Gaming System Final Thoughts
Selling pre-built systems to gamers is always tricky: they’re a picky bunch of people who generally already have a pretty good idea of what they want. The Lenovo Erazer X700 Gaming System provides enough performance to play most games at high settings at 1080p resolution, and many games at even higher resolutions– I accidentally ran the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark at my monitor’s native 2560×1600 resolution, and still got more than 35 frames per second!
That said, Lenovo’s decision to base the Erazer on an X79 platform is puzzling. Its only notable advantage over the contemporaneous X68 platform is quad-channel memory, and it limits your CPU upgrade options to the very expensive and now hard-to-get i7-3960X. There are Ivy Bridge LGA2011 CPUs available, but I’d suspect they’d require a BIOS upgrade, and there doesn’t appear to be any way to do that on this board.
But this probably isn’t an issue for most, since the performance of the i7-3820 is hardly going to be a limiting factor in gaming, and you can easily drop a pair of high end graphics cards in if you need more gaming horsepower (but don’t forget that you’d need to find an SLI bridge for NVIDIA cards).
Obsessions about component choice aside, the system turned in excellent performance; the 128GB Samsung 840 SSD ensured lightning-fast boot times and program loading, and the 12GB of memory is more than enough for anyone not doing professional photo or video work. Even under load, the Erazer remained quiet: I had been concerned that the two small fans on the motherboard would provide irritating, but they were inaudible even under load, with the quiet whoosh of the CPU cooler’s radiator fan being the only thing audible.
Aside from component choices, the only thing I’d change is the wiring. A giant zip-tied bundle of wires and cables hanging in front of the meshed window in the side panel isn’t attractive.
Lenovo Erazer X700 Conclusion
I believe that this is the first complete desktop Benchmark Reviews has ever tested; it’s certainly the first one I’ve tested, and so I have nothing to compare it against except the “temporary” systems I’ve built while testing motherboards, processors, and video cards. Like many enthusiasts, though, I do have some experience with other prebuilt systems that I’m called on to help fix by friends and family. Compared to most of these, the Erazer is a monster, in terms of performance, features, and expandability. Yeah, Erazer X700 is not rocking the latest GeForce GTX 700-series video cards or Haswell CPUs. So what? It still plays modern games at 1080p with good frame rates.
Aesthetically, the case is obviously designed to appeal to gamers. The styling is fairly striking without being too dramatic or faux-military.
The performance of the system was very good; older architecture notwithstanding, the computer was easily able to handle modern games at 1080p resolutions. You would need to upgrade the graphics system to handle larger resolutions, multiple monitors, or 3D gaming, though.
Construction of the system was average for a pre-built computer. Lots of zip ties and ugly card braces are par for the course when a system has to survive shipping. You’ll need to provide your own screws to add new components, and the wiring was rather messy. Thumbscrew-secured side panels indicate that Lenovo actually thought you’d want to get inside the system, though.
Functionally, this computer has it all: wireless networking, USB 3.0 ports, two hot-swap drive bays, a gamer-oriented mouse, and plenty of expansion room. There’s really nothing to complain about here.
As for value: at $1,699 at Best Buy (the only place you can get this specific configuration), the price is a little higher than similar-performance systems from other vendors. Also, the one year parts and labor warranty doesn’t compete with the longer warranties offered by companies like iBuyPower, Digital Storm, and others.
The Lenovo Erazer X700 Gaming System offers an attractive blend of performance, style, and expandability…if only it were a couple of hundred dollars less.
+ Easy and reliable, if limited, overclocking
+ Excellent expandability
+ Two pre-wired hot swap drive bays
+ Mostly free of bloatware
+ Very good gaming performance
– OEM video card and no SLI bridge limits video upgrade path
– Messy wiring visible through side panel
– No recovery media
– No user-accesible BIOS