If you’re struggling to work out where on Earth you’d put the colossus of a machine that is the SuperWorkstation 7047GR-TRF, don’t fret. Lenovo has just introduced a much more manageable machine, the ThinkStation E31.
The ThinkStation E31 is actually two workstations in one – a standard mini tower version, available in June, and a small form factor (SFF) configuration, coming in July. Both machines feature the Intel Xeon E3-1200 v2 (Sandy Bridge) or 3rd Generation Intel Core i7 (Ivy Bridge) processors. Error Correcting Code (ECC) memory is also available.
The SFF version of the E31 certainly looks smart, but its limitations become apparent when it comes to graphics and storage. The slimline chassis is restricted to the low-end Nvidia Quadro 600 (1GB) graphics and two hard drives (6TB), while the mini desktop offers much more in terms of 3D options (up to Nvidia Quadro 4000 (2GB)) and three hard drives (9TB).
Despite the tradeoff in 3D graphics, the diminutive ThinkStation E31 SFF could still be an attractive option for space conscious CAD users. The Quadro 600, while not in the same league as the Quadro 4000, should still deliver the goods when it comes to entry-level 3D CAD.