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Dell Precision M45oo Review

Headline: I’m very happy!


My wife gave her computer to a friend… Her needs were different from the capabilities of that computer. It was a nice computer – a tablet PC with 250 GB hard drive, but no battery life and fairly weak graphics and CPU performance. So she convinced me that I needed a new computer. That was really hard… So I upgraded from my M4400 to an M4500. I’m plenty happy… so is my wife.

The M4400

My M4400 wasn’t exactly a stock M4400… I added the Intel X25M Solid State Drive (SSD) about 6 months ago. What wonderful performance. The drive it shipped with my Dell M4400 had a Performance Test Random Seek + RW rating of 24 MB/Sec. The Intel drive started with a rating of 100 MB/Sec!. And after the upgrade of their firmware it reached 115 MB/Sec! As you might imagine, I was plenty happy. I had a great CPU with the Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme Edition QX9300 2.53GHz.

The M4500

When I investigated the M4500 so that my wife could steal my 4400, it took quite a while. I realized that I really needed a better hard drive than the one that shipped with the stock systems. So I looked around and the OCZ Vertex2 seemed to fit the bill. That turned out to be quite true. While I had a killer machine with the 4400, here are the numbers from my favorite performance program, PassMark Performance Test 7.0.


The CPU Mark is misleading as it never really seems to kick into Turbo Boost mode. I’m very happy with the performance when it does. As you can see, the big differences are in the Disk Mark and the Graphics. Here is the full detail on the drive:


Almost twice the Random Seek performance.

More Detailed Configuration

The M4500 has:

  • Intel Core i7-940XM Extreme Edition 2.13GHz
  • 8 GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRamm
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 1800M with 1GB dedicated memory
  • 64 GB Solid State Miicard Drive for systems with dual storage
  • Added the OCZ Vertex2 240 GB drive…

The Bottom Line

The CPU has a wider range of performance. Thus, it can be cool if I want it cool, or it can scream if I need and can afford the performance.

What a fun machine… as I work I can listen to Santana… build my software and run all the unit tests.

(Left) Side Note

To keep from hurting my wrists by always using a mouse, I frequently use a left handed mouse.  That was almost impossible with my M4400 as the fan blows the hot air to the left side of the machine. While the M4500 does the same thing, if I put the Power Plan on Cool (see previous post) then I can almost work without burning my left thumb.

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