Just last June, I managed to build my own PC through countless research and price haggling. I figured that I should invest in a gaming setup that will last for about two good years while playing games at high frame rates. With building a PC, I ensure some level of upgradability and flexibility down to every last detail.
Before I decided on this endeavor, I was dead-set on wanting to just stick to a pre-built system. Imagine getting an entire package with all the parts you’re looking for, without the hassle of building it yourself. Plus, it’s already optimized to some extent so you don’t have to worry about tinkering as much.
In essence, a prebuilt like the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i offers such promise. But, as someone who has already built a gaming system, is it really a good idea to get this pre-built system?
On its own, it’s a great system for intensive workloads
I will go out and say that on its own, the Legion Tower 5i is a well-built system. It comes with an Intel Core i5-10400 processor and an NVIDIA GTX 1660 SUPER inside. Right off the bat, I thought that the hardware was great for gaming, and it showed when I ran some games on it.
More than anything, it’s a solid device for a variety of workloads. With 16GB of RAM and a 512GB M.2 SSD inside, Windows managed to boot up pretty fast — which is great. This means that I could get into my work immediately, especially when I’m in a rush to get some done.
Intensive applications like Google Chrome, Adobe After Effects, and even Blender ran with relative ease. As a content-creating machine, I felt that it has potential to accommodate whatever project you throw at it. However, don’t expect the world from it since the hardware isn’t the most powerful available.
Gaming performance is great
I touched on this in the previous section, but it’s true: Lenovo managed to create a great gaming system here. Some graphics-intensive games like Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite ran pretty well under this system, provided you adjust a few settings. Throughout my hours of gameplay, I didn’t experience lag caused by the hardware.
Most games I tested on this system ran at consistent frame rates, which is what you should expect out of gaming systems. Games like VALORANT and Counter Strike: Global Offensive ran at above 200 FPS, considering you really don’t need much to run them. Those two games I mentioned earlier, however, ran at close to 50-60 FPS.
By all means, this isn’t a perfect gaming system to both record and stream content out of. But, if you wanted to start somewhere — again, on its own — this system provides great gaming value.
Putting up a great (Cold) front
Like gaming laptops, I feel that gaming PC builds are only effective when proper cooling is present. While the Legion Tower 5i doesn’t come with fancy liquid cooling, it does come with Lenovo’s Coldfront 2.0. Essentially, it’s an optimization feature for the overall airflow between all the components.
From my experience, I actually think Coldfront did its due diligence. Throughout long hours of gameplay, I didn’t hear the fans whirring loudly. Plus, I felt that the air coming out of both the front vent and rear fans wasn’t as warm. Inside, components do feel a little warm but it isn’t scalding hot.
I even cranked up the system to run on Performance Mode, with overclocking enabled and I don’t hear any fans whirring too much. Again, even without all the liquid cooling tubing you see in custom builds, the Legion Tower 5i delivers while staying relatively cool.
Going against a custom build? Well…
I know I’m practically raving about the Legion Tower 5i, but the big question is whether it’s a better investment over a custom build. My short answer: not really, unless you’re committed to not build a PC from scratch. See, my custom build actually comes pretty close to the Legion Tower 5i across most of the hardware.
CPU Performance (Intel vs. AMD)
My custom build comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 3600X, which comes with the same core and thread count as the i5-10400. On paper, performance should be right about the same but the big difference is in my AMD’s base clock speed of 3.9Ghz. This means that my AMD performs at a much faster rate.
I tried running two Google Chrome tabs simultaneously between the two systems, and both showed stable clock speeds. However, when I tried switching tabs, I noticed a slight delay on the Legion Tower 5i. At face value, it doesn’t really mean much but that split second of a delay could come back to haunt you.
In case you were wondering, the two Chrome tabs I ran were a Google Doc and a YouTube music video at 1440p.
GPU Performance (NVIDIA GTX 1660 SUPER)
Here’s the thing: both these systems run a 6GB VRAM, NVIDIA GTX 1660 SUPER. Both systems can run the games I just listed with relative ease, which was what I expected. At first, I thought I couldn’t discuss anything more beyond these points. However, when I started to play for longer hours, I noticed something.
Because they’re both running the same type of GPU, what set them apart would be its CPU performance. However, based on avg. frame rates, the Legion Tower 5i outperforms my build by just a few frames per second. It comes at a slower clock speed during gaming, though so it resulted in some levels of bottleneck.
Price (The most important aspect)
At the end of the day, you’ll be spending your hard-earned money on either one of these systems. At this point, I’d like to stress out once more that both systems perform well — although not as identical. Both systems are suitable for long hours of gaming and productive work, and cooled roughly the same way. Except, my build doesn’t have Coldfront 2.0.
Yet, this is where I draw the line between a custom build and a pre-built system. See, the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i comes in at Php 72,995 and the package you get already comes with Windows pre-installed, and all the optimizations in place. My build, when sourcing the parts individually, comes in at close to Php 42,000.
I don’t think a 30,000-peso difference sounds like a great financial investment. Personally, I believe that a working version of Windows 10, PC optimization software, and a Legion-branded tower is not worth that much. Also, this doesn’t even factor in the amount you will spend for all the other peripherals.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
All in all, the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i is a great gaming system to consider. If you’re looking for a great PC to start off your streaming career or to just play games, this build is a great pickup. With powerful hardware and a fast SSD inside, you will get straight into the action once you boot it up.
On its own, it’s a product of great value. But, when you have the option to just build your PC and get the parts individually, it doesn’t look too good. You can even look for the parts that the Legion Tower 5i has, and get them for way less than this finished product.
If you have some extra cash to spare and you’re too afraid to build a PC, the Legion Tower 5i is a great fit. Otherwise, you’re better off building your own PC and grabbing more powerful yet compatible parts.
Lenovo unveils new Eyesafe-certified ThinkVision monitors
For those who wish to manage their screen time while working
For those working from home, you often find yourselves glued to your screens for more than eight hours a day. Whether it’s your work laptop or your phone, you proceed to work on your tasks or scroll through social media through a screen. Of course, if you do it for too long, it has the potential to damage your eyesight in the long run. Now, Lenovo unveiled a new set of displays that might just help you address that.
The company has launched its latest ThinkVision monitors that are now Eyesafe-certified. In essence, both monitors come with technologies designed to ease off the harmful blue light emitted from the display. Furthermore, they received a TUV Rheinland Eye Comfort certification to ensure maximum eye comfort and protection.
Also, these two monitors — the ThinkVision T24i-2L and ThinkVision T27h-2L — come with color accurate displays and phone holders on the base.
For the ThinkVision T24i-2L, it comes with a 24-inch FHD display with flexible connectivity options for all kinds of devices. Meanwhile, the ThinkVision T27h-AL comes with a 27-inch QHD display for a much larger workspace.
These monitors are now available for the price of PhP 8,850 (ThinkVision T24i-2L) and PhP 15,499 (ThinkVision T27h-2L). You will find these through Lenovo’s authorized partner sellers.
All new iMac with M1 chip, 4.5K Retina display now official
Long overdue update!
The iMac has remained largely untouched for what felt like forever. Now, the curse appears to have been lifted as Apple finally introduces the new iMac that’s powered by the M1 chip and has a 4.5K Retina display.
What’s up with the M1 chip?
Well, it’s only Apple’s latest and greatest chip for their MacOS machines. It brings forth a leap in power, performance, and efficiency previously unheard of in MacBooks and iMacs of the past. Some performance improvements include a faster more fluid overall feel, no slowdown despite opening hundreds of tabs on Safari, smoother image editing, and a better Apple Arcade experience.
For a full breakdown of the performance improvement, watch this M1 MacBook Air review.
That display tho
24 inches. 4.5K Retina. 11.3 million pixels. P3 wide color gamut and over a billion colors. 500 nits of brightness. Put them all together and what you get is a computer display that will be a blessing to your eyes.
Apple is promising vivid and brilliant images with a color temperature that adjusts to your environment thanks to True Tone tech. Sweet.
OMG those colors
This one’s a nice callback to the iMacs of old that didn’t shy away from a splash of color. From a singular choice of Silver (which is still available, by the way), Apple is now also giving us the following color options: Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Purple, and Blue.
Could a PRODUCT (RED) option be in the horizon? We don’t know yet, but we also wouldn’t completely rule it out.
Cameras, mics, and speakers
You’ll likely attend a few more video conferences as we navigate this new normal setup most of us are in. You’ll be happy to know that the all new iMac now has a 1080p FaceTime HD Camera. FINALLY.
Supporting the brand spanking new HD camera is what Apple claims to be a studio-quality three-microphone array and six-speaker sound system with Dolby Atmos.
What else is here?
You get two Thunderbolt ports for fast data transfers and support for up to 6K displays. The 8-core iMac models have two more USB-C ports.
TouchID also comes to the iMac with the color-matching Magic Keyboard. The Magic Mouse and Magic TrackPad are also available in colors that match the iMac. You can also buy more than one and mix the colors up. You do you.
Price and availability
The new 24-inch iMac is available to order beginning Friday, April 30. It will begin arriving to customers and be available in select Apple Store locations and through Apple Authorized Resellers beginning in the second half of May.
Available on apple.com, apple.com/sg, and in the Apple Store app
iMac with 7-core GPU is available in green, pink, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse.
- US: Starts at US$ 1,299 and US$1,249 for education
- Singapore: Starts at SG$ 1,849 and SG$ 1,779 for education
iMac with 8-core GPU is available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, two additional USB 3 ports, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Magic Mouse, and Ethernet.
- US: Starts at US$ 1,499 and US$1,399 for education
- Singapore: Starts at SG$ 2,149 and SG$ 2,009 for education
The global chip shortage could last till 2023
Put your plans for a PC build on hold!
The Coronavirus pandemic prompted everybody to leave the “normal” behind and adopt a completely new lifestyle. With everyone moving to the work-from-home model, the demand for new computers, phones, and other gadgets skyrocketed, bringing another crisis to our doorstep — global chip shortage.
The world’s largest chipmaker TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), announced its quarterly results this week, posting a profit of almost US$ 5 billion. This marks a 19 percent rise in profit when compared to the previous quarter. The announcement is good news for the investors, but it also highlights how long the shortage will continue.
TSMC CEO C.C. Wei said that the company hopes to offer more capacity and meet the demand by 2023. That’s two years away. And that’s after gearing up to spend a whopping US$ 100 billion in the next three years to ramp up production.
American chipmaker Intel has been plagued with production issues for the last few years and recently disclosed that it would spend US$ 20 billion to set up two new facilities in Arizona, US. However, these production sites take time to come up and can’t be just switched on in a few months.
Things aren’t looking good
Even Nvidia isn’t very optimistic about a recovery from the chip shortage anytime soon. “Overall demand remains very strong and continues to exceed supply while our channel inventories remain quite lean,” the company said in its press release. “We expect demand to continue to exceed supply for much of this year.”
Nvidia also has a brand new challenge — the demand for GPUs has skyrocketed ever since Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies started their bullish run in 2020. Cryptocurrency evangelists are constantly on the lookout for new gear, further amplifying the chip shortage.
The current state of component availability looks grim, affecting everything from the availability of new graphics cards to processors to next-gen PlayStations and Xboxes. The ripple effects of the shortage are being felt by every technology company, including giants like Apple.
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