Lenovo ThinkStation P620 Review: Ripping Threads to Shreads

Lenovo Thinkstation P620 review: The ultimate phrase Threadripper workstation

MSRP $1,937.00

“The ThinkStation P620 is basically probably the most extremely efficient single-socket workstation spherical.”

Execs

  • Insane processor effectivity
  • Merely upgradeable
  • Machine-free design
  • 10Gb Ethernet

Assume really large. When you occur to might put collectively a workstation with primarily probably the most extremely efficient components within the market, what would it not not appear as if? Properly, it’d almost definitely look masses similar to the Lenovo ThinkStation P620, a workstation kitted out with a Threadripper Skilled processor that’s in a position to coping with primarily probably the most demanding workloads attainable.

It’s the definition of overkill, designed to optimize a specific set of capabilities for effectivity. For most people, it’s an overpriced workstation that doesn’t make sense if you would assemble your particular person laptop with cheaper parts you can purchase individually. For others, notably these involved in deep learning and intently threaded capabilities, it’s the effectivity champion.

I’ve used the Lenovo P620 for a couple of weeks now — and by “used,” I indicate examined as a result of the fan noise is an extreme quantity of to deal with on a day-to-day basis. It has proved repeatedly that it’s in all probability probably the most extremely efficient desktops within the market, provided you can have the cash for the correct {{hardware}}.

Design

The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is remarkably small given the {{hardware}} you’ll pack inside. It’s 17.3 inches prolonged, 6.5 inches large, and 18.1 inches tall — barely thinner than a mid-tower chassis, though in regards to the similar high. There’s a useful cope with on the doorway of the case so you’ll merely determine up the unit, and in addition you’ll should profit from it. The P620 can weigh over 50 kilos relying in your configuration.

Regardless of your configuration, the ThinkStation P620 comes with a three-year assure commonplace, along with certification for quite a lot of software program program distributors. Lenovo maintains an inventory, which includes software program program from Adobe, Autodesk, Bentley, and Siemens, to name a few.

To open up the side panel, Lenovo has a straightforward tool-free reply. You merely pop open a cope with on the side panel with a press, then use it to lift the side panel away. It’s a straightforward, seamless design that makes getting on the internals quickly. The second my review unit arrived, I popped off the side panel with out even obsessed with it — no instruction required.

Internals of Lenovo P620.

The side panel moreover reveals one among many factors with the P620. There’s no air circulate on the edges, excessive, or bottom. As a substitute, the doorway of the case is sort of solely open for air to maneuver through. The difficulty is that the air is compelled out of the once more through an 80mm fan and some spare PCIe brackets (given that you just don’t have additional enjoying playing cards put in). A single 80mm fan handles consumption, too, though there’s room for a rather a lot greater fan.

That makes the P620 somewhat little bit of an air tunnel, allowing massive portions of air through the doorway and forcing it out of restricted air circulate throughout the once more. Even at idle, the P620 is noticeably loud. The dual-80mm-fan heat sink for the CPU doesn’t help points rather a lot.

The sound solely goes up when the machine is beneath load, nonetheless I might’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 good news, is that the extra noise means the cooling reply is working.

I respect the tool-free, shiny design of the P620, nonetheless not the noise that design creates.

Even in Cinebench, the processor on no account went above 70 ranges Celsius, which is a full 20 ranges lower than its max working temperature. This isn’t an excellent cooling reply, but it surely certainly’s an environment friendly one.

Some greater followers would’ve helped the noise. Mud filters would’ve been good to see, too, notably for a machine that’s pushing numerous air through it all the time. After solely every week of use, the doorway fan was lined in mud. I took off the fan covers for the RAM, too — additional on that throughout the “Internals” half — and situated globs of mud constructed up inside.

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

Connectivity

Ports on Lenovo P620.

The P620 comes with enough ports to accommodate almost anyone. Up entrance, that options twin USB-C ports and twin USB-A ports, all of which help USB 3.2. The once more of the case consists of an additional six USB-A ports, 4 of which help USB 3.2 and two that help USB 2.0. Sadly, the AMD chipset means no Thunderbolt on this machine.

On the once more, you even have entry to PS/2 ports for legacy peripherals, audio/microphone ins and outs, and a 10Gbit Ethernet port. That’s an enormous win for the P620, allowing you to hook it as a lot as a high-bandwidth neighborhood with out fussing spherical with an add-in neighborhood card. When you want to go wi-fi, you need to use the Intel AC 9260 chip that’s onboard, which includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

For storage, you can have room for as a lot as two 2TB M.2 drives and as a lot as 4 4TB spinning arduous drives. A built-in RAID controller affords you entry to RAID 0 and 1 on the SSDs, along with RAID 0, 1, 5, or 10 on the spinning drives.

I can’t take into consideration a situation the place the P620 doesn’t provide enough connectivity. There are numerous USB ports and space for arduous drives, and one thing you’ll’t be part of on to the system, you’d in all probability run through the neighborhood. And the 10Gbit Ethernet port presents a great deal of bandwidth to take motion.

Internals

CPU AMD Ryzen Threadripper Skilled 3995WX
GPU Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000 48GB
Memory 128GB octa-channel DDR4-3200 ECC
Storage 1TB M.2, as a lot as two M.2, as a lot as 4 HDD
Power present 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 obtained right here tricked out with quite a lot of the highest-end parts obtainable proper now, displaying merely how rather a lot power you’ll pack contained within the ThinkStation P620. On the coronary coronary heart of the system is a Threadripper 3995WX, which is a big 64-core, 128-thread processor which will improve as a lot as 4.2GHz.

All P620 configurations are based spherical these Threadripper Skilled processors. They’re constructed on the similar construction as the normal Threadripper differ, merely with a few key variations. They help octa-channel memory as an alternative of quad-channel memory, and you need to use as a lot as 2TB of ECC RAM, as compared with solely 256GB non-ECC on the standard differ. In addition to, they help 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes, matching AMD’s Epyc server CPUs.

Lenovo presents all the best way right down to the Threadripper 3945WX, which is a 12-core, 24-thread half with a carry clock of 4.3GHz. Although there are 4 Threadripper Skilled decisions obtainable, the worth and effectivity between them varies extensively. The very best-end 3995WX comes at nearly an $11,000 premium.

Although these CPUs are the best of the best now, they will not be for prolonged. Threadripper 5000 chips are rumored to launch later in 2021, they usually’ll almost really outperform these ones.

The AMD chip is notable because of the P620’s direct rivals almost solely use Intel. The HP Z8 and Dell Precision workstations use Intel Xeon chips, not Threadripper. There isn’t a Xeon chip that may get close to the Threadripper 3995WX by the use of core rely. For that, you’d have to decide on up a dual-socket system.

Together with a beefy processor, the configuration Lenovo despatched obtained right here with 128GB of DDR4-3200 memory and an Nvidia Quadro RTX 8000, which comes with a staggering 48GB of video memory. No matter being a $10,000 enhance, this card matches within the midst of Lenovo’s decisions. You can scale all the best way right down to a 2GB Quadro P620 and all the best way during which as a lot as twin Quadro GV100s (with a $35,000 premium).

Lenovo P620 in front of a window.

I used Lenovo’s configurator to get an idea about how rather a lot the rig it despatched out for review would worth. On the time of publication, it’d worth $14,861.92 resulting from a coupon on Lenovo’s website online. With out it, it’d worth $25,624.

I specced out the identical rig using the underside prices I could uncover for every component, and the worth obtained right here out about $1,000 cheaper as compared with the Lenovo value with a coupon. Take notice, nonetheless, that the Quadro RTX 8000 can worth as rather a lot as $2,000 larger than the underside value I found, so the excellence comes out throughout the wash.

If you’re going to get the P620 on sale, it’s actually an incredible deal. A Lenovo rep confirmed that the coupon isn’t mounted, nonetheless. At full value, my review unit is about $11,000 dearer than purchasing for the weather individually and inserting it collectively. At this value, I can address a $1,000 distinction, nonetheless an $11,000 gap is a singular story.

There are completely different strategies on this class which is likely to be moreover cheaper. A equally configured system from Puget Strategies runs about $16,000 and sure has greater airflow and cooling provided that it makes use of a Fractal Define 7 case and Noctua CPU cooler. Equally, an an similar system at Boxx runs about $20,000 — a full $5,000 decrease than the P620.

Perceive that this value is for the configuration on Lenovo’s website online — in a real-world situation, companies will in all probability order a few of these machines through one different channel. For one machine, the P620 is simply too pricey, nonetheless value doesn’t play as quite a lot of a activity everytime you’re talking a few laptop which will worth tens of tons of of {{dollars}}.

Contained within the Lenovo P620

The P620 is sort of solely tool-free Upgrades must solely take a matter of minutes, with useful levers spherical all necessary components that let you to easily swap them out. That includes a bracket for the PCIe slots and 5.25-inch bays, along with levers for the power present, consumption fan, and RAM covers.

Power supply outside Lenovo P620.

Each 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 memory, along with two M.2 slots. There are a few passive heat sinks cooling quite a few elements on the motherboard, along with covers for the two banks of RAM slots.

These covers are solely somewhat little bit of plastic with a fan on excessive, which in all probability contributes to the noise. It’s not preferrred, nonetheless most ECC kits don’t usually embrace heat sinks, and they also sit very close to a power-hungry processor.

On the underside of the case, you’ll uncover the 1,000-watt 80+ Platinum power present, which you will swap out by flicking down the lever. The flexibility present doesn’t have any cables; as an alternative, it slots into the case with a single connector, providing 1000W of power with out the mess of cables that comes along with it.

What would normally take 15 to twenty minutes solely takes a few minutes throughout the P620.

Subsequent to it, you’ll uncover each one or two drive cages relying in your configuration. The default configuration comes with a single drive cage for two additional arduous drives. When you occur to occupy these slots in your preliminary configuration, it’ll embrace a further drive cage.

This diploma of upgradability might be going a part of why the P620 is so pricey. Swapping out components is a breeze. What would normally take 15 to twenty minutes solely takes a few minutes throughout the P620, which is one factor that strategies that use off-the-shelf parts can’t declare.

Processor effectivity

Threadripper logo on Lenovo P620

There’s no doubting the power contained within the P620, notably within the occasion you go for a top-spec rig. With the correct parts, it’s merely in all probability probably the most performant machines within the market, nonetheless the bloated value and top-end components are solely useful in a slender self-discipline of duties. When you occur to’re looking for regular compute effectivity with the P620, you’re overspending.

PCMark 10 offers a clear take a look at that. My review unit earned an complete score of seven,172, which is unquestionably beneath the eight-liter Intel NUC 11 Extreme I simply currently reviewed. That’s not too stunning, though. PCMark is a standard benchmark that checks day-to-day apps, and most apps aren’t optimized to learn from 64 cores and 48GB of video memory.

Cinebench R23 reveals a clearer view of how extremely efficient the Threadripper 3995WX is. It earned a good single-core outcomes of 1,242, which is a step beneath shopper Ryzen 5000 processors. Threadripper is constructed for multi-core effectivity, though. Throughout the multi-core check out, the Threadripper 3995WX earned a score of 61,261, which is method above one thing we’ve ever examined. For reference, the Ryzen 9 5950X earned a multi-core score of 23,539.

There’s no doubting the power contained within the P620, notably within the occasion 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, nonetheless as regards to distributed work that leverage all 64 cores on the similar time, there’s nothing pretty similar to the Threadripper 3995WX in a single-socket system.

Geekbench 5 instructed the identical story. Throughout the single-core check out, it fell in want of latest shopper desktop chips, and even some laptop chips. Throughout the multi-core check out, nonetheless, nothing obtained right here shut.  The customer Ryzen 5950X earned about half the multi-core score, consistent with the Geekbench browser.

Geekbench moreover gave me the prospect to see how the Threadripper 3995WX stacks up in opposition to its non-Skilled sibling, the 3990X. The Skilled chip I examined earned a multi-core score of 32,517. On the high-end, the Threadripper 3990X scored about 28,000 on Dwelling home windows, and on the low-end, it scored about 22,000. On Dwelling home windows, a minimal of, the Skilled model reveals some clear enhancements.

Merely put, the Threadripper 3995WX is the benchmark. In any guide check out, the one processors that run faster are completely different Threadripper 3995WXs. The Skilled differ comes at a premium, but it surely certainly reveals effectivity advantages over the Threadripper 3000 differ, along with help for additional PCIe 4.0 slots, octa-channel memory, and way more memory.

Content material materials creation

With the horsepower provided by the P620, you’ll type out the whole thing from deep learning to data science to dense content material materials creation. For me, large-scale content-creation workloads appeared like an obvious match given the beefy GPU and CPU contained within the my review unit. It’s a machine which will generate, edit, and render faster than completely anything.

As Cinebench confirmed throughout the ultimate half, the Threadripper 3995WX is a monster in multi-core workloads. I turned to a set of benchmarks from Puget Strategies for Premiere Skilled, After Outcomes, and DaVinci Resolve to see how the P620 would perform in a real-world use. It stacks up properly, nonetheless content material materials creation isn’t the P620’s true calling.

Lenovo logo on P620.

I started with Premiere Skilled, the place I ran the extended check out. This check out isn’t for for much longer, but it surely certainly consists of 8K testing — one factor the P620 on this configuration must be able to cope with. It handed with an complete score of 1,235. A system rocking a modern 32-core Xeon managed 1,001 within the similar check out, though with a weaker graphics card and way more memory.

This check out confirmed some weaknesses, too. Compared with strategies with a inexpensive Threadripper 3990X, my review unit trailed by about 200 elements. Most of these strategies used an RTX 3090, too, which is inexpensive than the Quadro RTX 8000. You’re paying a premium for workstation-class parts, and PugetBench for Premiere Skilled reveals that.

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

Blender confirmed the next distinction. The RTX 3090 was spherical twice as fast as a result of the Quadro RTX 8000 using CUDA for rendering. DaVinci Resolve was a bit completely completely different, nonetheless. Compared with a system with a Threadripper 3970X and RTX 3090, my review unit was about 9% faster, completely on the once more of 4K media coping with.

As these checks current, an enormous part of the asking value comes all the best way right down to software program program and choices. The 3995WX is additional extremely efficient than the 3990X, nonetheless additional memory, additional memory channels, and further PCIe lanes are an enormous part of why it’s dearer. Equally, the Quadro RTX 8000 is dearer because of it comes with a big amount of video memory, however moreover because of it has rock-solid driver help.

The Quadro RTX 8000 won’t be constructed for gaming, nonetheless I’d be remiss if I didn’t put a $6,000 GPU to good use. Fireplace Strike Extraordinarily confirmed merely how large of a waste the Quadro RTX 8000 is for gaming, as a result of it earned an complete score of 8,667 — throughout the bottom 1% of outcomes as compared with the RTX 3090. It managed a steady physics score, though nonetheless beneath most RTX 3090 outcomes.

RAM inside Lenovo P620.

At 4K Extraordinarily 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 (though nonetheless struggles to hit it). When you occur to need proof {{that a}} Quadro isn’t constructed for gaming, proper right here it is — nonetheless you’ll nonetheless have a bit satisfying as quickly as your work is accomplished, provided you flip down a few settings.

Although my review unit was kitted out, the P620 is restricted to Threadripper Skilled processors and Quadro graphics enjoying playing cards (along with a couple of AMD workstation GPUs). The Threadripper Skilled chips are additional extremely efficient than their non-Skilled counterparts, nonetheless not by rather a lot (notably in content-creation duties). The advantages largely current up in numerous areas, so preserve that in ideas.

Our take

The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is a top-tier workstation with a value to match. It presents quite a lot of the quickest components within the market and a clever tool-free design that makes upgrades easy. It’s too noisy, and the extra power will go to waste in numerous circumstances, nonetheless there’s no denying how rather a lot the P620 has to produce to those who can profit from it.

Worth is the first issue, as there are nearly an similar strategies from smaller system builders for a lot much less. Nonetheless as compared with the Dells and HPs of the world, Lenovo is the one one presenting workstation decisions with Threadripper Skilled parts. Plus, you’ll in all probability score a deal on the P620 within the occasion you’re ordering quite a lot of strategies.

Are there any alternate choices?

Positive. Exterior of the case, motherboard, and power present, the P620 makes use of parts you can purchase and put collectively your self, which might stop some large money. System builders like Puget Strategies and Boxx have comparable decisions, too, which worth decrease than the P620. Opponents like Dell and HP are locked to Intel processors at the moment.

How prolonged will it ultimate?

Relying in your {{hardware}} configuration, the P620 can ultimate you a couple of years — presumably even a decade. It’s a computing powerhouse that’s merely upgradable, and the power present is huge enough to accommodate even primarily probably the most power-hungry components.

Should you buy it?

Positive, within the occasion you possibly can score a deal. On sale, the P620 is an outstanding. At full value, there are alternate options from completely different system builders which is likely to be cheaper and embrace off-the-shelf parts.

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