Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad P50 Workstation Review

Also a success with 15 inches? Following our review of the ThinkPad P70, we have a look at the smaller ThinkPad P50 from Lenovo. The two devices are very similar in many respects, but there are also important differences. Those include the display as well as the more complex maintenance, but also the longer battery runtimes. Our review unit also has a problem with the Turbo Boost most of the time.

For the original German review, see here.

Lenovo's 15-inch mobile workstation, the ThinkPad P50, is the direct successor to the ThinkPad W541. The thinner ThinkPad W550s, on the other hand, will be replaced by the new ThinkPad P50s. We already reviewed the 17-inch ThinkPad P70 model and it was convincing for the most part. Our test model of the P50 looks like a shrunken version of the big workstation at a first look, so we are eager to find out whether the performance was affected by the shrinkage as well.

Our review configuration of the ThinkPad P50 (approx. 2,500 Euros/~$2788) is equipped with a quad-core processor from Intel (i7-6820HQ), a Quadro M2000M graphics card from Nvidia, 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB M.2-SSD (SATA-III). The display is a matte Full HD panel, which can be profiled thanks to the integrated color calibrator. Our configuration uses the fastest GPU that is available for the P50, but is otherwise pretty average. The memory equipment in particular can be upgraded (NVMe-SSD, 64 GB ECC-RAM in combination with Xeon CPU). The top model (Xeon E3-1535 v5, Quadro M2000M, 4K panel, 64 GB ECC-DDR4, 2x 512 GB NVMe-SSD + 500 GB HDD) currently retails for around 5,400 Euros (~$6023) in Lenovo's online shop. It is interesting that the P50 can be equipped with a more powerful processor than the P70 and there are more storage options as well. Those might still be initial issues since both models were just recently launched. The entry-level configuration of the ThinkPad P50 starts at around 2,000 Euros (~$2231). Students or eligible scientific employees in particular can get a big discount, because the education models start at little more than 1,400 Euros (~$1561).

Similar to the 17-inch model, we can split the rivals in two groups: serious workstations like the HP ZBook 15 G2 (successor ZBook 15 G3 was already announced) or consumer models with professional components. This list includes the Dell Precision 5510Schenker W505 or the HP Omen Pro 15, for example.

Lenovo ThinkPad P50 (ThinkPad P Series)
Processor
Intel Core i7-6820HQ 2.7 GHz @ 2.7 GHz (Intel Core i7)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M - 4096 MB, Core: 1136 MHz, Memory: 1252 MHz, GDDR5, ForceWare 354.25, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, Single-Channle, DDR4-2133, 1 of 4 slots occupied, up to 64 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, No, LP156WF6-SPK1, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM236 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP, 256 GB 
, OPAL 2.0, 170 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 Express Card 34mm, 4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: 4-in-1 (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC), 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 29.4 x 377.4 x 252.3 ( = 1.16 x 14.86 x 9.93 in)
Battery
90 Wh Lithium-Polymer, removeable, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 2x 1.5W, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 170-Watt PSU, Quick-start guide, warranty information, Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit (with downgrade rights to Windows 7 Professional 64-bit), Lenovo Tools, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office 365 (trial), McAfee Live Safe (trial), 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.59 kg ( = 91.36 oz / 5.71 pounds), Power Supply: 670 g ( = 23.63 oz / 1.48 pounds)
Price
2500 Euro

 

Case

Except for the dimensions, especially the height, the two mobile workstations, the ThinkPad P70 and our current ThinkPad P50, are very similar. However, the chassis can leave an even better impression, which comes down to multiple reasons. First of all, the device is even more compact and sturdier. The predecessor ThinkPad W541, for instance, also tipped the scale at around 2.6 kg (~5.7 lb), but was half a centimeter (~0.2 in) thicker. Underneath the black plastic surfaces, we can once again find the sturdy construction made of aluminum/magnesium alloy, which enables an impressive stability. We could still notice slight issues in the area around the TrackPoint and underneath the display in the review of the P70, but the P50 is better in this regard and the construction can compete with unibody designs.

The lid is, as expected, slightly rubberized, which is nice to touch, but also pretty susceptible to dirt and dust. The lid is just as thick as the one from the P70, so the stability is a bit better for the smaller panel. However, we still think that it is too easy to twist, and pressure from behind will result in warping, but no picture distortions. The taut metal hinges can benefit from the lower weight of the display as well and keep it in position well, even at extreme angles (more than 180 degrees possible).

The battery is located at the front of the base unit and can easily be removed, but one of the support feet is located on the battery. This means you will have to live with a tilting notebook if you want to use it without the battery. At the bottom is a large maintenance hatch, which is only secured by a couple of screws.

The chassis of the ThinkPad P50 was tested according to the military standard MIL-STD 810 and it is equipped with a splash-resistant keyboard. All in all, the build quality of the chassis can almost completely convince us. We do not see a lot of room for improvements for the base, but the lid could still be improved.

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Connectivity

Customers of the ThinkPad P50 get a very modern port selection as well, but it was slightly reduced compared to the bigger sibling. Probably the biggest change is the lack of the optical drive. You also get just one USB 3.1 port (Type-C, Gen 2) including Thunderbolt 3, so the maximum number of external monitors is limited to four (2x via Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4 and Mini-DisplayPort 1.2). The maximum external resolution is 3840x2160 pixels at 60 Hz, only the HDMI port is limited to 30 Hz at this resolution. By the way, external displays are exclusively driven by the Nvidia graphics card.

The other ports as well as their location are similar to the P70, but the ports at the right side in particular are very close to each other, which can actually be a problem when you use thicker USB connectors or flash drives. One of the four USB ports supports Always-On, so USB devices can also be charged when the notebook is turned off or running on battery (has to be activated in the BIOS or Power Manager). We were unable to check the performance of the USB ports since our P50 uses a slower SSD. The USB ports on the P70, for example, offered lower-than-expected transfer rates. There were at least no detection issues with external drives or USB flash drives this time. 

Business users will be happy about the Smart Card reader and the docking port in particular, so it is easy to integrate the notebook into the work environment. There are also many optional adapters for the Mini-DisplayPort, so you can attach older projectors or monitors via VGA.

We check the performance of the SD-card reader with our reference card Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II (64 GB, up to 260 MB/s). AS SSD determines 215 MB/s for sequential reads and 128 MB/s for sequential writes, so the performance is a bit better than the ThinkPad P70. The transfer of picture files (around 10 MB each) is also a bit faster at 136 MB/s.

Left: ExpressCard (34 mm), Smart Card reader
Left: ExpressCard (34 mm), Smart Card reader
Back: 2x USB 3.0 (1x Always-On), Gigabit-Ethernet, USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen. 2)/Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4, power
Back: 2x USB 3.0 (1x Always-On), Gigabit-Ethernet, USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen. 2)/Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 1.4, power
Right: Combo audio, 2x USB 3.0, Mini-DisplayPort 1.2
Right: Combo audio, 2x USB 3.0, Mini-DisplayPort 1.2

Communication

A Gigabit-Ethernet port is available for wired networks, while the wireless connectivity as well as Bluetooth 4.2 are provided by Intel's 8260 module. This dual-band M.2 module (2x2) supports the standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac in 2.4 as well as 5 GHz networks. We did not notice the connection issues of the ThinkPad P70 with the Fritz!Box 7490 after standby in this case. There is no criticism for the signal quality. At a distance of one meter (~3 feet) to the router, we managed a steady transfer rate of around 60 MB/s in an ac-network and around 11 MB/s in an n-network. 

Our review unit was not equipped with an LTE modem, but the necessary antennas are already integrated and just have to be attached to the optional M.2 module (Sierra Wireless EM7455). The micro-SIM slot is inside the battery tray. There are currently no configurations with the LTE module and the module itself is not yet available, either. There are currently different reports on the Internet regarding issues and availability. We already contacted Lenovo and will update this article when we have new information.

Update 02/25/2016: We now received a statement from Lenovo regarding the optional LTE module:

"The current ThinkPad P50 and ThinkPad P70 models are unfortunately NOT "WWAN (LTE) READY" - even though some models are already equipped with the necessary antennas. From today's perspective, there will probably be no WWAN (LTE) upgrade-option for the ThinkPad P50 and ThinkPad P70, respectively.

Reason: The WWAN (LTE) module runs at a frequency of 2133 MHz - analog to to the Skylake CPU in combination with DDR4-RAM @ 2133 MHz. This creates "interferences", which means superposition when waves come together.

ThinkPad P50|70 with integrated WWAN (ex-works)
- configurable starting in April in CRM | Flex Config
- shipping in April"

An important component in office environments is actually the webcam in combination with the microphones. Lenovo still uses only a 720p HD webcam. It gets the job done, but that is it. It is very unfortunate that such an expensive device is equipped with such a poor camera. The dual-array microphone leaves a much better impression; voices are still recorded very well from some distance (around 1.5 m/~5 feet).  

Security

Fingerprint scanner
Fingerprint scanner

Security features are one topic where many consumer-workstations are usually at a disadvantage. You often just get a slot for a Kensington lock or a Trusted Platform Module at best. The Lenovo P50 on the other hand is perfectly equipped for company environments. The hardware includes a Kensington lock slot, a SmartCard reader and a fingerprint scanner. The latter differs from previous models, where you had to swipe the finger across a thin strip, while the new model just requires you to put your finger on the surface. This works quickly and reliably, and you can even increase the security settings in the BIOS (more precise scanning, but maybe some failed attempts). Other security features are TPM 1.2, Intel V-Pro and Anti-Theft (Computrace). You can set up different passwords in the BIOS (boot, hard drive access, BIOS access), which also work in combination with the fingerprint scanner. Lenovo released a new BIOS version (1.1.15) in mid-January, which is supposed to fix issues with the fingerprint scanner before Windows is started. However, we did not have any problems with BIOS 1.1.13, either. Our configuration is also equipped with a self-encrypting Samsung SSD (PM871) based on the OPAL 2.0 standard.

Accessories

Lenovo offers a wide range of optional accessories, including universal articles like input devices, bags, batteries or universal docking stations. Particularly interesting, however, is the ThinkPad Performance Dock docking station for around 270 Euros (EDU around 220 Euros/~$301 and ~$245 respectively), which was specifically designed for the P50 (and P70). The Performance Dock provides the following ports for stationary operation: 6x USB 3.0, Gigabit-Ethernet, 1x VGA, 1x DVI, 1x HDMI 1.4, 2x DisplayPort 1.2, combo audio as well as a slot for a Kensington lock. The scope of delivery also includes a 230-watt PSU. Older docking stations are not compatible with the new series anymore. There is also a digitizer (ThinkPad Pen Pro) for models with a touchscreen. 

Maintenance

The maintainability of the ThinkPad P50 is much worse compared to the bigger P70. The battery can still easily be removed and there is a large maintenance hatch. In addition to the screws, it is also secured by small plastic clips, so you have to be careful not to break them when you remove the cover. The hatch of the P70 could just be lifted at one side and then easily removed. At the bottom, you get access to the M.2-SSD, the two empty memory slots and the BIOS battery. There are two more slots (1x M.2-SSD, 1x 2.5-inch up to 7 mm), but you need special mounting trays as well as connection cables. We do not know why the manufacturer makes it so hard to upgrade the device.

The Wi-Fi module, as well as the free slot for an LTE module (M.2), is located underneath the keyboard, which is only secured by three screws. Here we can also find the other two RAM slots (underneath the aluminum plate, one slot occupied). Access to the fans will require further disassembling. Both the Hardware Maintenance Manual and the User Guide with step-by-step instructions are available for the P50.

Warranty

The warranty period of the Lenovo ThinkPad P50 is three years, which is expected for this segment. It also includes an on-site service, but the battery is only covered for one year. This period can be extended to four (100 Euros, ~$111) or five years (200 Euros, ~$223). This extension can also be combined with accident protection, which is possible for an additional charge of 250 Euros (~$279, four years) or 400 Euros (~$446, five years), respectively. You do not necessarily have to decide for one option immediately after purchase, because an upgrade is possible within the first three years, which means it is also possible right before the end of the warranty.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard illumination can be slightly dazzling depending on your position.
The keyboard illumination can be slightly dazzling depending on your position.

Lenovo uses the identical input devices for the ThinkPad P50 as well as the bigger ThinkPad P70. There is now less space at the sides, so the power button is above the keyboard and not on the right side. Another small difference is the even sturdier keyboard, because the small issue of the P70, where we could dent the area around the TrackPoint, is no problem for the P50.

The six-row chiclet keyboard has a white two-stage background illumination, but it can be a bit too bright depending on your position. The illumination could also be more powerful for our taste. The keys themselves are slightly rounded and concave and there is an additional numeric keypad. As usual, the layout slightly deviates from the standard; the most noticeable aspect is certainly the switched position of the Fn and Ctrl keys. ThinkPad newcomers will have to get used to it, or just switch the allocation in the BIOS. The top row of the function keys is a bit smaller and the secondary functions like the brightness control are activated by default. This is a bit odd for a workstation but can be switched via the Fn-Lock (Fn + Esc). The keys above the keypad can, similar to the keys F1-F4, be used for the volume and microphone control. The manufacturer could have certainly implemented other functions or given the user four programmable macro keys, for example. The keyboard is now equipped with more status LEDs compared to the previous generations (like the ThinkPad W550s).

The typing experience itself does not fall behind the bigger sibling and is even slightly better thanks to the increased stability. It is extremely sturdy, and it does not flex even under a lot of pressure. Inputs are very comfortable thanks to the firm stroke, the sufficient travel and the good feedback of the keys. We cannot find any clattery keys, either, that could affect the good impression. The noise development is very low in general, and it is one of the best keyboards you can currently get in a mobile device.

Input Devices
Input Devices
Keyboard illumination (level 2/2)
Keyboard illumination (level 2/2)

Touchpad & TrackPoint

Lenovo also waives a ClickPad with integrated mouse buttons for the ThinkPad P50 and implements a normal touchpad from Synaptics instead. The latter is sufficiently sized and provides good gliding capabilities. Tap-to-Click with one or two fingers worked very well. You can configure gestures with up to four fingers in the comprehensive driver. Underneath the touchpad are three dedicated mouse buttons with a soft pressure point. Similar to the P70, they produce a rich clicking sound, which does differ a bit between the individual buttons. The handling via touchpad was more comfortable compared to the P70 due to the smaller display and the lower resolution.

Besides the touchpad, you can obviously use the red TrackPoint to control the cursor as well. It also has three dedicated buttons underneath the space bar, and the middle button can be used either for scrolling (default) or as a middle mouse button. It works flawlessly. Still, it is a matter of taste if you prefer the touchpad or the TrackPoint for inputs. The buttons of the TrackPoint are bigger compared to the touchpad and create a slightly louder noise. The functionality on the other hand is not affected. 

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Lenovo offers three matte IPS displays with a screen size of 15.6 inches (16:9) for the ThinkPad P50. Our review unit uses the Full HD panel with 1920x1080 pixels, which manages a luminance of 250 cd/m² and a color gamut of just 45% (NTSC) according to the specifications. The optional multi-touch Full HD panel is even darker at 220 cd/m². You can also get a 4K panel with 3840x2160 pixels. The advertised 300 cd/m² and 100% color gamut (NTSC) already suggest that this panel should be superior to the two Full HD models.

The maximum brightness of our panel (LP156WF6-SPK1) is 263 cd/m² in the center according to our measurements and therefore surpasses the claimed value, but the poor brightness distribution of just 78% only results in an average value of 236 cd/m². Still, you cannot see the differences with the naked eye. The black value of 0.34 cd/m² is on a normal level for an IPS panel and results in a decent contrast ratio of 774:1 in combination with the luminance. We could only notice slight backlight bleeding in the lower left corner with a completely dark picture, but it did not distract us.

238
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
254
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
263
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
206
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
222
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 263 cd/m² Average: 235.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 78 %
Center on Battery: 262 cd/m²
Contrast: 774:1 (Black: 0.34 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.35 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.33 | - Ø
58% sRGB (Argyll) 37% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.38
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
Response Times
-27%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
46 (17, 29)
56.4 (23.2, 33.2)
-23%
Response Time Black / White *
26 (9, 17)
34 (11, 23)
-31%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-8%
22%
16%
-8%
-2%
Brightness
236
279
18%
361
53%
293
24%
293
24%
330
40%
Brightness Distribution
78
89
14%
87
12%
93
19%
89
14%
87
12%
Black Level *
0.34
0.24
29%
0.4
-18%
0.27
21%
0.46
-35%
0.57
-68%
Contrast
774
1192
54%
978
26%
1067
38%
678
-12%
632
-18%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.35
5.64
-140%
4.85
-106%
3.76
-60%
4.51
-92%
2.85
-21%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.33
6.34
-90%
4.01
-20%
4.83
-45%
6.55
-97%
4.29
-29%
Gamma
2.38 101%
2.48 97%
2.18 110%
2.39 100%
2.18 110%
2.32 103%
CCT
6917 94%
7745 84%
7340 89%
7602 86%
7194 90%
6310 103%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37
60
62%
96
159%
61
65%
63
70%
62
68%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
58
100
72%
96
66%
96
66%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-8% / -8%
-3% / 12%
16% / 16%
-8% / -8%
-2% / -2%

* ... smaller is better

Color calibrator settings
Color calibrator settings

The ThinkPad P50 is also equipped with an integrated X-Rite Pantone color calibrator that can be used to profile the display. It is a default feature, so we use the calibrated results for our database as well as the rating. The integrated calibration works better compared to the ThinkPad P70, because the average deviations for the colors and the grayscale compared to the sRGB standard are just 3.33 and 2.35 (ideal: under 3 each), respectively. There are still some outliers at around 5 in the ColorChecker. The RGB balance, the slightly too cool color temperature (6719 K) and the slightly raised gamma value at 2.38 could be improved as well.

CalMAN ColorChecker with the integrated calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker with the integrated calibration
CalMAN Grayscale with the integrated calibration
CalMAN Grayscale with the integrated calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps with the integrated calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps with the integrated calibration
CalMAN Colorspace with the integrated calibration
CalMAN Colorspace with the integrated calibration

We can once again reach the full potential of the display with our color calibrator X-Rite i1 Basic Pro 2. The average deviations for the colors and the grayscale drop to extremely low DeltaE values of 0.87 and 0.61, respectively. The other values are much better as well. The RGB balance is now much more balanced, and both the color temperature (6585 K, ideal 6500 K) and the gamma value (2.21, ideal 2.2) are almost perfect.

CalMAN ColorChecker with our calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker with our calibration
CalMAN Grayscale with our calibration
CalMAN Grayscale with our calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps with our calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps with our calibration
CalMAN Colorspace with our calibration
CalMAN Colorspace with our calibration

The color space coverage of the display is rather poor. We can only determine 58% for the sRGB and 37% for the wider AdobeRGB color space. This means the panel is not suited for applications that rely on the color presentation, like picture editing. A better performance is promised by the 4K panel with a full coverage of the NTSC standard.

Overall, the performance of the Full HD panel is "just" decent, but we would have expected more for a price of 2,500 Euros (~$2788). It is very unfortunate that Lenovo does not offer a better Full HD display, but only the 4K panel as an option, which has its own issues (scaling, higher power consumption, probably PWM).

sRGB-coverage: 58 %
sRGB-coverage: 58%
AdobeRGB-coverage: 37 %
AdobeRGB-coverage: 37%

Despite the mediocre luminance, which is at least not further reduced on battery power, the ThinkPad P50 works pretty well outdoors. If you can avoid direct sunlight, you can even see the display content on sunny days. However, the P70 was more comfortable in a direct comparison due to the much more powerful background illumination.

In the sun with reflection
In the sun with reflection
In the sun without reflection
In the sun without reflection

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
26 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 9 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 42 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17 ms rise
↘ 29 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (43 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 58 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 5519 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The viewing angle stability is usually very good when you use an IPS display, but there are still differences. Our viewing angle picture exaggerates the problem a bit, but you can subjectively also quickly notice a brightness drop with vertical movements in particular. However, the color presentation is not affected, so this should not be a huge deal in practice.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Lenovo offers multiple configurations of the ThinkPad P50 and you can even configure the device quite comprehensively in the online shop of the manufacturer. All models are equipped with a powerful quad-core processor (TDP 45 watts) from Intel's current Skylake generation. Rather special are the two mobile chips Xeon E3-1505M and Xeon E3-1535M, which can be combined with ECC-RAM. The faster E3-1535M is currently even reserved for the smaller ThinkPad P50. Every model also gets a dedicated Nvidia Quadro GPU; you can choose between the M1000M and M2000M. The storage selection is also very comprehensive; everything is possible from conventional HDDs all the way up to extremely fast NVMe-SSDs. The RAM can be upgraded all the way up to 64 GB thanks to the 4 SODIMM slots (DDR4). 

Our review configuration (20ER0006GE) currently retails for 2,500 Euros (~$2788). For that money you get a Core i7-6820HQ, 8 GB DDR4-RAM (2133 MHz, no ECC, single-channel), a 256 GB M.2-SSD and a dedicated Quadro M2000M with 4 GB GDDR5-VRAM. It is a very balanced configuration that should be sufficient for many usage scenarios. 

Processor

The Core i7-6820HQ is a quad-core processor (45 watts) based on Intel's current Skylake architecture. The nominal clock is 2.7 GHz, but can be accelerated up to 3.6 GHz for one core (2 cores: 3.4 GHz, 4 cores: 3.2 GHz) via Turbo Boost and should therefore be powerful enough for pretty much every common application. However, our test model showed a strange behavior, because the Turbo Boost was initially not active when we stressed one or more cores. This only changed when we stressed the processor permanently via Prime95. It took around 9 minutes with BIOS 1.1.13 before the clock was increased to the full 3.2 GHz. A BIOS update to version 1.1.15 reduced the necessary time to 4 minutes. The clock immediately dropped back to 2.7 GHz when we started another benchmark. This shows that the Turbo Boost is working, so we suspect a configuration issue Lenovo can hopefully solve with an upcoming update.

Our benchmarks usually do not last four minutes, so they were executed with the nominal clock of 2.7 GHz. This obviously affects the CPU benchmarks, but also the GPU benchmarks, so the results do not necessarily reflect the full performance potential of the Core i7-6820HQ and the system, respectively. The single-core performance in Cinebench R15 (117 points) is in the ballpark of a ULV Core i7-5500U from the Broadwell generation (Dell Inspiron 13-7348), for instance.

The P50 should be similar to the P70 when the Turbo works properly and only have a slight disadvantage in the multi-core benchmarks, because we will see that the cooling solution of the ThinkPad P50 is not quite as powerful as the P70 in the section Stress Test. More information and benchmarks for the Core i7-6820HQ are available in our Tech section.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
4616
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
17506
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4420
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
5295 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
22840 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
5791 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.48 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
43.32 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.32 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
592 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
117 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
62.47 fps
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Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
117 Points ∼76%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
136 Points ∼88% +16%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
142 Points ∼92% +21%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
152 Points ∼99% +30%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
145 Points ∼94% +24%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
154 Points ∼100% +32%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
153 Points ∼99% +31%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
592 Points ∼80%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
651 Points ∼88% +10%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
732 Points ∼99% +24%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
732 Points ∼99% +24%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
632 Points ∼86% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
739 Points ∼100% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
699 Points ∼95% +18%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
1.32 Points ∼77%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
1.53 Points ∼89% +16%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
1.6 Points ∼93% +21%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
1.7 Points ∼99% +29%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
1.63 Points ∼95% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
1.72 Points ∼100% +30%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
1.7 Points ∼99% +29%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
6.48 Points ∼81%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
6.87 Points ∼86% +6%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
7.93 Points ∼99% +22%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
7.91 Points ∼99% +22%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
6.91 Points ∼86% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
7.99 Points ∼100% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
7.63 Points ∼95% +18%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4420 Points ∼78%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
4917 Points ∼87% +11%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
5367 Points ∼95% +21%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
5655 Points ∼100% +28%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
5567 Points ∼98% +26%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
5429 Points ∼96% +23%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
17506 Points ∼79%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
19368 Points ∼88% +11%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
21436 Points ∼97% +22%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
21542 Points ∼98% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
22085 Points ∼100% +26%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
20682 Points ∼94% +18%

System Performance

We use the benchmarks of the PCMark-series to evaluate the general system performance. Compared to the bigger ThinkPad P70, the smaller P50 gets much better scores and can take the lead in PCMark 8 Home, for example. The result in PCMark 7, which benefits heavily from fast SSDs, is slightly affected by the comparatively slow SSD. The subjective impression does not cause any criticism, either: Windows starts quickly and applications are launched instantaneously.

PCMark 7 Score
4892 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4213 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4677 points
Help
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4677 Points ∼92%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
5100 Points ∼100% +9%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
4582 Points ∼90% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
3905 Points ∼77% -17%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4213 Points ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
3941 Points ∼94% -6%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
3815 Points ∼91% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
2834 Points ∼67% -33%
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4892 Points ∼76%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
3314 Points ∼52% -32%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
5317 Points ∼83% +9%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
6052 Points ∼94% +24%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
6427 Points ∼100% +31%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
5011 Points ∼78% +2%

Storage Devices

The Lenovo ThinkPad P50 is available with conventional hard drives, M.2-SSDs or a combination of both. There are, however, big differences for the flash-based solutions, because besides blazingly fast NVMe-SSDs, you can also get normal SATA-SSDs, where the transfer rates are limited to around 500-550 MB/s. Some drives also support the OPAL 2.0 standard for self-encryption, which was the case for our M.2-SSD (SATA-III) from Samsung. We cannot understand that there is currently no configuration with RAID support.

The benchmark results for the PM871 are within the expectations for a 256 GB drive. The sequential read results of 525 MB/s are close to the SATA-III limit, while the sequential write rates are around 300 MB/s. More benchmarks are available in our comprehensive HDD/SSD comparison.

Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
Sequential Read: 525.6 MB/s
Sequential Write: 302.4 MB/s
512K Read: 465.3 MB/s
512K Write: 301.3 MB/s
4K Read: 35.58 MB/s
4K Write: 124 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 345.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 291.9 MB/s

GPU Performance

The dedicated Nvidia Quadro M2000M is based on the current Maxwell GM 107 chip and is manufactured in a 28 nm process. The core runs at up to 1137 MHz (GPU-Boost) and the 4 GB GDDR5-VRAM are clocked at 1250 MHz, but only attached via a 128-bit interface. Except for the slightly lower core clock, the GPU is similar to the consumer GeForce GTX 960M. Thanks to the Optimus support, the graphics are handled by the integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 when you use simple applications or in the power-saving mode. This process is usually handled by the system, but was not always reliable during our tests. The manual allocation helped in some cases (context menu -> run with GPU), but this did not work all the time, either. The two benchmarks SPECviewperf 11 and 12 still used the integrated GPU. The only solution was a setting in the BIOS (Config -> Display), where you can change the graphics mode from Hybrid (iGPU + dGPU) to Discrete (dGPU only). A driver update to version 354.56 did not help, either.

Nvidia released driver version 361.75 after the review. A quick test showed that the GPU allocation now works properly.  

The professional chip differs from the consumer GeForce cards in terms of a modified BIOS as well as special drivers, which are designed for stability. Comprehensive certifications also ensure a trouble-free operation between hardware and software. The drivers can result in a significant performance advantage in OpenGL-optimized applications in particular. We use the benchmarks SPECviewperf 11 and 12 for professional purposes. They cover the areas CAD, CAM, geology and medical MRI. Overall, the Quadro M2000M performs very well and can usually clearly surpass its direct predecessor Quadro K2100M. Only the old top model from Nvidia, the Quadro K5100M, is usually still faster in SPECviewperf 12.

SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
71.68 fps ∼82%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
39.85 fps ∼46% -44%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
62 fps ∼71% -14%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
86.99 fps ∼100% +21%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
34.09 fps ∼39% -52%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
22.41 fps ∼26% -69%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
33.95 fps ∼60%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
28.9 fps ∼51% -15%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
31 fps ∼54% -9%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
56.94 fps ∼100% +68%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
15.15 fps ∼27% -55%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
21.35 fps ∼37% -37%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
21.35 fps ∼77%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
15.47 fps ∼56% -28%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
20 fps ∼72% -6%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
27.73 fps ∼100% +30%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
9.28 fps ∼33% -57%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
11.23 fps ∼40% -47%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
14.68 fps ∼65%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
7.81 fps ∼34% -47%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
12 fps ∼53% -18%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
22.66 fps ∼100% +54%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
6.29 fps ∼28% -57%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
2.16 fps ∼10% -85%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
38.46 fps ∼80%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
25.5 fps ∼53% -34%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
30 fps ∼63% -22%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
47.94 fps ∼100% +25%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
13.74 fps ∼29% -64%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
15.82 fps ∼33% -59%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
3.2 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
0.43 fps ∼13% -87%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
0.69 fps ∼22% -78%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
2.58 fps ∼81% -19%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
0.39 fps ∼12% -88%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
0.17 fps ∼5% -95%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
38.95 fps ∼81%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
21.76 fps ∼45% -44%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
34 fps ∼70% -13%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
48.29 fps ∼100% +24%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
15.71 fps ∼33% -60%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
19.14 fps ∼40% -51%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
46.26 fps ∼74%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
23.03 fps ∼37% -50%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
37 fps ∼59% -20%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
62.35 fps ∼100% +35%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
16.48 fps ∼26% -64%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
19.6 fps ∼31% -58%
SPECviewperf 11
1920x1080 Siemens NX (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
43.31 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
27.58 fps ∼64% -36%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
41 fps ∼95% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
30.87 fps ∼71% -29%
1920x1080 Tcvis (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
43.93 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
21.79 fps ∼50% -50%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
40 fps ∼91% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
34.34 fps ∼78% -22%
1920x1080 SolidWorks (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
46.69 fps ∼86%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
54.15 fps ∼100% +16%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
51 fps ∼94% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
41.64 fps ∼77% -11%
1920x1080 Pro/ENGINEER (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
17.54 fps ∼84%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
10.38 fps ∼49% -41%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
21 fps ∼100% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
15.96 fps ∼76% -9%
1920x1080 Maya (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
56.89 fps ∼76%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
75.28 fps ∼100% +32%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
56 fps ∼74% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
52.03 fps ∼69% -9%
1920x1080 Lightwave (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
48.27 fps ∼62%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
77.46 fps ∼100% +60%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
54 fps ∼70% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
47.6 fps ∼61% -1%
1920x1080 Ensight (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
46.43 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
24.67 fps ∼53% -47%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
39 fps ∼84% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
24.64 fps ∼53% -47%
1920x1080 Catia (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
53.48 fps ∼99%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
36.35 fps ∼67% -32%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
54 fps ∼100% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
39.12 fps ∼72% -27%

Calculations can be transferred from the processor to the graphics card via the OpenCL interface, but the standards differ depending on the manufacturer. This includes Quick Sync (Intel), APP (AMD) or in our case CUDA, for example. Those methods are mainly used for picture and video conversions, financial analysis as well as encryption in practice. We use the two tools LuxMark 2.0 (ray tracing) and SiSoft Sandra 16 (GPGPU). LuxMark 2.0 shows the advantages of the new Maxwell GPU, because our Quadro M2000M can clearly beat the rivals. The results are also ahead of the smaller model Quadro M1000M in SiSoft Sandra 16, but comparisons are still difficult due to the limited number of test results.

LuxMark v2.0 64Bit
Room GPUs-only (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
791 Samples/s ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
353 Samples/s ∼45% -55%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
534 Samples/s ∼68% -32%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
111 Samples/s ∼14% -86%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
68 Samples/s ∼9% -91%
Sala GPUs-only (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
1426 Samples/s ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
641 Samples/s ∼45% -55%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
889 Samples/s ∼62% -38%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
217 Samples/s ∼15% -85%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
146 Samples/s ∼10% -90%
SiSoft Sandra 2016
Image Processing (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
155.73 MPix/s ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
127.5 MPix/s ∼82% -18%
GP Cryptography (Higher Security AES256+SHA2-512) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
12.28 GB/s ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
7.38 GB/s ∼60% -40%
GP Financial Analysis (FP High/Double Precision) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
21.75 KOPT/s ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
17 KOPT/s ∼78% -22%

The raw performance of the hardware is important for DirectX applications, which include games. Our P50 scores 4126 points in the Graphics sub-rating of the current 3DMark Fire Strike test and is therefore on par with the consumer GeForce GTX 960M (Acer Aspire VN7-591G). Nvidia's Quadro M1000M, which is also available for the ThinkPad P50, falls behind by around 15% in the GPU tests. You can compare the DirectX and OpenGL performance (without optimizations) with the two benchmarks Unigine Heaven 3.0 and Unigine Valley 1.0; the DirectX results are significantly higher. 

The GPU performance is not reduced on battery power. More information and benchmarks for the Quadro M2000M are available here.

3DMark 06 Standard
24844 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
20018 points
3DMark 11 Performance
5375 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
63578 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
16337 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3813 points
Help
Unigine Heaven 3.0
1920x1080 OpenGL, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders AA:Off AF:Off (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
32.4 fps ∼75%
HP ZBook 15 G2
23.7 fps ∼55% -27%
Dell Precision 5510
43.4 fps ∼100% +34%
1920x1080 DX 11, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders AA:Off AF:Off (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
52.5 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
27 fps ∼51% -49%
Dell Precision 5510
44.9 fps ∼86% -14%
Unigine Valley 1.0
1920x1080 Extreme HD DirectX AA:x8 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
20.4 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
18.7 fps ∼92% -8%
1920x1080 Extreme HD Preset OpenGL AA:x8 (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
13.2 fps ∼81%
Dell Precision 5510
16.2 fps ∼100% +23%
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Combined (sort by value)
Schenker W505
527 Points ∼100%
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Physics (sort by value)
Schenker W505
10215 Points ∼100%
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics (sort by value)
Schenker W505
1086 Points ∼100%
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Score (sort by value)
Schenker W505
1117 Points ∼100%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Combined (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
1590 Points ∼89%
HP ZBook 15 G2
888 Points ∼50% -44%
Dell Precision 5510
1401 Points ∼79% -12%
Schenker W505
1780 Points ∼100% +12%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
537 Points ∼30% -66%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
618 Points ∼35% -61%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
1669 Points ∼94% +5%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
8526 Points ∼82%
HP ZBook 15 G2
9381 Points ∼90% +10%
Dell Precision 5510
10414 Points ∼100% +22%
Schenker W505
10230 Points ∼98% +20%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
9452 Points ∼91% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
4496 Points ∼43% -47%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
9467 Points ∼91% +11%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
4126 Points ∼84%
HP ZBook 15 G2
2297 Points ∼47% -44%
Dell Precision 5510
3517 Points ∼72% -15%
Schenker W505
4902 Points ∼100% +19%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
1396 Points ∼28% -66%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
1594 Points ∼33% -61%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
4173 Points ∼85% +1%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
3813 Points ∼85%
HP ZBook 15 G2
2197 Points ∼49% -42%
Dell Precision 5510
3344 Points ∼75% -12%
Schenker W505
4467 Points ∼100% +17%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
1352 Points ∼30% -65%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
1542 Points ∼35% -60%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
3914 Points ∼88% +3%
1280x720 Sky Diver Physics (sort by value)
Schenker W505
9983 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
8697 Points ∼87%
1280x720 Sky Diver Graphics (sort by value)
Dell Precision 5510
11179 Points ∼70%
Schenker W505
15910 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
13072 Points ∼82%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
Dell Precision 5510
10951 Points ∼75%
Schenker W505
14686 Points ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
12230 Points ∼83%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
6224 Points ∼81%
HP ZBook 15 G2
6889 Points ∼90% +11%
Dell Precision 5510
7641 Points ∼100% +23%
Schenker W505
7343 Points ∼96% +18%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
6706 Points ∼88% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
6966 Points ∼91% +12%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
6638 Points ∼87% +7%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
30495 Points ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
16349 Points ∼54% -46%
Dell Precision 5510
23777 Points ∼78% -22%
Schenker W505
28522 Points ∼94% -6%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
9665 Points ∼32% -68%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
11770 Points ∼39% -61%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
27352 Points ∼90% -10%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
16337 Points ∼94%
HP ZBook 15 G2
12526 Points ∼72% -23%
Dell Precision 5510
16180 Points ∼93% -1%
Schenker W505
17381 Points ∼100% +6%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
8801 Points ∼51% -46%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
10205 Points ∼59% -38%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
16151 Points ∼93% -1%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
39650 Points ∼80%
HP ZBook 15 G2
44799 Points ∼90% +13%
Dell Precision 5510
41557 Points ∼84% +5%
Schenker W505
49653 Points ∼100% +25%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
49667 Points ∼100% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
44602 Points ∼90% +12%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
44032 Points ∼89% +11%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
76826 Points ∼50%
HP ZBook 15 G2
153044 Points ∼99% +99%
Dell Precision 5510
41161 Points ∼27% -46%
Schenker W505
154518 Points ∼100% +101%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
89279 Points ∼58% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
46451 Points ∼30% -40%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
112655 Points ∼73% +47%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
63578 Points ∼60%
HP ZBook 15 G2
99576 Points ∼95% +57%
Dell Precision 5510
41248 Points ∼39% -35%
Schenker W505
105162 Points ∼100% +65%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
73062 Points ∼69% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
46026 Points ∼44% -28%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
83675 Points ∼80% +32%

Legend

 
Lenovo ThinkPad P50 Intel Core i7-6820HQ, NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
 
HP ZBook 15 G2 Intel Core i7-4710MQ, AMD FirePro M5100, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
 
Dell Precision 5510 Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5, NVIDIA Quadro M1000M, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
 
Schenker W505 Intel Xeon E3-1231 v3, NVIDIA Quadro K5100M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
 
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD Intel Core i7-4870HQ, NVIDIA Quadro K1100M, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
 
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE Intel Core i7-4910MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K2100M, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
 
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P Intel Core i7-4720HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU

Gaming Performance

That the ThinkPad P50 also works pretty well as a gaming notebook is supported by our gaming table, which is usually green. The performance of the Quadro M2000M is once again similar to the GTX 960M, so you can play many modern titles smoothly in high settings. The lower processor performance of the ThinkPad P50 only affects the results at lower resolutions, while the GPU will be the limiting factor in Full HD and high details. Because of the low emissions, the ThinkPad P50 might even be an interesting alternative for a typical gaming notebook when you prefer a more conservative design.

We did not have any problems in the gaming benchmarks, only Star Wars: Battlefront required a newer driver version. The installation of the GeForce driver 361.45 was no problem. More benchmarks for many titles are available in our gaming list. We have not reviewed the Quadro M2000M very often yet, so you can also use the GTX 960M as an indicator.

Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
51.5 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
26 fps ∼50% -50%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
43 fps ∼83% -17%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
49.1 fps ∼95% -5%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
107.3 fps ∼98%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
57 fps ∼52% -47%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
98 fps ∼89% -9%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
109.6 fps ∼100% +2%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
162.8 fps ∼97%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
82 fps ∼49% -50%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
144 fps ∼86% -12%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
168.3 fps ∼100% +3%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
348.7 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
172 fps ∼49% -51%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
279 fps ∼80% -20%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
289.7 fps ∼83% -17%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
39.5 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
21 fps ∼53% -47%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
38 fps ∼96% -4%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
112.9 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
62 fps ∼55% -45%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
100 fps ∼89% -11%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
128 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
73 fps ∼57% -43%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
111 fps ∼87% -13%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
187.9 fps ∼96%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
80 fps ∼41% -57%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
195 fps ∼100% +4%
Just Cause 3
1920x1080 Very High / On AA:SM AF:16x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
27.7 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 High / On AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
31.9 fps ∼100%
1366x768 Medium / Off AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
55.4 fps ∼100%
1024x768 Low / Off AF:2x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
70.9 fps ∼100%
Rainbow Six Siege
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
36.8 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:T AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
51.8 fps ∼100%
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:T AF:2x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
95.2 fps ∼100%
1024x768 Low Preset AA:T AF:Linear (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
154.1 fps ∼100%
Star Wars Battlefront
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
32.7 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
38.9 fps ∼100%
1366x768 Medium Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
83.1 fps ∼100%
1024x768 Low Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
131 fps ∼100%
The Witcher 3
3840x2160 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
7 fps ∼73%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
9.6 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
13.3 fps ∼99%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
11 fps ∼81% -17%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
13.5 fps ∼100% +2%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
25.5 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
17 fps ∼67% -33%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
25 fps ∼98% -2%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
47.1 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
38 fps ∼81% -19%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
44 fps ∼93% -7%
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
76.8 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
54 fps ∼70% -30%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
70.8 fps ∼92% -8%
Dirt Rally
3840x2160 High Preset (sort by value)
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
20 fps ∼62%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
32.3 fps ∼100%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4x MS (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
32.7 fps ∼84%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
29 fps ∼74% -11%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
39 fps ∼100% +19%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
12 fps ∼31% -63%
1920x1080 High Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
68.7 fps ∼84%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
62 fps ∼76% -10%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
81.5 fps ∼100% +19%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
23 fps ∼28% -67%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
100.2 fps ∼68%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
115 fps ∼78% +15%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
147.4 fps ∼100% +47%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
41 fps ∼28% -59%
1024x768 Ultra Low Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
193.9 fps ∼48%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
261 fps ∼65% +35%
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
401.9 fps ∼100% +107%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
171 fps ∼43% -12%
GTA V
1920x1080 Highest Settings possible AA:4xMSAA + FX AF:16x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
17.5 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
17.1 fps ∼98% -2%
1920x1080 High/On (Advanced Graphics Off) AA:2xMSAA + FX AF:8x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
42.2 fps ∼100%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
41.6 fps ∼99% -1%
1366x768 Normal/Off AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
110.1 fps ∼98%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
112.7 fps ∼100% +2%
1024x768 Lowest Settings possible (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
121.1 fps ∼96%
Acer Aspire VN7-591G-727P
GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NU
126.6 fps ∼100% +5%
Thief
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
27.1 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
23 fps ∼85% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
12.5 fps ∼46% -54%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FXAA & Low SS AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
51 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
45 fps ∼88% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
23.2 fps ∼45% -55%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
56.1 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
53 fps ∼94% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
26.5 fps ∼47% -53%
1024x768 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
60 fps ∼77%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
78 fps ∼100% +30%
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
36 fps ∼46% -40%
Metro: Last Light
1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
29.3 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
19.6 fps ∼67% -33%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
25 fps ∼85% -15%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
10 fps ∼34% -66%
1366x768 High (DX11) AF:16x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
53.4 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
42 fps ∼79% -21%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
49 fps ∼92% -8%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
20 fps ∼37% -63%
1366x768 Medium (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
86.1 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
61 fps ∼71% -29%
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
83 fps ∼96% -4%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
37 fps ∼43% -57%
1024x768 Low (DX10) AF:4x (sort by value)
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
100.8 fps ∼100%
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
85 fps ∼84% -16%
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
48 fps ∼48% -52%
low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 348.7162.8107.351.5fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 187.9128112.939.5fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 100.886.153.429.3fps
Thief (2014) 6056.15127.1fps
GTA V (2015) 121.1110.142.217.5fps
Dirt Rally (2015) 193.9100.268.732.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 76.847.125.513.3fps
Star Wars Battlefront (2015) 13183.138.932.7fps
Rainbow Six Siege (2015) 154.195.251.836.8fps
Just Cause 3 (2015) 70.955.431.927.7fps

Emissions

System Noise

Noise development in different scenarios
Noise development in different scenarios

The ThinkPad P50 is a very quiet notebook while idling or performing simple tasks. The fans only spin from time to time in the High Performance power mode from an idle state up to 32.2 dB(A). Medium loads will not result in more than 35 dB(A), either, only maximum load creates a system noise between 37.7 and 42.8 dB(A), even though the latter was only reached in the stress test with the working Turbo Boost. Subjectively, the fans create a convenient murmur, so the notebook is never too disturbing. We could not notice other annoying noises like coil whining, either.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 30 / 30 dB(A)
Load
34.5 / 42.1 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1 Arta (15 cm distance)

Temperature

We can notice the smaller chassis of the ThinkPad P50 compared to the P70 when we look at the temperatures. However, the results are still very good. The device only warms up a bit at the back while idling, but is otherwise very cool. The average temperatures are just 31.6 °C and 33 °C (88.9 and 91.4 °F) at the top and bottom of the base unit under load, which is no problem at all. We did notice a hotspot with almost 42 °C (107.6 °F) at the bottom, but there should not be any problems when you want to use the notebook on your lap in practice.

Max. Load
 36.1 °C35.8 °C36.7 °C 
 31.7 °C35.5 °C31.3 °C 
 25.5 °C26.3 °C25.9 °C 
Maximum: 36.7 °C
Average: 31.6 °C
38.5 °C39.9 °C35 °C
31.8 °C41.3 °C34.1 °C
24.7 °C27.6 °C24.2 °C
Maximum: 41.3 °C
Average: 33 °C
Power Supply (max.)  41.9 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Fennel FIRT 550-Pocket

Stress Test

Stress test
Stress test

The problem with the limited Turbo Boost obviously also affects the stress test. It still took almost four minutes of stress by Prime95 and using the updated BIOS (1.1.15) as well as Power Manager (6.68.8) before the CPU could utilize its Turbo Boost. The latter will be in the range between 3.1-3.2 GHz. The limitation is the temperature in this case, because Lenovo limits the maximum temperature to 85 °C (185 °F), similar to the bigger P70. The processor in the P50 cannot surpass its TDP limit of 45 watts, either, because it will only consume 45 watts even when we use the integrated GPU at the same time. The processor clock is 2.7 GHz in this case, while the HD 530 can maintain its maximum core clock (1000 MHz).

GPU load for the dedicated graphics card Nvidia Quadro M2000M via FurMark is no problem for the notebook. The core runs at the maximum 1137 MHz (memory 1253 MHz) and the chip only warms up to 65 °C (149 °F), while the cooling solutions stays remarkably quiet. Contrary to the bigger P70, this behavior does not change on battery power, either. 

Both the graphics card and the processor (after 4 minutes) can almost utilize their full potential when we stress the two components simultaneously with the tools Prime95 and FurMark. While the processor usually runs at 3.1 GHz (fluctuations between 3.0 and 3.2 GHz possible) due to temperature and TDP constraints, the Quadro M2000M can also use its GPU-Turbo (between 1110 and 1137 MHz). A 3DMark 11 run immediately after the stress test did not determine a lower result compared to a cool run.

The manufacturer limited the maximum consumption on battery power to 55 watts according to HWInfo, which is much more conservative compared to the bigger P70 (up to 90 watts). The processor can only use around 13 watts in this case (between 1.5 and 1.7 GHz), while the graphics card can even utilize its GPU-Boost (1071-1136 MHz). It seems that the mobility is more important for Lenovo. An interesting question we can unfortunately not answer at this point is the maximum consumption of the model with the 4K panel. If it is also limited to 55 watts, you can expect another performance drop since the panel will probably have a higher power consumption.

Speakers

The ThinkPad P50 also has two stereo speakers above the keyboard, but they are even less powerful compared to the bigger sibling at just 2x 1.5 watts. The maximum volume is slightly higher at 69.5 dB(A), which is just enough for medium-sized rooms. The sound itself is a bit richer and it was subjectively a bit better compared to the P70. Bass on the other hand is still missing, and the profiles of the Dolby Audio software cannot really help, either. The performance is certainly sufficient for conferences, line meetings and some background music, but you should use headphones or external speakers for a better result. The playback via stereo jack as well as Bluetooth (Denon Envaya Mini) was adequate.

We also noticed the problem of the cracking speakers in the review of the ThinkPad P50, which supports our assumption of a driver issue in combination with Windows 7.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Our review unit has a huge advantage over the comparison devices in the consumption measurements, especially in the idle scenarios. We have to be fair though and note that all rivals except for the HP Omen Pro 15 are equipped with high-resolution screens that particularly affect the power consumption in these measurements. This should also be the case for the ThinkPad P50 with the optional 4K display. The Schenker W505 on the other hand is affected by the desktop processor and the missing graphics switching.

The 170-watt power adapter (670 grams/~1.5 pounds) obviously has no problems with the maximum consumption of 105 watts (with active Turbo Boost).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.01 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.6 / 8.6 / 9.3 Watt
Load midlight 89.5 / 105 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
Power Consumption
-49%
-48%
-300%
-71%
-68%
Idle Minimum *
5.6
11.3
-102%
8.6
-54%
36
-543%
13.7
-145%
11.3
-102%
Idle Average *
8.6
14.4
-67%
16.2
-88%
41.2
-379%
17.8
-107%
18.5
-115%
Idle Maximum *
9.3
15.5
-67%
16.7
-80%
47.4
-410%
19.1
-105%
19.7
-112%
Load Average *
89.5
78.9
12%
82.6
8%
126.6
-41%
83.7
6%
84
6%
Load Maximum *
105
129.3
-23%
131.8
-26%
235.8
-125%
106.6
-2%
121.9
-16%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The situation for the ThinkPad P50 could hardly be better in this section, because our review unit is not only frugal, but it is also equipped with a 90-Wh battery. You can also get a less powerful 4-cell battery with 66-Wh, which will reduce the weight by around 120 grams (less ~4 oz/total 1.2 lb).

We already saw that the maximum power consumption on battery power is limited to around 55 watts during our stress test. The Battery Eater Classic (maximum brightness, High Performance power profile) runs for 113 minutes and a SPECviewperf 12 loop for 116 minutes. Lenovo focuses on the mobility in this case and ensures a runtime of almost two hours, even when you stress the device. Lenovo advertises a Hybrid-mode runtime of 13.2 hours for the 6-cell battery, which is even surpassed in the Battery Eater Reader's Test (minimum brightness, energy-saving profile, wireless off), where the device lasts more than 14 hours.

More interesting are the two tests at an adjusted brightness of around 150 cd/m² (level 13, 159 cd/m²). The Wi-Fi Surfing test (Balanced, iGPU) determines more than 8 hours for the ThinkPad P50, so it can even beat many Ultrabooks. A Full HD movie (Big Buck Bunny, H.264) can be watched for almost 9 hours. The workstation competition cannot keep up with these results.

However, those results only apply for the Full HD display. We already saw in the review of the ThinkPad P70 and nearly every other review with high-resolution panels that high-resolutions are responsible for a big part of the consumption, especially in the idle scenarios. We cannot say how big the difference is in the case of the ThinkPad P50 at this point, but you should expect 1-2 hours less in the practical tests (Wi-Fi, video).

Quick charge is supported in combination with the provided 170-watt power adapter. It only takes 42 minutes for 50% from a remaining capacity of 5%, and it takes another 48 minutes before the battery is charged to 90%. The remaining 10% need one hour, which results in a total charging time of 2.5 hours. You can also set charging limits in Lenovo's Power Manager, so that the battery is only recharged when the capacity drops below 90%, for instance.

maximum runtime
maximum runtime
Wi-Fi surfing
Wi-Fi surfing
H.264 test
H.264 test
minimum runtime
minimum runtime
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 20min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
8h 18min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 53min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 53min
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
HP ZBook 15 G2
FirePro M5100, 4710MQ, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541075A9E680
Dell Precision 5510
Quadro M1000M, E3-1505M v5, SK hynix SC920 512 GB
Schenker W505
Quadro K5100M, E3-1231 v3, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
HP Omen Pro 15 M2T37AA-ABD
Quadro K1100M, 4870HQ, Samsung SSD XP941 MZHPU512HCGL
Lenovo ThinkPad W541 20EF000SGE
Quadro K2100M, 4910MQ, Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP
Battery Runtime
-51%
-40%
-59%
-62%
-26%
Reader / Idle
860
410
-52%
428
-50%
147
-83%
262
-70%
649
-25%
H.264
533
222
-58%
197
-63%
169
-68%
WiFi v1.3
498
286
-43%
203
-59%
342
-31%
Load
113
64
-43%
109
-4%
75
-34%
56
-50%
89
-21%
WiFi
262
298

Pros

+ very good build quality and stability
+ excellent input devices
+ modern port selection
+ decent results with the integrated color calibrator
+ many security features with OPAL-2 SSD
+ quiet cooling solution
+ very good battery runtimes
+ can be configured
+ 36-month warranty
+ good upgradeability in theory (4x RAM, 3x hard drive) ...

Cons

- ... that is unnecessarily complicated
- our review unit can basically not use its Turbo Boost
- display with low gamut
- significantly reduced CPU performance on battery
- bad speakers with cracking noises
- no RAID support

Verdict

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad P50. Test model courtesy of Notebooksandmore.
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad P50. Test model courtesy of Notebooksandmore.

The overall impression of the Lenovo ThinkPad P50 is obviously affected by the Turbo utilization of the processor, which is basically non-existent. It will eventually be active during the stress test, so we hope that Lenovo can fix this issue with an update. Our rating is obviously affected by the lower benchmark scores as well. The cooling is powerful enough, and the components can almost utilize their full performance potential in extreme situations, despite the conservative temperature limitations by Lenovo. Similar to the bigger ThinkPad P70, the P50 will always stay conveniently cool and quiet.

Thanks to the more compact dimensions, the chassis stability of the ThinkPad P50 leaves an even better impression than the bigger sibling. The input devices are still excellent and the port selection is up to date, even though some ports are pretty close to each other. It is, however, very annoying that Lenovo makes it unnecessarily complicated to upgrade the drives because you have to use special adapters and cables.

The display leaves a mixed impression. The Full HD panel can benefit from the good integrated calibration. We cannot determine PWM and there are no scaling issues. However, there is still quite a lot of room for improvements in terms of brightness, contrast and the color gamut in particular. The optional 4K panel is supposed to fill this gap, but it is associated with other issues. This includes higher power consumption and scaling issues, especially in combination with Windows 7. It is unfortunate that Lenovo does not offer a better Full HD display.

The low power consumption, which also benefits from the Full HD panel, results in enormous battery runtimes in combination with the massive 90-Wh battery. Those would probably be noticeably shorter with the 4K panel. As a user, you will therefore have to decide between a (supposedly) better panel and higher mobility.

The ThinkPad P50 is an easy recommendation if Lenovo can fix the issue with the Turbo Boost of the processor. 

Many competing manufacturers – including Dell – use consumer devices with professional components in this class. This will often affect the business features, so the ThinkPad P50 does not have many real competitors at the moment. This will probably change with the new Dell Precision 7510 as well as the HP ZBook 15 G3, which should be available soon. The predecessor of the ZBook 15 G3 already left an excellent impression in our long-term review. Another potential alternative is offered by Lenovo. The ThinkPad P50s has an even bigger focus on mobility, but could still be interesting for some users.

Lenovo ThinkPad P50 - 03/17/2016 v5
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
86 / 98 → 88%
Keyboard
95%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
73 / 81 → 90%
Weight
59 / 66 → 88%
Battery
90%
Display
85%
Games Performance
92%
Application Performance
88%
Temperature
92 / 95 → 96%
Noise
91 / 90 → 100%
Audio
68%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
80%
85%
Workstation - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad P50 Workstation Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2016-02- 1 (Update: 2016-02-26)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.