LinuxWorld: The workhorse: Dell’s Precision Workstation 410

Dell’s Precision Workstation 410 was among the first Linux
products available from a major PC vendor and one of its first
certified products for Red Hat Linux.
This was an important
step for the Linux community as it brought a leading, traditionally
Windows PC vendor into our market. Now there are a number of other
workstation products from IBM, VA Linux, and others that compete
with the 410 and its successor the 420, but this early bird is
still a good performer….”

“To quickly test the performance of the 410, we built the GNU C
compiler version 2.9.5-1 on the system and timed the process. This
programming language compiler is fairly complex and makes heavy use
of the system, CPU, and memory to build. This system that we tested
completed the make bootstrap operation to compile the package in 16
minutes and 19 seconds. For comparison, a 350 MHz AMD K6-2 system
with 128MB of RAM and ATA-33 drives running Red Hat 6.0 took 39
minutes and 30 seconds to build the same package. Roughly compared,
that would make this box 2.4 times faster at computational tasks
than the AMD box….”

“The Precision 410 is priced at $3,222 for the configuration
that we reviewed. This is about $50 more than a similar 410 under
NT. When asked, Dell attributed this to the extra cost of support
for the Linux system. Dell offers 180-day free access to Red Hat’s
preferred customer FTP service, 90-day phone installation support,
90-day Web-based installation support, and one incident of advanced
configuration support. In addition, Dell provides 90-day general
Linux support through Linuxcare, for which you have to

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