Notebookcheck

Lenovo ThinkPad P53 in Review: Classic workstation with a lot of GPU performance

Andreas Osthoff, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Marius S.), 11/11/2019

Is a Quadro RTX 5000 too much? Lenovo is now offering the new ThinkPad P53 with the high-end GPU Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 that is usually reserved for larger devices. The cooling solution inside of the Lenovo workstation reaches its limits, which negatively affects the CPU performance.

With the ThinkPad P53, Lenovo has a traditional 15.6-inch mobile workstation on offer. In this case, traditional hints at the fact that unlike for example the ThinkPad P1 2019, it is not a very slim or light device. In return, users reap the benefits of faster hardware (particularly in terms of the GPU), more ports and greater expandability.

The ThinkPad P53 starts at 1,800 Euros (~$1,984) with almost no upper limit. The highest-end configuration (Xeon, RTX 5000, OLED, 3x SSD, 128 GB of RAM) costs almost 8,000 Euros (~$8,816). Our test model, which comes with a Core i7, an RTX 5000, a Full-HD panel, 32 GB of RAM and a 1-TB SSD is available for around 4,500 Euros (~$4,959), although the GPU option makes up a large portion of the cost.

Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE (ThinkPad P53 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop) - 16384 MB, Core: 1645 MHz, Memory: 1500 MHz, GDDR5, 431.13
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2666, 2/4 free slots, up to128 GB
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, N156HCE-GN1, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM246
Storage
Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR, 1024 GB 
, , 903 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, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo, Card Reader: 4-in-1 SD UHS-II, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), 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
90 Wh, 8000 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo 2x 2 Watt, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 230-watt AC adapter, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
2.688 kg ( = 94.82 oz / 5.93 pounds), Power Supply: 900 g ( = 31.75 oz / 1.98 pounds)
Price
4100 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionBest Price
90%11/2019Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
9850H, Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
2.7 kg29.4 mm15.6"1920x1080
88%08/2019Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
9850H, Quadro T1000 (Laptop)
1.7 kg18.4 mm15.6"1920x1080
87%10/2018Dell Precision 7530
8950HK, Quadro P3200
2.6 kg29.95 mm15.6"3840x2160
86%04/2019Fujitsu Celsius H780
8850H, Quadro P2000
2.8 kg31.9 mm15.6"1920x1080
85%06/2019MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
9880H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
1.9 kg18 mm15.6"3840x2160

Chassis

Chassis updates to professional models usually follow a two-year cycle. As for the Lenovo ThinkPad P-5x series, this is not the case and even last year's P52 was more of a facelift than a comprehensive update. The ThinkPad P53 follows the same trend, at least externally. Aside from the differences in terms of the ports, the visuals of the P53 including the black plastic surfaces remain unchanged. By contrast, a lot has changed on the inside.

Thankfully, this does not negatively impact the rigidity or build quality and the ThinkPad is still an extremely rigid device without any flaws in terms of construction. The base unit cannot be twisted, it does not noticeably yield and there is no annoying creaking either. While both of the hinges are very rigid and able to prevent teetering reliably, they are unable to support the lid at small angles, where it instead snaps shut. Speaking of the lid, the P53's cover does not appear to be aware of the slim-bezel trend. While the lid itself is not quite as rigid as the base unit, there are no problems in terms of stability here, either. Our impression of the chassis is good overall, although competing HP and particularly Dell alternatives (with large amounts of metal and rubberized surfaces) achieve even more high-quality looks.

The dimensions remain unchanged compared to the predecessor and there are only minor differences in terms of weight (this may vary, depending on the configuration). The display choice continues to be an important aspect, since versions with a matte display weigh around 400 grams (~14 oz) less than models with reflective panels. However, the latter only applies to the 4K OLED display variant of the ThinkPad P53.

Size Comparison

380 mm / 15 inch 258 mm / 10.2 inch 31.9 mm / 1.256 inch 2.8 kg6.07 lbs377.4 mm / 14.9 inch 252.3 mm / 9.93 inch 29.4 mm / 1.157 inch 2.7 kg5.93 lbs377.4 mm / 14.9 inch 252.3 mm / 9.93 inch 29.4 mm / 1.157 inch 2.6 kg5.71 lbs375.9 mm / 14.8 inch 251.3 mm / 9.89 inch 29.95 mm / 1.179 inch 2.6 kg5.73 lbs361.8 mm / 14.2 inch 245.7 mm / 9.67 inch 18.4 mm / 0.724 inch 1.7 kg3.79 lbs357 mm / 14.1 inch 247 mm / 9.72 inch 18 mm / 0.709 inch 1.9 kg4.19 lbs

Connectivity – P53 with Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6

There are a few differences in terms of port selection and layout compared to the older ThinkPad P52. There is an HDMI 2.0 output on the left (that used to be on the back), two traditional USB type-A ports and two card readers. The nano-SIM card slot can now be found on the left side to be more accessible than on the inside of the battery compartment, where it used to be located. Additionally, there is a USB type-C port (Gen 1). Both of the Thunderbolt 3 ports can still be found on the back of the device. The port layout is decent overall, although the lack of a USB type-A port on the right may negatively affect the user experience in some cases. At least there is now more space between the ports, which is convenient for larger connectors.

Left: HDMI 2.0, 2x USB type-A 3.1 Gen 1, 4-in-1 SD card reader, SmartCard reader
Left: HDMI 2.0, 2x USB type-A 3.1 Gen 1, 4-in-1 SD card reader, SmartCard reader
Right: 3.5 mm audio, USB type-C 3.1 Gen 1 (Power Delivery & DisplayPort), nano-SIM tray, Kensington lock port
Right: 3.5 mm audio, USB type-C 3.1 Gen 1 (Power Delivery & DisplayPort), nano-SIM tray, Kensington lock port
Back: RJ45-LAN, 2x Thunderbolt 3 (USB type-C 3.1 Gen 2 with power delivery & DisplayPort), SlimTip AC adapter
Back: RJ45-LAN, 2x Thunderbolt 3 (USB type-C 3.1 Gen 2 with power delivery & DisplayPort), SlimTip AC adapter
SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell Precision 7530
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
193.2 MB/s ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
185 MB/s ∼96%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
181 MB/s ∼94% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
169 MB/s ∼87% -9%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
146 MB/s ∼76% -21%
Average of class Workstation
  (17.2 - 213, n=65)
137 MB/s ∼71% -26%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
202.4 MB/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
198.2 MB/s ∼98% -2%
Dell Precision 7530
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
194.64 MB/s ∼96% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
189.2 MB/s ∼93% -7%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
174.4 MB/s ∼86% -14%
Average of class Workstation
  (18.4 - 255, n=64)
171 MB/s ∼84% -16%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1485 (min: 1319, max: 1589) MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
622 MBit/s ∼42% -58%
Average of class Workstation
  (292 - 1557, n=53)
659 MBit/s ∼44% -56%
Dell Precision 7530
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
636 MBit/s ∼43% -57%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
636 (min: 613, max: 655) MBit/s ∼43% -57%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
629 MBit/s ∼42% -58%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
625 MBit/s ∼42% -58%
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
490 (min: 376, max: 596) MBit/s ∼33% -67%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
1470 (min: 1418, max: 1509) MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
675 MBit/s ∼46% -54%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
706 MBit/s ∼48% -52%
Dell Precision 7530
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
681 MBit/s ∼46% -54%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
662 MBit/s ∼45% -55%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
659 (min: 649, max: 666) MBit/s ∼45% -55%
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S CNVi: WiFi
650 (min: 629, max: 713) MBit/s ∼44% -56%
Average of class Workstation
  (83 - 1642, n=53)
600 MBit/s ∼41% -59%

Maintenance

A large maintenance hatch, which is only secured by a few philips screws, is located on the bottom and easily removable. The most important components such as two of the four RAM slots, all three of the M.2-2280 slots, the battery and the communications modules are accessible on the inside. However, our model is not WWAN-ready since the required antennas are missing - we are unsure as to why. Additional disassembly is required to access the other components and taking a look at the hardware maintenance manual of the manufacturer or the service videos, which can be found on the support page of the manufacturer, is recommended.

Not WWAN-ready
Not WWAN-ready
Free RAM slots
Free RAM slots
3x M.2-2280
3x M.2-2280

Input Devices – ThinkPad with an Excellent Keyboard

Although the input devices have not received any updates, we have no complaints. The backlit keyboard is one of the best on the market thanks to its long travel and crisp feedback. Moving the cursor using the touchpad with dedicated mouse keys and a (Synaptics) TrackPoint works reliably as well. For more information, please consult our existing review of the predecessor ThinkPad P52.

Input Devices
Input Devices
TouchPad with (Synaptics) TrackPoint
TouchPad with (Synaptics) TrackPoint

Display – P53 with Full-HD HDR

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Backlight bleeding (exaggerated intensity)
Backlight bleeding (exaggerated intensity)

There were a few changes in terms of the display and the quality has increased overall compared to the previous year. The base configuration still includes the same Full-HD panel with a brightness level of 300 cd/m² that can also be found on the ThinkPad P52. Additionally, three other panels are available starting this year:

  • Full HD HDR 400 (matte, IPS, 500 cd/m², 72% NTSC)
  • 4K UHD HDR 400 (matte, IPS, 500 cd/m², 100% NTSC)
  • 4K UHD HDR 500 (glossy, OLED, 350-400 cd/m², 100% DCI-P3)

Now, the better Full-HD variant is finally available and installed in our test device. The matte 4K display is now brighter and there is a completely new OLED panel option. Subjectively, the Full-HD screen looks fantastic. In spite of the matte overlay, even bright screen content does not look noticeably grainy. The measurements support the good subjective impressions, even though we were only able to confirm the advertised brightness in the center of the display. The contrast ratio of above 1,400:1 makes for a vivid image.

However, there are two negative aspects: Particularly at maximum brightness, noticeable backlight bleeding can be observed when viewing dark pictures and the brightness levels are not linearly spaced. At 90%, the brightness falls from 510 to just 236 cd/m² and to 149 cd/m² at 80%. Our measurements were also able to confirm backlight flickering at brightness levels of 77% or less. Note that due to its extremely high frequency of 26 kHz, this is not typical PWM.

460
cd/m²
456
cd/m²
457
cd/m²
466
cd/m²
510
cd/m²
477
cd/m²
457
cd/m²
469
cd/m²
464
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
N156HCE-GN1
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 510 cd/m² Average: 468.4 cd/m² Minimum: 7.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 490 cd/m²
Contrast: 1417:1 (Black: 0.36 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.3 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 1.2
ΔE Greyscale 3.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
93.1% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 59.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.34
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
N156HCE-GN1, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
N156HCE-EN1, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
N156HCE-GN1, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Precision 7530
Sharp LQ156D1, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Fujitsu Celsius H780
LP156WF6-SPP1, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
AU Optronics AUO41EB, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Response Times
-3%
18%
-32%
-8%
-28%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38.4 (18.8, 19.6)
39.2 (21.2, 18)
-2%
34.4 (17.2, 17.2)
10%
35.2 (17.2, 18)
8%
38 (18.8, 19.2)
1%
51 (24, 27)
-33%
Response Time Black / White *
25.2 (15.2, 10)
26 (14.4, 11.6)
-3%
14 (4.4, 9.6)
44%
26.4 (14, 12.4)
-5%
26.8 (16.4, 10.4)
-6%
31 (18, 13)
-23%
PWM Frequency
26040 (77)
25250 (50)
-3%
26040 (70)
0%
198.4 (25)
-99%
20830 (60)
-20%
Screen
-34%
-15%
-31%
-36%
-23%
Brightness middle
510
304
-40%
542
6%
292.8
-43%
271
-47%
445
-13%
Brightness
468
293
-37%
528
13%
295
-37%
260
-44%
462
-1%
Brightness Distribution
89
88
-1%
84
-6%
85
-4%
86
-3%
83
-7%
Black Level *
0.36
0.26
28%
0.41
-14%
0.36
-0%
0.29
19%
0.5
-39%
Contrast
1417
1169
-18%
1322
-7%
813
-43%
934
-34%
890
-37%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.3
4.5
-96%
3.5
-52%
3.48
-51%
3.9
-70%
4.75
-107%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.5
7.7
-40%
7.8
-42%
6.81
-24%
10.2
-85%
7.79
-42%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.2
2.4
-100%
1.3
-8%
3.13
-161%
2.9
-142%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.2
5.2
-63%
4.8
-50%
4.1
-28%
2.6
19%
4.49
-40%
Gamma
2.34 94%
2.26 97%
2.33 94%
2.2 100%
2.29 96%
2.49 88%
CCT
7036 92%
6789 96%
7690 85%
6740 96%
6517 100%
7374 88%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59.4
53.8
-9%
58.8
-1%
84.4
42%
56.1
-6%
87
46%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
93.1
90.1
-3%
91.1
-2%
99.6
7%
85.8
-8%
100
7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-19% / -28%
2% / -8%
-32% / -31%
-22% / -30%
-26% / -24%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN saturation sweeps
CalMAN saturation sweeps
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN grayscale (calibrated)
CalMAN saturation sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN saturation sweeps (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)
CalMAN ColorChecker (calibrated)

The color temperature is slightly too cool ex-factory, causing a slight blue tint that can be remedied with a calibration (we used an i1 Pro 2). That said, the colors and grayscale are decent, even without a calibration. However, in order to achieve maximum color accuracy, users should still calibrate the panel. While photo editing is possible, there are better options due to the incomplete sRGB coverage.

vs. sRGB: 93.1%
vs. sRGB: 93.1%
vs. AdobeRGB: 59.4%
vs. AdobeRGB: 59.4%

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
25.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15.2 ms rise
↘ 10 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. » 44 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.8 ms rise
↘ 19.6 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. » 41 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.4 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 26040 Hz ≤ 77 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 26040 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 77 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 26040 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9338 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The matte panel, of course, benefits from its high maximum brightness outdoors and is suitable for very bright environments. As long as the angle of the display is adjusted properly, even sunshine is no problem, as demonstrated by the pictures below. The IPS panel looks good from all angles.

In the sun
In the sun
In the sun
In the sun
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance – ThinkPad with Lots of Hardware Choices

Lenovo offers a wide variety of components in its ThinkPad P53 series, meaning that the performance and emissions can vary widely, depending on the selected configuration. On the latest models, Lenovo's "intelligent cooling" is no longer controlled with the Vantage app, but through the standard Windows power profile (selectable from the battery symbol in the task bar).

 

Processor – P53 with Core i7-9850H

Lenovo gives users the choice between various 45-watt processors, which include a Core i5-9400H with 4 cores, different i7 models (with 6 or 8 cores) and a mobile Xeon processor (6 cores) that supports ECC-RAM. Our test device uses a Core i7-9850H, which is a powerful 6-core CPU with a base clock of 2.6 GHz and a 4.6 GHz Turbo Boost frequency. See our dedicated page on the CPU for more technical information.

The performance gap compared to a mobile processor from the last generation is quite small overall, since not a lot has changed in the cooling department. Thick workstations such as the P53 tend to have an advantage over their slimmer counterparts, which for example, includes the ThinkPad P1, in this regard and particularly when it comes to prolonged stress.

Our Cinebench (R15 multi) loop, which shows the slim ThinkPad P1 that is equipped with the same processor to be around 14% slower than our test device, illustrates this quite clearly. Although the Core i7-9850H in our ThinkPad P53 achieves a very good result initially, scoring 1,230 points in the first loop, its score subsequently drops and stabilizes at around 1,100 points. While this result puts it ahead of the older ThinkPad P52, the Precision 7530 is still marginally faster.

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Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE Intel Core i7-9850H, Intel Core i7-9850H: Ø1114 (1097.03-1230.35)
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE Intel Core i7-9850H, Intel Core i7-9850H: Ø961 (896-1114)
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00 Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1034 (1019-1128)
Dell Precision 7530 Intel Core i9-8950HK, Intel Core i9-8950HK: Ø1123 (1110.46-1192.57)

With 90 watts (temporary) and 60 watts (continuous), Lenovo has set two very generous CPU power limits. When the device has completely cooled off, we actually see a consumption of up to 89 watts at 6x 3.7-4.1 GHz, even though it only lasts for a few seconds. Subsequently, this value drops to around 54 watts and 6x 3.3-3.4 GHz. The average values during the Cinebench loop are as follows: 53 watts consumption, 95.3 °C (~204 °F) CPU temperature, 3.4 GHz clock speed. Here, the CPU does not reach its true potential, since the cooling solution remains fairly passive during raw CPU stress (only really audible after about 7 minutes).

As these observations show, the i7-9850H does not have a clear advantage over the more common i7-9750H, since the performance will be essentially identical in practice. The optional Core i9-9880H is a good choice for workloads that can take advantage of all 16 threads, although users will not be able to fully exhaust its capabilities either. Due to the aforementioned CPU option, the Xeon E-2276M (6 cores) is no longer the fastest processor on paper (only during single-core use) and only worth it if you are planning to use ECC-RAM.

While the CPU behavior is practically identical in battery mode, there are occasional, short-lived performance dips, which also affect the end results. In CB R15 single, the final score drops from 196 to 183 points and in Cinebench's multi test, our test device scores only 969 instead of 1,230 points.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Intel Core i7-9850H
196.53 Points ∼100%
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
Intel Core i9-9880H
196 Points ∼100% 0%
Average Intel Core i7-9850H
  (192 - 197, n=3)
194 Points ∼99% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Intel Core i7-9850H
193 Points ∼98% -2%
Dell Precision 7530
Intel Core i9-8950HK
187 Points ∼95% -5%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Intel Core i7-8850H
185 Points ∼94% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼89% -11%
Average of class Workstation
  (117 - 214, n=101)
160 Points ∼81% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
Intel Core i9-9880H
1545 Points ∼100% +39%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Intel Core i7-8750H
1217 Points ∼79% +10%
Dell Precision 7530
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1166 Points ∼75% +5%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Intel Core i7-8850H
1116 Points ∼72% +1%
Average Intel Core i7-9850H
  (961 - 1272, n=3)
1114 Points ∼72% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Intel Core i7-9850H
1108.8 (min: 1097.03, max: 1230.35) Points ∼72%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Intel Core i7-9850H
961 (min: 896, max: 1114) Points ∼62% -13%
Average of class Workstation
  (260 - 1623, n=104)
774 Points ∼50% -30%
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6830
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
130.9 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
196.53 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1108.8 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
198.56 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.62 %
Help

System Performance – Workstation with 1-TB PCIe SSD

As expected, our ThinkPad P53 performs very well in the synthetic benchmark PCMark 10 and in our SSD tests. The installed Samsung M.2 PCIe SSD P981a offers 1 TB storage space (903 GB available to users after booting up the laptop for the first time) and some of the fastest read and write speeds on the market.

In practice, the mobile workstation allows for smooth system operation with fast response times and no noticeable delays. We also did not encounter any issues during our tests (such as freezing or bluescreens).

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9880H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
7161 Points ∼100% +2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), 9850H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
7033 Points ∼98%
Dell Precision 7530
Quadro P3200, 8950HK, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
6907 Points ∼96% -2%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Quadro P2000, 8850H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5880 Points ∼82% -16%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Quadro T1000 (Laptop), 9850H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
5033 Points ∼70% -28%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4348 Points ∼61% -38%
Productivity
Dell Precision 7530
Quadro P3200, 8950HK, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
7994 Points ∼100% +4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), 9850H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
7657 Points ∼96%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Quadro P2000, 8850H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
7377 Points ∼92% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Quadro T1000 (Laptop), 9850H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
7243 Points ∼91% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
6649 Points ∼83% -13%
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9880H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
5986 Points ∼75% -22%
Essentials
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), 9850H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
9603 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Quadro T1000 (Laptop), 9850H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
9566 Points ∼100% 0%
Dell Precision 7530
Quadro P3200, 8950HK, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
9288 Points ∼97% -3%
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9880H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
8961 Points ∼93% -7%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Quadro P2000, 8850H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8632 Points ∼90% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
8298 Points ∼86% -14%
Score
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), 9850H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
5754 Points ∼100%
Dell Precision 7530
Quadro P3200, 8950HK, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5738 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9880H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
5211 Points ∼91% -9%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Quadro P2000, 8850H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
5167 Points ∼90% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Quadro T1000 (Laptop), 9850H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
5046 Points ∼88% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
4428 Points ∼77% -23%
Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3538.8 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 2935.6 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 580.78 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 475.17 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1503.44 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1402.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 48.3 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 146.96 MB/s

GPU Performance – Is the RTX 5000 Max-Q Worth It?

GPU-Z Quadro RTX 5000
GPU-Z Quadro RTX 5000

Nvidia offers different variants of the Quadro RTX 5000 and we had a hard time determining which one Lenovo had chosen for the ThinkPad P53. According to the information provided to us, the slowest, 80-watt model of the normal RTX 5000 (non Max-Q) is installed. An overview of the various different versions can be found on our RTX 5000 GPU page. In a nutshell: Only the core clock is different and in our case ranges from 600 MHz (base) to 1,350 MHz (boost). However, users have no reason to worry about the theoretical values too much, since the GPU almost always runs at a minimum of 1,350 MHz in pure GPU benchmarks and at at least 1,450 MHz in combined GPU benchmarks; there was even a 1,770 MHz peak. Thus, the RTX 5000 is able to run faster as long as there is sufficient cooling.

What does this mean for the overall performance? While the performance is not up to par with the "big" Quadro RTX 5000, which is only available on larger 17-inch devices, even the 80-watt version is marginally faster than a regular Quadro RTX 4000. This is an incredible performance level for a 15-inch workstation and still far more power than what the Quadro P3200 inside of the predecessor ThinkPad P52 can offer.

The ThinkPad P53 passes 3DMark Time Spy with a score of 97%, meaning the GPU performance remains consistent even during prolonged stress. However, there is a performance deficit of about 70% in battery mode (6,999 vs. 2,051 points @Time Spy Graphics).

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
  (24156 - 24620, n=3)
24383 Points ∼100% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
24156 Points ∼99%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
23739 Points ∼97% -2%
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, Intel Core i9-9880H
20837 Points ∼85% -14%
Dell Precision 7530
NVIDIA Quadro P3200, Intel Core i9-8950HK
14673 Points ∼60% -39%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
10407 Points ∼43% -57%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
8573 Points ∼35% -65%
Average of class Workstation
  (841 - 26465, n=114)
6818 Points ∼28% -72%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
6115 Points ∼25% -75%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
6999 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
 
6999 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
6851 Points ∼98% -2%
Dell Precision 7530
NVIDIA Quadro P3200, Intel Core i9-8950HK
3732 Points ∼53% -47%
Average of class Workstation
  (566 - 7734, n=34)
3317 Points ∼47% -53%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
2834 Points ∼40% -60%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
18247 Points ∼100%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
 
18247 Points ∼100% 0%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
17619 Points ∼97% -3%
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, Intel Core i9-9880H
16100 Points ∼88% -12%
Dell Precision 7530
NVIDIA Quadro P3200, Intel Core i9-8950HK
11316 Points ∼62% -38%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
7558 Points ∼41% -59%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
6953 Points ∼38% -62%
Average of class Workstation
  (752 - 20913, n=106)
5585 Points ∼31% -69%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
4843 Points ∼27% -73%
SPECviewperf 13
Solidworks (sw-04)
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
129.58 fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
  (122 - 132, n=3)
128 fps ∼99% -1%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
125.44 fps ∼97% -3%
Average of class Workstation
  (37.3 - 189, n=25)
99.6 fps ∼77% -23%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
96.07 fps ∼74% -26%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
89.18 fps ∼69% -31%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
84.24 fps ∼65% -35%
Siemens NX (snx-03)
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
286.67 fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
  (268 - 287, n=3)
275 fps ∼96% -4%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
271.14 fps ∼95% -5%
Average of class Workstation
  (36.4 - 396, n=25)
174 fps ∼61% -39%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
127.83 fps ∼45% -55%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
121.86 fps ∼43% -57%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
103.7 fps ∼36% -64%
Showcase (showcase-02)
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
94.04 fps ∼100% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
93.44 fps ∼99%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
  (92.4 - 94, n=3)
93.3 fps ∼99% 0%
Average of class Workstation
  (12.6 - 97.3, n=25)
49.3 fps ∼52% -47%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
35.27 fps ∼38% -62%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
30.26 fps ∼32% -68%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
27.56 fps ∼29% -71%
Medical (medical-02)
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
79.03 fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
 
79 fps ∼100% 0%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
73.2 fps ∼93% -7%
Average of class Workstation
  (6.8 - 81.3, n=25)
35.7 fps ∼45% -55%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
33.45 fps ∼42% -58%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
18.47 fps ∼23% -77%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
11.93 fps ∼15% -85%
Maya (maya-05)
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
207.89 fps ∼100% +2%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
  (205 - 210, n=3)
207 fps ∼100% +1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
204.8 fps ∼99%
Average of class Workstation
  (29.4 - 255, n=25)
126 fps ∼61% -38%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
101.04 fps ∼49% -51%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
89.31 fps ∼43% -56%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
72.28 fps ∼35% -65%
Energy (energy-02)
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
 
36.2 fps ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
36.15 fps ∼100%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
36.03 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Workstation
  (0.72 - 38, n=25)
14.1 fps ∼39% -61%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
12 fps ∼33% -67%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
5.28 fps ∼15% -85%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
3.15 fps ∼9% -91%
Creo (creo-02)
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
212.28 fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
  (210 - 212, n=3)
211 fps ∼99% -1%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
207.97 fps ∼98% -2%
Average of class Workstation
  (27.8 - 248, n=25)
126 fps ∼59% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
99.93 fps ∼47% -53%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
82.1 fps ∼39% -61%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
68.84 fps ∼32% -68%
Catia (catia-05)
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
  (215 - 218, n=3)
216 fps ∼100% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
215.72 fps ∼100%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
212.62 fps ∼98% -1%
Average of class Workstation
  (27.7 - 302, n=25)
141 fps ∼65% -35%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
121.33 fps ∼56% -44%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
104.04 fps ∼48% -52%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
79.44 fps ∼37% -63%
3ds Max (3dsmax-06)
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
  (173 - 175, n=3)
174 fps ∼100% +1%
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
173.01 fps ∼99% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
172.74 fps ∼99%
Average of class Workstation
  (20 - 182, n=25)
96.1 fps ∼55% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
83.89 fps ∼48% -51%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
71.66 fps ∼41% -59%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
53.08 fps ∼31% -69%
LuxMark v2.0 64Bit
Room GPUs-only
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
2840 Samples/s ∼100% +44%
Dell Precision 7530
NVIDIA Quadro P3200, Intel Core i9-8950HK
2170 Samples/s ∼76% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
1972 Samples/s ∼69%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
 
1972 Samples/s ∼69% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
1444 Samples/s ∼51% -27%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
1280 Samples/s ∼45% -35%
Average of class Workstation
  (49 - 2840, n=88)
897 Samples/s ∼32% -55%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
713 Samples/s ∼25% -64%
Sala GPUs-only
MSI WS75 9TL-636
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
5927 Samples/s ∼100% +21%
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
4913 Samples/s ∼83%
Average NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop)
 
4913 Samples/s ∼83% 0%
Dell Precision 7530
NVIDIA Quadro P3200, Intel Core i9-8950HK
4192 Samples/s ∼71% -15%
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9850H
2969 Samples/s ∼50% -40%
Fujitsu Celsius H780
NVIDIA Quadro P2000, Intel Core i7-8850H
2636 Samples/s ∼44% -46%
Average of class Workstation
  (48 - 5927, n=89)
1688 Samples/s ∼28% -66%
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
NVIDIA Quadro P1000, Intel Core i7-8750H
1260 Samples/s ∼21% -74%
3DMark 06 Standard
38739 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
54153 points
3DMark 11 Performance
19250 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
98630 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
38066 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
16547 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
6879 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The Quadro RTX 5000 handles games very well. During our gaming benchmarks, we only encountered an issue with "Anno 1800's" 4K preset, which caused the game to crash repeatedly. Nvidia's Quadro driver worked well otherwise, however. For the native display resolution, the RTX 5000 is almost unnecessarily powerful and even the latest games run smoothly at maximum detail settings. As our long-term "The Witcher 3" test shows, the performance remains consistent while gaming.

05101520253035404550556065707580Tooltip
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), 9850H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR; The Witcher 3: Ø70.6 (67-74)
low med. high ultraQHD4K
GTA V (2015) 177 170 150.4 77.6 68.4 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 320 235 141 71 46.4 fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 148 137 132 126 102 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 281.4 198.6 134.5 110.1 45.4 fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 117 99 85 fps
Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018) 127 102 98 87 59 29 fps
Hitman 2 (2018) 87.7 85.3 78.4 75.3 73.3 46.6 fps
Battlefield V (2018) 153.6 105.4 88.2 81.2 68.3 42.5 fps
Far Cry New Dawn (2019) 107 98 90 86 72 43 fps
Dirt Rally 2.0 (2019) 275 188.9 160.3 89.3 66.8 fps
Anno 1800 (2019) 94.5 97.8 73.9 38.9 31.5 fps
F1 2019 (2019) 113 101 93 88 83 52 fps
Ghost Recon Breakpoint (2019) 127 105 93 65 47 26 fps
GRID 2019 (2019) 178.8 155.6 118.5 79.2 61.4 36.8 fps

Emissions

System Noise

We noticed that the latest Lenovo workstations are equipped with fairly lethargic fan controls that usually take a while to increase the fan speeds under load. The current P53 also follows this trend and, despite its powerful Quadro RTX 5000, only really becomes audible after a few minutes. The laptop is almost always silent under low loads.

Both during gaming and our stress test, we recorded a maximum noise level of only 38.3 dB(A). While this is a good result, it also shows that there is still potential for a better CPU usage and higher performance. Selecting a different power profile (from the Windows settings) reduces the noise level even further to be as low as 38.3 dB(A) (best performance), 33.3 dB(A) (better performance) and 32.2 dB(A) (longer battery life) during our stress test, respectively.

Noise Level

Idle
28.3 / 28.3 / 28.3 dB(A)
Load
29.8 / 38.3 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: 28.3 dB(A)
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), 9850H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
Quadro T1000 (Laptop), 9850H, WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G
Dell Precision 7530
Quadro P3200, 8950HK, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Fujitsu Celsius H780
Quadro P2000, 8850H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9880H, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0)
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
Quadro P1000, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Noise
-4%
-12%
-20%
-18%
-3%
off / environment *
28.3
28.8
-2%
28.3
-0%
29.6
-5%
30.2
-7%
29.5
-4%
Idle Minimum *
28.3
28.8
-2%
28.3
-0%
29.6
-5%
32.8
-16%
29.5
-4%
Idle Average *
28.3
28.8
-2%
28.3
-0%
32.2
-14%
32.8
-16%
29.5
-4%
Idle Maximum *
28.3
28.8
-2%
30.5
-8%
37
-31%
33.6
-19%
29.5
-4%
Load Average *
29.8
36.1
-21%
34.5
-16%
40.3
-35%
40.9
-37%
34.7
-16%
Witcher 3 ultra *
38.3
49.5
-29%
33.1
14%
Load Maximum *
38.3
36.7
4%
49.5
-29%
49.4
-29%
42.7
-11%
39.4
-3%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The surface temperatures of the mobile workstation remained unproblematic even under load, although the device should be set up on a flat table rather than on your lap if possible. While the keyboard also becomes warm, this does not really affect typing. Considering the performance level, this is a good result.

Stress test beginning
Stress test beginning
Stress test end
Stress test end

Our stress test shows that Lenovo prioritizes GPU performance, since the Quadro RTX 5000's clock speed stays within reach of the normal boost frequency (~1,350-1,440 MHz). While this is obviously a good result for such a powerful GPU inside of a 15-inch workstation, it comes at the cost of CPU power. The latter has to contend with a power budget of 30 watts after just a few minutes, which allows it to run at only 6x 2.1 GHz. Here, we would have liked to see a more balanced power distribution with a minimum continuous consumption of 45 watts.

When choosing a lower-end graphics card, the cooling solution should be able to devote more cooling power to the processor, although we cannot confirm this to be the case at this point.

Max. Load
 41.8 °C
107 F
41.6 °C
107 F
41.3 °C
106 F
 
 40.9 °C
106 F
39.8 °C
104 F
37.9 °C
100 F
 
 36.3 °C
97 F
37 °C
99 F
34.1 °C
93 F
 
Maximum: 41.8 °C = 107 F
Average: 39 °C = 102 F
45.7 °C
114 F
46.1 °C
115 F
42.7 °C
109 F
41.7 °C
107 F
43.7 °C
111 F
45.6 °C
114 F
38.9 °C
102 F
41.8 °C
107 F
41.3 °C
106 F
Maximum: 46.1 °C = 115 F
Average: 43.1 °C = 110 F
Power Supply (max.)  38.4 °C = 101 F | Room Temperature 18.9 °C = 66 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 31.3 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Workstation.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41.8 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 37.2 °C / 99 F, ranging from 22.2 to 69.8 °C for the class Workstation.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.1 °C / 115 F, compared to the average of 40.4 °C / 105 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 21.9 °C / 71 F, compared to the device average of 31.3 °C / 88 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 38 °C / 100 F, compared to the device average of 31.3 °C / 88 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 37.1 °C / 98.8 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 27.8 °C / 82 F (-9.3 °C / -16.8 F).
Heat development top (The Witcher 3)
Heat development top (The Witcher 3)
Heat development bottom (The Witcher 3)
Heat development bottom (The Witcher 3)
Heat development top (stress test)
Heat development top (stress test)
Heat development bottom (stress test)
Heat development bottom (stress test)

Speakers

Not a lot has changed in terms of the speakers. The two stereo modules with 2 watts each are still neither very loud nor very good. While the sound quality is sufficient for speech, we recommend using headphones or external speakers for music and videos. Although the Lenovo's X1 Extreme shows that the manufacturer knows how to implement high-quality speakers, this feature does not appear to be a priority for workstation users.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.426.62526.925.83126.629.34025.7255024.425.3632425.28021.725.510022.228.31252230.516022.640.520021.451.725020.254.93152056.64001961.250018.459.163017.758.780017.263.510001766.1125016.366.9160015.763.4200015.459.1250015.457.1315015.254.4400015.154500015.251.5630015.453.2800015.352.71000015.249.71250015.142.11600014.936SPL28.372.8N1.129.1median 16.3median 54.4Delta1.86.137.538.435.735.433.333.733.832.731.233.132.33431.737.23145.828.353.428.362.527.664.725.767.126.469.925.767.125.167.424.373.924.471.524.166.423.771.323.774.523.671.823.57123.56923.266.423.269.623.16823.171.22373.22365.62356.635.982.92.660.4median 23.7median 681.54hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGEDell Precision 7530
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 58% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 19%, worst was 31%
Compared to all devices tested
» 42% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 49% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Dell Precision 7530 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.45 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (10.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 0% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 19%, worst was 31%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Energy Consumption

230-watt AC adapter (900 grams)
230-watt AC adapter (900 grams)

While the consumption during idle has increased compared to the predecessor ThinkPad P52, the results are still excellent. The temporary peak consumption of around 208 watts was only maintained for the first few seconds of the stress test. Similar to the CPU performance, the consumption steadily drops, before stabilizing at 137 watts (CPU @30 watts).

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.13 / 0.26 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 7.9 / 11.8 / 14.9 Watt
Load midlight 96 / 207.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
9850H, Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
9850H, Quadro T1000 (Laptop), WDC PC SN720 SDAQNTW-512G, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Precision 7530
8950HK, Quadro P3200, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Fujitsu Celsius H780
8850H, Quadro P2000, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
9880H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 2x Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ (RAID 0), IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
8750H, Quadro P1000, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
-20%
-40%
3%
-22%
35%
Idle Minimum *
7.9
13.7
-73%
15.7
-99%
9.1
-15%
9.4
-19%
4.02
49%
Idle Average *
11.8
17.5
-48%
20.3
-72%
13.2
-12%
17.4
-47%
7.2
39%
Idle Maximum *
14.9
20.9
-40%
25.7
-72%
14.04
6%
19.6
-32%
11.46
23%
Load Average *
96
77.2
20%
118.9
-24%
78.8
18%
103
-7%
76.3
21%
Load Maximum *
207.8
123.7
40%
174
16%
172.5
17%
216
-4%
154
26%
Witcher 3 ultra *
149
131.2
12%
74
50%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

90-Wh battery
90-Wh battery

The large 90-Wh battery allows for very good runtimes of 10-11 hours in our Wi-Fi and video test, respectively. At maximum brightness, the laptop still lasts between 8 and 9 hours. While these results are very good overall, they are unlikely to be a big factor for users of a large 15-inch workstation. Under load, users can still expect around 2 hours of runtime, although the performance in battery mode is limited.

These results are likely to be far worse when opting for the 4K or even the OLED display. The device can be fully charged (while it is running) in just under 2 hours with the included 230-watt AC adapter and 80% battery life is available after just 60 minutes.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 44.18362.387.0)
11h 04min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 max Brightness (Edge 44.18362.387.0)
8h 38min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 50min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 57min
Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE
9850H, Quadro RTX 5000 (Laptop), 90 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 2019-20QT000RGE
9850H, Quadro T1000 (Laptop), 80 Wh
Dell Precision 7530
8950HK, Quadro P3200, 97 Wh
Fujitsu Celsius H780
8850H, Quadro P2000, 96 Wh
MSI P65 Creator 9SF-657
9880H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 82 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad P52 20MAS03N00
8750H, Quadro P1000, 96 Wh
Average of class Workstation
 
Battery Runtime
-19%
-39%
-32%
-45%
-4%
-29%
Reader / Idle
382
577
1519
620 (63 - 2360, n=124)
H.264
590
560
-5%
733
24%
418 (123 - 1131, n=65)
-29%
WiFi v1.3
664
532
-20%
278
-58%
450
-32%
357
-46%
637
-4%
417 (106 - 974, n=76)
-37%
Load
117
79
-32%
95
-19%
65
-44%
79
-32%
91.4 (22 - 323, n=123)
-22%

Pros

+ rigid, well-made chassis
+ very good GPU performance
+ excellent keyboard
+ lethargic fan control
+ bright & matte 1080p display
+ good connectivity
+ decent maintenance options
+ highly customizable configurations
+ extensive warranty

Cons

- CPU performance reduced during combined stress
- lower-powered 80-watt version of the Quadro RTX 5000 (without being labeled as such or at all)
- poor webcam
- mediocre speakers
- not WWAN ready (no preinstalled antennas)

Verdict

In review: Lenovo ThinkPad P53. Test device courtesy of Lenovo Germany
In review: Lenovo ThinkPad P53. Test device courtesy of Lenovo Germany

The ThinkPad P53 is still a traditional mobile workstation that does not pay a lot of attention to current trends of slimmer and slimmer cases and bezels. As a result however, the case is very robust, there are a lot of ports, upgrading is easily possible and the hardware is very powerful, particularly in the graphics department.

On the exterior, not a lot has changed compared to the ThinkPad P52 from the previous year, but there have been some changes under the hood. The main selling points are more powerful graphics cards (Quadro RTX 4000 & 5000), which are usually reserved for larger 17-inch workstations. Here, some criticism is warranted, since customers do not know which version of the graphics card to expect. Neither Nvidia nor Lenovo state the fact that the slower 80-watt version is built into the system. Lenovo probably relies on the slower variant of the RTX 4000 as well. All in all, the graphics performance is still impressive regardless.

Bright 1080p panel, excellent input devices and a ton of performance: The ThinkPad P53 is a very well-rounded product with no real weaknesses. The only thing we are able to criticize is the cooling solution that could be slightly better optimized for combined CPU & GPU loads.

The cooling solution is not perfect either. We like the defensive fan control, which prevents the fans from spinning even after short stress periods. However, the cooling solution is unable to keep up during combined CPU & GPU loads, resulting in reduced processor performance. While quiet fans are good, users who choose high-end components in this price class probably want them to be able to unleash their maximum potential. We are convinced that the cooling solution is capable of being more effective, even if it results in more fan noise. We can only guess how well other configurations of the P53 perform at this point in time. We expect the models with smaller GPUs in particular (such as the RTX 3000 or T series) to make better use of the CPU.

Similar to many current ThinkPads, Lenovo's P53 has received significant upgrades to its display options. While the base configuration still includes an IPS panel with 300 cd/m², a better and more importantly brighter 1080p model is now available. Furthermore, Lenovo offers two high-resolution displays (a 4K IPS or a 4K OLED panel), which ensures that all users find the model they are looking for.

These criticisms are somewhat nitpicky, since the ThinkPad P53 does not have any real weaknesses and deserves its good overall score.

Lenovo ThinkPad P53-20QN000YGE - 11/14/2019 v7
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
83 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
94%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
78 / 80 → 97%
Weight
59 / 10-66 → 87%
Battery
86 / 95 → 90%
Display
89%
Games Performance
92%
Application Performance
92%
Temperature
86 / 95 → 91%
Noise
97 / 90 → 100%
Audio
65%
Camera
38 / 85 → 44%
Average
81%
90%
Workstation - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ThinkPad P53 in Review: Classic workstation with a lot of GPU performance
Andreas Osthoff, 2019-11-11 (Update: 2019-11-13)