Lenovo ThinkStation P500 review - Dedicated workstation

Performance

Because of the specs and build, it makes sense to use the apropriate benchmarks to test the machine. As such, I used the SpecViewPerf 11 array of benchmarks, PC-Mark Professional, X, Y and Z. Most of these benchmarks run with 3D-rendering, scientific calculation and encyption. 

CINEBENCH 11.5

CINEBEnch is a cross-platform benchmarks able to evaluate the system's processing power when rendering a 3D-scene. The process uses various algorithms to stress the available cores. The E3-1620 v3 is handles such tasks quite well, and has a score of 7.87 multi-threaded, and 1.39 single-threaded. These numbers suggest strong performance, though one typical for this class of processors.

Worth noting is that the E3-1620 v3 lacks turbo-speed mode, and cannot be overclocked, so there's no simple way to eek out higher figures than these.

AIDA64

AIDA64'S memory-specific benchmarks (Read, Write, Copy, Latency) measure the maximum memory-data transfer bandwith. 

Tests Lenovo P500
Read 34.640
Write 44.850
Copy 43.567
Latency 72.0ns

The results show the quad-channel memory has some above average bandwitdh, with very low latency. One could see an increase in performance using the X99 2011-v3 platform over X79.

Passmark

PassMark performance runs about 32 tests, testing CPU, 2D & 3D Graphics, disk, and memory. It provides individual results for each piece, but also comes up with an overall system ranking, and compares it alongside other machines.

P500 has a score of 35452.4, which is a quite impressive for the overall system, being close to high-specced high-end workstations.

SpecViewPerf 11

SpecView Perf runs a series of rendering scenarios, measuring graphics performance under OpenGL and DirectX. The benchmark features viewsets (workloads) that represent content and behavior from actual applications.

ViewSet
AMD FirePro W7100
catia-04 (CATIA V6 R2012) 40.54
creo-01 (Creo 2) 35.49
energy-01 (Energy - Oil/Gas prospecting) 2.50
maya-04 (Maya 2013) 34.98
medical-01 (Medical 3D CT & MRI scan) 13.16
showcase-01 (Showcase 2013) 21.47
snx-02 (Siemens NX 8.0) 30.55
sw-03 (SolidWorks 2013 SP1) 64.12

The results here are somewhat underwhelming, and don't match the performance P500 has in other departments, mainly due to the underpowered Quadro video-card our P500 came with.

PC Mark 8

PCMark 8 is the latest PC-benchmarking tool by FutureMark, which comes with five separate tests Home / Creative / Work / Storage / Application; each simulating workloads typical for the user in question. For the purpose of this review, I tested the P500 in a Creative / Work test, and compared the results with similar machines.

Tests Lenovo P500
Work (NVidia Quadro / Intel Xeon E5-1620 v3) 2947
Creative  (NVidia Quadro / Intel Xeon E5-1620 v3) 3419

The overall results are decent enough(in the upper mid-range tier), but they're dragged down by the Quadro K2200. 

Temperature & Noise

When it comes to cooling, Lenovo used a small vertical cooler, with 4 copper-heatpipes  and a direct-contact copper heat-sink base. The cooler has been rotated a 90 degrees to allow the fan to direct the air at the back of the case.

With the machine not being overclockable or featuring Turbo-mode, the system ran at a temperature of about 63 degrees under heavy load. This means that even under the most hectic workflow situations, the machine will not come under any kind of thermal throttling, even with a hotter and busier environment.

As for noise, P500 is relatively silent, though the fans blowing air are noticeable. The tester revealed about 53dB of noise under heavy load.

Power Consumption

Lenovo's ThinkStation peaks out at about 140watts under heavy load, but sits at around 52watts. In idle, power use sits at ~40watts, which are some very good figures for a mid-range workstation.

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