Review: Lenovo Y710 Gaming Desktop Cube
If you ask anyone around the Crit Damage office about what I’m like when it comes to Personal Computing and gaming, you’ll probably get an answer that paints me as some sort of PC gaming elitist, tooting the horn of enthusiasm over the masses of console peasantry in the name of our glorious lord and savior, Gab3n. If I were to tell you that there was a lie in that statement, the lie would be that Crit Damage doesn’t actually have an office.
I just really love PC gaming, and I love my custom built rig that’s served me ever so faithfully over the years despite butchering her inside a thousand times over.
With that in mind, you can imagine how hard it must have been to get me excited enough to store my beloved desktop away for two whole weeks while I’m off playing with another beast like some sort of filthy tramp. When Nick received an email from a new PR group asking him if there was anyone interested in checking out Lenovo’s Y710 Gaming Desktop Cube, I jumped at the opportunity. I’d read previously on the hardware specifications that this little unit was packing, and the concept of so much raw computing power in such a small frame intrigued me.
So let’s get down to business. The Lenovo Y710 Gaming Desktop Cube comes in several, customizable variants which call be found on the official product page.
The unit I was sent was packing the highest tier of gaming hardware from the available models.
- Windows 10 Home Edition 64Bit pre-installed with various Lenovo software
- Intel Core i7-6700 6th Generation Processor, clocking in a stock frequency of 3.40Ghz with an 8MB Cache
- 16 Gigabytes of DDR4 UDIMM system memory clocking in at 2133MHz
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics processor, with 8,192 MB of GPU memory and a core clock of 1,607 MHz
- 2 Terabytes of storage space on a 7200RPM mechanical drive, delivering 6.0GB/s read and write speed
- 625w Power Supply
- Killer Wireless-AC Dualband WiFi card, with Bluetooth® 4.0
- Killer Doubleshot Pro LAN 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet network adaptor
All of this hardware fits into a stylish, easy to carry portable case enclosure that weighs 7.4 kilograms. Atop of the unit is a very sturdy handle that you can pick it up with and carry it wherever you need to go. The Lenovo Y710 Gaming Desktop Cube has been designed with portability in mind, so if you’re an old school PC gamer who reminisces of attending LAN parties with your mates, you’ll love how much of a breeze it is to pick this up and go.
The case itself is 393.3mm wide, 314.5mm deep, and 252.3mm high. I took some photos that I posted on Facebook with my cats next to it for a size comparison, which you can see here.
Did we mention the case was stylish too? It features a matte grey finish all over, with a series of metallic mesh grills coloured both red and steel grey on the top and front of the case, which not only give it that beastly look that gamers love, but services as a great method of delivering adequate airflow to the unit so it doesn’t overheat as you’re fragging and slaying baddies in whatever high end game you’re playing. The case also dons a series of carbon fibre-like panels that looks absolutely mint.
Let’s talk performance. When I agreed to take this unit on for review, I had one major objective in mind: will it multitask well?
I set out to put this bad boy through all sorts of testing, including an array of 3D performance benchmarks, playing at maximum visual settings, as well as streaming on Twitch. Much to my surprise, the Lenovo Y710 Gaming Desktop Cube handled everything I was able to throw at it, including the streaming which usually very intensive on system resources even at the lowest of encoding settings. If this unit was human, it wasn’t even breaking a sweat with Elite: Dangerous on full graphical settings with 2.0x supersampling, streaming via XSplit on slowest CPU encoding and only reaching around 60% CPU utilization while holding steady frames and not dropping a heart beat. I tried to give it more to do, and it still didn’t max out its available system resources at all.
Without streaming, games like Elite Dangerous, Overwatch, and even HITMAN (which I’ve had issues in the past with) barely broke 30% CPU ulitization with maximum visuals. My 144Hz monitor kept a solid framerate at all times, and it was just glorious.
I have to say it: it’s an absolute monster; a sadistic, death-defying monster.
Now I can appreciate my descriptive appraisal of this unit may not be enough for some people, so I’ve even thrown it through FutureMark 3DMark 11 on Extreme preset. You can view the full results here, but I’ll give a short summary of some of the scores it achieved.
The Y710 Cube touts itself on being a machine capable of handling anything you can throw at it, including Virtual Reality. Now I’m not on the whole VR bandwagon (it’s a fad, you know it’s true), so I wasn’t able to put that to the test, but this unit achieved a benchmark score of 9271, which is 4223 points higher than the minimum specification (5048) to run a VR-capable rig on both Occulus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets. It was also only 859 points short of achieving a 4K resolution rig score of 10130.
For something just under $2000 purchase cost, with pretty much everything you’d need to play videogames on – that’s pretty beast.
What about the pre-loaded software that we mentioned earlier? Well, it comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home Edition 64-bit, so if you ever wanted to up the ante with your RAM later, you’ve got that going for you as well as all the latest updates from Microsoft’s current flagship operating system.
Some of the other software that was installed is the Lenovo™ Rescue System, Lenovo Solution Center, Lenovo Nerve Center, and a Microsoft™ Office 2013 one month trial.
Rescue System is exactly as the name suggests: it allows you to rescue your system with Lenovo optimized software images, enabling you to restore it back to working state should anything go wrong. Sadly, we couldn’t see if this actually worked as we weren’t allowed to modify the core operation of the unit which includes that.
The Solution Centre is basically a system resources monitoring and diagnostics tool, enabling you to get the most out of your PC and eliminating any issues that may arise without needing to do a complete system restore which is usually left for worst case scenarios where you’re unable to rectify an issue. The interface for bit of included software is very easy to navigate, but to a novice user, it might still be a little overwhelming to understand what everything means. If you’re in this category, we’d still recommend consulting a tech-savvy friend who can explain things a bit easier for you.
Finally, we have the Lenovo Nerve Centre, which is basically your system control software that allows you to control clock speeds for overclocking, and red LED lights on the front of the case. Once again, we wouldn’t recommend playing with the settings in this software unless you’re proficient with what you’re doing, because entering the wrong values into the wrong places and you might wind up with a glorified toaster of a PC. For the uninitiated. overlocking is where you push your PC beyond the manufacturer specifications in terms of performance, but in doing so you run the risk of fatally damaging your PC or at the very least decreasing the lifespan of the components inside.
We could talk about the included Microsoft Office trial, but we’re not going to, simply because you don’t make friends with spreadsheets.
In conclusion, the Lenovo Y710 Gaming Desktop Cube is an insanely good bit of PC gaming gear, and frankly, I’m very sad that I have to give this back to the PR dudes who lent it to us for the review. Arguably, you can achieve the same performance with a DIY system build with the same components, but this isn’t marketed towards those smart alecs who know how to build their own rigs – but the people who want to get into PC gaming, and don’t know where to start (or don’t care).
That being said, if you’re a PC gamer looking for a serious upgrade and you’re not keen on building your own rig, this is the next best thing for you. It handles pretty much anything you throw at it, and for just under $2,000, it’s insanely good value considering some of the parts included would set you back almost half of what this is worth.
|The Lenovo Y710 Gaming Desktop Cube is an absolute beast of a machine, and insanely good value at just under $2000. It's perfect for those who want to get into high-end PC gaming with a bit of flair, but don't want the hassle of DIY'ing their own PC build.||4.6 4.6 ( on 4 rating)|