Workstation Performance

While the PCMarks and some video encoding may favor an SSD-based system (though the 15K RPM Seagate Savvio in our review unit is no slouch), the SPEC workstation benchmarks should pretty aggressively favor Lenovo's solution as the NVIDIA Quadro 5000 and dual octalcore Xeons are the highest specced parts we've yet tested.

SPECviewperf 11 (catia-03)

SPECviewperf 11 (ensight-04)

SPECviewperf 11 (lightwave-01)

SPECviewperf 11 (maya-03)

SPECviewperf 11 (proe-05)

SPECviewperf 11 (sw-02)

SPECviewperf 11 (tcvis-02)

SPECviewperf 11 (snx-01)

Any test the D30 doesn't win, it basically ties, and when it does win it often wins big. The tcvis-02 test seems to be workstation GPU dependent, and proe-05 and lightwave-01 both seem to favor the slightly faster top clock speed on the Xeon E3-1280 v2, which is able to take one core up to 4GHz; both benches are definitely banking on single-threaded performance as the major differentiator. The combination of 150W of GF100 GPU power and 300W of Xeon cores certainly gets the job done, though.

SPECapc Lightwave 3D 9.6 (Interactive)

SPECapc Lightwave 3D 9.6 (Render)

SPECapc Lightwave 3D 9.6 (Multitask)

Interestingly, while SPECapc Lightwave definitely sees gains from the additional eight cores, they're a little more subdued. The D30 is definitely shaving whole minutes off of the running time compared to the Z420's single E5-2687W, but the extra cores just aren't as pronounced as they are in some of the SPECviewperf tests.

Application and Futuremark Performance Build, Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption


View All Comments

  • Gunbuster - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    I am consistently amazed at the Lenovo product designers who can take cutting edge hardware and then make it look like it was manufactured 15 years ago. They should market it as an anti-theft feature. Reply
  • Haribol - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    HAHA! I agree 100%! Recently I bought a Lenovo D30 from eBAY and it looks absolutely the same as the D20. You know what the D20 and D30 look very similar, the casing might even be the same thing. I guess some companies like to KEEP IT SIMPLE. I like that better then making it look like a creation from Mars. It is well built and I don't feel like I will break anything if I change things out. Even If I do they have an awesome warranty. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Oh man, 16 physical CPUs in one system...I sooooo want one of these for Folding. Throw in some extra Geforce GTX 680s too! :-D Reply
  • tanishalfelven - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Really... 16. I don't know about you, workstation task i'm interested in are more RAM intensive than processor intensive. At 10 grand i'd expect 128 gb at the least. Reply
  • KAlmquist - Friday, November 16, 2012 - link

    Lenova's price list is:

    $150 for a 2 GB registered ECC DIMM
    $300 for a 4 GB registered ECC DIMM
    $650 for an 8 GB registered ECC DIMM
    $1350 for a 16 GB registered ECC DIMM

    So a 128GB version of this system would cost slightly over 20 grand, with more than half the cost going to the memory.

    That price seems excessive to me, as well. A similar system from AVA Direct, with 128GB of memory, will cost under 10 grand. That includes a 3 year on site warranty (contracted out to Intel).
  • Haribol - Monday, November 26, 2012 - link

    Never pay retail. Shop around on sites like eBay, Google etc for best deals! Reply
  • hyperchild - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    I just happen to look at this review so I am in no way knowledgeable in the server department but am I missing something, $10800??? I just priced all the stuff at $6,850 at new egg. So is the extra 4k for 3 years of support? Is there some special reason it has a markup like that? Reply
  • kkwst2 - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    Well, you can usually price something significantly lower by buying the components. These days it is harder with lower end stuff but the more high end the product the higher the margins are.

    Understand the target market for these workstations. They're for people who are doing computational modeling, professional 3D rendering, etc. They are paying for stability, support, etc.

    The author points out that Dell is getting very aggressive with price with much lower margins. We use Lenovo workstations because that is who our IS has a deal with, but we don't pay retail. We would probably get this system for $7k to $8k.
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    The worst part of it is Lenovo's markups on the CPUs are VERY high... Thousands of dollars more than purchasing 2 CPUs from Newegg. for the UPGRADE to the faster CPUs. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, November 15, 2012 - link

    In other words, I could buy the base system from Lenovo, and buy 2 faster CPUs from Newegg, and save thousands of dollars.
    Perhaps the same holds true for RAM and disks.

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