Lenovo is the world's largest PC manufacturer and is known for its diverse range of offerings for private users and companies. Gaming, on the other hand, is an area that Lenovo has mostly ignored over the years. With that in mind, we're introducing you to the Erazer X700 – Lenovo's first attempt at a PC designed for gamers.

Features that make the X700 a full-fledged gaming PC include its unique exterior, performance-oriented parts, extensive tool-free expandability, liquid cooling and OneKey overclocking. Sounds good so far?

Our test device contains an Intel Core i7-3820, a Geforce GTX 660, 12 GB RAM, a 1 TB hard drive and a 128 GB Samsung SSD. This is actually the same model that is available at Best Buy for $ 1699. However, it's worth noting that we're still seeing the non-SSD version direct from Lenovo for a promotional price of $ 1290.

Although the starting price is $ 1699, you can still spend more. The high-end configuration offers a decidedly non-mainstream price of $ 3,999 ($ ​​2,999 promo price) but has a hefty Intel Core i7-3970X, two Radeon HD 8950 graphics, 32 GB of RAM , 128 GB SSD and a 2 TB hard drive. With a GTX 660 and a Radeon HD 8950 the only GPU options, extreme gamers are likely to deride Lenovo's slogan "Extreme Performance Gaming Desktop". For gamers on a budget, the GTX 660 is a powerful card, even if it's a few rungs below the top tier.

Aesthetics, first impressions, processing quality

The first detail that caught my attention was the stupid "motor start" power switch. As innocent as it may be, I have to get this off my chest: sticky auto-computer analogues like these are terrifying in my opinion. I hope Lenovo will forego such silly inventions in the future and choose to keep them classy.

The Erazer X700 advertises a helmet-inspired exterior full of sharp lines and high-gloss black plastic, enhanced by blue lighting and silver-gray elements. The resulting aesthetic is somewhat futuristic, elegant, and more impressive than traditional PC offerings. At the same time, the X700 manages to play it safe by not deviating too far from the conventional design: it is different, but not dangerously adventurous; it's modern, but not impractical; It's fun, but not too fancy. Whether or not the look appeals to you is entirely up to you, but I think the majority of the Erazer's audience will be delighted.

Lenovo Erazer X700 Gaming Desktop – $ 1,699

  • Intel Core i7-3820
    (3.6 GHz, quad-core Sandy Bridge-E)
  • Lenovo X79 motherboard
    (Micro-ATX, LGA 2011)
  • CPU liquid cooling
  • 12 GB DDR3 RAM
  • MSI GeForce GTX 660 (1.5 GB)
  • 128 GB Samsung SSD
  • 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM HDD
  • Lenovo LED-backlit gaming keyboard
  • Lenovo L251G 9-button gaming mouse with LED lighting
  • Connections (rear): 2 x DVI-D, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 6 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x Gigabit LAN, CS output, RS output, SS output, line-in, Line-out, mic-in, 1 x optical S / PDIF output, 1 x coaxial S / PDIF output
  • Connections (front): 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, microphone input, line-out (headphones)
  • Windows 8 Professional x64
  • 24.01 x 10.62 x 20.86 in
  • 62 pounds

The 45-liter X700, weighing 62 pounds, is much larger than your average Lenovo PC. He is nearly 21 inches tall, 10.6 inches wide, and two feet long. Evidence of its size was betrayed by the huge box in which it was shipped. Its above-average stature gives the owners plenty of room for expansion, but prevents it from becoming an unwieldy monstrosity. The generous volume of the case is primarily useful for additional storage options. However, a second (or longer) graphics card and even a custom cooler are possible here.

The front drive bays are hidden behind a sufficiently strong plastic door that stays closed using magnetic science magic. Behind the door is a 29-in-1 card reader, a standard output DVD burner, two removable 3.5-inch drive bays and two additional 5.25-inch expansion bays.

The side wall of the housing can be easily removed with two knurled screws. Putting the page back on, however, was a little more fussy than I care about. The edge of the panel needs to be angled and aligned almost perfectly for you to slide back on. However, once you figure it out, it's a trick that is easy to replicate.

The housing is essentially made of SECC steel wrapped in plastic, but feels very robust. I don't think anything here is in danger of wearing out if you break a few months later, but just not to mention the gray plastic in the corners is lightly worn out.

Inside the Erazer X700

Internally, the Erazer X700 is ordinary rather than extraordinary. The innards of the systems are a kind of rugged exercise in dull gray pragmatism made of rolled steel. After the dive, it becomes clear that the X700 is a higher than average mass-produced desktop, but not the kind of replacement machine you can expect from boutique PC outlets like Maingear.

The side opening of the net does not offer a clear view, but a look inside shows only a few unusual signs: no bright, coordinated colors or high-end flair. The cables are managed, but not impressive. The removable drive bay inserts (two on the front) feel adequate, but fall short of the satisfactorily solid weight you find in top of the range systems and cases. There's a bit of blue LED lighting, but the effect is subtly visible: just enough to indicate that unlike your mom's Farmville machine, this is a wall-jumping, cut-shooting, and flag-picking gaming rig. In addition, there are some sharp edges there too – an unusual thing to find on high-end cases.

In short, the innards of the X700 show that it is clearly not an uncompromising gaming PC. At $ 1699, however, we should expect a compromise.

Upgrades and extensions

Lenovo doesn't offer made-to-order Erazer configurations, but the company does advertise "expandability" as a selling point. Despite the lack of inner mood, the X700's gut is functionally spacious and easy to work with. The chassis has a practically tool-free design and has four directly accessible 3.5-inch drive bays and two removable fronts. One thing is certain: X700 owners will never want more storage options.

The case appears to be able to accommodate a graphics card that is longer than 12 inches, but with one limitation: the 5.25-inch drive bays at the bottom front must be used for such an expansion. If you are satisfied with a single optical drive, this is not a problem.

The X700 comes with the watts, slots, and space necessary to add a second GTX 660. For around $ 1490 ($ 1290 promo + another GTX 660) and a little elbow grease, you can have an impressive gaming rig if you can go without an SSD. Note that SLI users will need to eject the Wi-Fi card occupying the second PCI-e slot.

In addition to storage options, X700 owners will likely never need storage options either – the X700's RAM can be upgraded to 32GB DDR3. A slot has to be filled with four DIMMs and only three DIMMs.

Despite its spaciousness (and enough spacers for a normal ATX board), our Erazer X700 came with a micro ATX motherboard. Equipped with an X79 northbridge, 4 x DIMMs and 8 x SATA ports, this board is only suitable for PCI-e slots: there are only two. Unfortunately, owners of three or more cards like SLI / Crossfire graphics cannot mix with Wi-Fi, professional audio, PCI-e storage options, etc. Even so, two slots will satisfy the needs and wants of most.

Yes, the Intel X79 is an aging chipset (almost two years old). However, the X79 still has more PCI-e lanes and better bandwidth than other Intel options. This seems like a decision that will depend more on performance than the bottom line, as the X79 is still not cheap after all these years.

Lenovo's motherboard has an LGA 2011 socket that supports Ivy Bridge E and Intel Extreme variants of Core i7 CPUs. Disappointingly, there is no sign of Haswell getting onto this platform. For desktops, LGA 1150 is Haswell's only variant, while future chips may jump straight to LGA 2011-3. This likely limits future CPU upgrades to the Ivy Bridge-E.

Fortunately, the chassis is pretty standard and eschews proprietary design elements (aside from the "overclock" button). This means that if the X700 has outlived its usefulness, it can be gutted and retrofitted with new innards – provided you like the case, of course.