Lenovo's ThinkCentre A62 Proves AMD Quad-Core Can Compete7:45 AM EST Thu. Oct. 09, 2008
Throughout 2008, the Test Center has examined a number of notebooks and desktops designed and produced by Lenovo, a company that has been among the industry leaders in driving new form factors, better performance and green technology.
But throughout all the new products Lenovo has shipped this year, the best ones have been built around Intel processors and platforms including dual-core and quad-core systems. When the Lenovo ThinkCentre A62 arrived at our lab, it was one of the only systems we've seen from Lenovo based on AMD technology and the first that ran an AMD quad-core Phenom processor.
Many of the Intel-based quad-core PCs we've either built in-house or looked at from other OEMs have ranged near $1,000 or more. The ThinkCentre A62, which was built with a Phenom 9600B, is list-priced at about $816 with the configuration we took a look at.
The ThinkCentre A62 we reviewed was built with an AMD Phenom 9600B, 2.3GHz, 2 GB of RAM (upgradable to 4 GB), with a 500-GB SATA hard drive. Using Primate Labs' Geekbench benchmarking software, the system rang up a score of 3,865—making it the seventh-best- performing PC we've looked at this year among several dozen. (It followed five Intel-based systems and another AMD-based PC.)
The system is built in a tower that runs 17 x 7 x 17 inches and is built with materials to meet Greenguard standards for chemical emissions, giving Lenovo a nice claim that the PC is eco-friendly. From an energy-efficiency standpoint, the system drew 65 watts of power under a typical office workload, but by switching down to power-saving mode in Windows, the system drew about 55 watts. From a thermal standpoint, the A62 threw 82 degrees of heat from its vent, about 7 degrees warmer than room temperature in the lab. Considering that it's a quad-core processor and the system is built with only a CPU fan and a system fan, that's more than reasonable.
From a maintenance perspective, Lenovo has designed the A62's case to allow for toolless access (two thumbscrews remove so the side panel of the case just easily slides off.) The company has added intrusion-detection capabilities.
The bottom line: The Lenovo ThinkCentre A62 performs well, provides a solid argument for eco-friendliness, and is priced competitively with AMD's quad-core technology. It's a peppy system that can provide nice quad-core capabilities without a VAR's customer having to pay a premium. AMD still has an uphill fight against Intel in quad-core desktop computing, but Lenovo has produced a system that shows AMD's platform can still compete.