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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  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    With what GPU? That's where the bulk of the costs went. Reply
  • SuperVeloce - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    What the hell is this with non-standard 24pin power motherboard connector? Are they out of their minds? Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    Dunno; OTOH the target market for something like this would never service it except via waranty so it wouldn't matter; and the 24pin ATX connector is really out of sync with modern systems needs; specifically the 5x 3.3 and 5x 5v are way over what a modern system needs and unless you're doing RS232 the -12v is useless too. 3.3 is going the way of the dodo since it's only used by legacy PCI now; and USB doesn't need anywhere as much 5V as a P1 system does. Spitting the connector would theoretically help with cable management by making the bundles slimmer; and adding more spread out connection points on the board makes it easier to maintain stable voltages everywhere. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    Dell have started doing this again recently too. My previous Dell workstation is far more flexible than my current one. I'm also not happy with the lack of air flow over the hard drives. I've had several drive failures that might be attributed to overheating. This Lenovo looks like it has similar issues but at least it has a fan on the front. Reply
  • edzieba - Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - link

    I recognise that Al heatsink! Lenovo plonk them on the secondary CPU in the C20 and C30 too.

    I really wish Lenovo would invest in backplanes for their drives, but at least the sideways mount with connectors facing you is better than the horrific mess at the bottom of the C20/30.
    Reply
  • TETRONG - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    Completely pointless system especially if it's non ECC memory.

    The truth is that you could build a system that would crush this with an overclocked i5 and a 970 for half the price + it would be upgradeable and running DDR4.

    There's nothing magical about Xeons and Quadros..total bullshit unless you absolutely need DP.
    Anandtech should build the aforementioned system to embarrass all these clowns.

    They could even hackintosh it to piss on the Mac Pro.
    Reply
  • TETRONG - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    Sorry, DDR3 with i5 or DDR4 with a 5820K Reply
  • nwai2208 - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    A Xeon E3 system with non-ECC memory means it is just a i7 machine with a Xeon label on it. Reply
  • NanoTube1 - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    To sum it up: a poor, ugly, cheap build... Reply
  • Dr.Neale - Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - link

    I would use 2 or 4 sticks of Samsung 8GB DDR3L-1600 1.35V ECC UDIMM, model M391B1G73BH0-YK0, which go for $90 at oemPCworld.

    But then again, I would also roll my own using an ASUS P9D WS motherboard (Intel C226 chipset, ATX, supports ECC, unlike ASUS Z97 WS) and an AMD FirePro W7100 (K4200 level: 256-bit 4GB) or W8100 (K5200 level: 512-bit 8GB) GPU. Although the recently-released W7100 isn't listed on NewEgg just yet, right now you could get the W8100 instead, at roughly the same cost, by taking advantage of AMD's current half-price FirePro promo (which ends Jan. 15, 2015).

    Also, I'd use a SeaSonic SS-520FL2 fanless 520W 80+Platinum PSU, and put AeroCool DS Dead Silence Case Fans (available at FrozenCPU) in a Fractal Designs Arc Midi R2 mid-tower ATX case (which has a tinted window).

    I'd stick with the Intel Xeon e3-1276 v3 CPU, but cool it with a ThermalRight Archon IB-E X2 single-tower cooler (also available at FrozenCPU). Using the double-tower ThermalRight Silver Arrow IB-E instead would run maybe 2° C cooler, but 2 dBA louder, according to reviews I've read, but using the Archon IB-E X2 guarantees zero clearance issues on the motherboard.

    For an SSD, the pro-sumer Samsung 850 Pro (used in a UPS-backed system) or the enterprise Samsung 845DC Pro are both viable options. Both use next-generation MLC V-NAND, with all its advantages.

    But all this is only IF you happen to need an entry-to-mid-level Work Station RIGHT NOW. Broadwell 14nm Xeon e3-1200 v4 series Socket 1150 CPUs are about 6 months away (everything else could stay the same), and Skylake 14nm Xeon e3-1200 v5 series Socket 1151 CPUs are about 12 months away (but they would need a next-generation motherboard with an Intel C236 Greenlow chipset, which requires DDR4 2133 1.20V ECC RDIMM memory). However, this setup could use PCIe NVMe SSDs, and could (probably, assuming LGA isn't supplanted by BGA) be later upgraded with a Cannonlake 10nm Xeon e3-1200 v6 series CPU.

    Also, by waiting, you could buy Windows 10 instead of Windows 7 for your OS.

    Anyways, just my thoughts on a decent bang-for-the-buck, near-silent Work Station build.

    P.S. A WASD Code backlit mechanical keyboard might be a nice cherry-on-top touch.
    Reply

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