Application and Futuremark Performance

Ignoring Intel's naming shenanigans with the Core i5-3470T for a moment, it's hard to get too excited about the CPU choice in the ThinkCentre M92 Tiny when an extra ten watts or hundred dollars would get Lenovo a quad core processor. The power supply should be able to handle it without too much trouble, as there's very little else in the system it has to power, and you'll see there's at least a little thermal headroom in Lenovo's design. That said, keep in mind the M92 is roughly as small as the Logic Supply system we reviewed and smaller than the two Puget Systems machines we're comparing it against.

Futuremark PCMark 7

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

The PCMarks are unkind to the M92 due to its mechanical storage (the Puget Systems Echo builds both feature SSDs), and unfortunately Lenovo asks an ungainly $220 for an upgrade to a 128GB SSD. The Echo also benefits from being able to support a quad core processor, but keep in mind the Echo is bigger to boot and is powered off of a 95W external power brick instead of a 65W.

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R11.5

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264

Ivy Bridge brings us strong single-threaded performance and the M92 is impressive enough there, but the instant extra cores are brought onto the field it loses a lot of traction. Still, the i5-3470T should be adequate for most tasks and certainly more than enough for kiosk duty.

Introducing the Lenovo ThinkCentre M92 Tiny Build, Noise, Heat, and Power Consumption
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  • Penti - Friday, August 17, 2012 - link

    You only need a volume/upgrade license and you can image it just fine, you do need to set up OS X to do it though.
  • chrnochime - Friday, August 17, 2012 - link

    Show us one MAJOR retailer that uses the mini in a kiosk or PoS. Does bb&b use it? Does Crate and Barrel use it? Unless you can find one, your incessant praise of the mini is moot. And Lenovo never intended this to be used as a HTPC, so it doesn't mean squat when mini wins when used as such.

    And you pointing out you used to use PC doesn't mean you aren't an apple fanboy now anyway. That's like saying "Well I used to support the rep. now I support the Dem., so I am DEFINITELY not a dem. fanboy now". Nice argument there lolol
  • Kevin G - Saturday, August 18, 2012 - link

    I cannot recall where but I have seen a Mac Mini used in a kiosk display before. It was some time ago using either late G4 model or early Intel Core Duo Mac Mini. Since it was just running a looping video I couldn't determine if it was running OS X or Winodws behind the scene. (If it was an old G4 model it had to have been OS X). They are rare but certainly out there.

    Though ultimately I see both of these systems being rather poor candidates for kiosk usage. A system like the Logic Supply LGX AG150 being the superior choice. Nothing with regards to technical specs but rather cooling. Both the Mac Mini and Lenovo M92 have fans and likely need more air circulation than a cramped kiosk can provide.

    If you want a SMF for home or generic office use, then comparing the Lenovo M92 to the Mac Mini is a valid comparison with regards to price and features. If the use case differences is just OS X I don't see merit of exclusion since that can easily be changed. Make a note regarding the added price of a Windows and other differences as part of diligent reporting. For some of the tests, you wouldn't even need to install Windows as there are a few applications OS X native binaries. Simply including the Mac Mini would be another good point of comparison for the article.
  • martyrant - Friday, August 17, 2012 - link

    This sounds like a child who has been chastised, realized he was an a complete idiot, and is trying to justify his idiocy as playing it off as a joke. Kudos to you, macuser, for living up to your cult's moronic stereotypes and furthering my bias against said cults.

    My guess is that you have no idea even how to open up a computer, either, so it wouldn't occur to you that Mac Minis, compared to a custom built mini-ITX system, is a complete and total turd at 2-3x the cost of a custom rig.
  • macuser2134 - Friday, August 17, 2012 - link

    Jesus. Thought I had been pretty mean there to the reviewer. But reading it back seems like nothing compared to what that person ended up saying back to me.

    To be fair to Dustin, I honestly hadn't realized Leveno aims this product only at business and enterprise users. But its clearly written in the first part of his review and I totally skipped over reading all of that. I was not apologising for this anywhere earlier but should have been. This Kiosk thing - its a complete misunderstanding on my part. This thing is for locked-down business systems. My reference talking about other Anandtech reviews usually comparing to the Mini - that was all reviews of HTPC boxes. So my bad there too.

    Hadn't understood the implications but thanks to many of these other enterprise people commenting here I am a little better informed now. I can only change my view since reading all that because its really true that Mac Mini doesn't necessarily tick all of those "enterprise feature" boxes. They are considerations which sometimes simply don't exist in the consumer market. Meaning individuals and home users like me.

    Likewise on the other side of the coin I have learned that features like the HD2500 graphics performance don't really seem to be as critical or important in the enterprise market either. So for example me pointing out that the Mini might be better because it has a Discrete graphics option (which admittedly is a bit more expensive). But its just not a fair enough comparison for someone like me to be making. Because I am someone who isn't providing enterprise solutions to business customers.

    Another thing: People here have been quoting hard prices to this unit. Or making some comparisons on some exact dollar figure. But over on Andrew Cunningham's review page many people have stated that the actual cost of the device can vary considerably. It may be a lot cheaper or more expensive depending upon which channels its being obtained through. Just thought I'd mention that too.
  • Roland00Address - Friday, August 17, 2012 - link

    Whenever you see a Lenovo with the word Idea you know that it is made for consumers, IdeaPad, IdeaCentre, etc

    If a Lenovo product has the word Think in its name it is made for businesses or professionals. ThinkPad, ThinkCentre, ThinkServer, ThinkStation, ThinkVantage, etc.
  • snajk138 - Saturday, August 18, 2012 - link

    Except for the Thinkpad Edge series.
  • Penti - Friday, August 17, 2012 - link

    Two DP's would have been nice. To bad they only ship DP to SL-DVI adapters with it, but I guess this machine fits nicely with a 24" 1920x1200 TFT or newer 27" plus screen with DP at a desk. The latter won't really be possible with a 700 dollar laptop with only HDMI out. (Even if it supports it there aren't a lot of monitors out supporting 3GHz 1.4a HDMI.)

    This should be a light manageable machine for the enterprise though. People seem to forget that you won't get Q77 or Intel vPro in 350 dollar clients. Or 500 dollar laptops. Here it's a question about not having to run around and service the machines physically and do most of the administration remotely or automated. If you need to reimage a machine or change any settings you don't need to run to the physical machine or get anyone to start the process, if it isn't configured to boot to the network installation of your Windows image you can configure it remotely. Machines you can simply manage by all the tools there is, remotely without wasting time, and you don't need to leave them on at night to receive updates if you choose to wake them up when needed and so on.

    It's not expensive in this class, it's just less flexible then some other options.
  • waldojim42 - Saturday, August 18, 2012 - link

    Wait a second. For LESS than the price of the Lenovo, a business could pick up an equally well built device from Apple. Enterprise level businesses run site licenses for Windows anyway, this would be no big deal. Install Windows to one Mini, clone drive, and copy away... Why mess with an over-priced, under-performing Lenovo?

    For the rest of us, the home users looking for quality machines, why wouldn't I get a Mac Mini? I can install Windows just as quickly at home, and get a nicer looking device, with the option of a real video card. It seems like you are putting a LOT of effort trying to distance the products, when they are direct competitors, and need to be treated as such.
  • cryogenic666 - Thursday, August 23, 2012 - link

    Actually, if you compare them, the Mac Mini is only $50 cheaper after you upgrade to 4GB RAM. The three year on-site support from Lenovo is worth WAY more than $50. I can assure you that any IT person worth his salt is going to take that next-business-day support any day of the week. Also, I'd venture a guess that the Mini does use a bit more power than the M92p (though that's really only a concern to the bean counters that want to save money on power).

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