Key Lesson Learned for TMM
In this series, we wanted to also focus on some key lessons learned. This is a fun unit because we have reviewed both previous generations as well as competitive products. As such, we have a lot more experience and data compared to when we looked at the P320 and P330 Tiny.
On one hand, the GPU is great. Having access to four additional display outputs is going to be a big winner for many of our readers. Likewise, there are applications that have NVIDIA CUDA acceleration, and having even a lower-end GPU like the Quadro P620 is great. At the same time, for many of our readers, this is probably the wrong system.
One of the reasons for that is that many applications do not need Quadro and just need CUDA. Also, Intel was certainly allowing CPUs to use more power in these generations. For many of our readers, the AMD Ryzen 5000 series APUs are the better option. Lenovo has AMD-based units like the Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q Tiny Gen2 and they are very good, but they are two tiers below the P340 Tiny in Lenovo’s stack. Dell has somewhat competitive units with the OptiPlex 7090 Micro series, but those are a M90q Tiny competitors. HP has the 805 G6/ G8 Mini that has GeForce low power options with the AMD CPUs and features like dual NVMe SSDs. The reason we are excited about those units is not just performance. It is also this picture:
This is getting more than a little silly in terms of PSU size. It makes one appreciate the Apple Mac Mini M1 even with 10GbE and its internal PSU. The Intel plus older NVIDIA combination uses a lot of power and spins fans as a result. While Lenovo’s bottom SODIMM and NVMe SSD design we really like, it also means that Lenovo has a single expansion slot and so the HP can add a GPU plus a second NIC.
To be clear, this is a very nice system, but there are other options out there if one wants more performance.
There is no question that the Lenovo Tiny units are great. With Intel-based systems, the serviceability and configurability of these systems are excellent. The ThinkStation Tiny’s are a step beyond ThinkCentre Tiny’s like the M90q. If you are not looking for a GPU, then the M90q likely makes more sense. So this is more of a high-end unit compared to other systems in Lenovo’s stable.
We have discussed power enough, but it is clearly higher in this system so the power brick is now large enough that this should almost be a 1L system with an asterisk. This just looks silly.
While there are undoubtedly caveats, these systems are going to be increasingly becoming available in the next 12 months. There are also NVIDIA T1000 6GB cards that can come in these systems that we think should be much better. In terms of availability finding used P340 Tiny’s may be easier than finding new systems in small quantities.
Overall, this is a nice little system and is certainly one of our favorites that we have reviewed thus far.