This week, Lenovo announced its newest addition to the ThinkStation workstation product line, the ThinkStation P620. To keep up with the growing number of demanding professional workstation applications, OEMs like Lenovo are launching more powerful workstations and going the extra mile to differentiate. Professional creation applications are rapidly increasing in scale and workflow complexity and require the right amount of extreme performance in nearly all aspects of their design, whether it be processor, GPU, memory, storage and I/O.
The new ThinkStation P620 is a single socket workstation that I believe will fair great in professional-grade applications that utilize 3D rendering, data analytics, simulations, CAD design, and other system-intensive workloads. Lenovo partnered with AMD on this launch, which brings the first Threadripper Pro CPUs to market.
This launch is full of firsts. It marks the first 64 core CPU within a workstation, the industry's first PCIe 4.0 capable workstation, and according to AMD's internal testing, enough multithreaded performance to outperform two Intel Xeon processors which I will be looking to be replicated by third-party, independent reviewers. It's an exciting time for engineers, designers, professional studios, and data scientists that use professional applications daily. Let's dig into the details of the below.
Lenovo ThinkStation products
For those that aren't familiar with the Lenovo ThinkStation workstation product line, it is broad and ranges from small form factor, single-socket workstations to high-end workstations that includes up to two Intel Xeon server processors. The ThinkStation product line's use cases touch many industries from product design to finance to software development to oil and gas. Lenovo has been on quite the run with Lenovo General Manager, Rob Herman.
ThinkStation P620 configuration options and upgradability
The ThinkStation P620 is positioned directly in the middle of the ThinkStation lineup between the P520 and the P720 workstations and the ThinkStation P620 looks comparable to a traditional desktop tower in size. With the integration of Threadripper Pro, the P620 it is now the most powerful single socket workstation that Lenovo offers and I would guess more powerful on many two socket configurations for certain workloads. The "WX" branded CPUs range from 12 core 24 threads to 64 cores and 128 threads. According to AMD's benchmarking, the core and thread advantage allows the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 to outperform comparable workstations with dual-socket Intel Xeon processors in some multithreaded workloads. Again, I’m looking for third-party, independent testing to validate this.
The system has a range of graphics compatibility with support for NVIDIA Quadro and GeForce GPUs, as well as Radeon Pro and Radeon GPUs. The ThinkStation P620 maxes out with up to 1 TB of RAM and 20 TB of storage, which can be spread across 8 storage devices. Another exciting design feature that deems the system upgradable is support for interchangeable fans as well as other components. The system will come with a custom cooling solution and a tool-less power supply. It is worth noting that the ThinkStation P620 is the first PCIe 4.0 capable workstation on the market. I'm not sure if most users will be able to utilize all that bandwidth that PCIe 4.0 supports, but it is nice to have the ceiling. As far as networking goes, the system comes standard with a 10Gb ethernet and for Wi-Fi, the Intel 9260 AC module. Finally, the ThinkStation P620 comes standard with a Windows 10 Pro operating system.
Lenovo didn't explicitly call out pricing for P620 configurations up and down the stack. Per Tom's Hardware, the price for an entry-level system outfitted with a 12 core Threadripper Pro 3945WX, 16 GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe 3.0 SSD, and a Nvidia Quadro GPU would cost $4,599. With a plethora of configurations options, it's hard to tell what the price cap of this system will be. For those who want the high-end Threadripper Pro CPU and dual GPUs, I would imagine it could get pricey.
First Threadripper Pro processors in a workstation
The Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is the first system to be equipped with the Threadripper Pro workstation parts. Previously, Ryzen Threadripper has solely addressed the HEDT market. These workstation parts were explicitly designed to drop into OEM systems and system integrator platforms, eliminating the possibility of buying the parts at retail stores. Each one of the Threadripper CPU options has a 280W TDP and L3 cache levels ranging from 64MB to 256MB. It's nothing new for Threadripper CPUs to crank out dual-socket performance in a single socket solution. AMD has been doing that for a few years now in HEDT systems, and the ThinkStation P620 workstation is no exception. If professional applications can take advantage of the 64 cores and 128 threads scaling, I believe it's going to increase end-user productivity dramatically. I will wait for third party reviews to come out before diving too much into the system performance and benchmarks.
Security and manageability
The end-user should benefit from AMD's advanced security features that are baked into the ThinkStation P620 at the silicon level. With AMD Secure Processor, the ThinkStation P620 will validate code before executing it. The secure processor helps ensure the integrity of user data and the applications that are being used. Also, AMD Memory Guard enables memory encryption in the case where a system is lost or stolen. Users can also update and repair their ThinkStation P620 remotely. The system is also fully upgradeable. If you need more system performance down the road, you will be able to add or swap out parts for more performance.
For those looking to squeeze the most out of a single socket workstation, the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 will likely be a front runner. The system offers a broad range of CPU and GPU configurations that can suit different designers, professional studios, engineers, or data scientists. It's exciting to see a compelling single-socket workstation solution that can perform to the likes of or better than a comparable dual-socket workstation in multithreaded applications. Initially, this launch looks like a big success with system availability coming in September of this year. In the meantime, great job, Lenovo.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.