Lenovo ThinkStation P710 Workstation ReviewAugust 3, 2018
Lenovo’s high-end workstation, the P710, features dual processors and is shoehorned between the top-of-the-line dual socket P910, and the single-socket P510 workstations. If you are familiar with the previous ThinkStation P700 then you won’t notice much difference between the two platforms. However, the main difference is support for the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors, which also support DDR4 memory for greater throughput, and support for more graphics cards from Nvidia.
Like its predecessor, this system is ISV certified to deliver uncompromising performance with industry leading software for applications in architectural design, 3D CAD, medical imaging, manufacturing, and finance.
You’ll also find the same ports front and back as its predecessor, lending high adaptability to your unique work style.
A plastic baffle, part of Lenovo’s tri-channel cooling, directs fresh air over the processors and memory modules. Tri-channel cooling can also increase air flow in one of the channels to cool specific hardware components.
As you can see, there are touch points throughout the chassis indicating removable components for easy upgrade and replacement. Several security features ensure your workstation and hard drives stay where you left them the day before.
Lenovo’s “Flex” features give users “flexible” options for component choices. The Flex Bay is really just the 5.25-inch optical disk drive bay on the front of the system. But, it can also support an optional “Flex Module” or two additional hard drives, ether 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch HDDs or SSDs. The optional Flex Module, supports one or multiple port options that can be installed in one of the 5.25-inch Flex Bays.
The Flex Connector is a PCIe mezzanine connector slot located on the motherboard that can be used to support one of the following:
A Flex Adapter module with two M.2 Storage devices that can be used for super-fast boot or for additional storage, an LSI RAID Flex Adapter for SATA/SAS RAID or one Multi-I/O Flex Adapter for 2x PCIe SSDs.
Lastly, the Flex Tray provides hard drive support in each of the 4x internal HDD bays.
Each Flex Tray can support either a single 3.5-inch, 2.5-inch, or dual 2.5-inch SAS or SATA HDDs or SSDs. In all, the system can support up to 12 storage devices, depending on how you outfit your Flex options. Controlling some of those hard drives is an embedded 6Gb/s SATA controller.
Optional HD/RAID controllers provide faster access speeds at 12Gb/s. If you want RAID on the Flex Bay storage devices in the 5.25-inch bays then you’ll need the optional LSI RAID Flex adapter, which connects to the Flex Connector and will take away those M.2 storage devices. But, if you have to have it, then you can always use a PCIe expansion slot with a card that supports M.2.
Depending on your budget, you can choose from wired and blind-connect options for the main drive bays. This particular chassis features a wired connection for the main storage bays, but can be easily adapted to support a blind connect with the addition of an HD backplane.
Users can start out with just a single processor supporting 6 of the 12 available memory slots.
Then as business needs change, you can add a second processor and load up to 6 more memory slots.
In total, this system will support a maximum 384GB of memory using 32GB Registered memory modules. All in all, this is the same system as the P700, but the P710 does not support Load Reduced DIMM modules. As a result, this system supports significantly less memory than the P700, which could host up to 768GB using LRDIMM modules.
Of course, with the Intel v4 processors the supported memory will run at up to 2400MHz for significantly faster throughput. Up to 22% faster to be exact! E5-2600 v3 processors are still supported, but will only provide a top memory frequency of 2133MHz.
There are 6x PCIe slots total and a flex connector, which also uses an internal PCIe x4 slot to support an optional Flex Adapter.
Three of the PCIe 16-lane slots are dedicated to graphics support and can be outfitted with up to three GPUs from Nvidia depending on your choice of power supply, either a 490W, 650W or 850W PSU.
While embedded video is not supported, with three Nvidia graphics cards you could support up to 12 monitors. This particular system is set up with an Nvidia Quadro M4000 graphics card with a stereo connection bracket to support 3D apps in True Stereo.
With the remaining PCIe slots you can add more ports or components including Thunderbolt, more USB 3.0 ports, eSATA port, WiFi, and single, dual, or quad-port Network interface Cards.
This system is fully customizable with a modular design to support whatever work load, I/O configuration, ports, storage and memory requirements you might need. This is an excellent workstation for industries that need super-computing performance like software development, manufacturing, graphic design, finance, electronics, and medicine. If you need more performance there’s always the P910, but for the majority of users the P710 has more than you need, and then some.
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