December 18, 2020

Lenovo Thinkstation P620 – the revolution in the workstation industry

Workstations are powerful computers designed to be used with specialized software. They are most commonly used by architects, 3D and video editing professionals as well as graphics designers. A typical user of AutoCAD,  Blender, Revit or Solidworks, will recognize the workstation well.

Lenovo Thinkstation P620 has been among the most wanted workstations in the industry and this review will explain why.

It is the first workstation with AMD’s Threadripper Pro. It is simply the fastest CPU in the market yet, providing a lead that is measured in times and not percents. It has up to 64 cores, PCIe 4.0, ECC memory and the enabled security, management, and other capabilities from server CPUs. You no longer need a Xeon or an EPYC, if you require over 1 TB of memory or 128 PCIe lanes. You can only get the Threadripper Pro inside an OEM workstation, only one of which is currently available – the Lenovo Thinkstation P620.

For the review, Lenovo has provided a Thinkstation P620 with a 12 core AMD Threadripper Pro 3945WX CPU, an Nvidia Quadro RTX4000 graphics card, 32 GB of DDR4-3200 ECC memory, and a 512 GB NVMe SSD drive.

Inside the P620 the Threadripper Pro is hiding under this massive heatsink with 2 fans, operating in push-pull mode. They move the heat away towards the case fan at the back, which then pushes it outside the case. All 8 DDR4 memory slots are also cooled actively. Filling them up with 64 GB memory sticks allows for a total system memory size of 512 GB.

The DDR4-3200 ECC memory used in the P620 is most commonly found in servers. The ECC (Error Correcting Code) enabled memory stores additional parity information, which allows to detect and correct single bit memory errors, which most commonly occur due to external environmental impact. In other words, it reduces the possibility of your application crashing to a minimum, giving you the confidence that the rendering you left your computer to do overnight, will result in what you expected, rather than an error message on your screen.

Under a small heatsink the motherboard is equipped with two m.2 slots for NVMe SSD drives. The P620 fully supports Gen4 NVMe drives, allowing you to reach linear speeds of over 6 GB/s. Besides the m.2 slots the P620 also has two easily accessible bays for 3.5″ or 2.5″ storage devices.

As for the cables, they are managed exceptionally well. The power supply design is fully modular and a premium class 1000W 80 Plus Platinum power supply comes as standard in the P620. It means that it can reach at least 94% efficiency under optimal load. This means that only 6% of electrical power is wasted.

At its backplate the Lenovo P620 has the usual 3.5 mm microphone as well as line-out and line-in jacks. it even has a PS/2 ports for an old type of keyboard and mouse. It has two USB 2.0 type A and four USB 3.2 type A ports. The backplane is completed by an RJ-45 Ethernet port, capable of 10 Gb speeds. Such speeds are old news in the server space but is still quite rare among PCs.

The front of the P620 case with its honeycomb grill and a fan hiding beneath it is optimized for airflow. Besides the DVD-RW drive and the card reader combo at the front we also have two USB type A and two USB type C ports, a headphone + microphone jack, as well as a 4 segment diagnostic display.

Finally, the P620 supports up to two of the latest RTX A6000 48 GB Ampere based graphics cards from Nvidia, or four Quadro RTX 4000.

Looking inside the P620 you can’t help but feel like looking inside a server and not a PC. Modular design, efficient use of space, meticulously thought through cooling solutions – everything is in one package. The review is brought to you by Lenovo and BTT Cloud – the only Lithuanian reseller with the Lenovo Workstation Expert certification and the leading partner in SMB business class sales across the Baltics.