The PC is one of the best platforms to get into gaming, whether it’s casual or hardcore. There are thousands of awesome titles available, but to play them all you need a powerful machine. Most users, myself included, agree that building your own PC is the best way to get exactly what you want and/or need, however not everyone wants to go through the hassle of buying the parts and putting everything together. Step in a store-bought gaming PC. There are plenty on the market to choose from and one I’ve been checking out is the Lenovo ideacentre Y700 gaming desktop. Is it worth buying? Let’s find out.
- Intel i5 6400 Processor
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 4GB Graphics Card
- 8GB DDR4 RAM
- 120GB SSD
- 1TB 5400 rpm HDD
- Windows 10
Design & Case
The outer case of the Y700 gaming desktop features a design which is aimed directly at gamers and you can see that right away. It has a faux carbon fiber design which features red accents and red LED lighting on the front with Lenovo’s Y Series branding.
On the back you’ll find an array of ports including 6 USB ports, audio jacks, two DVI ports, and a single HDMI port. You also have the option to remove the side panel by pressing the button on the top rear of the case, this unlocks the side panel where you can access anything you need to.
The ports lie at the top of the case which is a bit of a mixed bag. While it’s great if you keep you PC on the floor (as I do) since you can access those ports easily. However if you keep the PC on the desk or use the disc drive often, it can be a bit annoying as the ports are either hard to reach or the cables get in the way of that disc drive. In all reality though, that isn’t a big deal. Overall, there really aren’t any big problems with the design of this PC.
While an Intel i5 and GTX 960 might not be the best and most powerful specs available today, they get the job done, and they get it done very very well. Generally when we do reviews here on iTechTriad, we tend to shy away from benchmarks and rather focus on real work performance. I used the Y700 primarily for web browsing on Google Chrome (5-15 tabs), video editing in Adobe Premiere, and gaming. All of this was done while connect to two 1080p monitors.
For general web browsing and writing and such, I experienced no slow-downs at all. I could easily work on both monitors with multiple Chrome tabs and programs like Word or Excel and things absolutely flew. This is thanks in part to the SSD, however I did notice that any files stored on the standard hard drive did slow things down a bit. Now of course this is expected as standard hard drives are slower than an SSD, but in the Y700 we’re looking at a 5400 rpm drive. Personally, I think this was the worst decision in the entire rig. The price difference between a 5400 rpm and 7200 rpm drive is negligible and for what this computer costs, the “upgrade” should really have been included.
Gaming on the other hand is a breeze. I can easily play games like Rocket League and Portal 2 with the settings turned up and I’ll still get solid frame rates. Most games played at around 40-65fps which, while not perfect, is easily playable. Of course turning down the settings a tad will improve things, but overall I was more than happy. Video editing was also a breeze as I was able to export 1080p video with no problems. A 7-8 minute video generally exported in about 4-5 minutes.
Mouse & Keyboard
In the box with the Y700 you’ll get a mouse and a keyboard. The mouse has 9 buttons that are programmable and a dedicated button for adjusting the DPI (up to 8200). The mouse itself is small and plastic and honestly I wasn’t in love with it, but it gets the job done until you can pick up something better. If you like it, then it’s solid, but personally it wasn’t for me.
There’s also a keyboard in the box which is, fine, sorta. The keys are mushy, the layout is a bit cramped, and some of the keys (particularly the “enter” and “\” keys) are misplaced just a bit.
Alternatively, Lenovo also has a mechanical keyboard in their Y Series that runs about $100 and is great. It features Red mechanical switches, backlighting, and several macro buttons along the side.
The great thing about any PC, whether you bought it or built it, is that you can upgrade it. With the Y700 you can easily access the interior and upgrade just about any part to your preference. You can swap out that SSD for a larger one, grab another HDD for more storage, or just about anything else you’d like to do.
At $999, the Lenovo ideacentre Y700 gaming desktop is a fine computer. Yes you can certainly build it for cheaper, but if you don’t want to spend the time to get everything configured or work on installing the OS or all that other complicated work, this is a great option to get into the PC gaming world.