Since many of our users are going to want to run different OSes on this, we wanted to give some of the key hardware specs. There is a lot on these machines that are customizable, but this at least gives you some sense of what hardware is available. If you want to know if your hardware is compatible with your OS, this list should help do that tie-out.
Here are the officially supported CPUs for the unit:
- Intel Pentium G4400T
- Intel Pentium G4500T
- Intel Core i3-6100T
- Intel Core i3-6300T
- Intel Core i5-6400T
- Intel Core i5-6500T
- Intel Core i5-6600T
- Intel Core i7-6500T
The last three SKUs on this list support vPro while others do not.
- Up to 32GB in 2x DDR4-2400/ DDR4-2133 SODIMMs
Note: STH tested 2x 16GB Samsung SODIMMs to validate 32GB support, but we did not test 64GB support in this system.
- 2.5″ SATA with Bracket
- M.2 PCIe for NVMe SSDs
- Intel i219LM 1GbE
WiFi Support (Optional)
- Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 (dual band), Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1 combo adapter, 1×1
- Qualcomm Atheros QCA6174 (dual band), Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1 combo adapter, 2×2
- Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.0 combo adapter, 1×1
- Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1 combo adapter, 2×2
- Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1 combo adapter, Intel vPro technology support, 2×2
- Intel Q170 PCH
- 2x USB 3.0 Front
- 4x USB 3.0 Rear
OSes From Factory
- Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
- Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)
- Windows 7 Pro (64-bit)
The OS section can be a big deal. Sometimes the units are advertised as supporting Windows 10, but one gets a Windows 10 Home license. Also, some companies may order these units with FreeDOS in order to load their own OSes. If you are running Linux or another OS, then this is largely irrelevant. If you want to, or may want to, run Windows 10 Pro, knowing exactly which OS is on the device is ultra important. Although it did not come with Linux, we had our system running Proxmox VE as a Linux virtualization node.
Note: These systems sometimes change specs mid-generation. If you find another spec sheet with items you think we should add, please let us know in the comments.
Next, we are going to look at the performance and power consumption before getting to our final words.
Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 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:
At best we can consider the performance here modest. These were systems just before or just as AMD Ryzen was hitting the market so they come from a context of virtually no competition. As a result, we can see the Core i3-9100T we found in the Dell OptiPlex 3070 Micro out-perform the Core i5 of this generation by a large margin.
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.
This may seem like lower-performance, but the 35W TDP CPUs are somewhere between a mainstream socket and an embedded socket in terms of power and thermal limitations As such, the Core i5-6500T found here competes in the middle of these types of SKUs.
OpenSSL is widely used to secure communications between servers. This is an important protocol in many server stacks. We first look at our sign tests:
Here are the verify results:
Something that is fun is that this system is very close to an Intel Xeon Bronze 3204 at a system cost about the cost of a Xeon Bronze. There are many Xeon Bronze systems out there with a single drive and a single 8GB DIMM. If you were thinking about that type of system for a home lab, the M900 Tiny can be a better alternative given its compactness, low cost, and low power consumption.
Next, we are going to discuss power consumption before getting to our final words.