Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny Guide and CE Review

5

Power Consumption

Idle power consumption on 120V power we saw 11-13W idle for the quad-core unit. We generally assume these nodes will use 9-12W idle so this in that range. Again, these are used units so it may vary a bit.

The power supplies are 65W Lenovo power adapters from the company’s notebook line. Newer systems tend to use larger 90W power supplies since USB power requirements are so much higher.

At idle, the noise is not significant. Under heavier loads, the fan spins up and the system is audible. An advantage is that one can move this system to avoid direct noise by mounting it on the back of a TV or monitor, under a desk, or elsewhere. These are designed to be quiet so many of them can fill rooms of small cubicles or co-working desk space so these need to be designed to be relatively quiet for most daily use. If you have a set of server applications that use little CPU but a lot of memory, then that type of workload will keep this system quiet. If you are using the system for number crunching, it will get loud.

Next, we are going to discuss key lessons learned before getting to our final thoughts.

Key Lesson Learned for TMM

In this series, we wanted to also focus on some key lessons learned. Since we have already tested well over a dozen different models, we are taking away key pieces of advice from each that we wanted to share.

Let us talk CPUs. The Intel Core i5-7500T was at the end of the 4 core era for Intel. It is faster than the Core i5-6500T and worth a premium, but the Core i5-8500T that came after was much faster. While a few hundred megahertz many of our readers may dismiss, the newer Intel HD 630 graphics (shared with the i5-8500T) has additional feature support which may be important for those using these machines for media playback and transcoding.

HP EliteDesk 800 G3 Mini With VPro And Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny Without VPro
HP EliteDesk 800 G3 Mini With VPro And Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny Without VPro

Just because we have a Core i5-7500T does not mean we get all of the features of the chip. Generally, the Core i3 series and some lower-end Core i5 chips do not have vPro support. Since this Lenovo M710q Tiny uses the B250 chipset, a Core i5-7500T in this platform will not have access to vPro features. We have another system with this same SKU, the HP EliteDesk 800 G3 Mini, and that system has vPro support. Lenovo for its lineup has the ThinkCentre M9x0 Tiny series with this higher feature set.

For our readers, when these units are first sold, there is often an appreciable premium for the higher-end systems. On the secondary market, these features often do not have an associated premium. Perhaps our biggest reason not to get this system is that one can often get into a second-hand higher-end system, or a newer lower-end system for around the same price and get more features. This is a market dynamic our readers can take advantage of.

Final Words

If you want to see what comes next in terms of newer systems, we have our Lenovo ThinkCentre M720q and ThinkCentre M920q Tiny pieces already online. We also have the contemporary Lenovo ThinkStation P320 Tiny piece online. Something we immediately noticed is how much better the serviceability is on this system versus the Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 Tiny from the previous generation. Swapping to the design with the SODIMMs and NVMe SSDs on the bottom of the system and a tool-less 2.5″ drive carrier system means that there is a noticeable serviceability gap between this system and those of Lenovo’s competitors at this time.

For around $300, this was not the best system we have purchased. At the same time, for some context, with the Core i5-7500T, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB NVMe SSD, 802.11ac WiFi, and Windows 10 Pro it is hard to call this system a bad value. It has everything needed to be a great system. The one caveat is that we do not get vPro support so we may actually suggest moving to a M910q version instead at the Core i5/ i7 level.

Overall, after looking at dozens of systems in this space, it seems like the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny hits a nice sweet spot in the market. It may not be the flashiest unit, but it is also a very well balanced and easy-to-use system.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Patrick,

    I got one of these as a barebone, new, unused, with a 90W original Lenovo power brick.

    I popped in a 7700T (which I was using on an Optiplex 3050 Micro which gave up the ghost). Popped in 2x8GB DDR4 2666 (have 2×16 on order), and a 1TB SSD. Windows install was a breeze and I was up and running in no time.

    All was fine and dandy until I noticed that the CPU does not boost over its base speed of 2.9GHz. I’ve tried everything, from Windows power plan to BIOS settings, but nothing seems to allow the CPU to turbo boost.

    HWInfo is not reading any throttling of any kind.

    I have another 3050 where I tried the CPU and it boosted correctly (3.6 on all cores), but the fan would get uncomfortably noisy.

    Did you notice a similar behaviour on your node? (even if it was a 7500T, it would still boost)

  2. Hi there,

    Thinking of getting one of these for an educational/experimental project and ended up here looking for compatible CPU specs. I wonder why you say: “…If you are looking for Intel HD 630 graphics, you will want the Pentium G4600T or the 7th generation Intel Core series parts…”.

    Could you bother to explain – is it “just” that the others “only” have Intel 530?

  3. And another question, if you would indulge my ignorance 🙂

    In the intro video on Youtube (Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Guide and Review, from 2 Nov 2020) there is a CPU benchmarking info image inserted, which includes the i5-9500T, but in this post that particulr CPU is not listed in the compatibility section. What am I mistaking here?

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