Workstation Performance

For our performance analysis, we will split this into two parts. Firstly we will add in the data for the system as it was sent, in a 1x8GB DRAM configuration. After this is a discussion with 2x4GB results, showing the importance of maintaining a dual configuration setup. For comparison points, we are picking up Dustin’s array of workstation review results, although a couple of the newer benchmarks have fewer data points.

Lenovo ThinkStation P300 (Xeon E3-1276 v3 + Quadro K4000)
vs
DigitalStorm Slade Pro (Xeon E5-2687W v2 + Quadro K4000)
BENCHMARK DigitalStorm Slade Pro ThinkStation P300
PCMark 8 (Home, OpenCL) 4879 3834
PCMark 8 (Creative, OpenCL) 4094 3160
PCMark 8 (Work, OpenCL) 4591 4505
Cinebench R15 (OpenGL) 102.85 118.6
Cinebench R15 (Single-Threaded) 123 158
Cinebench R15 (Multi-Threaded) 1218 769
x264 5.0 (Pass 1) 95.53 69.16
x264 5.0 (Pass 2) 25.43 16.58

Point Calculations – 3D Movement Algorithm Test: link

3DPM is a self-penned benchmark, taking basic 3D movement algorithms used in Brownian Motion simulations and testing them for speed. High floating point performance, MHz and IPC wins in the single thread version, whereas the multithread version has to handle the threads and loves more cores.

3D Particle Movement: Single Threaded

3D Particle Movement: MultiThreaded

Compression – WinRAR 5.0.1: link

Our WinRAR test from 2013 is updated to the latest version of WinRAR at the start of 2014. We compress a set of 2867 files across 320 folders totaling 1.52 GB in size – 95% of these files are small typical website files, and the rest (90% of the size) are small 30 second 720p videos.

WinRAR 5.01, 2867 files, 1.52 GB

Image Manipulation – FastStone Image Viewer 4.9: link

Similarly to WinRAR, the FastStone test us updated for 2014 to the latest version. FastStone is the program I use to perform quick or bulk actions on images, such as resizing, adjusting for color and cropping. In our test we take a series of 170 images in various sizes and formats and convert them all into 640x480 .gif files, maintaining the aspect ratio. FastStone does not use multithreading for this test, and thus single threaded performance is often the winner.

FastStone Image Viewer 4.9

Video Conversion – Handbrake v0.9.9: link

Handbrake is a media conversion tool that was initially designed to help DVD ISOs and Video CDs into more common video formats. The principle today is still the same, primarily as an output for H.264 + AAC/MP3 audio within an MKV container. In our test we use the same videos as in the Xilisoft test, and results are given in frames per second.

HandBrake v0.9.9 LQ FilmHandBrake v0.9.9 2x4K

Rendering – PovRay 3.7: link

The Persistence of Vision RayTracer, or PovRay, is a freeware package for as the name suggests, ray tracing. It is a pure renderer, rather than modeling software, but the latest beta version contains a handy benchmark for stressing all processing threads on a platform. We have been using this test in motherboard reviews to test memory stability at various CPU speeds to good effect – if it passes the test, the IMC in the CPU is stable for a given CPU speed. As a CPU test, it runs for approximately 2-3 minutes on high end platforms.

POV-Ray 3.7 Beta RC4

Lenovo ThinkStation P300 BIOS and Software System Benchmarks
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  • jabber - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    I love Xeon based workstations. You can usually pick them up for peanuts on Ebay 3-4 years later, upgrade them to top spec for peanuts too and still have a high performance machine.

    I got a dual Xeon workstation from 2008 that will Wprime in 7 seconds for less than half the price of a bottom of the range 2014 spec Pentium desktop.
    Reply
  • hojnikb - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    So bulk of your workload is calculating prime numbers ? Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    Yes...it's my life. Reply
  • jabber - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    Though I probably wouldn't buy one of these as they seem way too limited and the build quality is cheap for a Workstation. Reply
  • SkiBum1207 - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    On the overview page, about half way down, there's a picture of the intake fan with some sort of a shroud on it - what is the purpose of the shroud? I could maybe understand an increase in velocity and static pressure, but it seems like it would cut airflow by 80% - Coming from the land of rack units where cfm is king, am I missing something here? Reply
  • mfenn - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    I love how Ian nitpicks internal layout decision in the name of improving airflow, but fails to present any CFD modeling or empirical testing to support his viewpoints. Gives a nice sheen of "I'm an enthusiast who knows more about case design than mechanical engineers" to the whole thing. Well done!

    But seriously Ian, you should not make objectively provable (or disprovable) claims without providing appropriate evidence. There are definitely time considerations to take into account during the review process, and obviously everything cannot be tested if the review is to ever come out. However, in such instances, you should stick to presenting the facts and letting readers draw their own conclusions instead of adding flippant and potentially false statements to the review.
    Reply
  • Oscarcharliezulu - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    If the writer didnt add an opinion then wouldn't the article just be a spec sheet? Reply
  • npz - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    "Lenovo has also fitted the fan with a directional baffle to ensure the airflow is more directed at the GPU, although this might do more harm than good by increasing the static pressure on the fan."

    Are the top and botom of the baffel open? It looks like the baffle is there to split up the air flow to allow a portion of it to be directed to the hard drives above and below.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    very poor design and cabling Reply
  • dgingeri - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    a single non-ECC 8GB DIMM and a 1TB SSHD for storage, for $2274. What an incredibly overpriced piece of junk. I could build one with this same processor, a workstation level motherboard, 16GB of ECC memory, a 256GB 850 Pro SSD for the OS and a 3TB Hitachi Ultrastar (pro level) drive for storage, including the Windows 8.1 Pro license, for less than three quarters of this price. It is SO not worth $600 for Lenovo support and warranty. Reply

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