Lenovo's All-in-one: IdeaCentre A600

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TEST RESULTS

As expected of a system using the Intel GM45 chipset, the A600 had no trouble playing all the video clips in our test suite with moderate CPU usage, the only exception being Drag Race, which seemed to demand more than normal power and CPU usage. The power consumption was modest under all loads. Idle system power was 53W at the wall outlet. With the monitor turned off, idle power dropped to just 38W, which is 3W lower than we measured for the Lenovo M58p Eco USFF. During typical low-power activities such as web surfing, downloading and installing Windows updates, and checking/sending email, the AC power consumption ranged 53~64W, which is very modest for an entire system complete with 21.5" monitor.

Lenovo IdeaCentre A600-30114BU
(Screen brightness set to ~50%*)
Test State
Mean
CPU Use
Peak
CPU Use
AC Power
Off
N/A
1.2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
2.1W
Idle, monitor on
N/A
53W
Idle, monitor off
N/A
38W
Rush Hour
15%
28%
~80W
Coral Reef
21%
34%
~84W
Dark Knight
17%
28%
~80W
Drag Race
45%
61%
~88W
Prime95
CPU: 85°C
GPU: 57°C
HDD: 45°C
100W
Prime95 + Furmark
CPU: 88°C
GPU: 80°C
HDD: 47°C
125W
*Notes:
1)The monitor brightness could vary the AC power as much as 30W. At full CPU + GPU load, changing monitor brightness from min to max varied the AC power from 110W to 140W.
2) The power supply turned out to incorporate Active Power Factor Correction. Its PF was at or near the ideal of 1.0 through all loads from idle to maximum.

With Prime95 running over 20 minutes, the CPU got quite hot, and the vents on the back over the I/O ports became very warm to touch. The power adapter also became warm, around 50°C. No errors were recorded, however, so the system stayed stable.

Lenovo A600-30114BU Benchmarks
Boot*
42 sec.
PCMark05
n/a*
3DMark06
1164
NOD32
n/a*
WinRAR
254 sec
~75W
iTunes
319 sec
~72W
TMPGEnc
476 sec
~83W
*Boot-up Time - start button to when the round Vista logo appears
n/a
*: The preloaded Vista 64-bit OS did not play nice with the 32-bit versions of these programs.

CPU-centric performance was speedy, as expected with the Intel Core 2 Duo P7450 mobile processor. Boot time was reasonably quick.

PERFORMANCE COMPARED TO...

We have a few recently reviewed products to compare with the Lenovo IdeaCentre A600. The Lenovo M58p Eco USFF is a corporate desktop. The Dell Studio Hybrid is geared more to the consumer market and uses notebook components. Our home-built mini-ITX system is a small desktop PC an enthusiast could build from retail components. All of these PCs would normally be positioned on the desk close to the user.

Lenovo M58p Eco USFF
  • Intel C2D E8400 Processor (3.00GHz, 1333MHz, 6MB L2 cache)
  • Intel Q45 chipset motherboard w/Integrated Video GMA4500
  • 2GB PC3-8500 SDRAM (two sticks)
  • Hitachi HDT725025VLA380 250GB 3.5" HDD (5400RPM)
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Mechanical Package Eco USFF 1x2, 87 Plus / WW
  • 130W External 85% Efficiency AC/DC Power Adapter
  • DVD Recordable drive (w/ DVD Playback & Burner Software)
  • Intel Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator X3100

Price: ~$900 + $200 for 22" 1920x1080 monitor


Dell Studio Hybrid
Price: ~$800 + $200 for 22" 1920x1080 monitor

Home Built mini-ITX System:
Price: ~$700 + $200 for 22" 1920x1080 monitor

Note that the mini-ITX system was not actually built into the Thermaltake Lanbox, which is a large shoebox style SFF case. The components were put together on an open test bench platform for actual testing. The case was included in the component list to make a complete system.

The Lenovo power measurements include the demand of its 21.5" LCD monitor, while the others are conventional PCs that require a separate monitor. Almost any >20" monitor will have a power draw of ~20W or higher. Please keep this in mind.

Benchmarks Comparison
System
Lenovo IdeaCentre A600
Lenovo M58p Eco USFF
Dell Studio Hybrid
Home-built E7200 / DG45FC
CPU Clock
2.13 Ghz
3.0 Ghz
2.13 Ghz
2.53 Ghz
RAM
4GB
2GB
3GB
2GB
Boot
42 Sec.
36 sec.
58 sec.
48 sec.
PCMark05
n/a*
6428
4176
5178
3DMark06
3777
1164
444
1002
Idle Power
53W
41W
23W
35W
NOD32
n/a*
179s
~65W
301s
~40W
319s
~45W
WinRAR
254s
~75W
176s
~67W
274s
~45W
248s
~50W
iTunes
319s
~72W
262s
~67W
312s
~43W
242s
~50W
TMPGEnc
476s
~83W
310s
~78W
468s
~52W
380s
~58W
*Boot - time from start button to when the round Vista logo appears
n/a
*: The preloaded Vista 64-bit OS did not play nice with the 32-bit versions of these programs.

The A600 boots up about as fast as the M58p despite its slower CPU, probably because of its faster 3.5" 7200rpm drive. The M58p was equipped with a 5400rpm 3.5" drive, and the other systems were equipped with slower 5400rpm 2.5" notebook drives. The superior 3D performance of its ATI 3450 GPU comes through in the 3DMark06 score, which is 3.5 times higher than the closest competitor. The timed benchmarks put the A600 closest to the Dell Studio Hybrid, not surprising as the two sport the same processor.

In terms of energy efficiency, the A600 is reasonably close to both the Dell Studio Hybrid and the Home-built mini-ITX systems. Both of these systems draw less power, but when the monitor's power demand is factored in, they'd all be within a few watts of each other, at least at load. In idle, the Dell has the lead with its low power notebook parts.



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