Mediakwest – Lenovo ThinkStation P620, a revolutionary workstation (part 1)

One of the innovations offered by Lenovo and CTM, one of its first partners, is the new Threadripper Pro P620 workstation that is transforming the world of content creation. Lenovo Teams

The ThinkStation P620 workstation is the first on the market to be equipped with AMD’s Threadripper Pro technology. © DR

Since its release, the Threadripper Pro has transformed the world of content creation. It comes with a never-before-seen AMD processor which is the first fourth generation PCle case in the market from 12 to 64 cores.

CTM Solutions, which meets the different needs in terms of creative pipeline, content creation software, creation of new workflows, through the supply, rental and integration of equipment and services necessary for their deployments very often chooses for this machine as part of its deployment proposals. The company provides all the services from design to finalization to help its customers find the solution adapted to their needs… Why?

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The ThinkStation P620 workstation. © DR

This station is ideal, of course, for 3D and 2D artists, the animation and VFX sector, but also very well suited for post-production: editing, color grading or graphics. Validated in 2020 and certified by Avid, many customers are starting to use it. Combined with the other components such as memory, hard drive, GPU and Thunderbolt card and you get a significant performance boost.

You are responsible for the “Business unit WorkStation” at Lenovo. Can you present your company to us in a few words?

Julien Debove: We are one of the world’s leading players in new technologies and innovation, with a presence in 180 markets. Lenovo now has more than 70,000 employees, spread over more than 60 countries, with more than 30 production sites, 15 R&D centers and 4 artificial intelligence innovation centers. We have a very broad portfolio of innovations, solutions and services, which is deployed along three axes: personal computing and the IoT, infrastructure solutions, vertical sectors and services. The combination of these three areas allows us to offer our customers end-to-end solutions that meet all of their needs.

How would you define the Lenovo range?

The workstation range is a reflection of what Lenovo offers as a whole today. A wide range that can meet any type of use and user. Whether on mobility or on fixed positions. Today we can say that we have the broadest product portfolio on the market.

There has been a lot of talk this year on the market about the Lenovo ThinkStation P620, the first workstation equipped with AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro processors, can you explain to us the reason for this success and your association with AMD?

I believe that the first recipe for this success was to believe before anyone else that AMD’s Threadripper Pro technology was going to bring an incomparable gain in productivity for users. Our DNA has always been to provide performance and new solutions to contribute to it. We were the first to launch a workstation equipped with these microprocessors on the market, the ThinkStation P620, and I believe that the most demanding users appreciated this audacity.

How do you assess your new technological and commercial collaboration in 2021 with CTM Solutions in the Media and Entertainment market?

We have a collaboration generating, I believe, a lot of value. CTM, through its strong credibility in the media and entertainment market, brings us expertise that we did not have in this segment. For its part, Lenovo, through its ambition and its unique offer on the workstation market, with for example the Thinkstation P620, generates a unique discourse for CTM. CTM Solutions is today a WorkStation Elite certified partner, the most important stage, and we are very proud of it.

Is the Media and Entertainment market strategic for Lenovo?

This segment is definitely a strong focus for us. Our organization, both in terms of people and the product offer, is geared towards this market where the needs are significant, specific and where responsiveness is the key word. We have the solutions to meet them and our ambitions are very strong.

Currently, there are many supply problems on the market related to both the shortage of components, the health situation, but also the strong demand from new sectors. How does Lenovo intend to meet this challenge for 2022 and what will be the solutions brought to the markets, particularly in the media?

We rely on the power of our production and supply chain to best meet the needs of our customers and partners. We have more than 30 production sites around the world, the closest of which is in Hungary and produces workstations in particular. The resilience and agility of our infrastructure are major assets in responding to the challenges we are currently facing and we are doing everything we can to limit the impact of the problems mentioned.

One word to describe 2021?

2021 will once again have been a year of challenges where resilience will have been a determining factor. We have with CTM solutions demonstrated our ability to adapt. 2022, I am sure, can only be even more rewarding.

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Mesa Goulahs-Takaoka, WorkStation Technologist at Lenovo. © DR

You have held the position of “WorkStation Technologist” at Lenovo for more than a year, can you describe in a few words your professional background and your position within the WorkStation team?

I joined Lenovo at the end of 2020, previously I was in the Autodesk ecosystem for more than eighteen years mainly in the “Media and Entertainment” market. I am known as a 3D specialist in general and I was regularly asked to deal with subjects such as 3D workflows, rendering and 3D animation.

You are therefore the technical referent of the “Business unit WorkStation” at Lenovo, how would you define the current range of workstations at Lenovo?

Based on my past professional experience, the Lenovo range is clearly the most complete on the market, whether in fixed or mobile workstations. We have four solutions that differentiate us from competitors:

– the Tiny, the smallest fixed workstation on the market;

– our mobile workstations, ThinkPad P15 and P17, for users demanding computing power;

– our premium mobile workstation, ThinkPad P1 Gen4, offering the best performance/mobility ratio;

– and our fixed workstation, the ThinkStation P620, featuring the AMD Threadripper Pro processor that we offer exclusively.

How to choose a workstation in the Lenovo range to work in the media market in post-production or for animation? What are your advice, your criteria, your recommendations? The power of GPU vs CPU graphics cards in this context?

It all depends on the software that will be used and the trades that are addressed. We have three standout workstations in our portfolio that cater to the Media and Entertainment industry:

– the P520: single-processor Intel Xeon workstation,

– the P620: single-processor AMD Treadripper Pro workstation,

– the P920: single/dual Intel Xeon processor workstation.

And all of these workstations come with a wide choice of Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

In postproduction, the software is very sensitive to the CPU and/or GPU power of the workstations. In compositing, our P520, P620 and P920 stations are our best products to address these users. In finishing, conforming, color grading, our P620 and P920 are better positioned because they offer the CPU/GPU power desired by these professions. In animation production, the scope is wider because more professions and a wide variety of software coexist together.

For modeling, surfacing and matte painting, our P520 and P620 stations are our best alternatives, while for skinning, rigging and animation, our P520 and P620 stations are positioned very well too. For the FX/rendering simulation, it will be necessary to favor our most powerful stations, the P620 and the P920, to deliver the best CPU or GPU performance required by the software(s) used.

Much has been said in the market this year about the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 – the first workstation equipped with AMD Ryzen Threadripper Pro processors – can you explain to us the reason for this success and the association with AMD from a technique?

We had to offer a machine with the best performance to meet the needs of ever more demanding users in terms of computing power. The ThinkStation P620 is the perfect association between the know-how of Lenovo, resulting from the acquisition of IBM in 2004, and the founder AMD. The latter was able to take advantage of its technological leadership in the field of video games, because it was the first founder to master 7 nm engraving, which enabled it to offer extremely high-performance processors and above all to be able to decline it in professional.

The AMD Threadripper Pro processor is available in four versions 12, 16, 32 and 64 physical cores.

It is capable of managing up to 1 TB of DDR4 3200 MHz RAM with eight memory channels when its gaming version only manages 256 GB with six memory channels. In addition, AMD has integrated AMD Pro technology to make life easier for IT teams in managing a fleet of workstations.

Currently, product news is important at Lenovo, especially on the new range of portable workstations, can we have a little overview? What are the main advantages of these new products?

Indeed, Lenovo is the creator of the ThinkPad P series mobile workstations, known for their reliability and quality. Among the various products on offer is our ThinkPad P1 Gen4. It’s the first laptop to offer a 16-inch 16/10 screen with WQXGA (2560 x 1600 pixels) or WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) resolution with 100% Adobe RGB, Dolby Vision and HDR400 panels. This model embarks, in a thin and light chassis of 1.8 kg, which is the best in terms of Intel mobile processor and Nvidia graphics card for laptops. You can integrate an Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 or RTX A5000 graphics card with 16 GB of GDDR6 video memory. An excellent mobility/performance compromise.

We can also add the development of utilities specific to Lenovo, such as the Lenovo Performance Tuner which allows you to tweak the mobile workstation according to the software used to obtain an additional performance gain. Another example is the Lenovo Ultra Performance mode, allowing the user to choose when they want to experience the best performance from their mobile workstation.

How do you appreciate your new technology and market collaboration with CTM Solutions in the Media and Entertainment market?

CTM Solutions has a very competent in-house technical team and real knowledge of the “Media and Entertainment” sector. Lenovo works closely with this team, made up of several very technical profiles, to test and validate workstation configurations together. They regularly report use cases to us so that we can offer the best solution by combining everyone’s know-how.

In a second part, discover feedback from three customers (Atlantis Television, Happy Flamingos and Innervision) and CTM Solutions teams.

Excerpt from the article first published in mediakwest #45, p. 84-90

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Mediakwest – Lenovo ThinkStation P620, a revolutionary workstation (part 1)

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