Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad P52 (i7, P1000, FHD) Workstation Review

Benjamin Herzig, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Martin Jungowski), 08/16/2018

Traditional powerhouse. Despite the media attention stylish ultrabook workstations such as Dell's XPS 15 receive, traditional portable workstations like the Lenovo ThinkPad P52 are still the backbone of the workstation market. How well does the latest release of Lenovo's conventional ThinkPad powerhouse do? Find out in our extensive review!

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Three years ago, Lenovo announced its brand-new P-series of workstation laptops in a market segment that had formerly been halfheartedly served by the ThinkPad W-series whose design was heavily inspired by the T-series. The first models released were the Lenovo ThinkPad P50 and Lenovo ThinkPad P70, and both were a huge step forward compared to the ThinkPad W541. After all, for the first time since the ThinkPad W701 Lenovo’s portable workstations featured a unique and original design.

This year, Lenovo presented the third-generation P-series starting with the smaller 15.6-inch ThinkPad P52 whose most affordable entry-level SKU we have in review today. More specifically, this means that our review unit is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8750H, an Nvidia Quadro P1000, 8 GB of RAM, a 512 GB SSD, and an FHD display. In Europe, this model starts at 1,699 Euros (~$1935) without a Windows license (Lenovo Campus price for students). Regular prices start at 1,950 Euros (~$2,221) for a device that includes a Windows license but is only equipped with a 256 GB SSD in return. In the US, a device similar to our review unit but with a Windows 10 Home license can be purchased for $1,675 plus tax in Lenovo’s web shop.

In other words: The ThinkPad P52 is anything but a steal, and as such it is in good company in the portable workstation market that is rather small in total numbers but very profitable due to its high price level. It is dominated by the three major players: Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Since we have not yet had the chance to review Dell’s and HP’s latest workstations (the Dell Precision 7530 and HP ZBook 15 G5) the previous generation will have to fill in: a Dell Precision 7510 and an HP ZBook 15 G4.

Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00 (ThinkPad P52 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro P1000 - 4096 MB, Core: 1519 MHz, Memory: 1502 MHz, GDDR5, 397.97, Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4-2666, 1 of 4 slots used, max. 128 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, N156HCE-EN1, IPS LED, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM246
Storage
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, 512 GB 
, M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe SSD, 455 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 3 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: audio combo, Card Reader: 4-in-1 SD, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-V (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
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
96 Wh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Camera
Webcam: 720p with ThinkShutter
Additional features
Speakers: 2 W stereo speakers, Keyboard: 6-row chiclet with numpad, Keyboard Light: yes, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.591 kg ( = 91.39 oz / 5.71 pounds), Power Supply: 667 g ( = 23.53 oz / 1.47 pounds)
Price
1699 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Lenovo ThinkPad P52
Lenovo ThinkPad P52

While the P50 was a complete redesign, the P51 was a simple hardware upgrade. The P52 meanwhile is not a complete redesign; it's a facelift of its predecessor.

The general P50 design is still omnipresent, and it seems almost identical at first glance. The overall design language is very traditional, and the P52 is easily recognizable as a ThinkPad laptop with its black square-edged case and color accents sprinkled sparsely in-between, such as the silver hinges, the silver ThinkPad logo, and the red TrackPoint. Up close, we noticed some minor differences though. The power button is no longer made of matte plastic but is glossy plastic instead. The status LEDs are now white instead of green, a design choice Lenovo implemented on its entire 2018 lineup just like the removal of the blue sprinkles on the middle TrackPoint button. Last but not least, the device is missing the engraved Lenovo logo on the display lid.

In regard to materials and structural design, the device remained almost untouched. The display cover is still made of a very robust fiber-reinforced plastic material. The base - made of a magnesium/aluminum alloy surface material on top of a magnesium roll cage - is even sturdier than the display lid. Its rigidity was top notch, and we failed to discover any flex in the keyboard or palm rest area whatsoever. The palm rest’s touch and feel, however, was somewhat worse than for the rest of the device. The display lid, for example, is coated in a velvety rubber lining whereas the palm rests are made of simple slightly roughened plastic. Nevertheless, build quality and workmanship were superb.

The conventional hinges keep the rear side free for additional connectivity and/or fan vents. Their maximum opening angle is slightly over 180 degrees, and they are firm enough to hold the display rock-solid while still allowing one-handed operation.

Size and weight have remained largely unchanged from the previous model, and the P52 remains fairly hefty. The 4K model differs from its predecessor in that it is now equipped with a glass-covered touchscreen by default. Accordingly, the 4K SKU is 300 g heavier and 1.4 mm thicker than the ThinkPad P51.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

While the design changes are fairly minor, the changes in connectivity are anything but. Gone is the traditional docking port for mechanical docks at the bottom, and the P52 features two Thunderbolt 3 ports instead (compared to just one USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 on the P51). Given that one of the USB-A ports has been removed, the total amount of USB ports remained identical, and the P52 features just three instead of four USB-A ports.

Rear: RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI, 2x Thunderbolt 3, slim tip power supply
Rear: RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI, 2x Thunderbolt 3, slim tip power supply

The ExpressCard 34 slot on the left-hand side had to be sacrificed for a larger cooler in order to provide proper cooling for Nvidia Quadro P3200. The predecessor’s cooling solution was only capable of handling up to a Quadro M2200. Accordingly, the ports had to be shuffled around quite a bit. There are no USB-A ports at the rear anymore (before: two). Instead, the third USB-A port is now located at the left-hand side. The ports at the right-hand side seem somewhat cramped, which could lead to issues when using adjacent ports.

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Right: audio combo jack, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, MiniDisplayPort
Right: audio combo jack, 2x USB 3.0 Type-A, MiniDisplayPort
Left: USB 3.0 Type-A, SD card reader, smart card reader
Left: USB 3.0 Type-A, SD card reader, smart card reader

SD Card Reader

Unlike many other new notebooks, our review unit featured a full-sized SD card reader on its left-hand side. It was capable of taking in SD cards entirely, and was almost twice as fast as the cheaper model that can among others be found on the ThinkPad P52s.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
186 MB/s ∼100% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
169 MB/s ∼91%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
157.5 MB/s ∼85% -7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
155 MB/s ∼83% -8%
Average of class Workstation
  (17.2 - 213, n=48)
132 MB/s ∼71% -22%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
 
122.9 MB/s ∼66% -27%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
79.6 MB/s ∼43% -53%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
254.5 MB/s ∼100% +35%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
215 MB/s ∼84% +14%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
209.8 MB/s ∼82% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
189.2 MB/s ∼74%
Average of class Workstation
  (18.4 - 255, n=48)
169 MB/s ∼66% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
87.4 MB/s ∼34% -54%

Communication

A wide variety of communication options are available for the P52. In addition to the Intel I291-V based wired RJ45 Ethernet connection the ThinkPad P52 also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, courtesy of Intel’s 2x2 Wireless-AC 9560. It performed very well in our benchmarks, particularly when transmitting data. Our review unit also supported NFC and came with a WWAN slot and pre-wired antennas. Unfortunately, the P52-compatible LTE modem, part number 4XC0R38452, was not yet available.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
643 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
639 MBit/s ∼99% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
630 MBit/s ∼98% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
629 MBit/s ∼98%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
622 MBit/s ∼97% -1%
Average of class Workstation
  (292 - 705, n=33)
603 MBit/s ∼94% -4%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
559 MBit/s ∼87% -11%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
662 MBit/s ∼100%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
528 MBit/s ∼80% -20%
Average of class Workstation
  (83 - 690, n=33)
511 MBit/s ∼77% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
508 MBit/s ∼77% -23%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
506 (min: 622) MBit/s ∼76% -24%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
505 MBit/s ∼76% -24%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
475 MBit/s ∼72% -28%

Security

As expected of a born-and-bred business notebook the P52 supports a wide variety of security features, among others the smart card reader on the left-hand side or the touch fingerprint reader on the palm rest. The latter worked very well during our tests. A brand-new feature introduced on this year’s ThinkPad generation is the slider in front of the webcam, referred to as ThinkShutter. This is a more elegant solution than the hitherto most commonly used Post-it webcam cover. Speaking of which, the latter now includes an infrared sensor with support for Windows Hello, which was unfortunately not available on our review unit. The ThinkShutter and infrared camera are mutually exclusive, meaning that you can either have one or the other.

Touch fingerprint reader
Touch fingerprint reader
ThinkShutter camera slider
ThinkShutter camera slider

Accessories

Arguably, the most important accessory for the ThinkPad P52 is Lenovo’s new ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Workstation Dock specifically designed for the 2018 P-series. Given that the P52 cannot be charged via USB-C, it features a combined Thunderbolt 3 and slim tip charging connector and thus only requires a single cable to connect to the P52.

The new dock is not yet available but is already listed on various retail outlets (part number 40AN0230US) starting at around $360.

Maintenance

Internally, Lenovo made some significant changes and incorporated a so-called sandwich layout. In other words: Some components sit at the top of the motherboard, others at the bottom. This design has become somewhat obsolete due to its inherent thickness and the subsequent necessity for comparatively thick cases. The components located at the bottom of the motherboard can be accessed very easily. After removing the user-replaceable battery, a large maintenance door made of aluminum and secured with a few Phillips screws must be removed. The predecessor featured a plastic door secured with plastic clips instead. Underneath, we find two RAM slots, the BIOS backup battery, and all three storage bays. Unlike the predecessor, the P52 features two M.2-2280 slots and one 2.5-inch drive bay (P51: two 2.5-inch bays with a special caddy for installing an M.2-SSD in the left drive bay). While the caddy for installing M.2 SSDs is no longer required, a special SATA cable for installing a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD still is, and unfortunately it is not included if your P52 is not equipped with a 2.5-inch device ex-factory.

Internal hardware
Internal hardware

The components on the upper side of the motherboard can be accessed via the keyboard. In order to remove the keyboard you must first remove the TrackPoint keys underneath which the screws for the keyboard are located. However, one requires a special tool in order to undo these so we refrained from further disassembling our device. This particular tool is not yet available but is supposed to be included with all spare keyboards. Once you remove the keyboard you have access to the other two RAM slots, of which one was occupied by a single 8 GB RAM module, the Wi-Fi modem, and the (in our case empty) WWAN slot. The antennas were already installed in our unit. All things considered, maintainability is still very decent. Some things are better, some are worse, and the largest drawback is the inaccessibility of the cooling system. The entire unit has to be disassembled in order to clean the fans or replace the thermal compound, as is documented at length in Lenovo’s hardware maintenance manual.

Warranty

More often than not portable workstations come with extensive warranty packages, and our P52 was no exception. By default, it comes with three years of on-site service that can be extended up to five years. Additional coverage options are also available, for example protection against accidental damage. As usual, US customers are denied this luxury, and unless otherwise stated US units come with Lenovo’s default one-year carry-in warranty with optional warranty extensions available at a premium.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Compared with the P51, the P52’s keyboard seems absolutely identical at first glance. However, Lenovo revised the keyboard quite a bit. Its design parameters are still the same: The P52 features a six-row chiclet keyboard with dedicated numpad on the right and a keypad shifted to the left accordingly.

This keypad is slightly narrower than it was on the P51, and consequently some keys, such as the German umlauts (the ;’[] keys on a US layout), had to shrink somewhat. This seems particularly odd considering the wide bezels on the left and right side of the keyboard, but it made perfect sense to us once we took a closer look at the P52 parts list: While the previous models featured a keyboard specifically designed for the width of the device, the P52 has to make do with the standard keyboard that can be found on all other 2018 ThinkPads. In other words: The new keyboard is a cost-cutting measure. What surprised us was the fact that Lenovo decided to shrink the keypad instead of the numpad, and truth be told the narrower keys were somewhat bothersome when typing. A narrower numpad would have caused fewer headaches in everyday use.

This minor nuisance aside, the three-stage backlit keyboard (off, low, high) is still beyond reproach. The keycaps are slightly concave, key travel is a comparatively generous 1.7 mm, feedback is excellent, and typing on this keyboard was an absolute pleasure.

Lenovo ThinkPad P52 keyboard
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 keyboard

Touchpad

Backlit keyboard
Backlit keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad
TrackPoint
TrackPoint

Both pointing devices received some minor upgrades as well. The touchpad increased in size and now extends into the previously empty space underneath the TrackPoint buttons. The new touchpad’s footprint is now 10 x 6 cm, and Lenovo kept the traditional button-less design and installed three dedicated buttons underneath instead. Thanks to support for Microsoft’s Precision standard the touchpad worked flawlessly. We would have preferred a glass surface instead of the plastic Lenovo has opted for but that would be nitpicking.

The second pointing device, the characteristic red TrackPoint, is still an excellent alternative to the touchpad. The new TrackPoint Lenovo introduced a while ago may not be as high as it used to be, but it still remains the best pointing stick available to date.

Display

Innolux N156HCE-EN1 subpixel geometry
Innolux N156HCE-EN1 subpixel geometry
Backlight bleeding (intensified)
Backlight bleeding (intensified)

Display options have been revised as well and now include just two instead of three panels: a matte non-touch FHD display (1920x1080) and a glossy touch-enabled 4K UHD display (3840x2160). The ThinkPad P51 also included a matte 4k non-touch option. Both displays are based on IPS technology.

Unsurprisingly, our base model review unit was equipped with the FHD display. According to the spec sheet, the panel is supposed to be significantly improved over the ThinkPad P50/ThinkPad P51. Instead of 250 nits it is now supposed to reach up to 300 nits, and our particular review unit maxed out slightly south of that at 293 nits. In other words: The base model’s display is almost as bright as the P51’s high-quality 4K display. The entry-level workstations ThinkPad P52s and ZBook 15u G5 are equipped with much darker FHD displays. However, we expect the Precision 7530 and ZBook 15 G5 workstations to beat the P52 by a significant margin given that their FHD displays are supposed to reach up to 400 nits according to Dell and HP, respectively. For lack of review units we cannot verify these claims just yet.

Brightness distribution was at an acceptable 88% with the bottom being somewhat brighter than the top. Fortunately, this discrepancy was unnoticeable in everyday use. The display did suffer from minor backlight bleeding most visibly in the top right corner and only when displaying dark content at maximum brightness. We found evidence of PWM flickering at a very high and thus unproblematic frequency of 25,000 Hz.

307
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
294
cd/m²
304
cd/m²
291
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
276
cd/m²
273
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 311 cd/m² Average: 293 cd/m² Minimum: 3.45 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 307 cd/m²
Contrast: 1169:1 (Black: 0.26 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.5 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 2.4
ΔE Greyscale 5.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
90.1% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 53.8% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.26
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
N156HCE-EN1, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
LP156WF6-SPK1, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
LEN40BD, B156ZAN02.1, , 3840x2160, 15.6
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
LG Philips LGD057E, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Sharp LQ156D1, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NV156FHM-N47, , 1920x1080, 15.6
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
CMN15E7, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
SHP1476, , 3840x2160, 15.6
Response Times
-9%
-1%
-5%
-36%
-28%
-5%
-56%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
39.2 (21.2, 18)
46 (17, 29)
-17%
40.8 (20.8, 20)
-4%
39.2 (20.4, 18.8)
-0%
40.4 (19.6, 20.8)
-3%
47.2 (25.2, 22)
-20%
41.6 (22, 19.6)
-6%
59.2 (27.6, 31.6)
-51%
Response Time Black / White *
26 (14.4, 11.6)
26 (9, 17)
-0%
25.2 (14, 11.2)
3%
25.6 (14.8, 10.8)
2%
27.6 (6.8, 20.8)
-6%
38.4 (22.8, 15.6)
-48%
28.8 (15.6, 13.2)
-11%
41.6 (26.8, 14.8)
-60%
PWM Frequency
25250 (50)
20830 (80)
-18%
198.4 (29)
-99%
21550 (91)
-15%
25770 (40)
2%
Screen
-10%
15%
1%
10%
-15%
-23%
6%
Brightness middle
304
263
-13%
317
4%
321
6%
279.2
-8%
291
-4%
229
-25%
372.4
23%
Brightness
293
236
-19%
309
5%
320
9%
271
-8%
284
-3%
212
-28%
368
26%
Brightness Distribution
88
78
-11%
89
1%
89
1%
83
-6%
91
3%
88
0%
90
2%
Black Level *
0.26
0.34
-31%
0.36
-38%
0.29
-12%
0.266
-2%
0.11
58%
0.23
12%
0.48
-85%
Contrast
1169
774
-34%
881
-25%
1107
-5%
1050
-10%
2645
126%
996
-15%
776
-34%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.5
2.35
48%
2.7
40%
4.5
-0%
4.14
8%
6.7
-49%
4.2
7%
2.6
42%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.7
4.1
47%
9.5
-23%
6.56
15%
20.2
-162%
18
-134%
5.6
27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.4
4.5
-88%
4.2
-75%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.2
3.33
36%
3
42%
2.9
44%
3.26
37%
4.5
13%
2
62%
3.7
29%
Gamma
2.26 97%
2.38 92%
2.27 97%
2.27 97%
2.19 100%
2.28 96%
2.23 99%
2.14 103%
CCT
6789 96%
6917 94%
6077 107%
6519 100%
6375 102%
7503 87%
6292 103%
7096 92%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
53.8
37
-31%
87.6
63%
54.2
1%
85.68
59%
39.6
-26%
41
-24%
63
17%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
90.1
58
-36%
99.5
10%
82.6
-8%
99.72
11%
61.7
-32%
64.5
-28%
99
10%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-10% / -10%
7% / 12%
-2% / -0%
-13% / -1%
-22% / -18%
-14% / -19%
-25% / -5%

* ... smaller is better

Colors
Colors
Saturation
Saturation
Grayscale
Grayscale
Colors (calibrated)
Colors (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)

In direct comparison with the ThinkPad P50’s FHD display not only brightness has been increased noticeably, the newer display also features a higher contrast ratio of 1,169:1. As a result, blacks are deeper and colors pop. Out of the box the display suffered from a minor blue tint that was easily fixed through calibration. As always, the resulting ICC profile can be found for download in the box above.

Color-space coverage is yet another category in which the newer display outperforms its predecessor. The colors seem less pale and more colorful; however, at just 90% sRGB the display is still not good enough for professional photo-editing.

sRGB: 90.1%
sRGB: 90.1%
AdobeRGB: 53.8%
AdobeRGB: 53.8%
Outdoors on an overcast day
Outdoors on an overcast day

Combined with the matte display coating, the high brightness of almost 300 nits makes for decent outdoor usability in the shade and on overcast days. It is nowhere near bright enough for working in direct sunlight, though.

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↗ 14.4 ms rise
↘ 11.6 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. » 46 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21.2 ms rise
↘ 18 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. » 42 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41 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 detected 25250 Hz ≤ 50 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 25250 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 50 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 25250 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8933 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The biggest advantage of IPS panels over TN panels is the display’s viewing angles. Colors don’t invert or distort, but even IPS is far from perfect. Some panels, including our review unit, exhibit the so-called IPS glow effect at extreme angles. Basically, the color temperature for the entire display shifts, as can be seen in the photos taken from the top side position. Fortunately, this effect remained practically unnoticeable in everyday use.

Innolux N156HCE-EN1 viewing angles
Innolux N156HCE-EN1 viewing angles

Performance

Fulfilling its workstation mantra, the ThinkPad P52 is individually configurable to one’s liking in regard to display, processor, and graphics card. At the time of this review, three different CPUs are available: Core i7-8750H, Core i7-8850H, and Xeon E-2176M. Your choice of processor directly impacts the choice of graphics cards as not all GPUs can be combined with all CPUs. For example, the entry-level Core i7-8750H is only available in combination with the entry-level Nvidia Quadro P1000, while the Xeon model is equipped with the Quadro P2000 by default. In between sits the Core i7-8850H, which can be equipped with the P1000, the P2000, or even a P3200 for maximum GPU computing power.

At the time of writing, preconfigured SKUs that Lenovo is selling in select countries combine the 4K display with the i7-8850H and Quadro P3200 by default. A student SKU with 4K display, Xeon, and P2000 also exists. As always, the Lenovo web shop allows for individual configuration to one’s liking. Storage-wise, a maximum of 3 TB can be selected at the time of purchase (2x 1 TB SSD plus 1 TB HDD), and all four RAM slots can be filled with a single 16 GB DDR4-2666 module in each for a total of 64 GB of RAM. In the near future, the P52 will also support up to 128 GB of RAM in its two Core-i-SKUs but not the Xeon SKU due to the lack of 32 GB ECC RAM sticks.

HWiNFO
HWiNFO
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z SPD
CPU-Z SPD
GPU-Z Intel UHD Graphics 630
GPU-Z Intel UHD Graphics 630
LatencyMon
LatencyMon

Processor

Intel’s Core i7-8750H is a current generation Coffee Lake hexa-core CPU manufactured in the 14 nm++ process with a TDP of 45 W. As such, it is perfectly suited for workstations and gaming notebooks. According to Intel, maximum turbo boost for all six cores is 4.1 GHz while the base clock is at 2.2 GHz. Further details and comparisons to other CPUs can be found on our CPU benchmark list.

In reality, Intel’s claims have to be taken with a grain of salt. With all four cores running at 4.1 GHz the CPU would require much more energy than just 45 W. Even just approximating the maximum turbo clock speed results in much higher power consumption, which is why Lenovo enabled a maximum of 78 W for a few seconds. In this configuration, all cores started out at 3.9 GHz when running our Cinebench R15 multithread loop until core temperatures reached 97 °C, and then subsequently dropped to 3.4 GHz and a TDP of 58 W.

During subsequent iterations of Cinebench R15, CPU temperatures remained around 97 °C while clock speeds slowly declined even further. They eventually settled at 3.1 GHz and a TDP of around 48 W. Consequently, the cooling system was running at its full capacity already and the faster Core i7-8850H only makes sense if you need a higher single-core performance or require the better GPUs. Considering the fact that the Dell XPS 15 also maxed out its cooling system with the Core i7-8750H then the ThinkPad P52 is already in good company. Its performance under sustained load was slightly better than the XPS 15’s. Undervolting the latter helped improve performance, and it might improve the P52’s CPU performance as well.

010203040506070809010011012013014015016017018019020021022023024025026027028029030031032033034035036037038039040041042043044045046047048049050051052053054055056057058059060061062063064065066067068069070071072073074075076077078079080081082083084085086087088089090091092093094095096097098099010001010102010301040105010601070108010901100111011201130114011501160117011801190120012101220Tooltip
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00 Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ: Ø1034 (1019-1128)
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G; Undervolting: Ø1168 (1123.47-1219.85)
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G: Ø1012 (980.27-1215.12)

The CPU’s peak performance in Cinebench R15 was measured at 1,217 points - a very decent result and much higher than the average for this particular processor. Compared to the ThinkPad P51, boost performance was around 54% higher. However, long-term performance gains were not as dramatic given that the P51 delivered a much more consistent performance over time but the delta was still significant. The performance gap between the ThinkPad P52s and the Core i7-8550U ULV CPU-equipped P52s was even bigger.

The P52’s CPU was throttled on battery by default, and maximum performance was only available on mains. Cinebench R15 peak performance on battery was just 999 points.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Aorus X5 v8
Intel Core i7-8850H
182 Points ∼100% +4%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
176 Points ∼97% +1%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼96% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼96%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
Intel Core i7-8750H
173 Points ∼95% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (163 - 177, n=51)
173 Points ∼95% -1%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Intel Core i7-8550U
172 Points ∼95% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
171 Points ∼94% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
171 Points ∼94% -2%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
170 Points ∼93% -3%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
162 Points ∼89% -7%
Average of class Workstation
  (117 - 214, n=80)
155 Points ∼85% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
117 Points ∼64% -33%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Aorus X5 v8
Intel Core i7-8850H
1265 Points ∼100% +4%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
1251 Points ∼99% +3%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8750H
1215 Points ∼96% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
1217 Points ∼96%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H
  (863 - 1251, n=54)
1105 Points ∼87% -9%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
Intel Core i7-8750H
1007 Points ∼80% -17%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
806 Points ∼64% -34%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
792 Points ∼63% -35%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
750 Points ∼59% -38%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Intel Core i7-8550U
719 Points ∼57% -41%
Average of class Workstation
  (260 - 1623, n=82)
716 Points ∼57% -41%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
654 Points ∼52% -46%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
592 Points ∼47% -51%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Intel Core i7-8550U
552 Points ∼44% -55%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
43494 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6126 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6539
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
34568
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5759
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
8481 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.96 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 32Bit
111.36 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 32Bit
11.91 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
12.8 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
110.52 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 32Bit
1.74 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
175 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1217 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
136.47 fps
Help

System Performance

Unsurprisingly, the P52 did very well in our PCMark benchmarks, and it felt very snappy and fast during everyday use.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
5423 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5329 Points ∼98%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
5137 Points ∼95% -4%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (4453 - 5335, n=3)
5039 Points ∼93% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4980 Points ∼92% -7%
Average of class Workstation
  (3311 - 5655, n=62)
4762 Points ∼88% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4677 Points ∼86% -12%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
4291 Points ∼79% -19%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4256 Points ∼78% -20%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Quadro M2000M, E3-1535M v5, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4246 Points ∼78% -20%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
4375 Points ∼100% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Quadro M2000M, 6820HQ, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
4213 Points ∼96% +6%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Quadro M2000M, E3-1535M v5, Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
4020 Points ∼92% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
3959 Points ∼90%
Average of class Workstation
  (2320 - 5505, n=63)
3939 Points ∼90% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (3433 - 4244, n=3)
3879 Points ∼89% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3728 Points ∼85% -6%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3721 Points ∼85% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3641 Points ∼83% -8%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
3504 Points ∼80% -11%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Average of class Workstation
  (2466 - 8122, n=25)
4879 Points ∼100% +12%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
4633 Points ∼95% +7%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (4348 - 4742, n=3)
4610 Points ∼94% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4348 Points ∼89%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3397 Points ∼70% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
2609 Points ∼53% -40%
Productivity
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
7539 Points ∼100% +13%
Average of class Workstation
  (4897 - 8307, n=25)
6958 Points ∼92% +5%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
6777 Points ∼90% +2%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (6573 - 6749, n=3)
6657 Points ∼88% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6649 Points ∼88%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5660 Points ∼75% -15%
Essentials
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
8774 Points ∼100% +6%
Average of class Workstation
  (7172 - 9847, n=25)
8382 Points ∼96% +1%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (7739 - 9007, n=3)
8348 Points ∼95% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8298 Points ∼95%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7874 Points ∼90% -5%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
7810 Points ∼89% -6%
Score
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Quadro M2200, E3-1535M v6, Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
4834 Points ∼100% +9%
Average of class Workstation
  (3281 - 6255, n=25)
4649 Points ∼96% +5%
Average Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (4428 - 4735, n=3)
4542 Points ∼94% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4428 Points ∼92%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4046 Points ∼84% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3498 Points ∼72% -21%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3959 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5329 points
Help

Storage Devices

Our review unit was equipped with a PM981 M.2-2280 SSD, Samsung’s latest OEM model from its PCIe NVMe lineup. As expected, it did very well in our storage benchmarks.

A second M.2-2280 SSD can be installed as well, and the P52 even supports RAID setups. A 2.5-inch storage bay for a third storage device is available but requires a special cable that was not present on our device and that is not included by default either.

Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Lenovo ThinkPad P50
Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN256HCHP
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
Samsung SSD SM961 1TB M.2 MZVKW1T0HMLH
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
Samsung SSD SM951a 512GB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVKV512)
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
Average Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
 
AS SSD
-56%
-1%
11%
-14%
-17%
-52%
3%
-44%
Score Total
4307
1070
-75%
3424
-21%
4303
0%
2637
-39%
3131
-27%
1697
-61%
3681
-15%
3864 (2348 - 4771, n=21)
-10%
Score Write
2079
374
-82%
917
-56%
1472
-29%
669
-68%
868
-58%
710
-66%
1379
-34%
1646 (147 - 2147, n=21)
-21%
Score Read
1485
462
-69%
1690
14%
1902
28%
1311
-12%
1504
1%
689
-54%
1554
5%
1473 (896 - 2125, n=21)
-1%
Access Time Write *
0.031
0.038
-23%
0.025
19%
0.023
26%
0.025
19%
0.026
16%
0.051
-65%
0.023
26%
0.1586 (0.027 - 2.52, n=21)
-412%
Access Time Read *
0.072
0.058
19%
0.032
56%
0.034
53%
0.036
50%
0.065
10%
0.103
-43%
0.038
47%
0.049 (0.029 - 0.073, n=21)
32%
4K-64 Write
1779.98
258.25
-85%
623.19
-65%
1136.39
-36%
375.72
-79%
612.14
-66%
564.31
-68%
1054.63
-41%
1392 (96.2 - 1866, n=21)
-22%
4K-64 Read
1203
381.23
-68%
1372.12
14%
1578.04
31%
1066.68
-11%
1312.4
9%
488.39
-59%
1222.65
2%
1239 (735 - 1823, n=21)
3%
4K Write
121
88.83
-27%
143.09
18%
158.04
31%
145.09
20%
139.96
16%
101.5
-16%
155.28
28%
101 (1.76 - 134, n=21)
-17%
4K Read
52.62
29.14
-45%
55.57
6%
51.66
-2%
49.22
-6%
44.98
-15%
31.28
-41%
51.45
-2%
49.3 (31.7 - 58, n=21)
-6%
Seq Write
1781.29
272.75
-85%
1506.12
-15%
1776.51
0%
1484.15
-17%
1163.6
-35%
441.04
-75%
1694.02
-5%
1534 (487 - 1991, n=21)
-14%
Seq Read
2293.89
514.56
-78%
2623.53
14%
2718.57
19%
1953.18
-15%
1462.8
-36%
1695.81
-26%
2799.35
22%
1850 (1099 - 2469, n=21)
-19%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Sequential Read: 1796 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1717 MB/s
512K Read: 1016 MB/s
512K Write: 1801 MB/s
4K Read: 63.59 MB/s
4K Write: 139.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 395.7 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 314.3 MB/s

Graphics Card

GPU-Z Nvidia Quadro P1000
GPU-Z Nvidia Quadro P1000

Nvidia’s Quadro P1000 is a mobile low midrange mobile workstation GPU based on Nvidia’s Pascal architecture and closely related to the GeForce GTX 1050 gaming GPU. The major differences are less shaders and a lower maximum clock speed than the latter. Additional benchmarks can be found on our GPU benchmark page.

In order to determine its professional performance (re: CAD) we ran SPECviewperf in addition to our usual 3DMark benchmarks. Overall, the P1000 was around 10% faster than its Quadro M1200 predecessor and around 20% faster than the older Quadro M2000M GPU. However, it was unable to outperform the GTX 965M-based Quadro M2200 that was available as optional top of the line GPU for the ThinkPad P51. It beat the P1000 by between 15 to 20% in our benchmarks. In return, the low-end Quadro P500 the P52s is equipped with was just half as fast. Accordingly, between those two the P52 is the better choice if high GPU performance is desired.

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 was about as fast as the Quadro M2200 and thus slightly faster than the P1000. The GeForce GTX 1050 Ti was significantly faster. Even in its Max-Q configuration it performed around 50% faster in 3DMark.

GPU performance was not throttled on battery.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, Intel Core i7-8750H
9079 Points ∼100% +48%
Asus VivoBook 15 X570UD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8550U
7563 Points ∼83% +24%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
7425 Points ∼82% +21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
6115 Points ∼67%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (5982 - 6115, n=3)
6033 Points ∼66% -1%
Average of class Workstation
  (841 - 24934, n=95)
5576 Points ∼61% -9%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
5105 Points ∼56% -17%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
5023 Points ∼55% -18%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
3632 Points ∼40% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
3022 Points ∼33% -51%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, Intel Core i7-8750H
7428 Points ∼100% +53%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
5850 Points ∼79% +21%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
5786 Points ∼78% +19%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
4843 Points ∼65%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (4756 - 4843, n=3)
4795 Points ∼65% -1%
Average of class Workstation
  (752 - 18390, n=87)
4532 Points ∼61% -6%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
4193 Points ∼56% -13%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
4165 Points ∼56% -14%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
2644 Points ∼36% -45%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
2270 Points ∼31% -53%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
37796 Points ∼100% +20%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
36877 Points ∼98% +17%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
31396 Points ∼83%
Average of class Workstation
  (5836 - 105184, n=87)
28985 Points ∼77% -8%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
28254 Points ∼75% -10%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (21391 - 31396, n=3)
27836 Points ∼74% -11%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
26869 Points ∼71% -14%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
17922 Points ∼47% -43%
SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
99.53 fps ∼100% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
86.62 fps ∼87%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
86.23 fps ∼87% 0%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (75.2 - 89.8, n=3)
83.9 fps ∼84% -3%
Average of class Workstation
  (15.6 - 212, n=72)
72.5 fps ∼73% -16%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
69.01 fps ∼69% -20%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
68.7 fps ∼69% -21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
53.48 fps ∼54% -38%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
31.31 fps ∼31% -64%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
59.02 fps ∼100% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
57.74 fps ∼98% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
57.4 fps ∼97%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (55.4 - 57.4, n=3)
56.2 fps ∼95% -2%
Average of class Workstation
  (4.87 - 218, n=72)
53.2 fps ∼90% -7%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
34.18 fps ∼58% -40%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
32.41 fps ∼55% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
28.31 fps ∼48% -51%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
18.74 fps ∼32% -67%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
32.8 fps ∼100% +19%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
31.14 fps ∼95% +13%
Average of class Workstation
  (3.93 - 75, n=70)
28.3 fps ∼86% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
27.56 fps ∼84%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (27.4 - 27.6, n=3)
27.5 fps ∼84% 0%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
26.2 fps ∼80% -5%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
21.15 fps ∼64% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
12.13 fps ∼37% -56%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
7.28 fps ∼22% -74%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
25.66 fps ∼100% +67%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
24.64 fps ∼96% +60%
Average of class Workstation
  (0.99 - 79.4, n=71)
19.9 fps ∼78% +29%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
18.19 fps ∼71% +18%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
17.49 fps ∼68% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
15.41 fps ∼60%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (14.9 - 15.4, n=3)
15.1 fps ∼59% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
9.33 fps ∼36% -39%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
3.99 fps ∼16% -74%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
48.34 fps ∼100% +14%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
46.93 fps ∼97% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
42.26 fps ∼87%
Average of class Workstation
  (5.4 - 148, n=72)
41.8 fps ∼86% -1%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (37 - 42.3, n=3)
40.5 fps ∼84% -4%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
35.55 fps ∼74% -16%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
32.07 fps ∼66% -24%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
21.61 fps ∼45% -49%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
11.75 fps ∼24% -72%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
5.26 fps ∼100% +15%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
5.15 fps ∼98% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
4.57 fps ∼87%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (3.66 - 4.57, n=3)
4.04 fps ∼77% -12%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
3.98 fps ∼76% -13%
Average of class Workstation
  (0.06 - 16.9, n=72)
3.92 fps ∼75% -14%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
3.78 fps ∼72% -17%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
0.55 fps ∼10% -88%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
0.26 fps ∼5% -94%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
71.24 fps ∼100% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
68.15 fps ∼96% +19%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
57.11 fps ∼80%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (51.2 - 59, n=3)
55.8 fps ∼78% -2%
Average of class Workstation
  (14 - 160, n=72)
50.2 fps ∼70% -12%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
46.12 fps ∼65% -19%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
45 fps ∼63% -21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
35.91 fps ∼50% -37%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
18.82 fps ∼26% -67%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04)
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
72.03 fps ∼100% +30%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
71.41 fps ∼99% +29%
Average of class Workstation
  (13.4 - 197, n=72)
56.2 fps ∼78% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
55.35 fps ∼77%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (53.8 - 55.4, n=3)
54.4 fps ∼76% -2%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
45.75 fps ∼64% -17%
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO)
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
45.28 fps ∼63% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
27.97 fps ∼39% -49%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
17.1 fps ∼24% -69%
1900x1060 3ds Max (3dsmax-05)
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (50.8 - 55.4, n=3)
53.1 fps ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
52.91 fps ∼100%
Average of class Workstation
  (11.4 - 93.6, n=11)
41 fps ∼77% -23%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
31.28 fps ∼59% -41%
LuxMark v2.0 64Bit
Room GPUs-only
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
1318 Samples/s ∼100% +85%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
1306 Samples/s ∼99% +83%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, Intel Core i7-8750H
1167 Samples/s ∼89% +64%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
979 Samples/s ∼74% +37%
Average of class Workstation
  (49 - 2539, n=74)
745 Samples/s ∼57% +4%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (712 - 777, n=3)
734 Samples/s ∼56% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
713 Samples/s ∼54%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
386 Samples/s ∼29% -46%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
344 Samples/s ∼26% -52%
Sala GPUs-only
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
2107 Samples/s ∼100% +67%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, Intel Core i7-8750H
2100 Samples/s ∼100% +67%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
2099 Samples/s ∼100% +67%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
NVIDIA Quadro M1200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
1562 Samples/s ∼74% +24%
Average of class Workstation
  (48 - 5183, n=75)
1363 Samples/s ∼65% +8%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (1260 - 1361, n=3)
1294 Samples/s ∼61% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
1260 Samples/s ∼60%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
747 Samples/s ∼35% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
547 Samples/s ∼26% -57%
SiSoft Sandra 2016
Image Processing
Average of class Workstation
  (95.8 - 819, n=31)
277 MPix/s ∼100% +3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
269 MPix/s ∼97%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (264 - 269, n=3)
266 MPix/s ∼96% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
265.3 MPix/s ∼96% -1%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
239.6 MPix/s ∼86% -11%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
226.64 MPix/s ∼82% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
128.1 MPix/s ∼46% -52%
GP Cryptography (Higher Security AES256+SHA2-512)
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
14.11 GB/s ∼100% +30%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
11.7 GB/s ∼83% +8%
Average of class Workstation
  (3.92 - 33.3, n=31)
11.4 GB/s ∼81% +5%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (10.8 - 11, n=3)
10.9 GB/s ∼77% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
10.88 GB/s ∼77%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
5.24 GB/s ∼37% -52%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
5.16 GB/s ∼37% -53%
GP Financial Analysis (FP High/Double Precision)
Average of class Workstation
  (11.8 - 100, n=31)
33.2 KOPT/s ∼100% +40%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1505M v6
31.9 KOPT/s ∼96% +34%
HP ZBook 15 G4-Y4E80AV
NVIDIA Quadro M2200, Intel Xeon E3-1535M v6
26.48 KOPT/s ∼80% +11%
HP ZBook 15u G5 2ZC05EA
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile, Intel Core i7-8550U
25.76 KOPT/s ∼78% +8%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
23.76 KOPT/s ∼72%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (23.2 - 23.8, n=3)
23.5 KOPT/s ∼71% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
NVIDIA Quadro P500, Intel Core i7-8550U
11.84 KOPT/s ∼36% -50%
3DMark 06 Standard
32223 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
24240 points
3DMark 11 Performance
6363 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
73409 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
20654 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
4545 points
Help

Gaming Performance

We test a GPU’s long-term performance by running The Witcher 3 in a loop, and the P52 did very well in this test as we failed to notice any significant decreases in frame rates throughout the entire test.

01234567891011121314151617Tooltip
The Witcher 3 ultra

Workstations are certainly not made for gaming but given their powerful GPUs they are capable thereof, and the Quadro P1000 was powerful enough to run even newer games smoothly on medium details in FHD. Casual gamers can thus easily use the P52 entry-level SKU for some hard-earned gaming fun after work, although we should add that a GeForce GTX 1050-equipped consumer notebook would be the better gaming choice. Price-performance-wise the P52 does not stand a chance against these, but let’s not forget that gaming is not its primary purpose.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
48.2 fps ∼100% +61%
MSI GL63 8RC-069US
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
42.4 fps ∼88% +42%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
37.2 fps ∼77% +24%
Average of class Workstation
  (8.7 - 116, n=47)
34.6 fps ∼72% +16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
29.9 fps ∼62%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
29 fps ∼60% -3%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (26.1 - 29.9, n=3)
28.5 fps ∼59% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
14.5 fps ∼30% -52%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x
MSI GL63 8RC-069US
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
74.9 fps ∼100% +27%
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
73.6 fps ∼98% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad P51 20HH0016GE
Quadro M2200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
71.6 fps ∼96% +21%
Average of class Workstation
  (14 - 210, n=34)
63.4 fps ∼85% +7%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
59.1 fps ∼79%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (55.7 - 59.1, n=3)
57.4 fps ∼77% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
27.7 fps ∼37% -53%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, 8750H, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
74.6 fps ∼100% +45%
MSI GL63 8RC-069US
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256G8NY
64 fps ∼86% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
51.3 fps ∼69%
Average NVIDIA Quadro P1000
  (51 - 51.7, n=3)
51.3 fps ∼69% 0%
Dell Precision 5520 UHD
Quadro M1200, E3-1505M v6, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
47 fps ∼63% -8%
Average of class Workstation
  (6 - 129, n=60)
45.9 fps ∼62% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52s-20LB000HGE
Quadro P500, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
24.7 fps ∼33% -52%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 229.9149.3132.351.3fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 88.853.829.915.7fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 101.559.13226.2fps
Doom (2016) 91.778.443.341.6fps
Civilization VI (2016) 114.771.333.527fps
Rocket League (2017) 235.5123.881.8fps
Call of Duty WWII (2017) 127.18141.133.4fps
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017) 114.444.637.926.6fps
Far Cry 5 (2018) 64322927fps

Emissions

System Noise

Lenovo managed to keep the fans completely off in idle and low-load scenarios; a feat rarely ever accomplished in workstations equipped with CPUs as powerful as these. Under load, the fans quickly began to spin up and became noticeable yet not annoyingly so. Our guess is that Lenovo could have configured the fans to run even faster for an improved cooling performance but opted for a quiet mode of operation instead. In theory, the more powerful SKUs might behave differently, and we suspect that the fans are going to run faster on these more power-hungry models.

Unfortunately, we discovered minor coil whine in our ThinkPad P52 review unit that was noticeable when we placed our ear right above the keyboard.

Noise Level

Idle
29.5 / 29.5 / 29.5 dB(A)
Load
34.7 / 39.4 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 29.5 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.431.433.531.132.42528.228.128.728.928.23131.229.7302831.2402927.228.427.3295027.327.72726.427.36325.625.825.424.325.68024.626.124.324.924.610024.323.823.223.324.312523.423.822.722.723.416024.623.523.121.424.620024.923.522.120.724.925024.62221.319.524.631523.52220.118.923.540025.822.820.218.225.850027.624.12117.627.66302723.820.816.62780025.32219.516.325.3100026.522.620.215.726.5125027.823.921.315.827.816003026.221.915.830200030.224.319.91630.2250031.22420.316.331.2315027.321.220.516.827.3400025.120.320.917.525.1500023.519.121.417.723.5630022.91921.518.322.9800021.119.421.91921.11000020.419.421.919.220.41250022.421.122.320.322.41600026.923.523.122.226.9SPL39.434.733.129.539.4N3.12.11.81.23.1median 25.1median 22.8median 21.3median 18.2median 25.1Delta1.91.80.92.21.931.929.83230.63432.933.130.928.225.626.226.925.928.432.627.727.129.429.228.630.630.226.426.62626.827.727.230.526.326.22726.227.424.727.123.423.622.22423.123.727.923.720.621.823.522.62524.821.521.421.823.222.124.922.622.720.520.722.221.621.922.321.720.920.621.320.721.42221.820.721.420.220.321.223.322.621.522.920.319.723.122.521.320201918.622.724.922.121.220.819.318.924.425.722.921.520.519.719.326.527.123.722.321.119.519.127.726.423.72220.719.7192627.92422.421.419.219.12728.926.223.72219.618.828.230.827.32522.219.418.730.629.526.624.522.918.518.130.128.52522.519.718.217.828.231.926.323.620.618.917.332.33024.72220.118.516.630.426.421.719.618.217.516.326.323.919.418.117.116.716.124.119.817.816.916.716.615.619.61817.417.21717.215.417.417.918.419.319.118.41515.917.317.418.118.718.114.614.940.336.534.332.630.729.940.43.32.421.71.41.33.3median 24.9median 22.6median 21.4median 20.6median 19.2median 18.7median 24.92.921.41.30.71.43.2hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00Dell XPS 15 9570 i7 UHD

Temperature

Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark) after 15 minutes
Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark) after 15 minutes
Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark) after one hour
Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark) after one hour

While running our stress test, the P52’s case’s surfaces reached a maximum temperature of just 43 °C and were thus noticeably warm without feeling uncomfortably hot. The palm rests stayed comparatively cool. During our The Witcher 3, loop the left side of the case got significantly warmer, most likely due to the location of the GPU cooler on this side of the case. The temperatures remained below the stress test temperatures, though.

Running Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously puts the device under extreme and unrealistic load with the CPU and GPU running at a full 100 %. Consequently, the P52’s cooling system was unable to cope with the heat. Initial frequencies of 3.6 GHz at a TDP of 56 W resulted in core temperatures of up to 97 °C, and the system started to throttle after around a minute. Instead of 56 W the CPU’s thermal envelope was reduced to 35 W and clock speeds of 3.2 GHz. Temperatures oscillated around 90 °C for the next 10 minutes, after which clock speeds were reduced further to between 2.8 and 3.1 GHz. The temperatures eventually settled to around 95 °C.

The reason for this rise in CPU temperature at the end can be found in the P52’s cooling system: Instead of two independent cooling circuits for the CPU and GPU, the P52 features a single connected cooling system for both. Since the GPU is prioritized over the CPU and its clock speeds are not reduced the CPU must throttle down accordingly. The GPU started out at around 65 °C and rose to 70 °C over the course of the stress test. The combined load was simply too much for the cooling circuit and CPU clock speeds had to be reduced in order to prevent overheating. However, it is worth noting that the CPU never clocked below its base frequency of 2.2 GHz and thus did not throttle in the truest sense of the word. Keep in mind though that our review unit was equipped with the entry-level CPU and GPU and the more powerful components might bring the cooling system to its knees much faster.

Max. Load
 39.1 °C
102 F
36.2 °C
97 F
42.7 °C
109 F
 
 33.1 °C
92 F
33.2 °C
92 F
35.9 °C
97 F
 
 30.1 °C
86 F
30.9 °C
88 F
30.2 °C
86 F
 
Maximum: 42.7 °C = 109 F
Average: 34.6 °C = 94 F
43 °C
109 F
41.4 °C
107 F
36.7 °C
98 F
36.2 °C
97 F
37.5 °C
100 F
35.1 °C
95 F
29.2 °C
85 F
33.1 °C
92 F
32.4 °C
90 F
Maximum: 43 °C = 109 F
Average: 36.1 °C = 97 F
Power Supply (max.)  41.4 °C = 107 F | Room Temperature 22.4 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.6 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 31.2 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Workstation.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42.7 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 37.1 °C / 99 F, ranging from 23 to 69.8 °C for the class Workstation.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 43 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 40.3 °C / 105 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.4 °C / 74 F, compared to the device average of 31.2 °C / 88 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 36.2 °C / 97 F, compared to the device average of 31.2 °C / 88 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (32.1 °C / 89.8 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28 °C / 82.4 F (-4.1 °C / -7.4 F).
The Witcher 3 (top)
The Witcher 3 (top)
The Witcher 3 (bottom)
The Witcher 3 (bottom)
Load (top)
Load (top)
Load (bottom)
Load (bottom)

Speakers

The speakers are located atop the keyboard and face the user. Unfortunately, that did not have any influence on their pretty poor performance: They were neither particularly loud nor particularly well balanced, and overall sound performance was mediocre at best. The 3.5-mm combo audio jack worked flawlessly and we suggest using external speakers instead.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2029.3322528.231312931.14028.129.25037