Lenovo ThinkStation P620 Review: Ripping Threads to Shreads

Lenovo Thinkstation P620 review: The final word Threadripper workstation

MSRP $1,937.00

“The ThinkStation P620 is essentially the most highly effective single-socket workstation round.”

Execs

  • Insane processor efficiency
  • Simply upgradeable
  • Device-free design
  • 10Gb Ethernet

Assume actually huge. If you happen to may put collectively a workstation with essentially the most highly effective parts in the marketplace, what would it not appear like? Nicely, it might most likely look loads just like the Lenovo ThinkStation P620, a workstation kitted out with a Threadripper Professional processor that’s able to dealing with essentially the most demanding workloads attainable.

It’s the definition of overkill, designed to optimize a selected set of functions for efficiency. For most individuals, it’s an overpriced workstation that doesn’t make sense when you would construct your individual pc with cheaper elements you should purchase individually. For others, notably these concerned in deep studying and closely threaded functions, it’s the efficiency champion.

I’ve used the Lenovo P620 for a few weeks now — and by “used,” I imply examined because the fan noise is an excessive amount of to cope with on a day-to-day foundation. It has proved repeatedly that it’s probably the most highly effective desktops in the marketplace, offered you could have the money for the proper {hardware}.

Design

The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is remarkably small given the {hardware} you’ll be able to pack inside. It’s 17.3 inches lengthy, 6.5 inches huge, and 18.1 inches tall — barely thinner than a mid-tower chassis, although about the identical top. There’s a handy deal with on the entrance of the case so you’ll be able to simply decide up the unit, and also you’ll must benefit from it. The P620 can weigh over 50 kilos relying in your configuration.

No matter your configuration, the ThinkStation P620 comes with a three-year guarantee commonplace, in addition to certification for a number of software program distributors. Lenovo maintains a listing, which incorporates software program from Adobe, Autodesk, Bentley, and Siemens, to call a couple of.

To open up the facet panel, Lenovo has a easy tool-free answer. You merely pop open a deal with on the facet panel with a press, then use it to raise the facet panel away. It’s a easy, seamless design that makes getting on the internals rapidly. The second my review unit arrived, I popped off the facet panel with out even enthusiastic about it — no instruction required.

Internals of Lenovo P620.

The facet panel additionally reveals one of many points with the P620. There’s no air flow on the perimeters, high, or backside. As an alternative, the entrance of the case is nearly solely open for air to move via. The issue is that the air is compelled out of the again via an 80mm fan and a few spare PCIe brackets (given that you simply don’t have extra playing cards put in). A single 80mm fan handles consumption, too, although there’s room for a a lot bigger fan.

That makes the P620 a little bit of an air tunnel, permitting large quantities of air via the entrance and forcing it out of restricted air flow within the again. Even at idle, the P620 is noticeably loud. The twin-80mm-fan warmth sink for the CPU doesn’t assist issues a lot.

The sound solely goes up when the machine is beneath load, however I’d’ve appreciated to see a fan curve for when the machine is idle. You couldn’t work subsequent to the P620 with out getting distracted by the noise. The trade-off, and the excellent news, is that the additional noise means the cooling answer is working.

I respect the tool-free, glossy design of the P620, however not the noise that design creates.

Even in Cinebench, the processor by no means went above 70 levels Celsius, which is a full 20 levels decrease than its max working temperature. This isn’t an ideal cooling answer, but it surely’s an efficient one.

Some bigger followers would’ve helped the noise. Mud filters would’ve been good to see, too, particularly for a machine that’s pushing quite a lot of air via it always. After only a week of use, the entrance fan was lined in mud. I took off the fan covers for the RAM, too — extra on that within the “Internals” part — and located globs of mud constructed up inside.

I respect the tool-free, glossy design of the P620, simply not the noise that design creates. It’s constructed like a server — and sadly, it feels like a server, too.

Connectivity

Ports on Lenovo P620.

The P620 comes with sufficient ports to accommodate nearly anybody. Up entrance, that features twin USB-C ports and twin USB-A ports, all of which assist USB 3.2. The again of the case consists of a further six USB-A ports, 4 of which assist USB 3.2 and two that assist USB 2.0. Sadly, the AMD chipset means no Thunderbolt on this machine.

On the again, you even have entry to PS/2 ports for legacy peripherals, audio/microphone ins and outs, and a 10Gbit Ethernet port. That’s a giant win for the P620, permitting you to hook it as much as a high-bandwidth community with out fussing round with an add-in community card. If you wish to go wi-fi, you should use the Intel AC 9260 chip that’s onboard, which incorporates Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

For storage, you could have room for as much as two 2TB M.2 drives and as much as 4 4TB spinning arduous drives. A built-in RAID controller offers you entry to RAID 0 and 1 on the SSDs, in addition to RAID 0, 1, 5, or 10 on the spinning drives.

I can’t think about a scenario the place the P620 doesn’t supply sufficient connectivity. There are many USB ports and area for arduous drives, and something you’ll be able to’t join on to the system, you’d probably run via the community. And the 10Gbit Ethernet port presents loads of bandwidth to take action.

Internals

CPU AMD Ryzen Threadripper Professional 3995WX
GPU Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000 48GB
Reminiscence 128GB octa-channel DDR4-3200 ECC
Storage 1TB M.2, as much as two M.2, as much as 4 HDD
Energy provide 1000W 80+ Platinum
USB ports 10, eight USB-A, two USB-C
Thunderbolt ports None
Networking 10Gbit Ethernet, Wi-Fi
Ports Headphone/microphone jack, PS/2, audio in/out

My review unit got here tricked out with a number of the highest-end elements obtainable right now, displaying simply how a lot energy you’ll be able to pack contained in the ThinkStation P620. On the coronary heart of the system is a Threadripper 3995WX, which is a large 64-core, 128-thread processor that may enhance as much as 4.2GHz.

All P620 configurations are based mostly round these Threadripper Professional processors. They’re constructed on the identical structure as the traditional Threadripper vary, simply with a couple of key variations. They assist octa-channel reminiscence as a substitute of quad-channel reminiscence, and you should use as much as 2TB of ECC RAM, in comparison with solely 256GB non-ECC on the usual vary. As well as, they assist 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, matching AMD’s Epyc server CPUs.

Lenovo presents all the way down to the Threadripper 3945WX, which is a 12-core, 24-thread half with a lift clock of 4.3GHz. Though there are 4 Threadripper Professional choices obtainable, the value and efficiency between them varies extensively. The highest-end 3995WX comes at almost an $11,000 premium.

Though these CPUs are the most effective of the most effective now, they won’t be for lengthy. Threadripper 5000 chips are rumored to launch later in 2021, and they’ll nearly actually outperform these ones.

The AMD chip is notable as a result of the P620’s direct rivals nearly solely use Intel. The HP Z8 and Dell Precision workstations use Intel Xeon chips, not Threadripper. There isn’t a Xeon chip that will get near the Threadripper 3995WX by way of core rely. For that, you’d have to choose up a dual-socket system.

Along with a beefy processor, the configuration Lenovo despatched got here with 128GB of DDR4-3200 reminiscence and an Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000, which comes with a staggering 48GB of video reminiscence. Regardless of being a $10,000 improve, this card matches in the midst of Lenovo’s choices. You’ll be able to scale all the way down to a 2GB Quadro P620 and all the way in which as much as twin Quadro GV100s (with a $35,000 premium).

Lenovo P620 in front of a window.

I used Lenovo’s configurator to get an concept about how a lot the rig it despatched out for review would price. On the time of publication, it might price $14,861.92 due to a coupon on Lenovo’s web site. With out it, it might price $25,624.

I specced out the same rig utilizing the bottom costs I may discover for each element, and the value got here out about $1,000 cheaper in comparison with the Lenovo worth with a coupon. Take note, nonetheless, that the Quadro RTX 8000 can price as a lot as $2,000 greater than the bottom worth I discovered, so the distinction comes out within the wash.

If you will get the P620 on sale, it’s truly an amazing deal. A Lenovo rep confirmed that the coupon isn’t fixed, nonetheless. At full worth, my review unit is about $11,000 dearer than shopping for the elements individually and placing it collectively. At this worth, I can cope with a $1,000 distinction, however an $11,000 hole is a unique story.

There are different techniques on this class which might be additionally cheaper. A equally configured system from Puget Methods runs about $16,000 and certain has higher airflow and cooling on condition that it makes use of a Fractal Outline 7 case and Noctua CPU cooler. Equally, an an identical system at Boxx runs about $20,000 — a full $5,000 lower than the P620.

Understand that this worth is for the configuration on Lenovo’s web site — in a real-world scenario, firms will probably order a couple of of those machines via one other channel. For one machine, the P620 is just too costly, however worth doesn’t play as a lot of a task whenever you’re speaking about a pc that may price tens of hundreds of {dollars}.

Contained in the Lenovo P620

The P620 is nearly solely tool-free Upgrades ought to solely take a matter of minutes, with helpful levers round all important parts that permit you to simply swap them out. That features a bracket for the PCIe slots and 5.25-inch bays, in addition to levers for the facility provide, consumption fan, and RAM covers.

Power supply outside Lenovo P620.

Every of the levers are coated in purple, too, making them stand out in opposition to the black and silver internals. The motherboard is custom-designed for this machine and comes with eight slots for DDR4-3200 ECC reminiscence, in addition to two M.2 slots. There are a couple of passive warmth sinks cooling numerous factors on the motherboard, in addition to covers for the 2 banks of RAM slots.

These covers are only a little bit of plastic with a fan on high, which probably contributes to the noise. It’s not preferrred, however most ECC kits don’t normally include warmth sinks, and so they sit very near a power-hungry processor.

On the underside of the case, you’ll discover the 1,000-watt 80+ Platinum energy provide, which you’ll swap out by flicking down the lever. The ability provide doesn’t have any cables; as a substitute, it slots into the case with a single connector, offering 1000W of energy with out the mess of cables that comes together with it.

What would usually take 15 to twenty minutes solely takes a couple of minutes within the P620.

Subsequent to it, you’ll discover both one or two drive cages relying in your configuration. The default configuration comes with a single drive cage for 2 extra arduous drives. If you happen to occupy these slots in your preliminary configuration, it’ll include an additional drive cage.

This degree of upgradability is probably going part of why the P620 is so costly. Swapping out parts is a breeze. What would usually take 15 to twenty minutes solely takes a couple of minutes within the P620, which is one thing that techniques that use off-the-shelf elements can’t declare.

Processor efficiency

Threadripper logo on Lenovo P620

There’s no doubting the facility contained in the P620, particularly in the event you go for a top-spec rig. With the proper elements, it’s simply probably the most performant machines in the marketplace, however the bloated worth and top-end parts are solely helpful in a slender discipline of duties. If you happen to’re searching for normal compute efficiency with the P620, you’re overspending.

PCMark 10 gives a transparent have a look at that. My review unit earned an total rating of seven,172, which is definitely beneath the eight-liter Intel NUC 11 Excessive I just lately reviewed. That’s not too shocking, although. PCMark is a normal benchmark that checks day-to-day apps, and most apps aren’t optimized to benefit from 64 cores and 48GB of video reminiscence.

Cinebench R23 reveals a clearer view of how highly effective the Threadripper 3995WX is. It earned a decent single-core results of 1,242, which is a step beneath client Ryzen 5000 processors. Threadripper is constructed for multi-core efficiency, although. Within the multi-core take a look at, the Threadripper 3995WX earned a rating of 61,261, which is approach above something we’ve ever examined. For reference, the Ryzen 9 5950X earned a multi-core rating of 23,539.

There’s no doubting the facility contained in the P620, particularly in the event you go for a top-spec rig.

Multi-core workloads are the place Threadripper shines. It doesn’t dominate in duties that require a single core, however on the subject of distributed work that leverage all 64 cores on the identical time, there’s nothing fairly just like the Threadripper 3995WX in a single-socket system.

Geekbench 5 instructed the same story. Within the single-core take a look at, it fell in need of most up-to-date client desktop chips, and even some laptop chips. Within the multi-core take a look at, nonetheless, nothing got here shut.  The buyer Ryzen 5950X earned about half the multi-core rating, in keeping with the Geekbench browser.

Geekbench additionally gave me the prospect to see how the Threadripper 3995WX stacks up in opposition to its non-Professional sibling, the 3990X. The Professional chip I examined earned a multi-core rating of 32,517. On the high-end, the Threadripper 3990X scored about 28,000 on Home windows, and on the low-end, it scored about 22,000. On Home windows, a minimum of, the Professional mannequin reveals some clear enhancements.

Merely put, the Threadripper 3995WX is the benchmark. In any consultant take a look at, the one processors that run quicker are different Threadripper 3995WXs. The Professional vary comes at a premium, but it surely reveals efficiency benefits over the Threadripper 3000 vary, in addition to assist for extra PCIe 4.0 slots, octa-channel reminiscence, and far more reminiscence.

Content material creation

With the horsepower offered by the P620, you’ll be able to sort out the whole lot from deep studying to knowledge science to dense content material creation. For me, large-scale content-creation workloads appeared like an apparent match given the beefy GPU and CPU contained in the my review unit. It is a machine that may generate, edit, and render quicker than absolutely anything else.

As Cinebench confirmed within the final part, the Threadripper 3995WX is a monster in multi-core workloads. I turned to a collection of benchmarks from Puget Methods for Premiere Professional, After Results, and DaVinci Resolve to see how the P620 would carry out in a real-world use. It stacks up nicely, however content material creation isn’t the P620’s true calling.

Lenovo logo on P620.

I began with Premiere Professional, the place I ran the prolonged take a look at. This take a look at isn’t for much longer, but it surely consists of 8K testing — one thing the P620 on this configuration ought to be capable of deal with. It handed with an total rating of 1,235. A system rocking a latest 32-core Xeon managed 1,001 in the identical take a look at, although with a weaker graphics card and far more reminiscence.

This take a look at confirmed some weaknesses, too. In comparison with techniques with a less expensive Threadripper 3990X, my review unit trailed by about 200 factors. Most of those techniques used an RTX 3090, too, which is less expensive than the Quadro RTX 8000. You’re paying a premium for workstation-class elements, and PugetBench for Premiere Professional reveals that.

The After Results take a look at confirmed that, too, with no clear distinction between the 3990X and the 3995WX. The identical was true in my Handbrake take a look at, the place the P620 matched the render time of a machine with a consumer-grade Ryzen 9 5950X.

Blender confirmed a higher distinction. The RTX 3090 was round twice as quick because the Quadro RTX 8000 utilizing CUDA for rendering. DaVinci Resolve was a bit totally different, nonetheless. In comparison with a system with a Threadripper 3970X and RTX 3090, my review unit was about 9% quicker, totally on the again of 4K media dealing with.

As these checks present, a giant a part of the asking worth comes all the way down to software program and options. The 3995WX is extra highly effective than the 3990X, however extra reminiscence, extra reminiscence channels, and extra PCIe lanes are a giant a part of why it’s dearer. Equally, the Quadro RTX 8000 is dearer as a result of it comes with a large quantity of video reminiscence, but additionally as a result of it has rock-solid driver assist.

The Quadro RTX 8000 will not be constructed for gaming, however I’d be remiss if I didn’t put a $6,000 GPU to good use. Hearth Strike Extremely confirmed simply how huge of a waste the Quadro RTX 8000 is for gaming, because it earned an total rating of 8,667 — within the backside 1% of outcomes in comparison with the RTX 3090. It managed a stable physics rating, although nonetheless beneath most RTX 3090 outcomes.

RAM inside Lenovo P620.

At 4K Extremely with ray tracing turned on, the Quadro RTX 8000 managed 37 frames per second (fps) in Cyberpunk 2077. The RTX 3090 will get nearer to 60 fps (although nonetheless struggles to hit it). If you happen to want proof {that a} Quadro isn’t constructed for gaming, right here it’s — however you’ll be able to nonetheless have a bit enjoyable as soon as your work is completed, offered you flip down a couple of settings.

Though my review unit was kitted out, the P620 is restricted to Threadripper Professional processors and Quadro graphics playing cards (in addition to a few AMD workstation GPUs). The Threadripper Professional chips are extra highly effective than their non-Professional counterparts, however not by a lot (particularly in content-creation duties). The benefits largely present up in different areas, so maintain that in thoughts.

Our take

The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is a top-tier workstation with a worth to match. It presents a number of the quickest parts in the marketplace and a wise tool-free design that makes upgrades simple. It’s too noisy, and the additional energy will go to waste in quite a lot of conditions, however there’s no denying how a lot the P620 has to supply to those that can benefit from it.

Value is the primary difficulty, as there are almost an identical techniques from smaller system builders for much less. However in comparison with the Dells and HPs of the world, Lenovo is the one one presenting workstation choices with Threadripper Professional elements. Plus, you’ll be able to probably rating a deal on the P620 in the event you’re ordering a number of techniques.

Are there any alternate options?

Sure. Exterior of the case, motherboard, and energy provide, the P620 makes use of elements you should purchase and put collectively your self, which can prevent some huge cash. System builders like Puget Methods and Boxx have comparable choices, too, which price lower than the P620. Opponents like Dell and HP are locked to Intel processors in the mean time.

How lengthy will it final?

Relying in your {hardware} configuration, the P620 can final you a few years — possibly even a decade. It’s a computing powerhouse that’s simply upgradable, and the facility provide is massive sufficient to accommodate even essentially the most power-hungry parts.

Must you purchase it?

Sure, in the event you can rating a deal. On sale, the P620 is a superb. At full worth, there are alternatives from different system builders which might be cheaper and include off-the-shelf elements.

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