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Lenovo ThinkStation P500 Tower Workstation Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jan 29, 2015 3:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: Lenovo

BIOS

 

The BIOS for this server is typical, so we will only show key BIOS screens.

 

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This is the main BIOS screen you see when you first enter the BIOS.

 

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This is the devices setup menu. This allows you to set different audio, network, USB, and SATA properties.

 

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Looking at the advanced setup menu, we can see the options that the P500 allows users to change.

 

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This is the advanced processor configuration menu and options that can be changed. This menu shows two CPU sockets, but for the P500, we only have one CPU that can be installed.

 

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Now we are looking at the memory configuration menu, and the options that can be changed.

 

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Here we see adjustments to the intelligent cooling engine.

 

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The security menu has many options to adjust how secure you want your machine to be.

 

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In addition, here we see the startup option menu, which shows what device you want to boot from, and other options.

 

 

Bundled Software

 

The first thing that many people do is take a look at the bundled software that comes pre-installed on the computer they purchase, and start uninstalling the bulk of it. On many of the machines we have used in the past, there is a fair amount of bloatware. Much of that consists of product trials and software that we are not interested in using.

 

In the case of the P500, we did not find any junk apps, but we did find apps that you should take a careful look at to decide if you want to keep them. This is a typical bundled software load out for many Lenovo products we have reviewed.

 

Below, you will find a list of the pre-installed software that we had installed on this P500.

 

The system we received came with Windows 7 installed, pre-loaded software includes:

 

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • CyberLink Power DVD (on systems with Optical drives)
  • CyberLink Create (on systems with Optical drives)
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Trial
  • Norton Internet Security 2014 (30-day trial)
  • Skype
  • ThinkVantage System Update
  • Rescue and Recovery (Ready-to-Install)
  • Lenovo Reach (only in US and Canada)
  • Lenovo Solution Center
  • PC Device Experience

 

Additional disks included with the package allow for upgrading to Windows 8.1, which includes the following pre-loaded software:

 

  • CyberLink Power DVD (on systems with Optical drives)
  • CyberLink Create (on systems with Optical drives)
  • Evernote
  • Lenovo Companion
  • Lenovo Support
  • Lenovo Solution Center
  • Norton Internet Security 2014 (30-day trial)
  • Password Manager (Web install)
  • PC Device Experience
  • Hightail
  • Lenovo Reach (only in US and Canada)
  • Norton Studio

 

We use Kaspersky for our Anti-Virus needs. These would be our choices to uninstall. This is our personal preference, these are fine products, and what you keep depends upon your own preferences. PowerDVD is necessary to have on the P500, so it will stay. On the other hand, we found the Lenovo software very useful, so let us look at what Lenovo has done to make managing the P500 easier for us.

 

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Down at the bottom right hand side of the task bar, you will find a red icon with a white cross (like the red logo at the top of this picture). Click on this to bring up Lenovo Solution Center, which will be your home for controlling the P500.

 

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Here we see the home screen for the Lenovo Solution Center. At first startup, yours should look something like this. It tells you that you need to get an anti-virus, do a hardware scan, register your P500, and complete a backup. We advise you to do a complete backup at this time. Our backup took maybe 20 minutes, and took four DVDs to complete, but we are all set in case we should suffer from something going bad.

 

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This is the home screen you will see after you select the first option from the previous step. On the left hand side, you can see all the steps you will need to go through to complete this procedure.

 

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Next on the list is the system menu. This shows all information about the P500. Simply click on each icon to bring up status windows.

 

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Next up is the memory icon. This shows you how many slots the P500 has, and which ones have a RAM stick installed. You can see the current amount of memory installed, and what the maximum capacity is for the P500; in this case, it's 512 GB. Optimizing performance will simply tell you to close some programs. Clicking "Get more memory" will bring up a Lenovo web page to order additional memory from.

 

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The Security menu will allow you to set passwords for the P500, turn on the firewall, check virus-protection, and adjust internet connection security settings.

 

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Here we can see the firewall option in the security menu. You can enable or disable the firewall with just a click of the button.

 

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Check-up allows you to do a hardware scan, check the device manager, and take backup snap shots. This is useful to diagnose hardware issues, or check that you have the latest drivers installed.

 

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This will enable you to run a full hardware scan to check if you have any issues with your hardware that need to be considered.

 

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The support menu allows you to connect to online support, and check your warranty status. You can check your configuration history, and register your P500. That about covers the Lenovo Solution Center, but there are several other Lenovo apps to look at next.

 

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Lenovo SHAREit allows you to share files without network charges or Wi-Fi connection. Lenovo SHAREit eliminates the need for cables to wirelessly transfer information rapidly between devices - either with friends, or to take your personal content on the go.

 

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Lenovo Reach simplifies your digital life by enabling access to all of your favorite things from all of your devices, regardless of operating system.

 

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Rescue and Recovery is very much like the one we saw in Lenovo Solution Center. It is very easy to do full backups, or a snap shot of the current system.

 

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Here we are looking at the main screen for Rescue and Recovery, which is a simple way to keep your P500 backed up, and recover if needed.

 

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CyberLink Power DVD (on systems with Optical drives) and CyberLink Create (on systems with Optical drives) is also included, and provides a great way to create DVDs on the P500.

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