Lenovo ThinkCentre M90p USFF PC

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Audio Recordings

Comparable System sound files:

  • Lenovo ThinkStation E20 at 1m
    — idle/load, GPU fan tweaked to minimum speed (19~20 dBA)
    — idle/load (20~21 dBA)
    — idle/load, hard drive seeking (23~25 dBA)


The Lenovo ThinkCentre M90p is definitely an improvement over the M58p, not just in terms of performance. The switch to the faster Clarkdale processor with Intel GMA HD graphics boasted energy efficiency by more than 30% when idle. The overall noise level is still subpar, but it is quieter than its predecessor when idle or under light load. The M90p doesn't seem to suffer from the same vibration issues as the M58p but whether this is due to an improved hard drive caddy or simply from using a different hard drive is difficult to assess.

Lenovo's USFF enclosure limits both expansion and the potential for quiet cooling despite the M90p's more power efficient processor and chipset. The case is compact with a very small foot print when mounted vertically on the included stand and is easy to open and service, but these advantages come at a great acoustic cost. On full load, the system is unbearably noisy, yet the CPU still gets toasty, heating up to a temperature about 60°C higher than when the system is sitting idle.

In a perfect world, PCs in the workplace would all be small, fast, energy efficient, and quiet, but in real life, they inevitably fall short in one area — for the M90p that area is noise. To operate inconspicuously in a quiet office, it has to be a meter or more away from the user or tucked underneath a desk. It is better suited for a busy, louder corporate environment, where the noise generated would likely be drowned out.

Our thanks to Lenovo for ThinkCentre M90p sample.

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Articles of Related Interest

Lenovo C315 Touch Screen All-in-One PC
Lenovo ThinkStation E20: A Quiet Entry-level Workstation
Lenovo ThinkCentre A70Z & Asus EeeTop ET2203 All-In-One PCs
Asus EeeBox EB1501 ION Mini-PC
Lenovo's All-in-one: IdeaCentre A600
Lenovo ThinkCentre M58p Eco USFF: Green Corporate SFF PC

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