Lenovo Legion C730 Dice evaluation

Lenovo Legion C730 Cube review

“The C730 is a succesful gaming system that’s finally restricted by its personal graphics card.”

1080p gaming is easy crusing

Minimalist aesthetics with strong construct

Abundance of ports

Inside parts are simple to entry and improve

Moveable design aided by high deal with

Restricted storage capability

Massive footprint for compact desktop

No USB-C or Thunderbolt three

Right here’s a query you’ve most likely by no means requested your self: What in case your gaming PC appeared much less like a standard laptop and extra like a beer cooler? Lenovo’s newest compact gaming PC, the Legion C730 Dice, is as near that as we might ever see.

The C730 Dice not solely appears to be like the half, nevertheless it additionally retains its internals cooled ships with its personal six-pack within the type of Intel’s hexa-core processor. Alongside that succesful processor, you get the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 for graphics — in addition to a singular carry deal with for simple transportation.

Beginning at $1,300, the C730 Dice represents Lenovo’s distinctive method on balancing efficiency, worth, and portability, however is that this Coleman-inspired gaming PC the best software to your subsequent gaming battle?

Not your father’s cooler

In contrast to its rivals, Lenovo took a extra muted method in designing the Legion C730, and that’s not essentially a foul factor. Until you reside, breathe, and play PC video games 24-7, the C730 will slot in regardless of the place you set it up in your house. It’s minimalist matte black end — which Lenovo calls iron grey — helps it transition between a piece horse in your house workplace, a house theater PC in your lounge, and a strong VR-capable gaming rig.

Opponents within the class, just like the ASUS ROG Huracan and MSI Trident three, include extra aggressive, angular designs and pink accents that do little to hide their gaming roots. Although these desktops might instantly catch your eye, they’ll begin to really feel misplaced when utilized in a extra grown up residence workplace house.

However the C730’s extra grown-up vibes include its personal prices — the system isn’t essentially the most compact. Whereas rival programs occupy as little desk actual property as attainable — ASUS’s ROG Huracan G21 has a smaller footprint at 5.11 x 14.66 x 14.41 — Lenovo designed the C730 round portability. At 9.09 x 13.07 x 9.53, the C730 takes up extra desk actual property, however the carry deal with makes it simpler to maneuver.

To maximise using out there house, the C730 comes densely packed, contributing to the unit’s heft. Weighing simply shy of 20 kilos, the C730 is inside vary of different compact gaming desktops.

Like different gaming desktops, you received’t discover any scarcity of ports.

At that weight, it’s not one thing you’ll wish to carry in all places, but when it’s worthwhile to transfer it, the highest carry deal with helps. And, in case you’re involved that lengthy gaming periods can result in a sedentary life-style, simply take a break and carry and carry the C730 between rooms for some immediate energy coaching.

The skin surfaces are principally constructed of a sturdy plastic, however there’s an inside steel cage to maintain issues strengthened. The 2 detachable plastic aspect panels are additionally lined with steel sheets.

Up high, you’ll discover a carry deal with and a transparent plastic window helps you to shortly establish the C730’s gaming heritage — when the unit is powered on, full RGB lighting illuminates the highest of the unit, and the clear window provides you a peak on the graphics card — our evaluation unit is powered by Nvidia’s GPU and reveals off the GeForce GTX branding. RGB lighting, CPU overclocking, and guarantee help are all dealt with by way of the bundled Lenovo Vantage app.

The lacking hyperlink

Like different compact gaming desktops, you received’t discover any scarcity of ports, that are distributed between the entrance and the rear, and there’s a detachable rubber strip on the again for cable administration. In complete, you’ll discover eight USB ports (two USB three.zero, 4 USB three.1, and two USB 2.zero), an Ethernet connector, headphone jack, mic enter, audio output, DVI port, three DisplayPort connectors, and single HDMI port. Dolby Atmos can also be supported, for an immersive audio expertise.

Lenovo Legion C730 Cube reviewChuong Nguyen/Digital Developments

Whereas there are ample USB ports, the C730 doesn’t include USB-C or Thunderbolt three help. Together with these ports would have made the rig extra future-proof and permit customers to attach an exterior GPU. Each MSI and ASUS included a USB-C port on their compact gaming desktops, permitting avid gamers to attach newer drives or displays to their programs.

Wi-fi connectivity is supported by 802.11ac Wi-Fi with 2×2 MIMO and Bluetooth four.2.

The one factor that connects the C730 to your private home outlet is a medium size energy cable.

All configurations of the C730 additionally ship with a wired keyboard and optical mouse, although you devoted avid gamers might wish to improve to a mechanical keyboard. The USB keyboard is responsive, however doesn’t include any backlighting results. The keys are accountable, have good journey, and key caps include a backside curve just like laptop computer keyboards on Lenovo’s IdeaPad and ThinkPad traces.

Our largest criticism with the keyboard is that Lenovo made it a bit extra compact by squeezing within the conventional two-row, three-column space that’s residence to the Insert, Web page Up, Web page Down, Residence, Finish, and Delete keys right into a three-row, two-column structure. This rearrangement additionally resulted in shifting the arrow keys over to the left, with the left arrow now positioned just under the best Shift key. Whereas the configuration isn’t detrimental to the touch-typing or gaming expertise, it took us a while to regulate to the squeezed structure.

Compartmentalized for cooling

The centrally positioned and vertically mounted motherboard inside helps to divide the C730 into two compartments, each of that are simply accessible through detachable aspect doorways. One panel may be shortly eliminated through a latch discovered on the rear, which supplies entry to essentially the most heat-generating parts, just like the RAM, processor, and graphics card. Fortuitously, neither the RAM or GPU are soldered on, so each are upgradeable sooner or later. All C730 configurations ship with a single 16GB RAM module, however customers can add as much as three extra modules for a complete of 64GB.

Lenovo Legion C730 Cube reviewChuong Nguyen/Digital Developments

There are additionally three followers on this compartment which are used for lively cooling. One fan is discovered on the GPU, a second positioned on the motherboard, and a 3rd mounted on the rear to drag air from the entrance of the unit by way of vents with round bullet-hole cutouts. Normally, we didn’t discover warmth to be a difficulty, even throughout longer gaming periods. Fan noise was very refined, and the low-pitched whirl of the fan blades wasn’t distracting.

On the other aspect is a second panel that’s secured by two Phillips screws. Right here, you’ll discover the drive bay for the HDD together with the internally mounted energy provide. Fortuitously, in contrast to the Huracan G21, you received’t be saddled with exterior energy bricks; the one factor that connects the C730 to your private home outlet is a medium size energy cable.

Upgrading the exhausting drive or including a further drive is simple, and Lenovo supplies useful movies so that you can navigate the C730’s internals. All of the parts are effectively organized, with cables tied collectively to maintain a tidy look.

Overclockable for efficiency

There are solely two configuration choices for the C730. The C730 isn’t constructed for high-end avid gamers who demand customizations at each step, and Lenovo is focusing on avid gamers who want a fast entry into discrete graphics or VR capabilities with out having to take a position the trouble into constructing their very own rigs.

All configurations include a six-core, Intel’s Eighth-Technology processor and discrete graphics. The entry-level $1,300 choice comes with AMD RX570 graphics and an ordinary Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, whereas our upgraded evaluation unit comes with an overclockable Intel Core i7-8700Ok silicon and Nvidia GeForce RTX 1060 graphics with 6GB video RAM for $1,519. Regardless that Intel’s Ninth-Technology processors are incoming, this Eighth-gen CPU remains to be a robust piece of silicon that delivers ample efficiency.

The overclockable processor comes with a base velocity of three.70GHz that may go as much as four.70GHz with Turbo Enhance. Regardless of coming with the identical overclockable processor as this 12 months’s Falcon Northwest Tiki, the C730’s processing efficiency out of the field is extra just like the bottom Core i7-7800 processor. In our Geekbench check, the C730 generated a single-core rating of 5,331 — in comparison with the 6,228 rating on the Falcon — and its multi-score of 21,830 falls wanting the Falcon’s 28,413 mark. Regardless that the C730 couldn’t fairly sustain with the Falcon, its single-core and multi-core scores had been higher than the Velocity Micro M60, which is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 1800X processor.

Given the high-end processors, the variations between benchmarks from the C730, Falcon, and Velocity Micro might not even be perceptible in real-world utilization. When you’re looking to buy the C730 primarily as a normal computing machine for productiveness duties, these variations could also be extra related. Even then, when working in a number of browsers with a number of opened tabs or modifying photographs, the C730 stored up effectively, and we didn’t discover any lags.

And proving that benchmarks might not paint a full image of what a PC is succesful, the C730 was in a position to end our 4K video encoding check utilizing Handbrake in two minutes and three seconds. That’s near a full minute sooner than the time that it took the Falcon to carry out the identical job. In our testing, the video file was positioned on and encoded to the principle SSD, the system’s sooner of the 2 preinstalled drives.

Twin drives

To maintain prices down, the C730 ships with two drives. There’s a sooner SK Hynbix M.2 solid-state drive that comes with restricted 128GB storage and a slower 7200RPM Seagate exhausting drive with a 1TB capability. Customers will wish to set up functions on the SSD and retailer bigger information on the HDD. Critical avid gamers will possible wish to improve the HDD to a secondary SSD.

In our CrystalDisk Mark check, speeds of each drives had been slower than competing programs. Evaluating the 128GB SSD on the C730 to the Falcon’s 2TB SSD, the latter system posted sooner learn speeds and write speeds. The C730 averaged 1,607 MB/s (megabytes per second) on the sequential learn checks and a gradual 363 MB/s on the sequential write checks, in comparison with the Falcon’s scores of two,687 and 1,504 scores, respectively.

And as anticipated with exhausting drives, even ones with sooner 7200RPMs, you’ll discover a lot slower sequential learn and write speeds. The secondary drive on the C730 posted common sequential learn and write scores round 200 MB/s.

Gaming Prepared, VR-capable

Our evaluation unit ships with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060, and in contrast to competing programs, there isn’t an choice to decide on an upgraded configuration with higher graphics. The Asus Huracan G21 tops out with an a GTX 1080 GPU, whereas the Falcon Northwest Tiki goes even additional with 1080 Ti graphics. The bottom C730 ships with an AMD RX 570 discrete graphics card.

Normally, except you’re pushing intensive video games with excessive graphics settings, the GTX 1060 chipset does a very good job maintaining. Provided that Oculus requires a minimal of GTX 960 graphics or higher for digital actuality experiences with Rift, efficiency of the C730 is mostly nice.

We benchmarked the C730 utilizing VRMark’s suite of checks, and the unit’s scores sit between the Oculus required minimal and a premium high-end PC. The C730’s rating of 6,628 on the Orange Room check compares favorably in opposition to the Oculus minimal of three,716, however nonetheless falls wanting the 10,390 excessive from premium high-end programs. Equally, the C730’s Cyan Room rating of three,566 sits between the two,152 requirement on the baseline and eight,548 on the excessive finish.

Given the VR benchmark outcomes, gaming outcomes had been comparable, and although the GTX carried out effectively, its efficiency fell wanting extra highly effective models, just like the Falcon with its GTX 1080 Ti graphics, and the outcomes had been constant throughout our suite of sport checks.

At 4K decision, Civilization VI performed with 59 frames per second beneath medium settings, however efficiency shortly dropped to 38 FPS when Extremely settings had been enabled. The Falcon, as compared, had a much less dramatic drop, incomes scores of 106 and 81, respectively. With Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, scores generated by the C730 had been lower than half of what the Falcon is able to. The C730’s benchmarked efficiency with these video games had been in keeping with Dell’s Inspiron 5680, an entry-level gaming desktop with comparable GTX 1060 graphics.

The scenario improves for the C730 when enjoying the considerably older Battlefield 1. With older video games, the disparity between the C730’s 1060 GPU and the Falcon’s 1080 Ti GPU isn’t as pronounced at decrease 1080p resolutions. For instance, with medium settings, the C730 received 114 FPS (frames per second), in comparison with the Falcon’s 198. The disparity grows shortly once more when you play the sport with ultra-high particulars or enhance the decision. For example, beneath 1440p decision with ultra-high settings, the C730 scored 61 FPS, whereas the Falcon scored 143 FPS.

Lenovo Legion C730 Cube review

Lenovo Legion C730 Cube review

When in comparison with higher-end gaming PCs, just like the Falcon with its GTX 1080 Ti graphics, the C730’s GPU begins to point out its weak spot if you push for increased sport settings and enhance the decision. As we noticed on our Deus Ex and Civilization VI checks, at decrease settings on 1080p, the C730 was in a position to push near 60 FPS, however framerates shortly dropped past that. When the settings had been elevated to ultra-high at 1440p, the C730 received about 30 FPS. Players who wish to play with resolutions increased than 1080p and with sooner framerates will possible wish to discover a system with a greater graphics card.

The restrictions within the GTX 1060’s efficiency had been additionally obvious on Fortnite. Although the sport carried out effectively on the C730 with no noticeable lags or stutters, when the settings had been pushed to the sport’s ultra-high “Epic” mode, framerates shortly dropped. On our 4K show, the common framerate was simply shy of 30 FPS. In 1080p beneath the identical settings, the sport carried out a lot smoother, averaging 112 FPS. With 1440p, efficiency averaged 49 FPS. Whereas the sport was nonetheless greater than playable with 4K decision and wealthy particulars, these with discerning eyes who need sooner framerates at excessive resolutions will wish to discover a higher graphics choice than what ships on the C730.

Software program

Although there’s comparatively minimal bloatware on the gadget, one potential clarification for the C730’s weaker processing rating is that it comes preloaded with a trial version of McAfee, which consumes some system sources whereas it’s working within the background. Even in case you don’t thoughts the marginally diminished CPU efficiency, the software program shortly will get annoying when it nags you to subscribe.

Our Take

The Legion C730 is perhaps offered as a gaming PC first, nevertheless it’s received the appears to be like and the efficiency to again it up in case you want a well-rounded, all-purpose desktop in the course of the day. The high-end Eighth-gen, six-core, overclockable CPU provides it loads of efficiency to deal with productiveness and normal computing duties, and the GTX 1060 makes it an acceptable gaming rig in case you’re not pushing the boundaries with detail-rich video games at ultra-high resolutions.

Are there any options?

Within the compact gaming desktop house, there are a selection of choices from ASUS, MSI, Falcon, Alienware, and others, however none include the comfort of a carry deal with that provides the C730 a singular tackle desktop portability. Excessive-end avid gamers will possible wish to customized construct their very own rigs, however in case you’re extra of an informal fanatic, you may get away with considered one of these performance-packed rigs.

The ASUS Huracan G21, for instance, delivers extra gaming efficiency with its GTX 1080 graphics card, however you’ll be paying near $1,000 extra on Amazon at present. Considered one of our favorites at Digital Developments, the Falcon Northwest Tiki, equally comes with a near-$1,000 premium for its upgraded efficiency, and better finish configurations will price you much more.

The C730 strikes a very good stability between efficiency and worth for informal avid gamers who may have the high-end processor efficiency for computing duties, however who aren’t demanding top-specs within the graphics division.

How lengthy will it final?

Lenovo contains an ordinary one-year producer guarantee with the C730. That is pretty commonplace, nevertheless it additionally signifies that this Legion desktop doesn’t fairly have the shelf-life that the Falcon instructions with its three-year guarantee ought to something go incorrect. The half most probably to fail on many computer systems is the exhausting drive, and fortunately, on the C730, that’s user-serviceable and replaceable.

What actually holds the C730 again is the shortage of extra fashionable ports, like USB-C and Thunderbolt three, that will make the system extra futureproof. Including a Thunderbolt three port, for instance, would permit avid gamers to attach a more recent Nvidia RTX sequence graphics card to an eGPU rig. This would supply an immediate improve to the system, permitting it to develop ought to your gaming wants change in a 12 months or two. Although RTX playing cards are new, and ray tracing isn’t a confirmed know-how but within the gaming house, missing the Thunderbolt three means you’ll possible want to purchase a brand new system if you wish to enterprise into Nvidia’s imaginative and prescient for the way forward for gaming.

Must you purchase it?

The C730 is a succesful gaming system that’s finally restricted by its personal graphics card. Whereas the GTX 1060 does an admirable job, it begins falling quick if you’re pushing the bounds, and that’s a compromise that high-end avid gamers aren’t prepared to make. Entry-level avid gamers in search of a very good starter system who might not take care of the C730’s portability issue can discover comparable efficiency for nearly half the associated fee in Dell’s Inspiron 5680.

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