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Review: Workstation Workhorse -- Lenovo's ThinkStation D10

Lenovo's ThinkStation D10 brings a lot of raw computing power to the desktop. The Test Center takes a look.

At the heart of this beast are dual Intel Xeon E5400 series CPUs, with quad core processing. The machine reviewed came shipped with 2 GB RAM and two SATA drives. The D10's memory is expandable up to 64 GB and supports Physical Address Extension which will allow for more than 4 GB RAM to register in a 32-bit OS. The machine can support up to five SATA drives or up to five SAS drives.

The review unit was also outfitted with Windows XP, which is available as a downgrade option from Lenovo. The 2 GB of DDR2 RAM proved more than efficient to run this machine. Primate Labs' Geekbench results averaged a whopping 6700 -- putting it in the upper range of desktops the Test Center has reviewed this year.

In an effort to tax the CPUs, 20 IE browser tabs were opened up, a 1,000-page PDF file was opened, SQL server was enabled to run in the background and a twenty-five page spreadsheet full of complex macros was loaded. Performance Monitor spiked momentarily at 12 percent in one of the eight CPU windows while the spreadsheet loaded, but afterward, all of the CPU counters averaged at 1-3 percent usage.

The speediness of the machine is apparent even in the time to load the desktop from a cold start -- an average of 26 seconds. Boot up is so fast, in fact, that to get into BIOS requires a very quick trigger finger to catch the right point to execute the CNTRL-L command.

The D10 supports RAID configuration -- however RAID 5 and 10 for Linux is still unsupported, as was the case with the ThinkStation S10. Supported operating systems are XP and Vista, both 32 and 64 bit, and Red Hat Linux Enterprise 64 bit.

Opening up the case is easy with an actual notch for gripping, a feature so many computer case designers overlook. Opening the case revealed how expandable the system is. There are a plethora of slots and bays inside and the external I/O is comprised of six USB slots, firewire ports, ports for memory cards (like SD and CF Microdrives) as well as digital and analog audio connectors.

This workstation is so quiet; reviewers had to check the lights on the front panel to ensure it was still running when the monitor went into power saver mode. The D10 seems to make even less noise than the S10, quite a feat, considering the D10 has four fans.

The D10 is also priced reasonably -- a machine with the same specifications as the one reviewed prices for $1471.00 (without the operating system loaded). The fact that it is made with fifty percent recycled plastic materials is an added bonus -- you can feel good about doing something good for the environment while having a screaming fast PC.

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