You’ll by no means discover a high-end workstation or a gaming PC that is somewhat as small as Intel’s unique NUC lineup, however there are alternatives if you wish to have a tiny however high-performance desktop. One of the ones is Lenovo’s new ThinkStation P360 Ultra, a mini desktop that crams Intel’s Twelfth-generation Alder Lake desktop CPUs, Nvidia RTX A2000 and A5000 GPUs with as much as 16GB of RAM and a stunning quantity of expandability right into a small enclosure that is simply 3.9 liters in quantity.
The ThinkStation has a variety of ports for a device its length, with a complete of 7 DisplayPort outputs in again (3 full-size ports stressed to the built-in Intel GPU, and 4 mini DisplayPorts hooked up to the devoted GPU), one 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, any other 1Gbps Ethernet port, and 4 rear USB-A ports at the again. On the entrance you’ll be able to discover a headphone jack, any other USB-A port, and 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports.
Internal expandability is just right, too. The ThinkStation can are compatible a complete of 2 M.2 SSDs and a unmarried 2.5-inch arduous power or SSD and as much as 4 DDR5 RAM modules. The 12GB RTX A2000 GPU choice will have to carry out someplace in between an RTX 3050 and an RTX 3060, whilst the RTX A5000 cell GPU will have to carry out extra just like the pc model of the RTX 3080 GPU. Lenovo gives Alder Lake CPUs from the quad-core Core i3 all of the approach as much as a Core i9 with a complete of 16 cores (8 P-cores and 8 E-cores—our CPU evaluations display the advantages of those smaller cores for workloads that distribute neatly throughout many CPU cores).
The P360 is smaller than high-performance mini PCs like Intel’s NUC 12 Extreme, which additionally makes use of Twelfth-gen Alder Lake CPUs with as much as 16 cores—the NUC measures 14.1×7.4×4.7 inches, whilst the ThinkStation is solely 8.7×7.9×3.4 inches. But the NUC does have the benefit of the usage of a normal PCI Express slot with a GPU that may be upgraded a pair years down the road, although its small length will typically prohibit you to bodily smaller GPUs than you’ll be able to use in a full-size desktop or a roomier mini ITX PC construct. The ThinkStation does seem to make use of detachable GPU modules, however the usage of a proprietary connector—whether or not upgrades are imaginable down the road is determined by whether or not Lenovo applications extra GPUs this manner one day and whether or not it gives them as upgrades quite than just together with them in more moderen PCs.
Expect to pay some huge cash for probably the most robust configurations of the P360 Ultra. The PC will get started at $1,299 later this month, however that configuration will most likely come with a quad-core Core i3 CPU and built-in graphics. If that is all of the energy you want, the P360 Ultra is if truth be told a little giant—the device’s length best turns into spectacular as soon as you’ve gotten added devoted graphics and a beefier processor.
We additionally have no idea whether or not (or how a lot) the P360 Ultra’s CPU or GPU shall be constrained by way of energy or warmth boundaries—the device tops out at a 300 W energy provide, which is much less energy than a high-end desktop GPU just like the RT 3080 or 3090 can eat all on its own. In different phrases, a bigger device will nonetheless be able to letting its elements run sooner for longer.