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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

Power Consumption

 

We have upgraded our power testing equipment, and now use a Yokogawa WT310 power meter for testing. The Yokogawa WT310 feeds its data through a USB cable to another machine where we can capture the test results.

 

To test total system power use, we used AIDA64 Stability test to load the CPU, and then recorded the results. We also now add in the power use for a server from off state, to hitting the power button to turn it on, and take it all the way to the desktop. This gives us data on power consumption during the boot up process.

 

lenovo-thinkstation-p500-tower-workstation-review_66

 

The Lenovo ThinkStation P500 Tower Workstation did peak out at about 150 watts under load, and settled in to ~54 watts. Setting the workstation power features and CPU speed step will lower these numbers. Overall, the P500 does not use a lot of power when compared to bigger systems. This is good, as it also lowers heat output, and makes for a cool running server.

 

Idle power use is in the range of ~45 watts, which is very good for a workstation of this type. Lower idle power use means less running costs in the long run, making the P500 inexpensive to run over time.

 

lenovo-thinkstation-p500-tower-workstation-review_67

 

Booting up the P500 peaks out at ~140 watts, then quickly settles down to ~54 watts while sitting on the desktop. The P500 uses very little power during boot up, and does not put a drain on power use for idle states.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

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After running the P500 through our tests, we found it to be very capable for a system at this price point.

 

Lenovo could have simply installed a socket 2011-E motherboard into the P300 chassis and called it a day. Instead, they did a complete redesign of the case to provide enhanced cooling, upgradability, and serviceability. The new tool-less features allow for simple hard drive or power supply replacement. Adding drives is also very easy to do, should you need additional storage space. Socket 2011-E processors can also get warm when under full load, especially if you decided to upgrade to a higher-end CPU with more cores. The new cooling shroud does a good job of channeling air through the CPU area to keep the processor nice and cool. We did not have any heating issues in our system, in addition, it helps to cut down noise a great deal. Our system ran very quiet, even under full loads.

 

Moving to a socket 2011-E Haswell processor is a smart move if you are doing heavy-duty media encoding, advanced CAD, or other types of similar work. With this platform, you also have the added ability of using much larger amounts of RAM. The average DDR4 load out is 8GB DDR4 memory sticks, and this would give you a total of 64GB, which is harder to do on the P300 without going to expensive memory kits. The additional benefit, besides capacity, is that it's faster than the P300's DDR3 memory, which will aid in performance.

 

The P500 also has the ability to run higher-end video cards to match up to high-end processors. Many of these upgrades can add a substantial amount to the final cost of a machine, and plays a big factor when deciding on a workstation. This is where the P500 shines as a mainstream workstation, which offers many options in load out to fit different needs.

 

For storage options, we found the 1TB SSHD to preform adequately, but we prefer a SSD based OS drive with an additional 1TB hard drive for storage. SSDs have a huge impact on performance, and the prices on these have come down a great deal, so we feel it should be a standard load out on just about any system these days.

 

Just like on the P300 review, we found cable management to be an issue on the P500. It is not really anything that most people would ever run into if they do not have to get inside the machine; it doesn't affect performance at all - it is really a cosmetic issue. However, it would be nice see clean cable management on these units.

 

Overall, the P500 is a strong workstation. It has a clean, industrial look, and has plenty of power for demanding applications.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance95%
Quality including Design and Build98%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging96%
Value for Money95%
Overall TweakTown Rating96%

The Bottom Line: Lenovo's P500 tower workstation packs a serious performance punch to help speed up your demanding applications. The tool-less design of the case makes maintenance and upgrades effortless, and what you get for the price is quite good.

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