Lenovo has released details of two new high-end workstations that are due to ship in late October. The ThinkStation P920 and ThinkStation P720 feature two Intel Xeon Scalable processors, on-board M.2 NVMe SSDs and the latest Nvidia Quadro GPUs.
The driving force behind these new machines is the new Intel Xeon Scalable processor family, which boasts up to 28 cores per CPU and is available in speeds up to 3.6GHz. It spells an end of the long-standing Intel Xeon E5-2600 Series of CPUs, which were at the heart of the ThinkStation P710 and ThinkStation P910.
Intel Xeon Scalable processors use a precious metal naming convention and there four different levels – Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Generally speaking, designers, engineers and architects will be interested in the Platinum and Gold models, because of the higher core count and higher frequencies.
Alongside the new Xeons comes support for new six channel DDR4 -2,666MHz memory. It promises more memory bandwidth, so should boost performance in memory critical applications, such as engineering simulation. The ThinkStation P720 can support up to 384GB RDIMM 2,666MHz DDR4 via 12 DIMM slots; the ThinkStation P920, up to 2TB DDR4, 2,666MHz via 16 DIMMs (supports both RDIMM and LRDIMM).
M.2 NVMe SSDs can now plug directly onto the motherboard (with previous ThinkStation models used a bespoke FLEX Connector M.2 expansion card) and also support RAID. For even higher performance storage, there’s an optional ThinkStation Quad M.2 Adapter, which takes up a single PCIe slot.
In terms of GPUs, the ThinkStation P720 and P920 can support up to two and three high-end Nvidia Quadro P6000 or Quadro GP100 cards respectively.
Both machines are based on the same tool-less chassis, which were first introduced with the ThinkStation P700 and ThinkStation P900. Features include Flex Trays that hold up to two drives per bay and patented Tri-Channel Cooling in the P920.
There have been some minor tweaks to the P720, including a newly designed memory baffle for enhanced cooling for key components.
Finally, I/O has also been improved with four USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type A) ports on the front and on the rear of both machines.