While many of us enthusiasts play with our Broadwell-E systems, we sometimes forget we are playing with a toned down unlocked Xeon; Broadwell-EP. Single socket Broadwell-EP processors (Xeon E5-1600 v4) work with the C610 Wellsburg chipset and have core counts comparable to their Broadwell-E counterparts. The Xeon E5-1650 v4 has 6 cores and 12 threads, just like the i7 6850K, operates at the same frequencies, has the same cache size, and even TDP.
The big differences come in memory support; the Xeon can support up to 1.54TB of DDR4, supports ECC RDIMMs, and other server features such as vPro. These Xeon counterparts of the beloved Broadwell-E enthusiast CPUs are powerful and very capable and are an excellent choice for workstations.
Of course, workstations also need workstation level graphics cards, in this case, an NVIDIA Quadro GPU. The reason is because of professional CAD software's use of OpenGL for which the Quadro is optimized. The Quadro is also better for double precision float computations used in science. They are optimized for certain use case scenarios, even software applications, that are common in the professional world.
The workstation also needs to support error checking, and for this Lenovo offers ECC-RDIMMs to match the CPU's capability. Lenovo has optimized the hardware and even software to produce their professional workstation, one with a long legacy.
Let's take a look at the Lenovo ThinkStation P410 Professional Workstation.
The base configuration for the ThinkStation P410 is much difference than our configuration. Our configuration comes with the Xeon E5-1650 v4 (the top most model Lenovo offers), 16GB of DDR4 ECC-RDIMM, NVIDIA Quadro M4000, and a 1TB SATA SSD. The system also comes with a keyboard and mouse.
The ThinkStation P410 in this configuration costs roughly $2500, while the base configuration is only $1043, which is of course significantly more affordable.
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