Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8086 (VZA26UK)

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Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8086 (VZA26UK)

Just because ThinkCentre S50 desktops are smaller than traditional desktops, don't worry about any compromise in performance. With select models featu...

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Review of "Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8086 (VZA26UK)"

published 19/01/2005 | RichardSlater
Member since : 14/07/2003
Reviews : 7
Members who trust : 5
About me :
Super
Pro Slimline, Well Featured, Looks Good
Cons No Firewire, Not thought out properly
very helpful
Speed
Reliability
Memory / capacity
Range of Extra Features
Design

"ThinkCentre... Think Smarter"

ThinkCentre... Think Smarter

IBM’s range of workstations have always been backed up with a long history, after all shouldn’t IBM be the experts, they did “invent” the PC after all! IBM’s ThinkCentre range represents IBM’s mid-range business workstations, enough power and multimedia capabilities to run the top end office and productivity, whilst keeping costs down to make the systems as affordable as possible. A hidden but equally important part of the ThinkCentres resides inside the computer and installed on the hard drives, these discrete design decisions and software packages that are shipped with the machines. I have recently installed 86 IBM ThinkCentre S50’s at work; this review is my attempt to distil my experiences into words.

WHATS IN THE BOX?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When the box arrives at your door, or in my case three pallets full of them, you are presented with a small, but heavy box. Most of the box is taken up with packaging, all cardboard, so nicely recyclable. In amongst the packaging you will find everything you would expect to find with the average computer, PS2 Keyboard, USB Mouse, Manual, desk stand, and Software CD.

The system unit itself is small only 310mm by 350mm by 75 mm but very heavy as the machine is built primarily from steal. On the front there is a floppy drive, optical drive, headphone and microphone sockets, two USB ports, a power switch, power indicator LED and a hard drive activity indicator. On the back there are six additional USB ports, two serial ports, a parallel port, speaker socket, audio out socket, network port and keyboard and mouse connectors.

Some models also have two keys on the back that can be used to lock or unlock the case, preventing little fingers from taking a look at the innards of the sparkly new computer that has been set in front of them. Unfortunately these keys seem to be unique to each computer, on top of this the keys are un-numbered making it near on impossible to actually lock the cases for fear of loosing the keys or taking a few days just to find the right key in a large key ring.

The placement of the USB ports would be my next gripe, the ports on the front are jammed right between the power button and the microphone socket, making it near on impossible to plug a moderately sized USB key in without a extension lead. The back of the computer is hardly spacious, hundreds of leads flowing out of the back of makes it very hard to plug any additional equipment in without unplugging the surrounding devices.

One notable omission to the hardware inventory is the FireWire port it seems that IBM has deemed that FireWire is not required for business users. However there are two PCI slots that could be used to add FireWire expansion slots, or indeed any other expansion card.

WHATS IN THE BOX IN THE BOX
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Inside the computer is where your eyes really start to pop out, the boffins at IBM had a field day with this machine, the whole thing is virtually screw-less the case can be popped open by pressing two catches on either side of the case popping open much like the bonnet of a car. Unlike most computers you won’t find clumsy IDE cables, or trailing power cables; the whole system has been carefully designed so that all the cables are the exact length to be routed neatly round the edge of the case to their destination, the IDE cables themselves are quick release ribbon cables similar to those you find in some laptops, needless to say that all the components can be removed with a flick of a switch or the lifting of a leaver. To be quite frank, the contents of the IBM ThinkCentre are nothing short of an engineers dream.

WHATS ON THE BOX
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The system itself comes pre-loaded with Windows XP Professional, along with a raft of other interesting bits of software. However the real hidden power of the machine is on the CD’s that came with the system. You will find the latest versions of IBM Rescue and Restore and IBM Director, these two pieces of software will save hours of maintenance.

Rescue and Restore is IBM’s version of Norton Ghost, first and for most it is intended to create a backup image of your primary partition onto your hard drive. It does this from windows while the computer is running, simply by installing the Rescue and Restore package. Restoring is little more complex than pressing and holding enter when the computer is starting up, this will then boot into a “options menu” allowing you to select Rescue and Restore as one of your boot options, you can then choose to restore either the files or the whole partition.

Rescue and Restore does not stop there, if you are a network manager desperate to push out a image to all of your clients, you can quite simply create an image of one client, upload it to a server and then instead of choosing to restore the partition from the disk you download the image from the server and restore that instead. There are plenty of options to play around with.

Director is IBM’s remote management system, its primary role is to sit on each individual workstation, and monitor the system status, it is able to inform you if the hard drive starts to develop errors, or if one of the system fans stops operating, and a lot more beside. All of this data can be monitored from the Director Agent which you can install on one computer to manage a whole enterprise, or configure each workstation to send an e-mail when a problem occurs.

Of the pre-installed packages, probably the most useful is IBM Update Connector; this is IBM’s system firmware upgrade engine. Essentially it operates in much the same way as Windows Update does with SUS, however Update Connector will download and upgrade your BIOS across your enterprise at the click of a button.

SUMMARY
~~~~~~~~
Aside from the exclusion of FireWire in the box and the cramped position of the USB ports, the ThinkCentre range provides the average IT department in the average Small to Medium size business a standard platform. The software provided gives the administrator the control to effectively manage updates and monitoring without all the leg work.

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Comments on this review

  • richiepett published 16/07/2009
    A very informative and well written review. An update would be nice now as this is a fairly old review.
  • Deru published 30/01/2005
    Very informative review.
  • purplelynne published 29/01/2005
    Sounds great, a very interesting and informative review. Lynne x
  • Did you find this review interesting? Do you have any questions? Sign into your Ciao account to leave the author a comment. Log in

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Product Information : Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8086 (VZA26UK)

Manufacturer's product description

Just because ThinkCentre S50 desktops are smaller than traditional desktops, don't worry about any compromise in performance. With select models featuring Intel Pentium 4 Processors with Hyper-Threading Technology and support for fast dual channel memory, these small machines help deliver large-scale productivity. Almost every component in the ThinkCentre S50 is toolless, from the flip-up optical drive and innovative hard disk drive cradle to the PCI slots. Even the system board is toolless. Take control of your company's deployments with models that help stabilize IT operations.

Product Details

Product Description: Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8086 - P4 3 GHz - 512 MB - 80 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8086 - Celeron D 335 2.8 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8087 - P4 540 3.2 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 2.8 GHz - 512 MB - 80 GB, Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 3.2 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8086 - P4 550 3.4 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron 2 GHz - 128 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron 2.6 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8184 - P4 2.8 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8184 - P4 3.2 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, Lenovo ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron D 325 2.53 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron 2 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron D 330 2.66 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron 2.2 GHz - 128 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron D 335 2.8 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron 2.5 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron 2.4 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8417 - Celeron D 325 2.53 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8184 - P4 3 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8184 - P4 2.66 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8184 - P4 2.8 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8184 - P4 3.2 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 2.8 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 3 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 3.2 GHz - 512 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 3 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 2.8 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 3.2 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 3 GHz - 512 MB - 80 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 2.53 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 2.66 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - Celeron 2 GHz - 128 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 3.06 GHz - 256 MB - 40 GB, IBM ThinkCentre S50 8183 - P4 3 GHz - 1

Type: PC

Form Factor: Ultra small form factor, Small form factor

Localisation: English / United Kingdom, German / Germany, English / Greece, French / France, France, Portuguese / Portugal, Spanish / Spain, French / Belgium, English / United Kingdom, Ireland, Italian / Italy, English / Europe, English / Poland, French / Switzerland, English / Portugal, English / United States, German / Switzerland, Portugal, English

Processor: 1 x Intel Pentium 4 3 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron D 335 / 2.8 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 540 / 3.2 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 550 / 3.4 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron 2 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron 2.6 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron D 325 / 2.53 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron D 330 / 2.66 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron 2.2 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron 2.5 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron 2.4 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 2.66 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 2.53 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 3.06 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 2.6 GHz, 1 x Intel Celeron 3 GHz, 1 x Intel Pentium 4 3.4 GHz, Intel, 1 x Intel Celeron D 340 / 2.93 GHz

Processor Socket: Socket 478

Cache Memory: 1 MB L2 Cache, 256 KB L2 Cache, 128 KB L2 Cache, 512 KB L2 Cache, L2 Cache

Cache Per Processor: 1 MB, 256 KB, 128 KB, 512 KB

RAM: 512 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - 333 MHz - PC2700, 256 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - 333 MHz - PC2700, 512 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - 400 MHz - PC3200, 512 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - non-ECC - 400 MHz - PC3200, 128 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - 333 MHz - PC2700, 256 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - non-ECC - 333 MHz - PC2700, 256 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - 400 MHz - PC3200, 256 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM, 128 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM, 1 GB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM, 512 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM, 512 MB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - non-ECC - 333 MHz - PC2700, 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - 400 MHz - PC3200, 1 GB (installed) / 2 GB (max) - DDR SDRAM - non-ECC - 400 MHz - PC3200

Storage Controller: SATA ( SATA 1.5Gb/s ) ; IDE ( ATA-100 ), IDE ( ATA-100 )

Hard Drive: 1 x 80 GB - ATA-100, 1 x 40 GB - ATA-100, 1 x 80 GB - SATA 1.5Gb/s, 40 GB - ATA-100

Optical Storage: DVD-ROM, CD-ROM, CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo, CD-RW

Graphics Controller: Intel Extreme Graphics 2 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 2.0, Intel Extreme Graphics 2 Shared Video Memory (UMA), AGP - Intel Extreme Graphics 2 Shared Video Memory (UMA), Intel Extreme Graphics 2

Audio Output: Integrated - stereo, Integrated

Networking: GigE, 10Mb LAN, 100Mb LAN

Power: AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz ), AC 120/230 V

OS Provided: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, IBM PC DOS

Dimensions (WxDxH): 27.6 cm x 27 cm x 8.9 cm, 27.6 cm x 27.3 cm x 8.9 cm, 30.9 cm x 35.9 cm x 8.5 cm

Weight: 6.4 kg, 8.3 kg, 9.1 kg, 8.1 kg, 6 kg

Environmental Standards: ENERGY STAR Qualified

Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years warranty, 3 years warranty - on-site

Processor Main Features: Hyper-Threading Technology

Floppy Drive: 3.5" 1.44 MB floppy

Manufacturer Selling Program: Global Models Plus, TopSeller

Communications: Fax / modem - 56 Kbps

Video Memory: DDR SDRAM

General

MPN: VZA26UK, VZAA8UK, VZB36UK, 8183WPV, VY1GNGE, VZA42UK, PZBA1UK, PZBA6UK, 818436G, VY332GK, VY2A8UK, PZBA5UK, VY2A9UK, PZBA2UK, VY2AAUK, PZBA5FR, PZBA2FR, PZBA1FR, PZBA6FR, PZBA4FR, VY2A9FR, VY2A8FR, PZBA4UK, PW325UK, PW279UK, PW325FR, PW280PO, PW297FR, PW280SP, PW280BF, PW280UK, VY332UK, PZA3FUK, PZAD7UK, PZA3GFR, PZA43FR, VY1GNBF, PZABBUK, PZA3GUK, VY1DSUK, 8183VE8, PZA43SP, PZA35UK, VY1DTUK, PZA74GE, PZA48GE, PZA7DUK, PZA3FGE, PZA74UK, PZA7CUK, VY1GNIT, PZA45UK, PZA48UK, PZA4JUK, PZA55UK, PZA3JUK, PZA7DGE, PZA21UK, PZAAAUK, PZA73UK, PZAD7EU, PZA46UK, VY1GNPD, PZAD7IT, VY1DTFR, PZAD7SF, PZA21FR, PZA74FR, PZAB8FR, PZA7DFR, VY1DSFR, PZA73FR, PZAD7SA, 8183W9Q, PZA43PT, PZA43IT, PZA7AUK, 8183VFU, 8183V6H, PZADCUK, PZAB8UK, VY1GNUK, VY1GNFR, PZA3JGE, PZA46FR, PZA35FR, PZA7CFR, PZABBFR, 8183Y5M, PZA73GE, 8183W89, PZAD7SG, PZA45FR, PZA4GFR, PZA4JFR, PZA3JFR, PZADCFR, PZAD7FR, PZA43GE, PZA3GGE, 8183WAN, 8183V3X, VY1GNUS, VY1GNSP, 8183Y4G, PZA43UK, PZA2BFR, PZA55FR, PZA3FFR, PZA7AFR, PZA4GUK, PZA2BUK, PZA48FR, 8086WAF, 8184KG7, VZA4AFR, VZAA5FR, VZA37FR, VZAA6FR, VZA21FR, 8183CTO, VZA4AUK, VZAA5UK, VZA36UK, VY332PO, 8183VBZ, VZAALUK, VZA21UK, 8183D7U, VZA37GE

Type: PC

Recommended Use: Small business, corporate business

Product Form Factor: Ultra small form factor, Small form factor

Built-in Devices: Speaker

Colour: Business black, Stealth black

Localisation: English / United Kingdom, German / Germany, English / Greece, French / France, France, Portuguese / Portugal, Spanish / Spain, French / Belgium, English / United Kingdom, Ireland, Italian / Italy, English / Europe, English / Poland, French / Switzerland, English / Portugal, English / United States, German / Switzerland, Portugal, English

Processor / Chipset

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3 GHz, Intel Celeron D 335 / 2.8 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 540 / 3.2 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 3.2 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 550 / 3.4 GHz, Intel Celeron 2 GHz, Intel Celeron 2.6 GHz, Intel Celeron D 325 / 2.53 GHz, Intel Celeron D 330 / 2.66 GHz, Intel Celeron 2.2 GHz, Intel Celeron 2.5 GHz, Intel Celeron 2.4 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 2.66 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 2.53 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 3.06 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 2.6 GHz, Intel Celeron 3 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 3.4 GHz, Intel, Intel Celeron D 340 / 2.93 GHz

CPU Qty: 1

Max CPU Qty: 1

CPU Socket: Socket 478

Chipset Type: Intel 865GV, Intel 865G

Front Side Bus: 800 MHz, 533 MHz, 400 MHz, 533 GHz

Processor Main Features: Hyper-Threading Technology

CPU Upgradability: Upgradeable

Cache Memory

Installed Size: L2 Cache - 1 MB, L2 Cache - 256 KB, L2 Cache - 128 KB, L2 Cache - 512 KB, L2 Cache

Cache Per Processor: 1 MB, 256 KB, 128 KB, 512 KB

RAM

Installed Size: 512 MB / 2 GB (max), 256 MB / 2 GB (max), 128 MB / 2 GB (max), 1 GB / 2 GB (max), 2 GB (max)

Technology: DDR SDRAM, DDR SDRAM - non-ECC

Memory Speed: 333 MHz, 400 MHz

Memory Specification Compliance: PC2700, PC3200

Form Factor: DIMM 184-PIN

Features: Unbuffered, dual channel memory architecture

Hard Drive

Type: HDD

Capacity: 1 x 80 GB, 1 x 40 GB, 40 GB

Interface Type: ATA-100, SATA 1.5Gb/s

Spindle Speed: 7200 rpm

Features: Vibration dampening

Storage Controller

Type: 1 x SATA - integrated, 1 x IDE - integrated

Controller Interface Type: SATA 1.5Gb/s, ATA-100

Channel Qty: 1, 2

Storage Controller (2nd)

Type: 1 x IDE - integrated

Controller Interface Type: ATA-100

Channel Qty: 2, 1

Optical Storage

Type: DVD-ROM - IDE, CD-ROM - IDE, CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo - IDE, CD-RW - IDE

Read Speed: 8x, 24x, 48x (CD) / 16x (DVD), 48x, 16x

Write Speed: 48x

CD / DVD Rewrite Speed: 32x

Monitor

Monitor Type: None

Graphics Controller

Type: Integrated

Graphics Processor: Intel Extreme Graphics 2 Dynamic Video Memory Technology 2.0, Intel Extreme Graphics 2 Shared Video Memory (UMA), Intel Extreme Graphics 2

Video Interfaces: VGA

Max Allocated RAM Size: 64 MB

Interface Type: AGP

Video Memory: DDR SDRAM

Audio Output

Type: Integrated

Sound Output Mode: Stereo

Compliant Standards: AC '97, SoundMAX Cadenza

Input Device

Type: Mouse, keyboard

Networking

Type: Integrated

Interface (Bus) Type: PCI

Data Link Protocol: Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet

Remote Management Protocol: DMI 2.0

Features: Wake on LAN (WoL), ACPI support

Ethernet Controller: Intel PRO/100 VE

Expansion / Connectivity

Bays: 1 (total) / 0 (free) x external 5.25" x 1/6H (Slim Line) ¦ 1 (total) / 0 (free) x internal 3.5" x 1/3H

Slots: 1 (total) / 1 (free) x PCI - half-length, full-height ¦ 1 (total) / 0 (free) x CPU ¦ 2 DIMM 184-pin

Interfaces: 1 x VGA ¦ 6 x USB 2.0 ¦ 1 x serial ¦ 1 x parallel ¦ 1 x PS/2 keyboard ¦ 1 x PS/2 mouse ¦ 1 x LAN (Gigabit Ethernet) ¦ 1 x audio line-in ¦ 1 x audio line-out ¦ 1 x microphone ¦ 1 x headphones

Miscellaneous

Features: Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately), administrator password, power-on password, boot without keyboard or mouse, diskette I/O control, hard drive I/O control, parallel port I/O control, serial port I/O control, boot sequence control

Compliant Standards: ACPI 2.0b, APM 1.2, FCC Class B certified, UL, TUV GS, ISO 9241-3, VCCI Class B ITE, GOST, BSMI CNS 13438 Class B, cUL, NOM, SABS, SASO, CB, CCC, FCC Part 15, IRAM

Included Accessories: Vertical stand

Manufacturer Selling Program: Global Models Plus, TopSeller

Power

Device Type: Power supply

Nominal Voltage: AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz ), AC 120/230 V

Power Provided: 200 Watt

Operating System / Software

OS Provided: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, IBM PC DOS

OS Certified: Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional

Software: Drivers & Utilities, PC Doctor, ThinkVantage Rapid Restore Ultra, IBM Access Support, Access IBM

Environmental Standards

ENERGY STAR Qualified: Yes

Manufacturer Warranty

Service & Support: 3 years warranty

Service & Support Details: Limited warranty - 3 years, Limited warranty - parts and labour - 3 years - on-site, Limited warranty - parts and labour - 3 years - carry-in, Limited warranty - parts and labour - 3 years, Limited warranty - 3 years - on-site, Limited warranty - 3 years - carry-in, Limited warranty - parts and labour - 3 years - on-site - response time: 1 day, Limited warranty - 3 years - shipment

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 27.6 cm, 30.9 cm

Depth: 27 cm, 27.3 cm, 35.9 cm

Height: 8.9 cm, 8.5 cm

Weight: 6.4 kg, 8.3 kg, 9.1 kg, 8.1 kg, 6 kg

Environmental Parameters

Min Operating Temperature: 10 °C

Max Operating Temperature: 35 °C

Humidity Range Operating: 8 - 80%

Sound Emission: 30 dBA, 34 dBA, 31 dBA, 39 dB

Mouse

Technology: Optical

Features: Scroll

Interface: USB

Floppy Drive

Type: 3.5" 1.44 MB floppy

Keyboard

Keyboard Name: Preferred Pro Full-size

Interface: PS/2

Telecom

Modem: Fax / Modem

Max Transfer Rate: 56 Kbps

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Listed on Ciao since: 03/10/2005