Siggraph 2022, which was held August 8-11 in Vancouver, British Columbia, played host to more than 10,000 attendees. Widely seen as a premier graphics and interactive tech conference, the event also attracts a large student population, for those interested in seeing what’s going on in the industry, as well as a chance to network with companies that might be looking to hire.
Dell Technologies’ Precision team had a significant presence at Siggraph 2022. The theme for this year’s booth was the 25th anniversary of the company’s workstation business. Beyond the normal expo representation, the front of the booth also included an over-sized replica of their very first workstation where those who visited had an opportunity to take selfies.
Additionally, Dell’s Precision team showcased some of the newest systems and how they handle complex, demanding workflows and applications with ease and reliability, including a sneak peek at the new Precision 7865 Tower.
A Banner Year for Dell’s Precision Team
Dell’s Precision workstations are specially made for creative professionals, as they offer a powerful and reliable platform for things like advanced CAD/CAM/CAE solutions for architects and engineers and photo / video editing solutions for animators and artists. All of Dell’s workstations are certified by leading Independent Software Vendors (ISV) to help ensure stability and performance under extreme compute intensive workloads.
The 25th Anniversary theme highlighted the Precision team’s history of innovation, a history that continues this year with the all-new, impressively powerful 14” mobile workstation, the Precision 5470, as well as CAMM memory technology in their high end 7000 series mobile workstations. And, as already mentioned, there was the announcement of Precision’s first-ever fixed workstation featuring the AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ Pro, designed to bring new levels of multi-threaded performance for today’s ever-increasing workload demands.
Use Cases Featured at Dell’s Siggraph Booth
For the solution provider reading this blog who is looking to introduce the Precision Workstation to their customers, or otherwise update their existing workstation setup, there were some interesting use cases featured at the booth which can be used to help drive relevance and expand customer engagement as it relates to adopting Precision within their work environment:
NVIDIA Omniverse Demo
Dell’s brand-new Precision 7865 Tower – featured at Siggraph 2022 – is part of the NVIDIA Omniverse. For those unfamiliar, the NVIDIA Omniverse is an easily extensible platform for 3D design collaboration and scalable multi-GPU, real-time, true-to-reality simulation. Guests were invited to play with the interactive Marbles demo, while imagining working on a similar project collaboratively – where features and objects can be manipulated in parallel and in near real time.
Game Development Demo
Not only is hardware becoming more standardized, so, too, is software. Independent game developers are making major strides on platforms that would otherwise be used in a wide variety of ways. While not utilizing the full potential of the Precision 3460 it’s powered by, Dell’s demonstration at the Anniversary Experience dropped users into an Unreal Tournament match, based on the first Unreal Engine from 1998. At the time, this featured cutting edge 3d graphics, texture, and physics – the design of which paved the way for workstation adoption. Once users were done participating in the Unreal Tournament, they were invited to step over to the other side of the room, where they had the opportunity to experience The Matrix Awakens, powered by Unreal Engine 5, which was released this past year. Attendees were asked to take notice of the advances in 3d modeling, textures, lighting, weather, and more, all of which are enabled by the Precision 7865 Tower workstation with NVIDIA RTX graphics.
Adobe / BMD + Wacom Cintiq Demo
Keeping in tune with today’s technology driven era, the creative process requires the right tools for the right tasks. Adobe Premier and Black Magic Design DaVinci Resolve are powerful tools for video workflows this was well demonstrated at the Experience as the program was driven by Dell’s brand-new 16” Precision 7670 mobile workstation. Paired with a matching 16” Wacom Cintiq, the creative process proved remarkably simple. Attendees were invited to take a moment to try out the production software, experience the performance of the Precision 7670, and feel the accuracy of the Wacom Cintiq tablet.
From award-winning filmmakers and animators to architects and engineers, Precision has been at the center of some truly remarkable work over the last 25 years. To celebrate this, and usher in the next generation of Precision workstations, Dell’s Precision team will be hosting events around the globe in the coming months, including those scheduled in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Reach out to a local Dell sales representative to find out how you can participate in one near you.
For customers whose staff are primarily workstation users, success is dependent on having the right tools to complete jobs quickly. As such, they require hardware that provides unmatched performance and gives them a competitive edge.
This is especially true in the media and entertainment (M&E) industry, what with areas like film creation, streaming, gaming, and more, all seeing a tremendous increase in computationally intensive workloads in recent years. This has led to enterprises in this industry actively seeking a workstation solution capable of supporting tasks like CAD, video editing, gaming and development, 3D rendering, and more, with greater reliability.
To meet this modern need, Dell Technologies has launched the all-new Precision 7865 Tower, which is outfitted with the powerful AMD Ryzen Threadripper™ PRO 5000 WX-Series Processor.
A mid-size tower with record setting multi-threaded application performance
The new Precision 7865 Tower delivers ultimate performance in high-end creative applications, design analysis, simulation & AEC visualization, energy applications, AI/ML/DL training, and more.
Key highlights worth noting:
· Incredible performance with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro (280W), pro graphics (AMD or NVIDIA, 2x 300W), up to 56TB storage (Drives, SSDs), UltraSpeed card available (up to 16TB), 1TB of 3200MHz (DDR4) memory, Thunderbolt™ (optional), advanced thermals, and Dell Optimizer for Precision
· Mission critical reliability & security with ISV Certifications, ECC memory and Reliable Memory Technology Pro TPM 2.0, lockable and removable drives, lockable chassis, self-encrypting drives, chassis intrusion detection
· Improved user experience with carriable tower (30L), front access ODD, fast network speeds (1G + 10G Native), USB Type C and A ports, AMD Advanced Management with DASH AMD software (SAM2, smart blur, audio enhancements)
AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper PRO Ryzen 5000 WX-Series processors: Powering productivity
Designed to handle the most complex professional workloads, AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series processor delivers the ability to institute complex tasks to give customers a competitive edge, allowing them to do more – and understand more about their operation – in less time while using less energy.
AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series processors combine the performance of the company’s “Zen 3” architecture with the enterprise security features, manageability, and scalability of AMD PRO technologies. Higher frequencies and an enhanced L3 cache architecture affords customers peace of mind knowing that Ryzen Threadripper PRO processors can tackle lightly threaded workloads, while also delivering leading multi-threaded performance.
Worth noting — this processor supports an industry-leading 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, enabling more storage expandability than competing solutions. It also enables up to 43% higher graphics performance and up to 2.2x the storage performance of competing solutions.
What’s more, consuming up to 67% lower power per core, AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series processors deliver up to double the performance-to-power ratio than other solutions on the market.
Supporting the performance of Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5000 WX-Series processors and helping your you to create a complete solution for your customers’ most demanding professionally managed IT environments, are several AMD PRO technologies, including:
· AMD Memory Guard – Encrypts memory to prevent physical attacks on sensitive data
· AMD Secure Processor – Integrated, on-chip security processor designed to protect sensitive data and validate code before it is executed
· AMD Shadow Stack – Innovative set of hardware protections built into the processor to help mitigate a common type of malware attack by preventing memory modification for instructions
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Dell’s Precision 7865 Tower will empower your customers with the incredible performance and efficiency needed to run today’s most demanding tasks.
Help power your customer’s purpose with a scalable 16-inch mobile workstation that features scalability and a customized chassis.
With increased acceptance of the work-from-anywhere lifestyle, your customers are likely in need of new workstations that not only pack a ton of power, but deliver on performance, too, in order to get the job done.
To meet this need, Dell is delivering a new addition to its powerful Precision line of workstation: the Precision 7670, a scalable 16” mobile workstation that is available in a “thin” or “performance” chassis, which is determined by your performance requirements.
All about the chassis
As mentioned, what makes the Dell Precision 7670 particularly noteworthy is that it comes with a "flexible chassis design." Your customers can configure the system that is right for them, and the chassis is determined based on the selected components and the advanced thermals needed to keep them running a peak performance.
This workstation features a Dell-patented form factor for DDR5 memory called Compression Attached Memory Module (CAMM). According to the company, this allows for a thinner chassis without sacrificing performance, leading to a more portable workstation. SoDIMMs are also still available, should you want to stick with this architecture.
The 16-inch display can be configured with up to 16:10, 4K (3840x2400) OLED display, with narrow bezel, 500 nits of brightness, PremierColor, 100% DCI-P3 coverage, as well as Touch and ComfortView Plus (low blue light hardware) options. There are also FHD+ (1920x1200) WLED displays available.
Customers who already use Dell workstations can expect the same performance they love, with 12th Gen Intel® Core™, up to Core i9 processors (55W) with Intel vPro, up to NVIDIA RTX™ A5500 with 16GB of video memory, up to 128GB of DDR5 RAM, and up to 12TB of storage with 3 Gen 4 M.2 slots.
Delivering the high-standard performance your customers expect
The Precision 7670 comes with AI-based Dell Optimizer for Precision software and security features like as fingerprint readers, IR camera for login security, chassis intrusion detection, and more. It features two Thunderbolt 4 ports, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port with DisplayPort support, one USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 with PowerShare, another USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, an HDMI 2.1 input, RJ45 Ethernet, and a 3.5mm audio jack. There’s also support for Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, along with the MicroSD and SD card slots.
Designed to go anywhere
The "thin" model Precision 7670 weighs 5.75 pounds with dimensions of 14.02 x 10.18 x 0.92 inches. The “performance” model, meanwhile, weighs 5.9 pounds is a bit thicker at 1.09 inches. Regardless of model, though, the workstation comes in an aluminum Titan Grey color and features an FHD (1080p) IR camera at 30 fps, along with the 93Whr battery.
The Precision 7670 come with Windows 11 (downgradeable to Win 10) or Linux operating systems options.
Combe Valley Campers is a three-part entity: First and foremost, it is a campervan conversion and repair facility located in southeastern England. Secondly, it is an ecommerce site that provides buyers with parts and utilities needed to build or otherwise repair their campervan. Lastly, Combe Valley Campers is a media company that provides how-to videos, podcasts, and blogs that help today’s DIY-er convert, build, and repair their campervan.
The latter service began a few years back when Leigh Hicks, the director of Combe Valley Campers, posted a video to a forum that documented his efforts building a campervan. The series received positive feedback and so Leigh decided to pursue these efforts with additional material focused on building, converting, and maintaining campervans.
The series grew into a regular production schedule that publishes a new video every week. As one can imagine, this is a lot of work, between production set-up, filming, etc. But the real investment in time was being spent editing the videos. Hours were spent every week fine tuning the clips into a quality video worth publishing to their YouTube channel.
Upgrading from a commercial PC to a Dell Precision Compact Workstation
Much of the time spent editing was due to the older-styled desktop computer that Combe Valley Campers was using. This became an even greater task when the team updated their equipment—4k cameras, improved lighting, and more, along with the addition of effects, transitions, and color grading. Needless to say, their older commercial PC couldn’t handle this increased workload and so they sought out a better model.
Enter Dell Technologies’ Precision Compact Workstation. The Combe Valley Campers staff has remarked on the workstations compact design and how incredibly fast it is, specifically noting its ability to capably handle 4k footage with ease. This has sped up processing time as the team works on editing the videos, allowing for the filming and uploading of these videos to be completed within 24 hours, as opposed to a few days.
Dell’s Precision Compact workstation delivers intelligent performance and mission-critical reliability to conquer the most demanding applications across all industries. From the Combe Valley Campers film and editing team to architects and engineers, Dell’s Precision system is engineered with features your customers need to bring their ideas to life:
Dell’s Precision workstations include Dell Optimizer for Precision, a feature which uses Artificial Intelligence to learn how a user works and adapts to their style to create a smarter, more-personal experience. This results in improved system responsiveness, better application performance, storage, and audio optimization and more reliable network connectivity.
Dell’s Precision workstations are Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certified to ensure the high-performance applications your customers rely on every day runs smoothly. Additionally, Dell’s exclusive Reliable Memory Pro software works with ECC memory to identify and map out bad memory sectors, alerting the user when the memory is at a critical level and needs replaced — providing layers of protection against memory related errors.
Help your customers create without constraints
The ultra-small form factor and numerous mounting options, such as behind the monitor or under the desk, make the Dell Precision Compact Workstation ideal for space-constrained workspaces that need workstation-class performance and reliability; workspaces like a campervan conversion facility that posts weekly DIY videos.
Educate your customers on the benefits of updating their commercial PCs to the Dell Precision Compact Workstation. Learn more.
Adobe Max is Adobe’s annual customer event for Creative Cloud and the company’s other creative apps. This year’s event took place October 26-28 and played host to more than 400 sessions, featuring hundreds of industry experts and inspirational speakers, and drawing in 1.1 million unique visitors and some 450k registrations across 238 countries and territories.
While this free event may have already taken place, you can still access the celebrity keynotes, professional training, inspirational presentations, and network, too, via the Adobe Max 2021 site.
Dell Ambassador and National Geographic Explorer Mike Libecki presents a session in Adobe’s tracks covering what it’s like to go on assignment to the world’s most remote and challenging environments and bring home stories for National Geographic.
Dell’s Precision Mobile Workstation has enabled a senior production designer to create exciting, fully immersive event experiences
Lauren Smith is a Senior Production Designer at Bellwether, a multi-disciplinary team that includes producers, lighting designers, audio engineers and everybody else who works together to pull off a corporate event.
As a designer, Smith is generally one of the first to begin working in the preproduction process – and stays involved through to the event’s launch.
“I’ll start with a series of pencil sketches to give [the client] a few options,” Smith explains. “When they pick an avenue, then I’ll use Vectorworks to come up with a very basic 3D model and I’ll save some wireframe perspective views. After that step, we will typically get it budgeted and then I’ll create a more photorealistic rendering. And for that I might work with Vectorworks’ built-in renderer, but more often than not, I’m going to be exporting it to Maxon Cinema D, and I’ve recently started using V-Ray with that.”
To support this everyday workload, Smith clearly needed a computer that could support such a graphics- and detail-heavy work process.
Using Dell Technologies’ Precision Workstation to support every event’s unique needs
Where Smith used to be limited to a stationery desktop, today, she does all her work on a mobile workstation, which can capably run 3D applications while also allowing her to travel easily to events. Smith recently upgraded to the Dell Precision 5750 Mobile workstation, which comes equipped with an Intel Xeon W-1055M processor, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 graphics card and 6GB of RAM.
For the kind of work Smith’s doing, a mid-to-high range graphics card like the Quadro RTX 3000 is necessary. Having spent much of her career seeking new and better visualization techniques, including most recently VR, Smith is excited to see what comes next. She points to real-time ray-traced rendering as a “huge game changer for designers” that has come about in the last few years thanks to RT Cores, a processing component of NVIDIA RTX graphics cards that enables hardware accelerated real-time ray tracing.
“With the Dell Precision and NVIDIA RTX, I can create high-quality renderings fast with the convenience of a lightweight, portable laptop,” Smith said.
Flying through fly-through animations
Before an upcoming meeting with a client, Smith would spend hours creating fly-through animations to demonstrate a visual concept. And if a detail was forgotten – like, say, a light was off that was supposed to be on – she would have to re-rend it all over again. With the strength of the Precision Workstation backing her up now, the rendering is done in real-time, on-the-fly if you will, and in front of a client, thereby allowing Smith to present – and adjust – any details she wants.
“Real-time rendering saves you so much of that headache,” Smith praised. “And with the advent of real-time ray-traced rendering with NVIDIA RTX, I can deliver ever more realistic images for my customers.”
A whole new perspective: 360-degree images
For Smith, the ability to export 360-degree images from Vectorworks and other BIM software to view in a web browser has been a real game changer. When compared to a 2D rendering, 360-degree images provide her with a much better sense of the event’s physical space.
“You can connect multiple 360 images to make a virtual tour, which is really cool,” Smith explained. “In the past you would have had to send the client several separate 2D images and they would each be from one viewpoint. And some people just aren’t visual people, and they don’t understand how those things match. But if you give them a virtual tour, it helps them build that relationship in their mind.”
Looking ahead, Smith is betting big on virtual reality.
“Instead of drawing on my computer or sketching on a piece of paper, I’m actually dropping 3D objects in while I’m in VR with my headset on,” Smith envisions. Even better than that would be inviting clients to be part of the process, she added.
Fortunately, she has the workstation outfitted with the technology to support this exciting new frontier.
Dell Precision workstation with AMD Radeon PRO graphics improves throughput and turnaround time on GPU-intensive rendering and special effects processing
Theory Studios, an Orlando-based, high-end animation company, employs a global team of graphics professionals to deliver high-quality visuals to clients around the world.
Much of the company’s success can be attributed to its incredibly tight production pipeline – assets go from the early concept stage to content creation, animation, compositing, and all the way through final rendering and post-production effects.
But with the company’s many successful projects came a significant increase in workload. This, in turn, led to an immediate need to improve throughput and turnaround time on GPU-intensive rendering and special effects processing.
Identifying the right solution
At Theory Studios, there is a constant flow of files moving from stage to stage within the production pipeline – specific individuals handle specific tasks, and use their PCs, as well as server-based assets (either in the cloud or on-premises) to handle the enormous processing loads associated with each project.
It’s here we arrive at the crux of the company’s efficiency issue – a graphics workstation is not only used for content creation by artists, but also put to work as a rendering machine to process raw assets. Some of these tasks might take hours or even days to complete.
Reducing this unattended render-time can be a major solution to improving the company’s overall efficiency.
Processing times were reduced by 50%
In searching for a solution, Theory Studios was introduced to the Dell Precision workstation, which immediately helped the company improve its turnaround time. This is because in building the workstation, Dell Technologies teamed up with AMD to provide Theory Studios with a Dell Precision 3630 Tower that came equipped with an AMD Radeon™ PRO W5500 8GB GPU, 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz RAM, and a 512 GB NVMe® Class 40 SSD. This unique configuration was specially built to take on demanding graphics tasks and turn them out quickly and reliably.
For example, while working with a remote colleague on deliverables for a major theme park in East Asia, the company used the Dell / AMD workstation to run After Effects file export jobs that which other colleagues were running on a machine just one generation older. The results were a 50% improvement in export time.
“All of a sudden, a six-hour file export on that other PC was reduced to a three-hour export on the Dell Precision 3630.”
- David Andrade, Founder, Theory Studios
The workstation again proved itself valuable on a recent character animation project for a children's series. Theory Studios was able to shift the After Effects elements to the workstation instead, which eliminated the need of having the compositor wait for it to run to completion on his own PC before tackling the next job in the queue.
Theory Studios now enjoys the simplicity of pre-configured Dell workstations equipped with the power of AMD Radeon PRO graphics for all its many types of projects.
Learn more about the Dell Precision workstation and the Theory Studios story by viewing the PDF below
The benefits of real-time ray tracing for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) cannot be overstated. For those unfamiliar, ray tracing is a method of graphics rendering that simulates the physical behavior of light. For architects and engineers, this solution affords better visibility and enhanced communication at all stages of a project which, in turn, results in exceptionally designed buildings and infrastructure. It helps to eliminate costly errors and can be used to keep everything on track.
To get started with enjoying the benefits of the above-described modern real-time workflow, customers must not focus on budget when defining workstation configurations. Instead, they must consider (and only consider) application and workflow requirements. That’s because with proper configuration, workstations can help AEC customers radically improve design decision making, speed up the creation of renders and animations, and ultimately enjoy a major advantage over their competitors.
Now, unfortunately real-time ray tracing cannot be supported on a workstation designed to run CAD or BIM software with just an entry-level to mid-range GPU. To support this level of processing, architects and engineers need a machine that is built for the task at hand.
Enter Dell’s Precision workstations, all of which are certified to work with the most popular 2D and 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software applications from popular Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). They come equipped with a dedicated NVIDIA RTX or Quadro RTX GPU to empower designers with the ability to iterate more and see the impact of accurate lighting, shadows, and reflections, and to do so in real time.
Here it’s worth pausing to note that the latter point is an important one to call out. Design visualization can provide an architect or engineer with incredible insight into a project as it develops. However, to exert the greatest influence, the results must be delivered in real time so that decisions can be adjusted and workflow can continue without interruption.
Dell offers a range of desktop and mobile workstations that are suitable for design visualization and real-time ray tracing. The desktop workstations offer more performance and scalability than the mobile workstations, with the higher-end models being fully customizable and able to support more than one CPU with lots of cores, one or more GPUs, and expandable memory and storage.
That’s not to diminish the value of the mobile workstations, of course, which have the major benefit of being highly portable. The recently launched Dell Precision 5560, 5760, 7560, and 7760 mobile workstations offer GPU options ranging from the NVIDIA RTX™ A2000 up to the RTX A5000. So, not only do they afford portable rendering, these workstations can do so while also handling highly demanding visualization workflows.
Learn more about what makes the Dell Precision workstation the ideal solution for AEC rendering by downloading the white paper below: Selecting the Right Workstation for AEC Rendering