ∼79% +61%
Dell Precision 3510
23 fps ∼49%
HP ZBook 15u G3
18.62 fps ∼40% -19%
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550
15.76 fps ∼33% -31%

Legend

 
Dell Precision 3510 Intel Core i7-6700HQ, AMD FirePro W5130M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
 
Dell Precision 5510 Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M1000M, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
 
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO) Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
 
Lenovo ThinkPad P50 Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
 
HP ZBook 15 G3 Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
 
HP ZBook 15u G3 Intel Core i7-6600U, AMD FirePro W4190M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
 
Dell XPS 15 2016 9550 Intel Core i5-6300HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, WDC WD10SPCX-75KHST0 + LiteON CS1-SP32-11 M.2 2242 32GB
 
Asus GL552VW-DK725T Intel Core i7-6700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Crucial MX200 M.2 CT250MX200SSD4

Besides OpenGL-optimized applications, the main usage scenario also includes DirectX software, where the picture is similar to the professional tests. The performance clearly falls behind the competition from Nvidia. Depending on the test sequence, we determined between 15 to 60% less performance. 3DMark Cloud Gate, for example, determines only 14502 points, while Nvidia's Quadro M1000M in the slim Dell Precision 5510 manages 23777 points.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
5203 Points ∼10%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
5023 Points ∼10%
HP ZBook 15 G3
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
4997 Points ∼10%
Dell Precision 5510
NVIDIA Quadro M1000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
4234 Points ∼8%
HP ZBook 15u G3
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-6600U
1932 Points ∼4%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
4193 Points ∼10% +100%
HP ZBook 15 G3
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
4091 Points ∼10% +95%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
4071 Points ∼10% +94%
Dell Precision 5510
NVIDIA Quadro M1000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
3517 Points ∼9% +68%
Dell Precision 3510
AMD FirePro W5130M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
2099 Points ∼5%
HP ZBook 15u G3
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-6600U
1588 Points ∼4% -24%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
HP ZBook 15 G3
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
30236 Points ∼18% +109%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
26869 Points ∼16% +85%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
26669 Points ∼16% +84%
Dell Precision 5510
NVIDIA Quadro M1000M, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
23777 Points ∼15% +64%
Dell Precision 3510
AMD FirePro W5130M, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
14501 Points ∼9%
HP ZBook 15u G3
AMD FirePro W4190M, Intel Core i7-6600U
8513 Points ∼5% -41%
3DMark 06 Standard
15680 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
11740 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2001 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Even though the AMD FirePro W5130M is definitely  not a gaming GPU, the performance is actually sufficient for some occasional gaming between meetings. The screen of our test model only has 1366x768 pixels, so it might be possible to increase the settings slightly. Otherwise, the performance of the professional GPU is sufficient for medium and in some cases high quality settings. We performed the Full HD tests with an external monitor.

More benchmark results for the AMD FirePro W5130M and Nvidia Quadro M1000M are available in our gaming benchmark list.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 158755825fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 137665722fps
Total War: Rome II (2013) 106806623fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 66412321fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 216714719fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 312110fps

Emissions

System Noise

Noise development in different load situations
Noise development in different load situations

The Dell Precision 3510 is a silent or very quiet device in many scenarios. Medium workloads will result in 38.1 dB(A), which is clearly audible. A positive aspect is that this noise level is only reached after a few minutes, and short load periods usually do not trigger the fan at all. However, the RPM level of the fan is quickly reduced after the load period, so the fan does not bother the user unnecessarily.

We checked the maximum noise level under full load for the CPU and GPU and measured up to 44.4 dB(A), which can already be annoying for prolonged periods. As with other load scenarios, the noise characteristics are  inconspicuous and we could not determine high-pitched noises or pulsating.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 30 / 30 dB(A)
Load
38.1 / 44.4 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)

Temperature

The bottom of the device stays quite cool under light workloads, where we can only measure up to 31.5 °C (~89 °F) in the center. The slim chassis can reach its limits at some spots under maximum load, because the maximum temperature will be up to 59.4 °C (~139 °F) at the bottom. We even measured 66.9 °C (~152 °F) directly at the fan exhaust. Besides the indicated CPU temperatures by HWiNFO, this is another indicator for reaching the thermal limits of the case and the cooling system. There does not seem to be any headroom for more powerful components.

Max. Load
 44.9 °C54.6 °C49.4 °C 
 48.3 °C49.7 °C46.6 °C 
 28.5 °C29.8 °C31.5 °C 
Maximum: 54.6 °C
Average: 42.6 °C
44.1 °C46.1 °C50.3 °C
45.4 °C55.2 °C59.4 °C
33.2 °C39.8 °C31.2 °C
Maximum: 59.4 °C
Average: 45 °C
Power Supply (max.)  53 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Fennel FIRT 550-Pocket

Speakers

Speaker measurements
Speaker measurements

Dell has equipped the Precision 3510 with speakers that are located at the front. There is a clear emphasis on the high tones, while the medium tones and bass are hardly audible. The maximum volume is undistorted at 76 dB(A) and should be sufficient for small presentations. The 3.5 mm stereo jack combines the headphones output and the microphone input. Older headsets with separate connectors will require an adapter. External sound systems can be attached via USB or Bluetooth, for example.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

84-Wh battery
84-Wh battery

Our power measurements for the Dell Precision 3510 test model are between 4.2 and 92.2 watts. The minimum consumption, even drops to just 2.5 watts when we deactivate the display. The device is still pretty frugal in more practical scenarios (wireless on, luminance 150 nits, balanced power profile) at 8 watts. These figures suggest good battery runtimes in combination with the big 84-Wh battery. Dell also offers a smaller 62-Wh version, which is necessary to implement a 2.5-inch drive instead of the M.2-SSD.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.35 / 1.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.2 / 6.5 / 7.1 Watt
Load midlight 74.6 / 92.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Dell Precision 3510
6700HQ, FirePro W5130M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e, TN LED, 1366x768, 15.6
Dell Precision 5510
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M1000M, SK hynix SC920 512 GB, IGZO LED, 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M2000M, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512), IGZO IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
HP ZBook 15 G3
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e, UWVA-IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
-89%
-247%
-102%
-52%
Idle Minimum *
4.2
8.6
-105%
23.9
-469%
10.2
-143%
5.7
-36%
Idle Average *
6.5
16.2
-149%
28.9
-345%
17.8
-174%
12.2
-88%
Idle Maximum *
7.1
16.7
-135%
30
-323%
18.3
-158%
12.6
-77%
Load Average *
74.6
82.6
-11%
95.2
-28%
76.9
-3%
83.1
-11%
Load Maximum *
92.2
131.8
-43%
157.1
-70%
123.5
-34%
138.2
-50%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The determined battery runtimes are almost phenomenal for a mobile workstation. Besides well-balanced and frugal components, which are also throttled slightly under load, the large battery in particular has a positive effect on the runtimes.

We can measure runtimes between 19 hours (reading mode at minimum luminance and wireless turned off) and almost 2 hours (Battery Eater Classic Test, maximum luminance, wireless on, High-Performance power profile). The usual settings (150 nits, balanced profile) will result in practical runtimes of about 9 to 10 hours.

Charging the battery up to 90% is pretty fast at 1:39 hours, but the last 10% need another 45 minutes.

Battery Eater Reader's Test
Battery Eater Reader's Test
Video test
Video test
WLAN test
WLAN test
Battery Eater Classic Test
Battery Eater Classic Test
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
19h 28min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
9h 51min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
10h 05min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 51min
Dell Precision 3510
6700HQ, FirePro W5130M, 84 Wh
Dell Precision 5510
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M1000M, 56 Wh
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M2000M, 91 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, 90 Wh
HP ZBook 15 G3
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M2000M, 90 Wh
HP ZBook 15u G3
6600U, FirePro W4190M, 90 Wh
Battery Runtime
-46%
-58%
-41%
-23%
-18%
Reader / Idle
1168
428
-63%
268
-77%
539
-54%
822
-30%
756
-35%
H.264
605
197
-67%
331
-45%
449
-26%
WiFi v1.3
591
286
-52%
239
-60%
288
-51%
386
-35%
312
-47%
Load
111
109
-2%
70
-37%
98
-12%
110
-1%
141
27%
WiFi
298

Pros

+ case
+ battery runtimes
+ emissions with light workloads
+ port selection
+ warranty and support options
+ system performance

Cons

- display
- upgradeability
- emissions under load
- performance stability under sustained loads

Verdict

In review: Dell Precision 3510. Test device courtesy of Dell Deutschland
In review: Dell Precision 3510. Test device courtesy of Dell Deutschland

Dell's Precision 3510 is a professional device with a clear focus on mobility. Thanks to its slim build, long battery runtimes and a sturdy chassis, it is a really interesting option for field staff. Other advantages of this mobile workstation are the convenient port selection as well as the available warranty and support options.

The price of the series is also appealing and enables an inexpensive entry into the world of mobile workstations.

However, you will have to make some compromises in terms of the decisive core area, the performance drops noticeably under sustained workloads and the emissions will reach inconvenient levels in these scenarios. Another less than ideal point is the limited upgradeability and the CAD performance in general. Some rivals simply offer more.

While you might still be able to live with these aspects depending on the targeted usage scenario, the display of our review unit will not be a popular choice amongst the users. Considering the professional orientation of the device, none of the display characteristics (resolution, luminance, contrast, color gamut, brightness distribution, viewing angle stability) meet the requirements of the targeted user group.

Fortunately, Dell offers other display versions in its online shop, so this problem can be avoided completely and the device would leave a much better impression.

Dell Precision 3510 - 07/17/2016 v5.1
Tobias Winkler

Chassis
88 / 98 → 89%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
81%
Connectivity
68 / 81 → 84%
Weight
60 / 66 → 89%
Battery
92%
Display
73%
Games Performance
67%
Application Performance
93%
Temperature
81 / 95 → 85%
Noise
88 / 90 → 98%
Camera
58 / 85 → 68%
Average
77%
80%
Workstation - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Dell Precision 3510 Workstation Review
Tobias Winkler, 2016-07-24 (Update: 2016-07-24)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.