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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





The P500 we received has an Intel Xeon E5-1630 v3 processor installed, and plenty of expansion options. The unit sent to us for review came equipped with an NVIDIA Quadro K4200 for graphics power. These two components complement each other very well in scaling and price.


CPU Options:


  • Intel Xeon E5-1607 v3 Processor (10MB Cache, 3.10GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-1620 v3 Processor (10MB Cache, 3.50GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2609 v3 Processor (15MB Cache, 1.90GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-1630 v3 Processor (10MB Cache, 3.70GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3 Processor (15MB Cache, 2.40GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-1650 v3 Processor (15MB Cache, 3.50GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2630 v3 Processor (20MB Cache, 2.40GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2637 v3 Processor (15MB Cache, 3.50GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2650 v3 Processor (25MB Cache, 2.30GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-1660 v3 Processor (20MB Cache, 3.00GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2650L v3 Processor (30MB Cache, 1.80GHz)
  • Intel Xeon E5-2643 v3 Processor (30MB Cache, 3.40GHz)


Graphics Card Options:


  • NVIDIA NVS315 DMS-59 to Dual Display Port 1GB
  • NVIDIA NVS 315 DMS59 to DVIx2 1GB
  • NVIDIA NVS310 (DP+DP) HP - 512MB
  • NVIDIA Quadro K420 1GB (DVI+DP)
  • NVIDIA Quadro K620 2GB (DVI+DP)
  • NVIDIA NVS510 (mini DPx4) HP - 2GB
  • NVIDIA Quadro K2200 4GB (DVI+2DP)
  • NVIDIA Quadro K4200 4GB (DVI+2DP)
  • NVIDIA Quadro K5200 6G (2DVI+2DP)
  • NVIDIA Quadro K6000 (DVI x 2, DP x 2) - 12GB GDDR5


Storage Options:


  • 500GB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA
  • 1TB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA
  • 2.5" 128GB SATA Solid-State Drive
  • 1TB+8GB Hybrid Hard Drive, 3.5", SATA
  • 2TB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA
  • 2TB+8GB Hybrid Hard Drive, 3.5", SATA
  • 2.5" 180GB SATA Solid-State Drive
  • 2.5" 256GB SATA Solid-State Drive (OPAL)
  • 2.5" 240GB SATA Solid-State Drive
  • 3TB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA
  • 4TB Hard Drive, 7200RPM, 3.5", SATA
  • 2.5" 512GB SATA Solid-State Drive
  • 2.5" 480GB SATA Solid-State Drive


There is also an option for a M.2 256GB PCIe SSD. Depending on budget and performance requirements, the P500 will fit into many roles.







Here we get a look at the front of the P500; just like the P300, we find it has clean lines, a simple design, and looks great. We like the hex mesh on the front. The mesh gives it a hi-tech look and feel, and offers good ventilation. It would be nice to have some kind of dust filter behind all of that.


The case itself is very strong, and feels like it is made of thick metal that is rolled into shape. At the top of the case, there are two handles, one at the front, and the other at the back; these allow the P500 to be picked up easily when needed.




The side of the P500 is simple and not much to see here. There is a locking lever, and provision for key locking the unit up.




Looking at the rear of the P500, we find:


  • 4x USB 3.0
  • 4x USB 2.0
  • 1x Serial port
  • 1x VGA, 2x Display Port located on the K4200
  • 1x Ethernet
  • 1x audio line in, 1x audio line out, and 1x mic in




Here we have taken the side panel off to get a look at the insides of the P500. At the top, we see a large air shroud that is designed to channel air from the front of the case, and through the CPU area to help with cooling.


Down below, we see the hard drive and power supply bays.


The first impression that we got was that better cable management should be done on these builds; this seems rather messy. On the plus side though, all cables are tucked away, and do not block any airflow too badly.




Here we have removed the CPU cooling air shroud. This simply snaps into place, so it is not hard to remove. It is rather large, but does a good job at channeling air to help keep the CPU cool.




With the air shroud removed, we can see the CPU area layout. The CPU heat sink has been rotated 90 degrees to allow the fan to direct air to the back of the case. We can also see the memory DIMMs; it is a very tight fit on the right side if you have to add or remove memory DIMMs.


The layout of this area is very clean, with nothing that would block airflow.




The optical bays are very simple to remove; simply push in the two levers, and push out to the front of the case. To reinstall, push the drives back in, and they will lock into place.




After pushing in the two levers, the DVD drive can be pushed out to the front of the case, and removed.




A fan on the far right side cools the center area that houses the PCIe devices. There is nothing to block airflow except the cables needed to attach the drives and front panel ports. Cable routing is a bit messy here, and we feel this should be cleaned up a bit for even better airflow.




The hard drive bays have two locking levers can be pulled out to unlock the drive. Hard drives can be easily removed for replacement.




Our review sample came to us with just one hard drive installed; however, additional drives can be added with the blank drive trays that fill the remainder of the drive bays.




The cooling fan at the front of the case can be unlocked and pulled straight out to allow for replacement.




At the back of the K4200 video card, there is a mounting plate that fits into the cooling fan housing. This holds the GPU in place very well, and should protect the GPU from bouncing around while shipping.




For easy replacement, the power supply can be unlocked and pulled.




The hold down in the back locks the PCIe expansions cards in place.

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