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Review of the Dell Precision 5860 Tower

Review of the Dell Precision 5860 Tower

It is time we paid the midrange some attention because they are frequently paired with more powerful towers. This particular desktop workstation is a Dell Precision 5860 Tower. Dell’s mid-range workstation, which starts at $2,049 (around $9,100 in the highly customized version we tested), is another plain-looking, but sizable, black full-tower chassis with handles. One of several Intel Xeon-based processors with professional graphics cards from AMD, Nvidia, or vPro, up to an incredible 2TB of RAM, and up to 72TB of solid-state storage are available. Although this Dell tower is reasonably priced when it comes to workstations and performs admirably in the midrange, as it gets larger to accommodate more demanding professional demands, it’s pricing no longer remains competitive.


The full-tower Precision’s design follows the conventional wisdom that workstations, unlike gaming desktops, are not supposed to draw attention to themselves. The chassis is completely black and features vents up front. Above the two 5.25-inch bays, the model information is shown, with the well-known Dell emblem situated in the center of the front. As you scale up, these workstation-class chassis can get hefty, but luckily, built-in handles will aid with the heavy lifting.

The air intake pattern on the front of the chassis is an offset hexagonal pattern with distinctive diagonal lines. It is also possible to place it on its side because the bottom and specially-made rubber pads are there for that purpose. The I/O for the front panel runs vertically and to the right. Two USB Type-A ports (5Gbps) and two USB Type-C ports (10Gbps each, one with power sharing) are included. Two 5.25-inch expansion bays and a narrow (about 9.5mm) slot for optical drives are located above that. The 5860’s overall measurements are comparable to those of other tower workstations; when fully configured, it weighs up to 47 pounds and measures 16.4 by 6.8 by 17.8 inches.

It is simple to access the Precision 5860’s internals by simply pushing the locking latch and pulling to release the panel, revealing the expertly built-internals. When you enter, several shrouds welcome you and direct air through the system. Light blue contact points on swappable parts make it simple to install or remove extra storage and other accessories. Several fans that were installed in our system stayed silent over most of the testing. Our processor and graphics cards started to make noise after they completed the stress tests, although it was not loud or unpleasant to listen to.

Dell Precision 5860 Tower

Dell Precision T5860 Workstation Desktop Computer Tower


For workstations, custom loadouts and configurations are the norm rather than the exception. Even though the entry-level models seem enticing, power users on an individual basis or IT managers purchasing a fleet of workstations for a company must make informed decisions based on the workloads they plan to handle.

Starting at $2,049, the Precision 5860’s base configuration is less expensive than some of the tower workstations we have already discussed. As is customary, there are volume and other reductions, therefore the prices displayed here are always more approximate. When set up, the total cost approaches $9,100, with a significant portion of that coming from the CPU and GPU options. You will need to upgrade to the 7960 series with the 56-core Xeon and Ada RTX 6000 if you require more power than this.

Up to 24 core Intel Xeon CPUs are supported by Dell’s Precision 5860 models. The standard setup includes a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 disk, a 750-watt power supply, a 1GbE connection on the back, a six-core Intel Xeon W3-2423, 16GB (in a 1×16 config) of DDR5-4800 ECC RAM, and either an AMD Radeon Pro W6300 or an Nvidia T400 (the less expensive graphics options). Our installed 24-core Xeon W7-2495 is the best CPU, but it comes at a cost of more than $2,000. The greatest amount of RAM support stated is 2TB, which would negate the purpose of this type of system and add an astonishing $100,000 to the bill.

The Precision 5860 supports up to 56TB of storage over NVMe (2x 4TB) and SATA (4x 12TB) on the same board. If it is not enough for your operations, the optional UltraSpeed PCIe Add-In-Card allows you to add a further 16TB. That is 72TB total, for those who were not keeping count. Very remarkable.

Graphics Tests

We use two DirectX 12 game simulations from UL’s 3DMark to test the graphics in all laptops and desktops: Time Spy, which is more demanding and best suited for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs, and Night Raid, which is more low-key and appropriate for laptops with integrated graphics.

To further measure GPUs, we also perform two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which emphasizes high-level, game-like picture rendering and low-level tasks like texturing. To support various display resolutions, practice graphics, and compute shaders utilizing the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation, respectively, the 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Car Chase exercises are rendered offscreen. It is preferable to have higher frames per second (fps).


Like its bigger brother, the Dell Precision 7875 that we previously reviewed, the 5860 offers a plethora of options for system scalability. With vPro security, you can operate mid-range Intel Xeon-class processors, two AMD professional cards, and up to two of the newest Ada-class Nvidia GPUs. To put it briefly, both the CPU and the video card have an abundance of processing capacity. However, you will have to upgrade to the Precision 7875 or 7960 if you require more.

Most of the time, it is simple to navigate Dell’s configuration website and choose the appropriate components. The page notifies you if it finds a configuration mismatch. The computer may even be outfitted with optical disks, RAID cards, 10GbE, and a variety of storage options. Workstations can cost anywhere from slightly over $2,000 to many times more. Priority support contracts and a secure ecosystem with certified drivers and ISV developed on a dependable and stable platform are included in the hardware package, which is essential to maintaining workflows. Professionals searching for more potent workstation-class PCs will find Dell’s quiet operation and reduced starting price appealing. Still, the HP Z4 G5 maintains its Editors’ Choice status for midrange workstations because it is more reasonably priced for hardware of a similar caliber.

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