Idle power consumption on 120V power we saw around 12W idle. We generally assume these nodes will use 9-12W idle so this was directly in the range we would expect. Again, we do see power consumption creep slightly higher over time if dust accumulates in the fan/ heatsink and we had a new unit here. Still directionally this is in-line with the rest of the segment.
The power supply for this unit is a 65W Lenovo power adapter from the company’s notebook line. As you would expect, you can use the adapters from the company’s notebooks and also the Intel-based Lenovo Tiny nodes with this machine. We could push the system to around 58W so there is room to spare. We also will note that this system does not have the strongest USB configuration and features such s all USB 3 Gen1/Gen2 ports can drive power supply needs.
At idle, the system is not silent, but it is very quiet if working from 1M away. It stays fairly quiet under light loads but if you run heavy CPU/ GPU workloads the fans spin up and it certainly gets louder.
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.
From a performance standpoint, the lesson here is simple. One can get a 2x performance boost over the M75q-1’s high-end AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE configuration or a mid-range Intel Core i5-8500T/ Core i5-9500T. Frankly, we think this unit at around $736 was a better value than the M75q-1 because the performance is so much better.
That brings us to the big question: used v. new. With this system, we get an on-site warranty from Lenovo. We also effectively get the performance of two Core i5-8500T/ i5-9500T systems. That means we do not need additional power outlets, network ports, and we get lower power consumption by consolidating into the newer platform. Make no mistake here, the AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 4750GE brings a new era of performance to the 1L segment. We have tested dozens of these ~1L corporate desktop PCs and this is simply a new domain of performance.
On the other hand, a valid point is that for the purposes of Project TinyMiniMicro, it may make sense to buy 2-3 used Core i5-8500T systems to increase the number of cluster nodes. After all, that was the original thrust behind the series.
This is certainly an area where it is going to come to personal judgment. For me, this is the type of system I would use with 64GB of memory today as a small desktop to leave at the data center so I do not have to remember a notebook, or even as a small desktop to use as an admin node. It can then be transitioned into a role as a cluster node in the future. For others, they will see this as a way to build a nested virtualization lab on a single low-power node.
Lenovo makes great systems in the 1L space. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q-2 Tiny with the AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 4750GE absolutely re-defines performance expectations in this market. While the original Ryzen parts in the segment required 25-35% gen/gen performance gains from Intel, this is one where the competition effectively got twice as fast between the M75q-1 and M75q-2. We will note that we wanted to purchase the HP EliteDesk 805 for comparison, but those tend to cost significantly more than the Lenovo units.
One way of explaining this is that the Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q Tiny Gen1 to Gen2 evolution is similar to what we saw on the server-side going from the AMD EPYC 7001 to EPYC 7002 series and on the desktop side with the Ryzen 3000 series (mainstream desktop, not this 35W TDP segment.) Zen 2 was absolutely revolutionary giving 2x performance gains. Lenovo was wise to harness this innovation with the M75q Tiny Gen2.
Looking ahead, we have the Core i9-10900T system in the lab along with the Core i5-10500T units from Dell, HP, and Lenovo. We also have a few 11th Gen Intel NUCs since that has been a widely requested inclusion in this series. I think we have a great base for discussing used units. Over time, these new units will be replaced so we now have a great catalog showing the history and evolution of the 1L Project TinyMiniMicro segment.