Comparing Workstations for CAD

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Comparing Professional-Strength Workstations for CAD: Why Lenovo Leads the Pack
By Bill Martin-Otto
All major workstation brands can provide the CAD-certified computer and graphics processing power you need. But because of an unmatched attention to detail, Lenovo comes out ahead of the competition with a well-deserved reputation for best overall reliability, speed, and energy efficiency. Learn why there’s no comparison when it comes to Lenovo ThinkStation workstations—and how they enable you to perform at your best.

Customer Comments
“The ThinkStation really does have brute force.” —Graham Young, Head of Information & Design Systems, Foster + Partners

Professional-strength, ISV-certified workstations from Lenovo deliver the power and reliability CAD pros need to handle 3D models, massive assemblies, and intense simulation and rendering. Your peak performance is Lenovo’s top priority, which is why all ThinkStation workstations provide you with high-performance Intel Xeon and Core™ CPUs, powerful NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards, and DDR3 Error-Code Correcting (ECC) memory to eliminate memory-related failures. Whatever CAD application you’re using—from AutoCAD to Siemens NX— Lenovo offers a
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“As part of the business-case justification for the switchover [to Lenovo], we estimated… a productivity increase of around 2%...We have come to realise that we may have massively underestimated this, in fact a figure ten times that might be a little nearer the mark.” —Alan Duerden, Lead Systems Engineer, McLaren Technology Centre

ThinkStation designed to help you do your best work: • Offering the best affordability-to-power ratio, the ThinkStation E30 is perfect for working in 2D or light 3D without simulation • More intensive 3D users, who work in SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or Creo with light simulation, or in CATIA or NX without simulation, will want the power and performance found in the ThinkStation S20 • For power users, who do heavy simulation and automatic ray tracing, Lenovo’s top-of-the-line, dual-processor C20X and D20 workstations let you perform at your full potential

Do More, Faster
The last thing you want to do is wait around for renderings when you’re testing concepts and validating scenarios. That’s why Lenovo ThinkStations help you design, analyze, and simulate— faster than anything else. All Lenovo workstations help you get more done, more accurately, in less time. The latest Intel processors are beyond fast: Designed for intelligent performance and energy efficiency, they automatically adjust to your specific usage needs. To amp up responsiveness, Lenovo has made room for up to 12 DIMM slots. The D20 can hold up to five hard drives, and select models can support up to eight monitors at once. All Lenovo workstations also offer “EE,” an exclusive, enhanced experience for Windows 7. Lenovo worked closely with Microsoft to engineer workstations that deliver significantly faster boot-up and shutdown times, as well as hardware and software innovations to help you work more productively.


Sponsored by Lenovo and Intel

Customer Reference
“The…reliability of Lenovo ThinkStation…workstations ensures that our engineers and designers deliver superior work and can meet their deadlines, which not only eliminates project delay costs but helps us maintain consistent client service.” —Mahmoud Amin, IT Manager, Dar Al-Handasah Cairo Office

Lenovo vs. Dell & HP: Lenovo Leads in Speed • Lenovo’s D20 offers RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10; Dell’s T7500 only offers RAID 0 and 1 • Lenovo’s C20x supports 2X Quadro 5000 and Tesla C2050 graphics cards; HP’s Z600 only supports 1 Quadro 5000 and can’t support Tesla • The C20x also supports 196 GB of memory; Dell’s T5500 maxes out at 72 GB and HP’s Z600 can’t get past 48 GB • Unlike HP’s Z400 and Dell’s T3500, Lenovo’s S20 offers support for NVIDIA’s Quadro 6000 GPU and the Tesla C2050 • The S20 also supports three hard drives, while the Z400 and T3500 only support two • Lenovo’s E30 supports Intel Xeon processors and up to XXX NVIDIA Quadro 2000 GPUs, unlike HP’s Z210 and Dell’s T1600

Rely on Lenovo Reliability
According to a 2010 TBR report, more businesses believe that Lenovo computers are more reliable than similar products from Dell and HP. The report credits product integrity among the reasons for the positive results. “Lenovo has designed features into its solutions that improve ease of use, manageability, security, and energy efficiency,” the report explains. “Among Lenovo’s unique offerings is its ThinkVantage Technologies integrated suite of management tools, including PC backup and image control…In combination with Intel’s vPro platform, Lenovo ThinkVantage Technologies provide strong remote-management capabilities to help reduce the need for costly desk-side visits.” Automating repairs and administrative tasks means increased uptime for your workstations. The Rescue and Recovery feature, for example, enables end users to recover from system crashes with the push of a button—even if the primary operating system won’t boot. And with the ThinkVantage Client Security Solution, you simply can’t get a higher level of security as a standard feature from any other manufacturer.


Sponsored by Lenovo and Intel

Customer Reference
“We have…had a very positive reaction from the design office. Everyone was looking forward to getting the new [Lenovo] equipment, and anyone who now has the new kit has certainly not been disappointed.” —Ian Robinson, McLaren Group IS Director

Being able to take all the punishment you can dish out is another way Lenovo workstations dramatically diminish downtime. Rigorous voltage, shock, vibration, and drop tests ensure that your Lenovo workstations are rock-solid. What’s more, an innovative thermal design and optimized fan placement maximize cool air delivery throughout the system to reduce the risk of hardware failure—even if you’re loading your workstation up with maximum processing power.

Lenovo vs. Dell & HP: Lenovo Leads in Cooling • Lenovo’s D20 and S20 workstations offer an innovative dual channel design for greater thermal performance and longer life • A better thermal design in Lenovo’s C20x means that there’s less cabling in the air-flow channels than in HP’s Z600 or Dell’s T5500 • Lenovo’s E30 offers larger cooling fans than HP’s Z210 and Dell’s T1600

Create More Comfortably
Lenovo’s attention to detail means that every workstation we make offers features to help you work more productively and make life a little simpler. Things you won’t find on any other major brand of workstation include: • Ergonomically designed, removable top handles and rear handles so it’s easy to move to a different desk or office • Front-access media ports with illuminated icons so it’s easier to see what’s happening underneath your desk • Wider spacing between USB ports so it’s easier to plug in peripherals • Recessed power buttons to help prevent accidental data loss • Tool-less chassis for quick and easy upgrades • Superior cable management • Premium side-cover latches for easy access to internal components • Rackable 2P offerings enable you to put the workstation in the server room • Dramatically smaller models (C20 and C20x) for extra horsepower in the same area— up to 14 systems on a standard 42U rack • Near-silent operating noise levels so you can hear yourself think Lenovo vs. Dell & HP: Lenovo Leads in Noise Reduction • At 26 decibels in idle operation, Lenovo’s D20 is quieter than Dell’s T7500 and HP’s Z800 • Lenovo’s compact C20x offers 3U rack support: Dell’s T5500 has a 46% larger volume and HP’s Z600 has a 31% larger volume • Unlike HP’s Z400 and Dell’s T3500, Lenovo’s S20 offers support for NVIDIA’s Quadro 6000 GPU and the Tesla C2050 • The S20 idles at only 22 decibels, and is much quieter than HP’s Z400 and Dell’s T3500 • At just 24 decibels in idle operation, the E30 offers better acoustics than HP’s Z210 and Dell’s T1600


Sponsored by Lenovo and Intel

Customer Reference
“The lack of problems, the ahead of schedule install and the subsequent performance gains have left no doubt in my mind that we made the right decision…Partnerships with this sort of relationship don’t come along very often, so when they do, you know you are on to a good thing.” —Ian Robinson, McLaren Group IS Director

Save the World, and Your Electric Bill
Lenovo’s leadership in environmentally responsible business is reflected in every ThinkStation workstation. The machines meet some of the highest environmental and energy-conserving compliance requirements, including ENERGY STAR 5.0, GREENGUARD, and EPEAT Gold, which means they reduce your carbon footprint as well as your electric bill. These savings can be significant. Companies with about 100 workstations, for example, have saved more than $50,000 per year with Lenovo devices on direct energy consumption alone— not to mention additional savings from reduced demand on air conditioning systems due to cooler operating temperatures. And, unlike the competition, Lenovo workstations are made from 50–65 percent recycled plastics, including more than 25 percent post-consumer content.
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Let Lenovo Make You Happier about Your Workstations
You can only be productive when your workstation works. And a great workstation comes with a support team that stands behind it when you need help. You can rely on the professionals at Lenovo to help you achieve your business goals through a partnership that begins with a seamless installation. The Lenovo team isn’t satisfied until you are, so you can be sure you’ll get the best customer service from day one. For more information on Lenovo ThinkStations, visit or contact Lenovo sales at 1-866-968-4465.


Sponsored by Lenovo and Intel

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