Lenovo ThinkStation C30

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The most compact dual processor Xeon workstation we have ever seen

  • 2 x Intel Xeon E5-2640 (2.50 GHz) (6 cores) CPUs
  • 16GB (4 x 4GB) PC3-10600 1,333MHz DDR3 ECC memory
  • Nvidia Quadro K5000 (4GB) GPU
  • 2TB SATA 6Gb/s HDD 7,200RPM hard drive
  • Lenovo motherboard (Intel C600 Series chipset)
  • 130 x 444 x 427mm
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
  • 3 year-on-site warranty
  • £3,999


Lenovo’s ThinkStation C30 is a remarkable feat of engineering. Two Intel Xeons crammed into a chassis that is smaller than most single CPU workstations. It is also incredibly quiet, even under heavy loading.

There is a trade off in having such a compact frame. The C30 only supports two GPUs and up to 128GB of memory, but this really should not impact most CAD/BIM workflows.

Lenovo’s choice of Xeon E5-2640 CPUs suggests our test machine is more suited to simulation than design visualisation, with the two six-core chips offering good price / performance for FEA or CFD. Ray trace rendering, on the other hand, thrives when more CPU cores are thrown at a render, so really warrants investment in eight core Xeons.

With this in mind some might consider the rest of the system to be a little unbalanced — 16GB RAM too light for complex CAE workflows and the 2TB 7,200RPM SATA crying out for a 256GB SSD to add some punch to the storage. However, if £4k is at the top end of your budget, don’t fret. For most simulation workflows, the more cost-effective Quadro K2000 or K4000 GPUs should be adequate replacements for the high-end Quadro K5000.


Of course, the ThinkStation C30 can pretty much be tweaked for any processor-intensive workflow. Its beauty lies in its chassis, which as far as we are aware is unrivalled when it comes to compact dual processor workstations.


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