Lenovo ThinkPad P53 Workstation Assessment (Core i7-9850H, Quadro RTX 5000)
The ThinkPad identify has lengthy stood for excellence, and with good motive. Regardless of some controversial choices through the years, the ThinkPad model continues to symbolize the very best available in the market. The ThinkPad P5X and P7X gadgets are Lenovo’s fashionable workstation strains, and each machines routinely prime “better of” lists for cellular workstations or highly effective laptops.
That’s why I used to be excited to get my palms on the brand new ThinkPad P53.
It’s type of like driving a custom-made sports activities automotive; I might by no means use one in my each day life, however I can admire and benefit from the insane energy buzzing underneath the hood.
The P53 we have now underneath overview runs on an Intel Core i7-9850H and an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000. That GPU is at present the second strongest Quadro card in the marketplace. To place it in perspective, the Quadro RTX 5000 is about on par with the consumer-grade GeForce RTX 2080. Which means nice efficiency in video games, modeling, and GPU-dependent work, but it surely additionally means warmth is an issue. I skilled some points that I’ll contact on later.
Specs as reviewed – Lenovo ThinkPad P53
|Lenovo ThinkPad P53|
|Display screen||15.6-inch FHD (1920×1080), 500 nits, HDR 400, non-touch, matte (Mannequin: Lenovo LEN4183)|
|Processor||Intel Espresso Lake Core i7-9850H (6 core/12 thread, 2.6 GHz base, four.6 GHz enhance)|
|Graphics||Intel UHD 630+ Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 80W (16 GB GDDR6)|
|Reminiscence||64 GB (32 + 32) DDR4-2666 ECC (two extra slots empty)|
|Storage||1 TB M.2 NVMe SSD, Opal2 (Samsung PM981) – 2x M.2 and 1x 2.5 bay obtainable|
|Connectivity||Intel AX200 11ax WiFi (2×2), Bluetooth 5.zero|
|Ports||2x USB-A three.1 Gen 1, 1x USB-C three.1 Gen 1, 2x Thunderbolt three (USB-C), 1x RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet, 1x HDMI 2.zero, 1x SD card reader, 1x SIM tray, 1x Smartcard reader (non-obligatory, not on overview unit)|
|Battery||90 Wh, 230 Watt charger|
|Measurement||377.four mm or 14.86” (w) x 252.three mm or 9.93” (d) x 29.four mm or 1.16” (h)|
|Weight||2.50 kg (5.51 lbs),|
|Extras||backlit keyboard, HD webcam, fingerprint scanner, IR digital camera, TPM, Intel vPro, NFC (non-obligatory)|
The P53 I reviewed sits in the midst of the attainable configurations. Should you want even extra energy, Lenovo additionally affords variants with both a Core i9 or Xeon CPU, though you’re diminishing returns. Intel’s Core i9 hasn’t proven itself to be a good selection in different laptops, however I can’t touch upon its effectiveness within the P53 (Replace: Yow will discover out extra about the way it behaves inside this chassis from our ThinkPad P73 overview).
Design and building
The P53 is supposed for work above all else. As such, its design isn’t a precedence. Somewhat, utility is favored over aptitude, as has been the case with workstation-grade ThinkPads for years. That mentioned, the P53 appears to be like like a typical ThinkPad. It’s black. It’s boxy. The show bezels are thick. It has the normal grainy matte end that covers most ThinkPads. Should you just like the black “boardroom” look of Workstation laptops, you’ll just like the P53. In any other case, you’re out of luck; Lenovo doesn’t supply some other colours or designs.
The case may be very well-built, as is widespread for the ThinkPad household. The magnesium-aluminum chassis doesn’t flex underneath any quantity of strain. I can warp the lid, but it surely takes a concentrated effort. All mentioned, I’m not anxious about case integrity or stability over the long-term; the P53 is a well-built machine.
The trade-offs for the excessive construct high quality are weight and measurement. The P53 is fairly cumbersome, measuring in at 1.16″ at its thickest level. The machine weighs roughly 5 half of kilos, which guidelines out snug lap use. It’s not the largest laptop computer on the market, however the P53 is a chunky boy. Somebody used to Ultraportables will discover it cumbersome, however portability isn’t the purpose; energy is.
Port choice is respectable, however the P53 depends closely on its twin Thunderbolt three ports. The rear-mounted TB3 ports appear positioned for docks. In that vein, a Thunderbolt dock of some form is nearly obligatory for IT professionals or engineers. Apart from the TB3 ports, the P53 has a single HDMI 2.zero port for video out, two USB-A three.1 Gen 1 ports on the left for peripherals, and a single USB-C three.1 Gen 1 on the appropriate. (One of many USB-A ports is an always-on port for charging.) There’s additionally an SD card reader and a SIM slot. The devoted Ethernet jack is a pleasant addition.
One other show connection and some extra USB ports would go a great distance in making the P53 extra transportable. The P53 is meant to be plugged right into a Thunderbolt three dock on a desk all day, not carried round to espresso outlets and courses. Nonetheless, the system has the room for extra ports.
Keyboard, trackpad, and TrackPoint
The standard of a keyboard is a matter of choice, however the basic consensus is that ThinkPad keyboards are the very best within the biz. I agree with that sentiment, and the P53 helps solidify that conclusion. The keys really feel snappy and have glorious suggestions. Journey hits a “Goldilocks” zone – not too shallow and never too deep, however excellent. I’ve been deliberately utilizing the P53 solely for all of my work for the previous two weeks, and that’s primarily as a result of keyboard.
Whereas I might gush on the keyboard at size, I’ll transfer on to the trackpad. It’s respectable. The glass floor feels good underhand, and monitoring is correct due to its Home windows Precision drivers. The devoted buttons underneath the trackpad (left click on, scroll, proper click on) are usable, however they really feel a bit free. Which may be one thing specific to my overview unit. I’ll be aware they by no means didn’t register clicks. General, the trackpad and backside buttons really feel low-cost contemplating the remainder of the machine, however they get the job completed.
The TrackPoint, alternatively, is great. Individuals both love or hate the TrackPoint, and I’ve lengthy arrange my tent within the first camp. Possibly it’s as a result of I lower my tooth on older laptops with these nubby mouse pointers, however I discover the TrackPoint to be way more exact than the trackpad and on par with a devoted mouse. The TrackPoint buttons (located above the trackpad) are miles higher than the trackpad buttons. Every is clicky and feels stable and responsive. The orientation of the scroll button within the center makes navigating these buttons by contact a snap. General, I really like the TrackPoint, however in case you’re not already a fan of controlling a pointer through eraser, it’ll do little to vary your thoughts.
For the reason that ThinkPad P53 is supposed for professionals and engineers, it’s full of security measures. There’s a fingerprint scanner and an IR digital camera that instantly acknowledge my respective biometric. That’s excessive reward for the fingerprint scanner; my fingers are on the oily aspect, and most scanners I exploit fail about 1/three of the time. The P53’s scanner labored instantly each single time I used it. The IR digital camera was equally fast.
Lenovo additionally affords variants with NFC pads and SmartCard readers for added safety. There’s additionally the same old bevy of safety software program and typical for an enterprise-grade laptop computer, together with TPM and Intel’s vPro.
The ThinkPad P53 might be configured with a normal Full HD (1920×1080) IPS panel rated at 300 nits, a Dolby-Imaginative and prescient HDR 400 compliant Full HD IPS panel rated at 500 nits, or a UHD (3840×2160) OLED show at 350 nits with assist for contact enter and Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR 500 content material. My overview unit is the one within the center (FHD 500 nit), and I feel it strikes an excellent steadiness.
I don’t have any instruments to precisely measure the backlight’s actual ranges, however I can attest to the display’s brightness. It has a matte end that kills reflections, and it’s brilliant sufficient to make use of outdoor or close to an open window. Viewing angles are typical for an IPS show. There’s a slight grain on white backgrounds as a result of matte end, however I don’t discover it until I deliberately search for it. Backlight bleed is almost nonexistent.
I can’t precisely take a look at colour copy, however to my beginner eye, every thing appears to be like moderately good. White backgrounds have a blueish tint to them.
, efficiency and improve choices
TL;DR, the ThinkPad P53 I reviewed is a strong beast, and it isn’t even the highest-specced mannequin. The machine packs a number of the higher Intel and Nvidia elements obtainable within the laptop computer market, and it could actually (largely) take full benefit of the .
As reviewed, my P53 has an Intel Core i7-9850H (Espresso Lake, 6 core/12 thread) and an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 (80W model, so Max-Q). There are a ton of configuration choices obtainable. CPU choices vary from a Core i5-9400H to a Core i9-9880H to a Xeon E-2276M. The GPU choices vary from the Nvidia Quadro T1000 as much as the Quadro RTX 5000 in my machine.
Lenovo affords a ton of choices for different elements (RAM, storage, and so on.), and customers can improve a lot of the internals themselves by unscrewing the underside panel and popping it off. The P53 helps as much as 128 GB of DDR4 RAM throughout 4 DIMMs and has three M.2 drive bays.
A kind of drive bays is pre-populated with a Samsung PM981 in my config, and it’s blazing quick. The NVMe SSD smokes by CDM6 and AS SSD. One of many drive bays can be utilized to arrange a RAID zero array for even quicker speeds, and the third may very well be used for a redundant drive. Nonetheless, you’re a variety of money for that privilege.
The P53 does extraordinarily nicely in benchmarks:
- 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 16397 (Graphics – 18366, Physics – 17042);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6806 (Graphics – 7027, Physics– 5778);
- 3DMark 13 – Cloud Gate: 37956 (Graphics – 121978, Physics – 11128);
- GeekBench four.three.three 64-bit: Single-Core: 5477, Multi-core: 23632;
- CineBench R15: CPU 1248 cb, CPU Single Core 195 cb;
- CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 2742 cb, CPU Single Core 463 cb;
- PCMark 10: 6421 (Important: 9934, Productiveness: 8269, Digital Content material Creation: 8746);
- x264 HD Benchmark four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 214.25 fps, Go 2 – 71.21 fps.
I used to be capable of obtain a steady -100 mV undervolt. Listed here are the identical benchmarks underneath that profile.
- 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 17014 (Graphics – 18975, Physics – 18139);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 6978 (Graphics – 7028, CPU – 6708);
- 3DMark 13 – Cloud Gate: 40058 (Graphics – 125134, Physics – 11853);
- GeekBench four.three.three 64-bit: Single-Core: 5487, Multi-core: 25055;
- CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 1335 cb, CPU Single Core 196 cb;
- CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 2917 cb, CPU Single Core 329 cb;
- PCMark 10: 6446 (Necessities – 9880, Productiveness – 8445, Digital Content material Creation – 8712);;
- x264 HD Benchmark four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 214.29 fps, Go 2 – 79.00 fps;
The P53 performs nicely in most benchmarks. Looping Cinebench R15 10 occasions reveals pretty steady efficiency over prolonged workloads. The P53 is according to different prime performers, no less than on this benchmark.
It seems that the Quadro RTX 5000 in my P53 is a lower-clocked variant, which suggests it’s the Max-Q mannequin. (UPDATE: Lenovo has confirmed that the ThinkPad P53 certainly makes use of the 80 watt Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q. Patrons ought to concentrate on this side. Apart from this, the RTX 4000 choice can also be Max-Q – 80W, whereas the RTX 3000 variant is Max-P – 80W).
In comparison with the Asus ProArt StudioBook Professional X W730G5T, which additionally has a Quadro RTX 5000 (however at 110W), the P53’s GPU clocks are considerably decrease. The P53’s efficiency is about 10-20% decrease than the StudioBook Professional’s in sure benchmarks.
I must also make a degree that the followers hardly ever turned on throughout these benchmarks. 3DMark (particularly Time Spy) triggered the followers to ramp up a bit, however they had been nonetheless extraordinarily quiet. I’ll discuss thermal administration in a bit, however suffice it to say the followers might stand to be extra aggressive. It appears Lenovo favors low sound over warmth administration.
Though the Quadro RTX 5000 isn’t actually a gaming-focused GPU, gaming is a pleasure within the machine’s “Devoted” mode (extra on this beneath).
|FHD Low||FHD Med||FHD Max|
|Bioshock Infinite||268 fps||204 fps||179 fps|
|Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor||187 fps||153 fps||97 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider||136 fps||105 fps||68 fps|
|The Witcher three: Wild Hunt||206 fps||152 fps||75 fps|
- The Witcher three – recorded with Fraps in marketing campaign mode
- Bioshock, Center Earth, and Shadow of Tomb Raider used the in-game benchmark
I do want to say that the system will get confused about which GPU to make use of, based mostly on my expertise with this specific pattern. By default, the Intel UHD Graphics 630 iGPU is disabled. Customers can re-enable the iGPU by the system BIOS (Lenovo even gives a information for doing this), however this causes points. For instance, with the iGPU enabled (in “Hybrid” mode), The Witcher three defaulted to the iGPU moderately than the RTX 5000. After I tabbed out of the sport to verify the sensors, the RTX 5000 would interact, however tabbing again into the sport would revert to the Intel UHD Graphics 630.
Re-running this take a look at, the dGPU correctly engaged when the sport launched. Nonetheless, once I tabbed out to take a screenshot of the system logs, the iGPU engaged and appeared to confuse the machine. As soon as I tabbed again into the sport, framerates plummeted (~15 fps). The dGPU seemed prefer it was nonetheless engaged, however clock speeds had been closely diminished. As I continued to play the sport, I might see efficiency spike as much as about 40 fps earlier than falling again to the 14-15 fps vary. Reloading the sport leveled out body charges, however the sport nonetheless hit solely 40 fps. I additionally noticed odd habits in Shadow of the Tomb Raider; the dGPU was engaged, however clocks had been closely diminished with random spikes. Body charges likewise suffered (~15-20 fps).
As an additional be aware, this type of habits is likely to be remoted. We’re additionally reviewing the ThinkPad P73 on the aspect, and we couldn’t replicate it on that one, though we bumped into one thing else, however you’ll discover about that from the overview. Nonetheless, ensure that to check for this type of habits when you get your unit, particularly in case you plan to maintain it on Hybrid.
Listed here are those self same video games with a -100 mV undervolt underneath the Devoted graphics setting:
|FHD Low||FHD Med||FHD Max|
|Bioshock Infinite||272 fps||205 fps||168 fps|
|Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor||160 fps||151 fps||98 fps|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider||138 fps||108 fps||66 fps|
|The Witcher three: Wild Hunt||202 fps||152 fps|
Workstation efficiency can also be glorious, as needs to be anticipated:
Listed here are the identical benchmarks with a -100 mV undervolt:
On battery, the CPU and GPU clock down fairly liberally. As such, efficiency nosedives. Listed here are just a few benchmarks run on battery energy:
- 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 2252 (Graphics – 3077, Physics – 4636);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 1265 (Graphics – 1197, CPU – 1870);
- CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 570 cb, CPU Single Core 184 cb;
- CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 2595 cb, CPU Single Core 445 cb;
- The Witcher three (FHD, Extremely): 15 fps
Carry the ability adapter with you if you wish to get any precise work completed.
Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others
The P53 is a silent machine. The followers are quiet and conservative, hardly ever turning on. Even after they’re working onerous, the followers are low-pitched and quiet. They’re loud sufficient to listen to in a crowded espresso store, so I might think about workplace mates might look over do you have to load up The Witcher three in the course of the workday.
So the followers are good and quiet. How is the coil whine? In a phrase, horrible.
Throughout some graphical workloads (Particularly SPECviewperf 12’s Catia, SPECviewperf 13’s Catia, and the menus of The Witcher three and Center Earth: Shadow of Struggle), the GPU would emit ear-piercing coil whine. It’s greater than only a nuisance; my spouse might hear the coil whine in one other room (about 30 toes away) and requested me if the laptop computer was working too onerous. I doubt it’ll settle underneath commonplace workplace noise, so it’s one thing to look at for.
One other challenge with the P53 is thermal administration. Listed here are the HWiNFO64 graphs for just a few of the benchmarks I ran. Pay particular consideration to the CPU temps.
The processor runs sizzling, and it stays sizzling for lengthy durations. I’ll be aware that these temps are inside Intel’s pointers (underneath 100° C), however they’re a bit excessive for my style. Lenovo ought to think about a extra aggressive fan curve for the P53. Whereas system noise can be so much louder, I would favor a louder laptop computer to at least one that throttles or experiences issues sooner or later on account of warmth points. Remember the fact that the P53 is a piece machine; finish customers are prone to push the machine for almost all of a normal workday, which might spell hassle down the highway.
What would that workday seem like? I ran an hour-long stress take a look at by working Prime95 and FurMark to pressure the GPU and CPU. The GPU dealt with FurMark nicely, however the CPU throttled not lengthy into the take a look at.
The CPU runs quick and sizzling for the primary 20 minutes of the stress take a look at till it throttles. The CPU ultimately recovered and popped again as much as greater clock speeds and 30W, identical to on the P73 take a look at unit, however the heavy throttling seen midway by is one thing to notice. Remember the fact that Prime95 hundreds all threads as much as 100%, which is probably not reflective of real-world use. Nonetheless, contemplating the audience, the P53 might trigger some frustrations in longer workloads.
We’ve additional examined the system’s habits in taxing hundreds within the ThinkPad P73 overview, which shares the identical platform, simply in an even bigger chassis. Head over there for extra particulars.
Listed here are just a few assessments with the CPU undervolted -100 mV. Whereas CPU temps are nonetheless excessive at occasions (however decrease than with inventory settings), efficiency is a good bit higher and extra steady:
The Prime95 stress take a look at returned rather more steady outcomes with the undervolt. CPU temps had been nonetheless excessive, however the chip didn’t throttle till the very finish of the hour-long take a look at. When it did throttle, the CPU carried out equally to inventory settings.
Wi-fi and Bluetooth connections elicit no complaints. The P53 makes use of an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 card for WiFi, and it’s rock stable. Whether or not at dwelling or a espresso store, the one limits on speeds and connection energy had been my router. I used to be ready to connect with my dwelling router (a Netgear AC1900 WiFi router) from the sting of my yard. For context, there was an exterior brick wall and two inside partitions between the pc and the router at a distance of about 150 toes. WiFi speeds had been gradual at that time, however I used to be capable of get some work completed.
The audio system are glorious. Music can simply fill a room with no distortion. Bass is weak however current; kick beats sound extra like slaps than full thumps, however mids and highs are crisp and clear. I might put the audio system up towards the very best of the very best within the laptop computer world; they’re that good.
Regardless of the massive 90 Wh battery, the P53 doesn’t final very lengthy when unplugged. I used to be capable of eke out about 2.5 hours of labor on a full cost underneath manufacturing unit settings (iGPU disabled, Energy Saver profile, 80% display brightness, no undervolt).
Surprisingly, enabling the iGPU didn’t do a lot to enhance battery life; the P53 might barely make it to three.5 hours underneath the identical settings with the iGPU turned on. Consider I used to be utilizing the P53 to browse the net and do some writing throughout these assessments. Heavier workloads (gaming, modeling work) killed the machine in a bit over an hour. Undervolting the CPU didn’t change these figures a lot, extending battery life by about 30 minutes in every use case besides gaming, which was solely attainable for about 70 minutes.
The large killers listed here are the RTX 5000, which appears to interact pretty usually even when the iGPU is turned on, and the brilliant display backlight. Just a few customers across the Web have reported battery life between 7-10 hours when doing routine workplace work and turning the display brightness all the way in which down, so it might be attainable to get a full day’s price of labor out of the machine.
For my part, it’s price the additional weight to deliver the adapter alongside. Not solely will you not want to fret about battery life, however your work additionally gained’t be hindered by the drop in CPU and GPU clock speeds brought on by working on the battery. The P53 is extra of a transportable desktop than a laptop computer and needs to be handled as such.
Worth and availability
The Lenovo ThinkPad P53 isn’t low-cost. Most workstations are costly as a result of high-end internals. The P53 remains to be competitively priced at round $3500 for a Xeon / RTX 5000/ 32 GB RAM / 1 TB storage, on the time of this put up, with Core i9/RTX 4000 fashions beginning at round $3000.
The machine begins at $2000 MSRP, however that solely will get you a Core i5-9400H, eight GB of RAM, a Quadro T1000, and a 256 GB NVMe SSD. Whereas it’s most likely cheaper for end-users to improve the RAM and storage, the CPU and GPU are soldered. I might suggest spending the additional money on no less than a Core i7 and a Quadro RTX 3000, which could truly give you the very best worth out of all of the obtainable choices.
Nonetheless, it’s possible that an organization will purchase this laptop computer for a person moderately than the person paying out of their very own pocket. In that regard, my config works nicely and may be capable of deal with CAD and modeling work for just a few years to come back.
Comply with this hyperlink for up to date costs and configurations on the time you’re studying the article.
The Lenovo ThinkPad P53 is a combined bag. There are fairly just a few issues to love concerning the machine. The construct high quality and keyboard ooze that glorious ThinkPad high quality, and the display is brilliant and crisp. Efficiency is great for a desktop alternative, so long as the machine is plugged in.
It’s within the small issues that the ThinkPad P53 falls aside. The loud coil whine is solely unacceptable, particularly at this worth vary. Remember the fact that this drawback could also be distinctive to my unit; I might love to listen to if some other P53 customers have skilled coil whine. The closely diminished efficiency on battery will also be an annoyance, notably for cellular engineers and designers that want to maneuver from workspace to workspace to collaborate. These workers will want to ensure there’s an outlet close by lest they undergo the pains of a crippled machine.
Lastly, thermal administration is a bit regarding. Lenovo might be able to tune the fan curves with a software program replace, and they need to. Because it stands, the CPU runs method too sizzling for method too lengthy. When the warmth lastly will get to be an excessive amount of, the silicon throttles. Personally, I’d take louder followers over a throttled system.
I must also make the purpose a second time in regards to the GPU choice. Lenovo opted for the 80 Watt variant of the Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q. Maintain this in thoughts when buying round; on the configuration web page, Lenovo lists the machine’s GPU merely because the “Quadro RTX 5000.” It’s an odd selection contemplating the audience and the thicker chassis. I might count on the P53 to have the ability to cool the full-fledged RTX 5000, however that is probably not the case. Lenovo targeted on holding fan noise low at the price of thermal administration and efficiency, which is a foul selection for a workstation. That is hypothesis on my half, however I can’t consider some other motive to make use of the 80 Watt RTX 5000 Max-Q.
I additionally hope that Lenovo affords customers the selection of a strong however loud machine or a weak however quiet machine utilizing energy profiles with the ThinkPad P54.
Because it stands, I might wait on buying the ThinkPad P53 till extra opinions come out. It additionally is likely to be price going up in measurement to the Thinkpad P73; the P7X laptops sometimes have higher efficiency and thermal administration than the P5X machines. We should always have that overview out within the coming weeks. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see if a number of the identical points pop up with the P73 (Trace: Head over to our overview to seek out out extra).
Tell us what you concentrate on the Lenovo P53 down within the feedback. Additionally, tell us when you’ve got any particular questions or would love any particular details about the Lenovo ThinkPad P53. We’ll do our greatest to reply your questions.