RGB as far as the eye can see
AFTER TESTING CRAZY multi-GPU setups for the past few issues, it was nice to kick back with a sleek, straightforward system. High-end machines are fun to play with, but their power levels (and price tags) are overkill for the majority of users, and SLI is becoming increasingly frustrating to deal with. This month, we’re looking at the Lenovo Y900 RE, a mid-tower desktop featuring top-end (but reasonable) components, accompanied by a 27-inch Lenovo Y27g RE curved monitor.
The Y900 RE itself is a respectable system aimed mostly at gamers. The Intel Core i7-6700K CPU is clocked at 4.0GHz, but a “one-key turbo” button can push it up to 4.5GHz. That’s enough to not bottleneck the GPU, and should be able to handle streaming or light video editing—though it would have been nice to see an updated Kaby Lake chip in there instead of last generation’s i7-6700K. The difference isn’t huge, but the i7-7700K would have given the system a bit more juice for basically the same price.
A bigger issue is the installed RAM—a single stick of 16GB DDR4-2133.To us, that’s the weakest link of all the components, contributing to benchmark scores lower than our zero-point in all non-gaming tests: 790 in Cinebench 15, 18.68 in Tech ARP’s x264, and 5,635 in PCMark 8 Creative (without CPU overclocking). Storage is handled by a 256GB PCIe SSD accompanied by a 2TB 7,200 rpm HDD, the former scoring 42.26 and 165.1 in CrystalDiskMark64 4K read and write respectively—zippy, but again falling short of our zero-point. For gaming needs, the Y900 RE features a more-than-capable Nvidia GTX 1080, which handily gave us solid frame rates in all of our gaming benchmarks. The system pulled an average of 88fps across Rise of the Tomb Raider’s three-part benchmark at 1080p max settings, scoring 131fps at the mountain peak, 71fps in Syria, and 61fps in the geothermal valley. Far Cry Primal and The Division also performed well, at 95fps and 92fps respectively— again at 1080p max settings.
Frame rates hovering in the 90-120 range fit perfectly with the bundled Y27g RE monitor, a 27-inch curved screen, with 1920×1080 resolution, and 144Hz refresh rate. The screen itself looks great, offering very good brightness and color, but might seem overpriced ($650) to some for only offering 1080p resolution. However, much of that price is due to the inclusion of Nvidia’s G-Sync technology for variable refresh rates, which nicely eliminates screen tearing, even at those higher frame rates. Aside from being only 1080p, the biggest bummer about the Y27g is a lack of speakers. Monitor audio often isn’t spectacular, but it’s still a nice inclusion on a modern piece of equipment—especially at this price point.
RIDE THE RAINBOW
The RE stands for Razer Edition, because the Y900 RE comes bundled with a Razer Mamba Tournament Edition mouse and Blackwidow Chroma keyboard, and sports Razer branding and Chroma lighting integration. Both peripherals are great pieces of hardware—Razer’s Deathadder Elite is one of our favorite gaming mice, and the Mamba offers everything that does, plus tilt buttons on the mouse wheel, as well as two extra buttons for DPI adjustment. Similarly, the Blackwidow Chroma features everything you want in a gaming keyboard: clicky mechanical switches, USB pass-through, mic/headphone jack, and a five-key macro column.
The Y900 RE comes in a sleek case that matches the Razer aesthetic. It feels relatively sturdy, made mostly of metal and plastic, and features a neat side panel that pops out when you press a spot on top. The main difference between the RE and the plain, non-Razer-branded Y900 (aside from the bundled Mamba and Blackwidow) is Chroma integration for the Y-shaped accent lighting. With Chroma support, the case lights can sync (or not) with the aforementioned mouse and keyboard, offering a bright array of colors and patterns. However, an equally spec’d plain Y900 is priced less than the Razer Edition, so it’s up to you to decide whether a mouse, keyboard, and light show is worth the extra cash, -bo moore
Lenovo Y900 RE
RAINBOW CONNECTION Great 1080p performance; Chroma ng; easy overclocking.
NO POT OF GOLD Monitor only 1080p; lacking in RAM; last-gen CPU.
The Y900 RE’s Razer branding and suite of accessories pair nicely and look great, but at a price premium.