31 March 2014

The high-end 8GB Quadro K5100M GPU makes light work of throwing texture-heavy design viz datasets around the HD display

Product WS-M1760
Company name Workstation Specialists
Price £2,835 (Excl.VAT)

This 17-inch monster from Derby-based Workstation Specialists is by far the most expensive mobile workstation on test this month, but it’s in a completely different class in terms of its spec.

The high-end 8GB Quadro K5100M GPU makes light work of throwing texture-heavy design viz datasets around the HD display. And, with 1,536 CUDA cores, it can also double up as a powerful general-purpose processor.

This will be of interest to users of CUDA-compatible ray trace renderers or simulation solvers, where the GPU can be used to augment the Intel Core i7-4800MQ CPU. And there’s plenty of memory to support such complex datasets: the machine is maxed out with 32GB PC3-1600MHz High Speed DDR-3.

To serve up the OS and apps there’s a 240GB Intel mSATA SSD with a 750GB HDD for data. If you need a more powerful storage system, you can double up on both mSATA and 2.5-inch drives.

The WS-M1760 uses the same Clevo P170SM chassis as the Scan 3XS MGW-10 so there’s no docking port or SmartCard reader, but you do get a fingerprint reader, powered by Truesuite keepsafe.

The HD display is a bit lacklustre. Lines are sharp, but fire up a CAD render and the colours appear a little dull. The good news is there are plenty of digital outputs to connect to an external display, including HDMi, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, which will be helpful to get the best out of the high-end GPU.

To view comparative scores from other workstations please click here
For details of all our specific CAD/CAM/CAE benchmarks click here

This review is part of a comprehensive buyer’s guide to mobile workstations.
Below are links to the rest of the content

Ultra mobile workstations (14-inch and 15-inch)
HP ZBook 14
Dell Precision M3800

Mid-range 15-inch mobile workstations
Schencker W503
HP ZBook 15
Dell Precision M4800
Lenovo ThinkPad W540

High-end 17-inch mobile workstations
Scan 3XS MGW-10
Dell Precision M6800

Click here to download a PDF of the entire mobile workstation buyer’s guide which includes a comprehensive matrix of all the specifications


» Intel Core i7-4800MQ (2.70GHz up to 3.7GHz) (4 cores, 8 threads)
» 32GB (4 x 8GB) PC3-1600MHz High Speed DDR-3
» NVIDIA Quadro K5100M (8GB GDDR5
» 240GB Intel 525 Series mSATA SSD + 750GB 7,200RPM high-performance SATA drive + 8x DVD-RW Drive
» Graphics driver 331.82
» Screen 17.3” HD 1,920 x 1,080 backlit LED display
» Keyboard / Mouse Full size keyboard with numeric keypad Touch pad with multi-gesture and scrolling
» Battery 8-cell 77Wh Lithium Ion battery
» Wireless Intel 300MB/Sec ‘N’ Wireless Network Card + Integrated Bluetooth 3.0
» Ports 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0 1 x eSATA / USB 3.0. RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet. Mini Firewire
» Expansion / security 9-in-1 memory card reader
» Display outputs DisplayPort, Mini DP, HDMi
» No dedicated docking port
» Size (W x D x H) 412 x 276 x 45-42mm
» Weight (machine + power adapter) Starting at 3.9kg + 1.1kg
» Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit
» 36 Months Standard Hardware Warranty with NBD Engineer Response

CPU benchmarks

(secs - smaller is better)
CAM (Delcam PowerMill 2010) - (i) 171 (ii) 266 (iii) 374
CAE (SolidWorks 2010 Simulation) - N/A
Rendering (3ds Max Design 2011) - 236

Graphics benchmarks

(bigger is better)
CAD (SolidWorks 2013 - SPECapc graphics composite) - 6.32
CAD (Creo 2.0 - SPECapc graphics test) - 7.56

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