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Lenovo ThinkServer TD350 Tower Server Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Mar 5, 2015 3:05 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Lenovo

Power Consumption

 

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-thinkserver-td350-tower-server-review_59

 

Power consumption of the TD350 is looking to be very good for a dual CPU based system. The E5-2620 v3s do not use a lot of power, and we see a normal 100 watts at idle, but we are seeing no more than 300 watts at full load; that's about 150 watts lower than some of the systems we tested in the lab.

 

We also notice several spikes in the graph, what is happening is the system reaches a peak power use and throttles itself down to conserve power and limit heat output. This keeps the server running cool under extreme loads. Generally, a server like this would rarely see heavy loads like those that we use in our tests.

 

lenovo-thinkserver-td350-tower-server-review_60

 

Like many systems we test, we see about 5-10 watts being used in power off state; this keeps IPMI & iKVM features active. Overall, the TD350 has a short boot up time, and that keeps power use rather low during this period.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

We have reviewed many Lenovo servers and workstations here in the lab, and now we are starting to see the latest machines from Lenovo that are based on Haswell-EP processors.

 

Lenovo's latest tower server offering continues with a virtually tool-less design that is geared for easy access so that upgrading or part replacement can be done in house, without the need for an expensive service call. Adding more RAM is rather simple to do, and even adding an additional processor is simple with upgrade packs. Many of these things should only be done by someone that is at least familiar with servers.

 

The TD350 has a flexible upgrade path, so if you start with a basic server and need to expand it further later on, you can do so. The tool-less design makes expansions a snap.

 

lenovo-thinkserver-td350-tower-server-review_61

 

The air shroud that we are beginning to see in many Lenovo designs works very well in keeping the server cool and reducing noise. In the case of the TD350, the CPU heat sinks do not come with fans, and instead rely on the fans in the middle section to cool the processors. This may not be enough cooling if you intend to run your server under heavy loads for long periods. We also have a P900 workstation here in the lab, and it includes fans on the heat sinks, which we think might be a better option on the TD350.

 

The TD350 we received has an impressive storage system built into it that allows it to take advantage of the 15 drive bays. These drives can be configured in many different ways depending on your needs and storage requirements.

 

We also got our first look at Lenovo's ThinkServer Deployment Manager, which has a user-friendly interface designed to walk you through many BIOS features and network/storage setup procedures. This is actually the first graphic user interface we have seen on a dual CPU system on any kind of platform; it is well designed, and it has a good workflow. We really liked the new TDM that Lenovo has come up with, and it shows they are committed to building machines that are user friendly.

 

The new air shroud design helps to keep the TD350 running nice and quiet. When running the server at max loads, it reached ~42 decibels in our lab, which is far quieter than many other servers we run here. It was actually very nice to have CPU2006 running it's max multi-core tests without the noise chasing us out of the lab.

 

Like the other servers/workstations we have reviewed, we would like to see a dust filter built into the storage bay door because it would help to keep the inside of the TD350 nice and clean. We would also like to see heat sinks that have fans on them to provide additional cooling capabilities when needed.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance90%
Quality including Design and Build97%
General Features98%
Bundle and Packaging90%
Value for Money95%
Overall TweakTown Rating94%

The Bottom Line: Low entry cost, huge storage capacity, complete tool-less design, high performance and large I/O capacity make the TD350 a no brainer for small to medium size business.

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