Lenovo M58p Eco USFF: Green Corporate SFF PC

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MikeC
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Lenovo M58p Eco USFF: Green Corporate SFF PC

Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:22 pm


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Post by rpsgc » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:06 pm

Nice article and nice system (although plagued with same rather poor component choices) but with a little too many typos ;)

Last line of the last paragraph on page 4:

"These miserly power figures alone are enough to put the L1940p monitor on the top of the want list for many green-conscious PC users." -Measly/Meager?

EDITED BY ADMIN - to remove info on typos that have been corrected.

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Post by Ch0z3n » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:34 pm

miserly is right, at least in common usage.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:37 pm

rpsgc wrote:Nice article and nice system (although plagued with same rather poor component choices) but with a little too many typos ;)

Last line of the last paragraph on page 4:

"These miserly power figures alone are enough to put the L1940p monitor on the top of the want list for many green-conscious PC users."

-Measly/Meager?
Thanks for the eyes, typos corrected.

Miserly: of, relating to, or characteristic of a miser ; especially : marked by grasping meanness and penuriousness -- synonyms: stingy

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On a related security note...

Post by fri2219 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:41 pm

Lenovo is on the do not buy list for most Pharma, Biotech, and any other industry the PRC has targeted for espionage.

Any research institution stupid enough to put one of these in their labs or offices probably deserves what they get. I'm sure the wonderful folks in the PLA wouldn't want any of your data, though, so go ahead and give it a try.

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Re: On a related security note...

Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:44 pm

fri2219 wrote:Lenovo is on the do not buy list for most Pharma, Biotech, and any other industry the PRC has targeted for espionage.

Any research institution stupid enough to put one of these in their labs or offices probably deserves what they get. I'm sure the wonderful folks in the PLA wouldn't want any of your data, though, so go ahead and give it a try.
??? What are you suggesting, that these things have built-in trojans or something? Please explain... and how do you know this?

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Post by jessekopelman » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:46 pm

MikeC

Energy usage should be W*s, not W/s (you calculated it correctly, just wrote it wrong). Probably better to divide by 3600 and express it as kWh, since this is what people are familiar with from their utility bills.

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Post by BillyBuerger » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:11 pm

Just started reading the article but wanted to make a note of something...
...and the absence of any memory card readers. The latter seems like an unnecessary ommission as memory cards have become ubiquitous. Surely, business people also use digital cameras, videocams and other devices that require frequent access to memory cards.
From a business PC perspective, I can see why they would leave out the memory card reader. I was recently at a larger business to train some people and wanted to load up some test data and software for them. They had to have an IT guy come out and enable USB in the BIOS of one of the PCs as they keep it disabled by default using PS2 keyboard/mouse. Now where this is annoying, if you have 100s of employees popping thumb drives and memory cards in at random probably some with viruses on them, that can cause some head aches. Although that didn't seem to help too much as one of the guys had his PC constantly bogged down because Norton was popping up constant messages about a problem. And another guy gave me a thumb drive to put a document on which my antivirus found stuff on it.

I'm just saying that there could be reasons to not include something as simple as a memory card reader.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:13 pm

BillyBuerger wrote:Just started reading the article but wanted to make a note of something...
...and the absence of any memory card readers. The latter seems like an unnecessary ommission as memory cards have become ubiquitous. Surely, business people also use digital cameras, videocams and other devices that require frequent access to memory cards.
From a business PC perspective, I can see why they would leave out the memory card reader... I'm just saying that there could be reasons to not include something as simple as a memory card reader.
By that argument, both card readers and USB ports should be banned because of the security risk?

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Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:17 pm

jessekopelman wrote:Energy usage should be W*s, not W/s (you calculated it correctly, just wrote it wrong). Probably better to divide by 3600 and express it as kWh, since this is what people are familiar with from their utility bills.
done.

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Post by Ch0z3n » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:33 pm

Mike, take off your tin hat! It is theoretically possible the business reason he is talking about is that they cost money!! 8)

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Re: On a related security note...

Post by K.Murx » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:39 pm

fri2219 wrote: Any research institution stupid enough to put one of these in their labs or offices probably deserves what they get. I'm sure the wonderful folks in the PLA wouldn't want any of your data, though, so go ahead and give it a try.
Well, here in my group we repartition the HDD and throw SuSeLinux on them, anyway. It's kind of hard to introduce "nefarious stuff" then, last time I checked BIOS-trojans are not quite common.

However we have also encountered "infected" thumbdrives, quite often as "presents". But we did not go as far as banning USB, we are trying the old-fashioned "educate the users" approach.

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Post by Rebellious » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:46 pm

Thanks Mike.

IBM had some very talented people, and they did some very creative work, also some really stup[id things, like the proprietary mobo you mentioned in your review. So the Thinkpeople went out of business, and their jobs exported. I still have my 10+ yr-old Thinkpad, a marvel of misused ingenuity.

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Post by barbz » Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:29 pm

Hi all,

We recently purchased 80 of these machines and they do everything we need. But Im guessing the QA at lenovo isn't the best because we have a few that are noisy - we have fixed this issue by repositioning the temperature sensor that controls the fans - if its straight up in the air it touches the hard drive and if its down too low it touches the power controllers (whatever they are called) for the cpu so they need to be shaped like an S so the sensor sits about half way between the two.

Bottom right hand corner - green jumper with wires out of the top of it :)
Image


Paul

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Post by dhanson865 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:42 pm

MikeC wrote:
BillyBuerger wrote:Just started reading the article but wanted to make a note of something...
...and the absence of any memory card readers. The latter seems like an unnecessary omission as memory cards have become ubiquitous. Surely, business people also use digital cameras, videocams and other devices that require frequent access to memory cards.
From a business PC perspective, I can see why they would leave out the memory card reader... I'm just saying that there could be reasons to not include something as simple as a memory card reader.
By that argument, both card readers and USB ports should be banned because of the security risk?
Yes. SAS70, Sarbanes Oxley, etc pretty much force companies to disable USB, CDR, Floppy, etc to reduce the chance that someone can walk out with company data (financial or otherwise).

In my company I have USB ports forced into read only mode on any PC not used by someone with written authorization to be allowed to take data off the PC. Of course that is a Windows setting (very few PC BIOSes have an option to set USB ports to read only) and booting from the USB drive with linux or winPE would get you access to the drive but it keeps the average worker in our office from trading files all over the place by way of devices that if they were to plug one in they would get written up or fired on the spot. They can still trade files using a network share on the fileserver but they can't take files off the server and out the front door without spending more serious effort. We assume some risk that someone could sneak in a device and put a virus on a PC but hey I'm not going back to PS/2 mice/keyboards.

Any PC with a card reader I just yank the reader out and put a blank faceplate in.

Floppies still work but not every PC has one nowdays and given the time we may just remove the ones that are left.

CDs are not allowed in or out of the building without written approval.

Cameras are similarly restricted.

It'd be worse if we were a public company or a government facility in the next town over.

Short of strip searches coming and going you can't really stop people from taking data out the door nowdays. I've seen USB drives that hide inside of braclets and pens and basically any device you want to put one in that is bigger than your fingernail. And as I said if you can boot from it you can take data off the local hard drive. Assuming you have access to the network you can transfer files from the network to the local drive, then reboot to the USB drive and steal data from there.

But it makes the auditors happy when you staff the security theater.

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Post by Greg F. » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:05 pm

I was very surprised and pleased to see how little power one of these monitors takes, and so I will check them out. I know it is a "silent" pc website, but I would like to see more attention paid to how much or how little power monitors use.

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Post by merlyn » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:45 pm

ya agreed on the Sarbanes Oxley stuff. Our USB ports are locked down to HIDs only. Users have to get written approval to open this up and we whitelist all approved devices including CD's! Photos are transferred on to the network by the IT department, the only other media card readers are for secretaries' dictation devices. We are able to configure the system to send us copies of all the data transferred for auditing purposes although there's very little of it.
I think I've only ever seen one PC come with a card reader and we just cut the cables off!

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Post by matt_garman » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:35 am

I was a little disappointed to see 41 Watts for idle power consumption. If TDP numbers have any relation to power consumption, the Q45 chipset should be one of the best.

I'm curious how much power that would consume at idle if as many components as possible were replaced with SPCR's standard Intel testing:
  • PC3-8500 (1066 MHz FSB) -> PC2-6400 (800 MHz FSB)
  • 3.5" 5400 RPM drive -> 2.5" 5400 drive
  • E8400 CPU -> E7200
Maybe about five watts total?

At least with my 3210 (server chipset, similar to X38), I noticed an at-the-wall (AC) power savings of about three watts when I replaced 800 MHz RAM with 667 MHz chips.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:55 am

matt_garman wrote:I'm curious how much power that would consume at idle if as many components as possible were replaced with SPCR's standard Intel testing:
  • PC3-8500 (1066 MHz FSB) -> PC2-6400 (800 MHz FSB)
  • 3.5" 5400 RPM drive -> 2.5" 5400 drive
  • E8400 CPU -> E7200
Maybe about five watts total?
Closer to 10W. The 3.5" HDD idles at 7-8W instead of 1W for a 2.5". 6-7W DC means 8~10W at the wall socket. The memory difference might count for something, maybe a watt or 2. Not sure if the CPU would change anything.

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Post by matt_garman » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:07 am

MikeC wrote:
matt_garman wrote:I'm curious how much power that would consume at idle if as many components as possible were replaced with SPCR's standard Intel testing:
  • PC3-8500 (1066 MHz FSB) -> PC2-6400 (800 MHz FSB)
  • 3.5" 5400 RPM drive -> 2.5" 5400 drive
  • E8400 CPU -> E7200
Maybe about five watts total?
Closer to 10W. The 3.5" HDD idles at 7-8W instead of 1W for a 2.5". 6-7W DC means 8~10W at the wall socket. The memory difference might count for something, maybe a watt or 2. Not sure if the CPU would change anything.
Hmm... I'm veering a little off-topic here, but the Q45 chipset interests me from a low-power fileserver/NAS perspective. Shaving 10 watts with the above changes would make that system competitive with the GA-MA74GM-S2. Might even be able to beat it by going with an E5200 and even slower memory.

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Post by jessekopelman » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:14 pm

MikeC wrote:
jessekopelman wrote:Energy usage should be W*s, not W/s (you calculated it correctly, just wrote it wrong). Probably better to divide by 3600 and express it as kWh, since this is what people are familiar with from their utility bills.
done.
But you didn't get rid of the "/" which is what I was primarily objecting too. It should be written: kWh or kWhr or KWH or kW*hr or some variation of those, but there is definitely no dividing going on! Normally I don't see the point in being pedantic about these things, but writing it correctly makes it clear on how the math works.

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Post by MikeC » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:22 pm

jessekopelman wrote:But you didn't get rid of the "/" which is what I was primarily objecting too. It should be written: kWh or kWhr or KWH or kW*hr or some variation of those, but there is definitely no dividing going on! Normally I don't see the point in being pedantic about these things, but writing it correctly makes it clear on how the math works.
I stand corrected... yet again. :|

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Post by jessekopelman » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:38 pm

Rebellious wrote:Thanks Mike.

IBM had some very talented people, and they did some very creative work, also some really stup[id things, like the proprietary mobo you mentioned in your review. So the Thinkpeople went out of business, and their jobs exported. I still have my 10+ yr-old Thinkpad, a marvel of misused ingenuity.
I don't think this is accurate. The brand was not failing under IBM management by any means. However, IBM's overall focus has been to move away from low margin activities (manufacturing of commodity devices) to high margin activities (consulting and R&D), for the past 15 years. Making and selling large volumes of Wintel PCs is a low margin commodity business. My understanding is that IBM sold the PC division (including some brand names, a few technical resources, and existing sales contracts) to Lenovo for a decent profit. Lenovo, like many Chinese OEM was desperate to get brand credibility in the Western world, so that they could charge a premium over generic OEM who operate solely based on manufacturing efficiency and have barely any margins. Since Lenovo was already manufacturing the Thinkpads, the most lucrative line of IBM's PC division, this was an obvious deal for them.

If you are a vendor who is much larger than your customers, having proprietary components is the opposite of a stupid decision. This helps to build obsolesence into the equipment and/or lock the customer into buying upgrades from only you. If the customers are bigger than you, they can dictate specs and won't stand for this. But if you are bigger, it only makes sense to do the same. This why all the major PC vendors (including Dell, HP, and Apple) commonly use proprietary components. This is no uniquely IBM/Lenovo thing to do.

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Post by metalchaos » Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:31 am

I think E8xxx was used because it's the only Core 2 Duo lineup that supports virtualization that is required to run XP mode under Windows 7 and XP mode is very useful for companies that keep running old proprietary software.

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Post by new2spcr » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:25 pm

BillyBuerger wrote:Just started reading the article but wanted to make a note of something...

From a business PC perspective, I can see why they would leave out the memory card reader. I was recently at a larger business to train some people and wanted to load up some test data and software for them. They had to have an IT guy come out and enable USB in the BIOS of one of the PCs as they keep it disabled by default using PS2 keyboard/mouse. Now where this is annoying, if you have 100s of employees popping thumb drives and memory cards in at random probably some with viruses on them, that can cause some head aches. Although that didn't seem to help too much as one of the guys had his PC constantly bogged down because Norton was popping up constant messages about a problem. And another guy gave me a thumb drive to put a document on which my antivirus found stuff on it.

I'm just saying that there could be reasons to not include something as simple as a memory card reader.
Tiny OT: The virus/trojan/malware part can satisfactorily be prevented by simply implementing Microsoft's (XP Pro, Vista) Software Restriction Policy and forcing people to use restricted User accounts rather than letting them use the poweruser/admin accounts. This will prevent all unauthorized executables from being run be it from usb-sticks, user folders, e-mail attachments, drive-by-downloads, cd's etc.
There's no measurable performance penalty to this setup compared to the, IMO, crappy Norton 365 system protection software or whatever they call it nowadays...

As for the data stealing issue; enabling the read-only feature on usb-sticks in Windows...dhanson865, is this achieved with a registry hack?

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silent dimming?

Post by b3nbranch » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:20 am

I noted with great interest the low power consumption of
the monitor. Were you able to lower the brightness without
creating noise? My Viewsonic VG2030wm squeals hideously
if I take the brightness below 96%. I could save ~10 watts at
75% brightness but that's just impossible.

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Re: silent dimming?

Post by MikeC » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:04 am

b3nbranch wrote:I noted with great interest the low power consumption of
the monitor. Were you able to lower the brightness without
creating noise? My Viewsonic VG2030wm squeals hideously
if I take the brightness below 96%. I could save ~10 watts at
75% brightness but that's just impossible.
If it made noise, I would have reported it. The thing made no noise whatsoever. However, having said that, I have to caution that sometimes, such noises can be hit or miss, a different sample of the same model might exhibit the squeal.... no way to be absolutely certain about this -- same with motherboards, PSUs, video cards.

But I can report that this sample makes no noise.

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Post by BottleBag » Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:05 am

We're wondering about the PCI slot for the video card - it's awful tight in there. Has anyone found a card that will definitely fit? Looks like it would also need to be a low power card, as the PSU only puts out 130 watts.

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