Lenovo ThinkCentre M720q Project TinyMiniMicro Feature


Lenovo ThinkCenter M720q Tiny Performance and Power Consumption

Instead of going through the entire Linux-Bench test suite, we are going to show a few performance and power numbers here to give a general sense of performance. We actually planned to do storage testing, but then we realized that there was a huge variability in terms of what drives could be found in machines.

Python Linux 4.4.2 Kernel Compile Benchmark

This is one of the most requested benchmarks for STH over the past few years. The task was simple, we have a standard configuration file, the Linux 4.4.2 kernel from kernel.org, and make the standard auto-generated configuration utilizing every thread in the system. We are expressing results in terms of compiles per hour to make the results easier to read:

Intel Pentium Gold G5400T Linux Kernel Compile Benchmark
Intel Pentium Gold G5400T Linux Kernel Compile Benchmark

In terms of a key Project TinyMiniMicro goal, we wanted to see how this would perform compared to many of the server CPUs we test, especially the lower power ones. Here, as we would somewhat expect from a dual-core and four-thread unit, the performance is not excellent.

7-zip Compression Performance

7-zip is a widely used compression/ decompression program that works cross-platform. We started using the program during our early days with Windows testing. It is now part of Linux-Bench.

Intel Pentium Gold G5400T 7zip Compression Benchmark
Intel Pentium Gold G5400T 7zip Compression Benchmark

We sort this chart on decompression speeds as is our custom. Sorting on compression and the Pentium G5400T would move up several spots. Still, this offers more of the performance we would expect in 2015-2017 era embedded processors rather than more of a low power desktop CPU. We will, of course, note that one does get a GPU capability here (UHD Graphics 610) so that is not exactly a perfect comparison when graphics or video transcoding acceleration are needed.

OpenSSL Performance

OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many serverĀ stacks. We first look at our sign tests:

Intel Pentium Gold G5400T OpenSSL Sign Benchmark
Intel Pentium Gold G5400T OpenSSL Sign Benchmark

Here are the verify results:

Intel Pentium Gold G5400T OpenSSL Verify Benchmark
Intel Pentium Gold G5400T OpenSSL Verify Benchmark

Looking a bit further out, we see a great reason to upgrade. The Intel Core i3-9100T is a significantly faster processor. It also has the full instruction set of this generation whereas the Pentium Gold G5400T has a reduced instruction set as we discussed in our Intel Pentium Gold G5420 Benchmarks and Review A Cheap Server CPU. Here we can see a fairly massive jump in performance going to even the older Core i5’s or the current Core i3’s.

Next, we are going to look at power consumption before moving onto our key lesson learned and final words.

Power Consumption

Idle power consumption on 120V power we saw 11-14W idle for the dual-core unit. That is a solid figure.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M720q 65W Power Adapter
Lenovo ThinkCentre M720q 65W Power Adapter

The standard power supply, which we used, was a 65W Lenovo power adapter shared with Lenovo’s notebook line. Given the fact that we had a fairly low-spec unit, we never hit over 50W on our test unit so this was plenty. The 135W power adapter being listed as required for the 5W Intel i350-T4 seems a bit extreme with these lower-power CPUs.

At idle, the noise is not significant. Under CPU loads our unit was quiet. That frankly could have just been from Lenovo designing this system for much more powerful components so the shared cooling solution was operating well below its capabilities.

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


  1. Sadly these are laptop-grade “T” CPUs. The only TMM desktop I know that uses proper desktop CPUs is the HP EliteDesk 800 G5 Mini. I have one with an i7-9700K and one with an i9-9900K (95W).

    I believe some Lenovos can be configured with 10G Ethernet, however, although how much that matters when the CPU is likely the bottleneck is anyone’s guess.

  2. These are fairly recent CPUs with modern hardware instructions. 10Gb isn’t really much of a bottleneck anymore. I have a 720q w/ dual 10Gb and it handles just fine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.