Responding to the growing demand for Linux-preloaded high-end systems, Dell has launched its best of the breed, all-in-one desktop, Precision Workstation AIO 5720.
It’s also the only all-in-one system that comes with full support for desktop Linux.
The base model of the Precision 5720 comes with a 27” 4k display (not touch), 8G of RAM, 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7500 (Quad Core 3.4GHz, 3.8Ghz Turbo, 6MB) processor and AMD Radeon Pro WX 4150 w/4GB GDDR5 GPU. You get 500GB 2.5″ 7mm SATA (7,200rpm) Hard Drive. All of this costs a mere $1699.
Dell pioneered the concept of customizable build so you are not stuck with these components on this machine. You can bump up the RAM to 64GB (ECC), take processing power all the way up to Xeon Processor E3-1275 v6 (Quad Core HT 3.8Ghz, 4.2GHz Turbo,8MB) or Intel Core i7-7700 (Quad Core 3.60GHz, 4.2Ghz Turbo, 8MB). There are no Nvidia options for this machine, but you can upgrade the GPU to AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100 w/8GB GDDR5. You also have the option for touch screen on the 4K display.
Of course these spec upgrades are going to cost extra. I bumped the CPU, GPU, and display to max and upgraded the storage to a 1TB PCIe SSD card, then the system sits in the ballpark of $3,749.07. Still cheaper than the less powerful iMac.
Professionals who use Linux desktop for work, often find themselves struggling to get high-end systems that offer out of the box support for Linux, without having to actually do any work to make desktop Linux work on those systems.
Many of these professionals value aesthetics. Their office set-ups, smartphones, headphones, laptops and desktops reflect their personality. No surprises that Macs are popular among such professionals. But getting desktop Linux to work on pristine Apple hardware is a full time job in itself.
There are many desktop Linux preloaded machines that work fine, but they look more or less like the mobile lounge of Washington Dulles airport.
Dell’s Precision Workstation AIO 5720 sits neatly between the iMac and mobile lounge.
Beyond aesthetic value, Dell works with hardware component vendors and software vendors to iron out all the wrinkles so your Dell machine ‘just works’.
As someone who runs desktop Linux on PCs, I know the difference between a fine tuned ‘out-of-the-box’ experience vs trying to get things to work. You can either use your free time to learn new things (like 3D printing or building RC cars) or continue to waste it on getting your system to work. Time is money: use it wisely.
If you value time, aesthetics, and fully optimized systems, this machine is for you.
A caveat about desktop Linux
Just like any other platform, desktop Linux has its own strengths and weaknesses. Linux systems are not for everyone. If you are a heavy user of popular or commercial applications and services, desktop Linux is not for you. Not yet. These machines are not targeted at average consumers, these are specialized machines for specialized use-cases. It’s for those who need top-grade hardware with desktop Linux pre-loaded on it.
These machines are aimed at web-companies, developers, maker and creative people who use products like Krita, Blender, Meshmixer…that are available for Linux.
It’s a serious machine for serious people.