Lenovo Thinkpad W700 Mobile Workstation

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Operating System and Benchmarks

As we mentioned before, Lenovo pre-loaded our sample with Microsoft's Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64 (64-bit) Edition. Service Pack one was already installed, as were all of the necessary patches and extras through Windows Update. All of the custom hardware in the W700 worked beautifully in the 64-bit environment. Lenovo also offers Windows Vista Business (both in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors), but curiously does not offer Windows Vista Ultimate Edition in a 32-bit flavor. Also, if Windows Vista isn't your operating system of choice, you can indeed downgrade to Windows XP Professional at no charge. As workstation users tend to be a bit more cautious about operating system changes compared to gamers, having a Windows XP option is definitely a smart decision on Lenovo's part, even though we would recommend going for Windows Vista 64-bit Edition for new system builds.


Our Thinkpad W700 sample scored 5.6 for the Vista Experience Index.


Default Windows Vista desktop upon first boot of the system.

While Lenovo does a moderately decent job of keeping the Thinkpad W700 free from system-hogging pre-bundled software, there still are some oddities with their default installation. Upon booting up the system for the first time, we saw the operating system and startup-class application holding a 1.5 GB memory footprint on the system, slowing down boot times significantly. Going through application by application, we removed quite a lot of the bloat from the system and cut the memory footprint down to just over 1 GB, a process which took about an hour and a half.

Some interesting tidbits from the software perspective. Lenovo pre-loads this laptop with their ThinkVantage tool suite, which has a lot of custom controls and features which are highly useful, including some customized Windows Vista Sidebar and taskbar widgets. The only one which we disliked was the ThinkVantage Message Center, which loads by default and provides annoying, non-useful "helper" pop-up messages. Lenovo also pre-installs some custom icons for My Computer and Recycle Bin, which we found interesting, but un-necessary.

The notebook is pre-loaded with a 30-day trial of Windows Office 2007 (assuming you don't actually buy the whole thing, which Lenovo offers as a pre-installed option), along with Roxio Creator and WinDVD for optical media control. Interestingly, Lenovo pre-installs a copy of SQL Server 2005 on the ThinkPad W700 as well, a reason for doing so we could not find.

Curious to know how this beast performs in some industry standard benchmarks? Here you go.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

4506 (5449 CPU, 4261 GPU)

FutureMark 3DMark06

  

10,429

  

SiSoft Sandra XI - CPU Arithmetic

25,880

SiSoft Sandra XI - CPU Multimedia

15,8080

SiSoft Sandra XI - Memory Bandwidth

5.66 GB/s

SiSoft Sandra XI - Memory Latency

104 ns

SiSoft Sandra XI - Disk Speed

  

110 MB/s

  

SPEC Viewperf 10 (3dsmax-04)

35.25 (Up to 8x FSAA)

SPEC Viewperf 10 (catia-02)

44.14 (Up to 4x FSAA)

SPEC Viewperf 10 (ensight-03)

37.24 (Up to 2x FSAA)

SPEC Viewperf 10 (maya-02)

121.04 (Up to 2x FSAA)

SPEC Viewperf 10 (proe-04)

42.93 (Up to 4x FSAA)

SPEC Viewperf 10 (sw-01)

82.42 (Up to 4x FSAA)

SPEC Viewperf 10 (tcvis-01)

23.47 (Up to 4x FSAA)

SPEC Viewperf 10 (ugnx-01)

27.06 (Up to 4x FSAA)

As a random spattering of benchmark numbers can be hard to digest, we will say that every major performance oriented aspect of the system tested extremely well. CPU performance is on par with a high-end dual-core desktop system, memory bandwidth is up to par with other 945-series platforms, and disk speed matches our previously stated numbers of slightly over 100MB/s for disk reads. Workstation and gaming performance are both exceptionally good for a notebook, delivering the highest ViewPerf scores we've seen on a notebook to date. ViewPerf scores on this level are bringing the same level of performance which you would see in a high-end tower configuration, but in a far more compact form factor. Overall, the Thinkpad W700's performance does indeed match up with the price-tag. This system is a screamer.
 


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