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Lenovo ThinkStation P300 Tower Workstation Review

By: William Harmon | Servers in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Oct 8, 2014 1:38 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%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 an off state, to hitting the power button to turn it on, and taking it all the way to the desktop. This gives us data on power consumption during the boot up process.




The Lenovo ThinkStation P300 Tower Workstation did peak out at about 103 watts under load, and settled in to ~30 watts. Setting the workstation power features and CPU speed step will lower these numbers. Overall, the P300 does not use a lot of power in comparison to larger 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 ~33 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 P300 inexpensive to run over time.




Booting up the P300 peaks out at ~87 watts, then quickly settles down to ~33 watts while sitting on the desktop. The P300 uses very little power during boot up, and does not put a drain on power use for idle states.



Final Thoughts




We ran the P300 through all our tests, and found the performance to be quite high for a computer of this type.


We like the new design of the P300; it's clean looking, lightweight, and easy to move around. The tower version does have a large footprint to consider when installing; 6.9" x 16.97" x 16.7" does not make for a small machine. You can order the P300 SFF (slim form factor), which is 6.9" x 16.97" x 16.7" if size is an issue.


The bundled software is very similar to what we found in the W540 Mobile Workstation. What impresses us the most about this software is it is actually usable, and is something you want to keep installed. Many of the features make maintaining the P300 easier, keeping you up-to-date and making backups, which is very important. There is no need to purchase other backup up software, because the P300 handles all that for you.


The choice of hardware inside our P300 is well balanced. The Intel Xeon E3-1276 v3 is a powerful processor, and matches up to the NVIDIA Quadro K4000 very well. This is well suited for graphics work, CAD, and 3D modeling. The P300 is also certified for professional independent software vendor (ISV) applications, including Adobe, Autodesk, Dassault, PTC, SolidWorks, Avid, and Siemens.


If upgrades are required, the tool-less design of the P300 makes adding new components rather easy. This will help the IT staff that often gets to do this job, which can be time consuming. If additional I/O ports are needed, the Flex Module will fit right into the top of the P300 in the bay below the DVD drive. The ability to customize the Flex Module to fit your requirements is also a big plus.


Platform stability is also important; the P300 workstation features a fifteen-month life cycle with no planned hardware changes that will affect the preloaded software image. This will help to reduce transition, qualification, and testing costs.


If you need more than one monitor for your workflow, you can attach up to three independent monitors using Mosaic Mode with integrated Intel graphics, or connect to up to sixteen independent monitors with 1.2 stream cloning mode.


We found the Seagate 1TB hard drive to be responsive, and a good performer; we would suggest that a user would pick a SSD for the OS drive, and then a second 1TB drive for storage. Yes, this will add extra costs to the P300, but it will increase its performance by a great deal.


We have to say that when we opened the P300 up to look at the insides, we were surprised at the lower quality of the cable management. Not that there are any side windows so you can see the insides, but we would hope that this would be addressed in the future. Good cable management is important in keeping good airflow, and ease of maintenance if and when upgrades, or replacement parts are required.


In closing, we find that the P300 is a well-designed, powerful workstation that is able to handle demanding workloads with ease, and not break the bank while doing so.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Quality including Design and Build92%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging94%
Value for Money95%
Overall TweakTown Rating95%

The Bottom Line: The entry-level workstation market can be tough to compete in. You want high performance, functional enclosures, and stability to last as long as possible. The P300 sits in a perfect position to provide all of those features and not break the bank doing so.

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