Dell Precision 7865 Workstation Review: Cool & Quiet 64-Core Powerhouse

Dell Precision 7865: System And Pro-Vis Graphics Benchmarks

dell precision 7865 specviewperf in action
It's time to dive into the Dell Precision 7865's performance. We ran a wide array of tests and tried to stress each area of the system as much as we could. The beastly 64-core Threadripper Pro CPU is of particular interest, of course, but we also gave the RTX A6000 and other components a healthy workout as well…

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The ATTO disk benchmark is a quick and simple test which measures read/write bandwidth and IOPS across a range of different data sizes. While we don't typically compare these results across multiple machines, it's useful to gauge whether a particular system's storage subsystem can handle being put under pressure.

dell precision 7865 atto

The RAID 0 configuration in our system results in lightning-fast storage performance. Sequential read speeds approach 12GB/s, while sequential writes weigh in above 8GB/s. Yes, there’s some risk to any RAID 0 configuration as fault tolerance is lowered, but that’s precisely why regular backups of important data should be made in any case. Even RAID 10 can fall apart under catastriphic conditions, so keep your data safe.

Cinebench R23

Cinebench rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and can utilize up to 256 threads, which makes it an excellent gauge of computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders and animates 3D scenes and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graphs below.

dell precision 7865 cinebench r23

The Threadripper Pro 5995WX makes even the burliest of desktop-class processors, like the the Intel Core i9-13900KS, look like child’s play in multithreaded tasks. Admittedly, these strengths do not carry over to the single-threaded result. While a decent showing for a Zen 3 core, the latest iterations from both AMD and Intel have pushed single core figures much higher.

LAME XP Audio Encoding

For this test, we created 16-copies of our own 223MB WAV file (an 11 minute Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME XP tool. Processing times are recorded below, listed in minutes:seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.

dell precision 7865 lame xp

Again, the Precision 7865 system turns up a resounding victory thanks to its wildly fast Threadripper CPU. Completing an audio transcode 25% faster may not seem the best of reasons to drop near $15,000, but for certain economies of scale that trade-off can mean thousands more in profits.

7-Zip Data Decompression

The 7-Zip benchmark measures decompression performance using the LZMA method, which leverages the Lempel–Ziv–Markov chain algorithm to perform lossless data compression. The benchmark produces a final rating in GIPS (giga instructions per second).

dell precision 7865 7zip

This graph looks eerily similar to Cinebench’s results, reinforcing the results of both. There’s some jostling of the hierarchy, but no other chip can match the fury of the 64-core Threadripper Pro 5995WX when all threads are engaged.

POV-Ray CPU Ray Tracing Benchmark

POV-Ray, or the Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer, is an open source tool for creating realistically lit images. We tested with POV-Ray's standard 'one-CPU' and 'all-CPU' benchmarking tools on all of our test machines and recorded the scores reported for each. Results are measured in pixels-per-second throughput; higher scores equate to better performance.

dell precision 7865 povray

Back to a more or less pure compute workload, the Precision 7865 claims the podium yet again, but there is an interloper here, the Lenovo ThinkStation P620. Our benchmarks have evolved significantly since we reviewed that system, but this is one result that holds true for a direct comparison. These both use 64-core processors, and as such show the generational gains made between the 3995WX and 5995WX amounting to around 14% in multi-thread and 22% in single-thread.

Y-Cruncher Multi-Threaded Pi Benchmark

Y-Cruncher is a multi-core-capable tool that calculates the value of pi to a specified number of digits. In this case, we ran the tool on all threads and had the application calculate the value of pi to 1 billion digits. The values below are the time required to perform the calculation expressed in seconds. As a result, lower values indicate better performance.

dell precision 7865 ycruncher

We can bicker over how many digits of Pi are necessary for any practical application, but the Precision 7865 can crank out more than a billion of them before I can even type this sentence. It is a narrow lead over other workstation chips, but the interesting divide between these and desktop chips suggests that memory bandwidth constraints may be at play as well.

UL 3DMark CPU Physics Benchmark

For the 3DMark Physics test, we simply create a custom 3DMark run consisting solely of the physics test, which is multi-threaded and CPU dependent, and report the results.

dell precision 7865 time spy cpu

This test goes to show that pure CPU muscle does not always translate to top shelf performance. The gaming-oriented CPUs boast much higher clocks and this test favors that responsiveness over core scalability, beyond a certain point at least.

BlackMagic RAW Video Encoding Speed

The Blackmagic RAW Speed Test is a CPU and GPU benchmarking tool that tests full-resolution Blackmagic RAW video decode performance. The tool can be used to evaluate the performance at various resolutions and bitrates on the CPU or using OpenCL on a GPU. We're reporting two results here, both using 8K resolution, but at differing bitrates and compression levels.

dell precision 7865 blackmagic raw cpu

Starting with CPU results, the Dell Precision 7865 comfortably tops the charts at both compression levels, though not by as wide of a margin as we have seen in other tests. There is likely some limit to the CPU engine’s scalability across cores which stymies a stronger result. Don’t get us wrong, it is a great result, but not the best value proposition.

dell precision 7865 blackmagic raw gpu

Moving on to GPU results with the same benchmark, we get our first taste of the NVIDIA RTX A6000 inside. While sorting by the more-compressed 12:1 results, the Precision 7865 falls to the middle of our pack, objectively in-line with scaling GPU horsepower.

With the 3:1 result, though, something curious happens. The Precision 7865’s performance doubles the rest of the competition, even besting the 12:1 framerate. This is a combination of a few factors. The RTX A6000 has a gargantuan 48GB frame buffer, the system memory can take advantage of 8-channels of bandwidth, and less compressed video is actually less-taxing computationally, when you've got the memory capacity and bandwidth to handle it. By alleviating the memory-related bottlenecks, this workstation can absolutely crush this use case.

VFX artists in particular will want to take note as less-compressed footage means chroma keys can be applied more crisply and overall visual effects work just ends up better looking.

Blender Rendering Benchmarks

Blender is a free and open-source 3D creation suite that can handle everything from modeling, rigging, and animation to simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking. It has a purpose-built benchmarking tool that will track the time it takes to complete rendering a particular model (or models). We used both the CPU and GPU focused benchmarks with all three models currently available in the benchmark tool.

dell precision 7865 blender cpu

Again starting with CPU test, the Precision 7865 trounces every other system we have tested to date. For pure CPU compute, the Threadripper Pro 5995WX cannot reasonably be matched. CPU rendering is not the end all, be all though…

dell precision 7865 blender gpu

With the GPU engaged, the Dell system again finds itself in the middle of our samplings. The RTX A6000 does not touch the RTX 3090 Ti in sheer horsepower, to say nothing of the Ada Lovelace options on the table. We really hesitate to say the RTX A6000 is anything but powerful, though, it just depends on where your workflow priorities lie.

PCMark 10

Next up we have some full system testing with PCMark. We're reporting all test results from the PCMark 10 benchmark suite, including the Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation and total PCMark score. The Essentials test covers workloads like web browsing, video conferencing and app start-up times, while Productivity tests everyday office apps from spreadsheets to word processing. Finally, the Digital Content Creation test evaluates performance of a machine with respect to photo and video editing, as well as rendering and visualization.

dell precision 7865 pcmark 10

Truth told, PCMark is not the best avenue to test a burly workstation like the Dell Precision 7865. Most of its tasks favor bursty performance from high frequency cores with applications that cannot scale to effectively use 128 threads. The Digital Content Creation subscore is the most applicable of the bunch, but even this falls shy of the kinds of workloads that a workstation is brought in for. That Lenovo ThinkStation system, by the way, fares even worse outside of the Essentials test.

SPECviewperf 2020 v3 OpenGL / DX Benchmarks

SPECviewperf includes a variety of tests, which produce significantly different framerates, so we've sorted them into three groups to make the results a bit easier to sort through. Please note the legends at the bottom of each chart, which designate the application or viewset used...

dell precision 7865 specview group 1

dell precision 7865 specview group 2

dell precision 7865 specview group 3

The NVIDIA RTX A6000 stands head and shoulders above the other professional cards we have run in SPECviewperf's GPU compute tests. Whether your workloads include 3D modeling with Maya or 3D Studio Max, engineering with Solidworks, or one of the other demanding cases represented here, the Dell Precision 7865 is more than up to the task.

Before we wrap up our thoughts, let's talk power consumption and thermals...

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