Advice please - Dell Precision T5600 or HP Z420

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  12 December 2012
Question Advice please - Dell Precision T5600 or HP Z420

Hi all,

I'm currently looking to replace my workstation and have narrowed it down to 2 options. I'd like some opinions/recommendations on which one I should opt for.

My main line of work is in furniture design and drafting. I use AutoCAD the majority of the time and use 3DS Max Design for 3D renderings of furniture, and occasionally render some interior/exterior scenes when requested.

I've been quoted some good prices on both the Dell T5600 and the HP Z420 and I'm not sure which one to go for. The Dell is slightly cheaper (quoted 1250) but have to deal with an Indian based call-centre who are sometimes difficult to communicate with and the sales team were a bit pushy, whereas I can purchase the HP Z420 from a UK based reseller who've been much more pleasant to deal with, but a little more expensive (quoted 1390).

Can anyone offer any advice as to which would be the best brand to go for? Positive or negative experience with either brand of workstation? Performance, reliability and customer service are my main considerations, and of course the price plays a small part.

Spec's are as follows:

HP Z420 Workstation

Intel Xeon Processor E5-1620 3.6GHz


1 GB NVIDIA Quadro 2000

HP 16X DVD+-RW SuperMulti

1TB HDD SATA Hard Drive

HP Air Cooling Solution

HP 3y Nbd Ons Optl CSR DT/WS Only HW SVC



Dell Precision T5600

Intel Xeon Processor E5-2609 Quad Core, 2.40GHz, 10MB, 6.4 GT/s

1 GB NVIDIA Quadro 2000

16GB (4x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 ECC RDIMM

C1 SATA 3.5inch, 1-2 Hard Drives

500GB 3.5inch Serial ATA (7.200 Rpm) Hard

8x Slimline DVD-ROM Drive and 16x DVD+/-RW Drive


I'd really appreciate some speedy responses as I need to replace my current workstation ASAP as its on its last legs.

Thanks in advance for any help offered.


Last edited by Monsworth : 12 December 2012 at 03:41 PM. Reason: I list the prices the wrong way around - Dell machine is cheaper
  12 December 2012
That really is a toss up. To make your conundrum even more complex, you can get a similar spec workstations from Supermicro or Lenovo.

The nice thing about the Lenovo is that is has a dual socket MB, so you could throw in another chip at a later date if you wanted. The Supermicro is a bit cheaper than your two options, but it only has 8GB of RAM.

It looks like your Dell also has a dual socket MB, and the HP only a single socket.

These types of things are pretty commoditized, so I wouldn't stress out about the details to much.


Last edited by AJ1 : 12 December 2012 at 03:08 PM.
  12 December 2012
Thanks for your suggestions AJ.

I'd looked at a few Lenovo's which seem a pretty good spec but I don't seem to be able to get anywhere near the prices of the Dell & HP over here in the UK. I think only due to Dell & the HP reseller offering good discounts at the moment.

It seems that of the two, the Dell is better value for money as it's 140 cheaper and has the ability to add another CPU at a later date but I'd have to wait 4 weeks+ for delivery and I worry a bit about the aftersales support due to the indian call-center situation.

I'm useless at making these sort of decisions. I might just have to flip a coin, haha!
  12 December 2012
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