Lenovo ThinkStation S20 Workstation Review

Article Index

Test Systems & SANDRA Performance

HotHardware's Test Systems
General specifications

Lenovo ThinkStation S20
Intel Xeon W3540 (2.93GHz)
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800
500GB SATA 7200rpm
Windows Vista Business 64-bit

Comparison Systems for SANDRA, PCMark Vantage, 3DMark06, Cinebench

System 1:
iBuyPower Gamer Paladin F970
Intel Core i7 965 (3.2GHz)
Asus P6T Deluxe V2 Intel X58 Chipset Motherboard
12GB Corsair DDR3-1333 (2GB x 6)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
128GB 2.5-inch SATA MLC SSD
1TB Serial-ATA-II 7200rpm
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

System 4:
Dell XPS 730x H2C
Intel Core i7 Extreme i7-965 (3.2GHz @ 3.73GHz)
Intel X58 Express
6GB tri-channel DDR3 at 1066MHz (3 x 2GB DIMM)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 1024MB
2x300GB Western Digital Velociraptor 10,000RPM SATA
Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit

System 2:
Velocity Micro Edge Z55
Intel Core i7 920 (OC to 2.93GHz)
Intel "Smackover" DX58SO
6GB Corsair DDR3-1333 (3 x 2048)
2 x 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 CF
750GB Hitachi 7200rpm HD
Windows Vista Home Premium x64

System 5:
Intel Systems (non-gaming tests)
Core i7 Extreme 965 (3.2GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i7 940 (2.93GHz - Quad-Core)
Core i7 920 (2.66GHz - Dual-Core)
Intel DX58SO
3 x 1GB Qimonda DDR3-1066
GeForce GTX 280
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio
WD150 "Raptor" 10k RPM HD
Windows Vista Ultimate

System 3:
Smooth Creations LANShark Extreme
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 (3GHz @ 3.33GHz - Quad-Core)
Intel P45 Express
8GB Kingston HyperX DDR2 800MHz
Diamond Radeon HD 4870 X2 2048MB
300GB Western Digital Velociraptor 10,000 RPM SATA
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

Comparison System for SPECViewPerf, OpenGL tests, GPGPU tests

Intel System
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (3.0 GHz) Quad Core
4GB Kingston DDR2-800
eVGA nForce 680i SLI LT Motherboard
NVIDIA QuadroFX 4800 1.5GB
NVIDIA QuadroFX 5600 1.5GB
NVIDIA QuadroFX 3700 512MB
NVIDIA QuadroFX 1700 512MB
ATI FireGL V8700 1GB
ATI FireGL V8650 2GB
ATI FireGL V8600 1GB
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio
74GB WD "Raptor" 10k RPM HD
Windows XP Pro 32-bit

Let's start our S20 evaluation by examining the test results from SiSoftware's SANDRA benchmarking suite.

SiSoftware SANDRA
Synthetic Benchmarks

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran three of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA suite on the test systems (CPU Arithmetic, CPU Multi-Media, and Memory).

The S20 falls in line with expectations in the two processor tests, but the memory test may make you raise an eyebrow. Like the Velocity Micro and iBUYPOWER systems, the S20 features a motherboard and processor that supports triple-channel memory. However, Lenovo only populated two of the S20's six DIMM slots, which explains why it falls short of the performance offered by these other two Nehalem-based machines. In many real-world instances, triple channel configurations don't offer much of an advantage over dual channel ones, but we'd still configure a 64-bit PC like this with at least 6GB of memory in triple-channel mode.

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