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Lenovo ThinkStation P900 Workstation Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Mar 19, 2015 8:09 pm
TweakTown Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Lenovo

Specifications

 

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The P900 we received for review came equipped with two E5-2687w v3, 128GB of DDR4, and a NVIDIA Quadro K5200 for graphics support. We would expect this as a starting workstation configuration for a 2P workstation. Depending on graphics needs, there is room for up to three video cards, and these can be upgraded to Quadro K6000s or NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.

 

The P900 can hold a large amount of hard drives with bays to support up to 14. This means a maximum amount of 24TB of raw storage can be installed in this system.

 

To back all of the accessories and video cards, the P900 comes with a 1300-watt power supply, which should handle anything that can be installed with no issues. There is also a rail kit for the P900, just in case you want to mount the system in a rack.

 

 

Layout

 

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Here we get a look at the front of the P900; it looks very much like the P500, but the P900 is larger so it can support the dual-processor based system. This workstation has very clean lines, and we like the black honeycomb mesh that covers the front of the case. This mesh helps to provide good airflow.

 

The front media bay includes a DVD RW drive, a media card reader, a headphone/microphone combo jack, and four USB 3.0 ports. There is also space for two more expansion drives in this area.

 

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The side of the P900 has a locking level to prevent unauthorized access to the insides of the case. This portion of the case is very simple, and the surface has a nice matt finish to it, so it does not get fingerprints all over it when handled.

 

At the top of the case, on ether end, there are two knockouts that provide handles for lifting the P900. We found these to be useful because the P900 in not a light machine; these handles make moving the P900 around very easy. We have worked with many other workstations of this type and weight, and so far, the P900 is the only one that has this feature.

 

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On the back of the P900, we see the same black honeycomb mesh that we saw on the front. There are two slots to hold the locking keys for the side panel located here. Here we can clearly see the split arrangement of the PCIe bays with space for one video card at the top and two on the bottom.

 

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On the rear I/O panel of the P900, we find the following ports:

 

  • 1x audio line in
  • 1x audio line out
  • 1x mic in
  • PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports
  • 1x serial port
  • 2x stacks with 1x LAN and 2x USB 2.0 ports.
  • 4x USB 3.0 ports

 

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Here we have taken the side panel off to get a look at the inner workings of the P900. As we have seen with other Lenovo workstations, an air-cooling shroud goes right down the middle of the case and separates the accessory card bays. This arrangement gives us space for one PCIe video card at the top and two at the bottom.

 

The 1,300-watt power supply is located at the top of the case, and on the far right are the hard drive bays.

 

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The new Lenovo systems are designed to be hands-on and reduce the work required to do upgrades. Each of the red touch points that you see here are locations that can be removed. No tools are required to remove these components. The only items that would require a screwdriver to remove are the CPU heat sinks.

 

Here is a nice video Lenovo created that shows how all of these components work:

 

 

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The air-shroud, or as Lenovo calls it, the Direct Cooling Air Baffle, can be removed to access the CPU and RAM area. This new thermal design by Lenovo reduces the number of fans required, and helps to lower noise.

 

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Here we have removed the Direct Cooling Air Baffle so you can see the CPU and RAM area. There is a removable fan at the back of the case that pulls air through the system and exhausts it out of the back to provide cooling in this area. Each CPU has its own heat sink that has an additional fan for cooling.

 

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Looking at the CPU heat sinks here, we can see that each heat sink has its own fan to provide cooling. These heat sinks are comparable to many we have seen in our other reviews, and they provide ample cooling for the CPUs on their own. These heat sinks work in combination with the Direct Cooling Air Baffle and the large fan at the back of the case to provide all the cooling the CPUs and RAM need.

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