I didn't cover complete systems in my reviews until now, but with Lenovo's ThinkStation P500 at my doorstep, I was finally able to check a dedicated workstation, and I wasn't going to pass on that offer.
Under the desk workstations are essential these days. Most consumer grade PCs only favor certain type of tasks, but aren't really able to handle proper graphical processing, financial work or serios video-editing. This is where Lenovo's ThinkStation P-series comes into play. There are various models available, from the entry-level P300, powered by a Haswell based Xeon and dual-channel RAM, to mid-range P500 with Haswell-E Xeon and Quad-Channel memory, and even the power-horse machines like the P700 with a dual Haswell-E solution, and P900 with a multi-PCIe improvement to the P700, and an enhanced IO.
Overall, these systems are designed to compete with similar custom-built office stations (HP and Dell come to mind) both in terms of specifications and price-points. While you can build a powerful machine on your own, you won't be able to get the custom build; with pieces like the case, power-supply, motherboard and other parts designed particularly for the workstation (more on that later).
For the purpose of this review, I got the P500 workstation, with a quad-core Intel Xeon Core E5 v3 @ 3.5GHz, 16GB DDR4, an NVidia Quadro K2200 GPU. A custom-built ATX motherboard is positioned into a custom-built case, while the under-powered Quadro K2200 represents at least 30% of the price-point. Powering the machine is a 650W 80+ Platinum LITE-ON supply.
So let us take a look at the world of professional workstations, and see what the ThinkStation P500 has to show for itself.