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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

Power Consumption


We have upgraded our power testing equipment, and we 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.




The Lenovo ThinkStation P900 Tower Workstation tops out at close to 550 watts when put under full load; this wattage is about average for systems like this.


Idle power use is in the range of ~80 watts, which is good for a workstation of this type. Adding more drives and video cards will increase this number. Overall, power use and heating were not issues on the P900; the cooling system could maintain acceptable temperatures without a large amount of fan noise.




During the boot-up process the P900 tops out at ~220 watts, then quickly settles down to ~80 watts while sitting on the desktop. The P900 has a typical power-use profile while booting up.



Final Thoughts




After finishing the testing portion of our review, it is clear the Lenovo P900 is at the high-end of the spectrum for workstation machines.


Lenovo has clearly put a lot of work into creating systems that offer more than the competition. Lenovo created systems that offer real value to the end-user; Lenovo workstations feature creative designs that offer ease-of-use and flexibility that do not lock you into machines that you cannot grow into easily.


We found the tool-less designs were important to the purchase value of these systems. It is extremely easy to get into the guts of these systems to do upgrades and maintenance. Not only do these designs make it simple to access different components, but they also work very well in keeping the system cool and lowering the noise of the total system. The Direct Cooling Air Baffles on the Lenovo workstations may look somewhat unconventional at first, but we find that they do work very well, even with fewer fans than most systems. The fans that are used for cooling in these workstations are not screamers when running at full power; in fact, even with our heavy duty tests like LINPACK, the system stayed cool and made little noise.


We also liked that the P900 comes with a 1300 watt power supply. Many other systems we have seen come with different configurations that often have lesser PSUs installed. This can get you into trouble when you are upgrading with a PSU that cannot handle the loads of the new components. The equipped PSU in the P900 can handle anything that you could install in the system, so it is ready to meet any upgrades you might want to add later.


The P900 also has one of the largest storage options available for a workstation-class machine. The P900 offers built-in flexibility that allows you to customize a load out to meet your requirements, and not what some other company thinks you should run. If you wanted to, you can decided to run your operating system off of a M.2 SSD with a capacity of 1TB, and then use six 3.5" drives, or ten 2.5" drives. You can even mix those up if you want. Flexibility is the key here, and the P900 gives you the freedom to build a system based upon your needs.


Despite the value added by the flexible configuration, we do find the PCIe slot arrangement somewhat strange, and it can hamper some configurations. Today, many applications are more GPU aware, so there is less need for SLI or TRI-SLI bridges to connect the cards. If you do have special requirements for this, then be sure to contact Lenovo to get advice for configuring your machine.


Our experience with the P900 was very positive. We were getting into the machine without even thinking about how this or that might be configured. Graphics cards drop right in, and have power connectors that are easy to access. Accessing the RAM modules was easier with the P900 than with any other machine we have used; there are not a lot of components to block our hands when reaching inside to get at our modules. The end result was that we didn't get our hands and fingers scratched up on heat sinks when we reconfigured our RAM modules.


Just like we saw with the P300 and P500, the software load out is nice and useful without deleting too many bundle packages. We also liked that the P900 came with Windows 8.1 upgrade disks, so if and when you decide to upgrade, you have what you need and do not have to contact Lenovo again.


You can't really go wrong with the P900; it's one of the best built system we have run in the lab to this date, and it has performance to meet any applications you can use on it.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Quality including Design and Build97%
General Features99%
Bundle and Packaging99%
Value for Money99%
Overall TweakTown Rating98%

The Bottom Line: Lenovo's ThinkStation P900 is designed on Lenovo's revolutionary tool-lees design and upgradeability options. Performance is also key to the P900 with flexible load out configurations to meet user needs. The P900 has all the right features and packs performance to boot.

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