Dell’s website for customers in India listed the industry’s first mobile workstation featuring Intel’s discrete professional-grade GPU, the Arc Alchemist A370M Pro. The new Dell Precision 5470 machine is an entry-level workstation that is designed to provide stability, longevity, and decent support, but not breakthrough performance. It is the first machine to use a professional-grade discrete GPU from Intel. It was announced only with the Nvidia RTX A1000.
Specifications for Intel’s Arc Alchemist A370M Pro graphics processor are not exactly clear, though given its model number, we would assume that it comes with 128 execution units (equivalent to 1,024 stream processors), just like its Arc Alchemist A370M counterpart for consumers. But there are more important professional-grade GPU enhancements over consumer-oriented parts than performance or compute throughput.
While workstation-grade and consumer-grade graphics processors use the same silicon, they are completely different products. First off, professional applications tend to use some of GPU resources not used by games and which are typically disabled on consumer parts (for instance, wireframe antialiasing). Secondly, workstation solutions are designed for maximum stability and longevity, so their clocks may be lower compared to consumer parts, yet cooling systems may be more robust. (Indeed, the Precision 5470 uses separate coolers for CPU and GPU, according to a render from the site.)
But the main difference between consumer and professional GPUs are drivers tailored for professional programs and certifications from developers of these applications. Certifications from independent software vendors (ISVs) are meant to ensure that critical applications run reliably and optimally on a particular machine. Also, without appropriate certifications from ISVs, users are unable to apply for support from those ISVs and for professionals it is important to have ISV backing in certain situations (not that ISVs do not support consumer-grade GPUs, some of them do).
Unfortunately, neither Intel nor Dell have disclosed which software vendors have certified the Precision 5470 workstation and the Arc Alchemist A370M Pro GPU, though Dell claims that its Precision workstations “are tested to ensure the high-performance applications you rely on every day run smoothly’ and that these certifications ‘cover the most popular independent software applications.”
Dell’s Precision 5470 professional laptopis a 14-inch machine based around Intel’s 12th Generation Core ‘Alder Lake-H’ processor with up to 14 cores (6P cores and 8E cores) that can be paired with up to 64GB of DDR5-5200 memory and up to 4TB of RAID-capable NVMe storage. The machine is currently available in India and comes with Nvidia’s RTX A1000 4GB entry-level professional GPU (GA107S) as well as with Intel’s Arc Alchemist A370M Pro GPU.