Gaming

This gaming rig is solid and compact

The Cube's high-end Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card is capable of running the latest game titles in virtual reality mode.
The Cube's high-end Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card is capable of running the latest game titles in virtual reality mode.PHOTO: LENOVO

Lenovo's Ideacentre Y710 Cube is set to transport gamers to virtual gaming worlds

Lenovo's new Ideacentre Y710 Cube gaming PC looks like the head of an angry, malevolent robot, with its red Y-shaped front LED seemingly ready to spit laser beams at any moment.

What the Cube is actually ready for is to transport gamers to virtual gaming worlds. Its high-end Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card is capable of running the latest game titles in virtual reality (VR) mode.

No VR headset is included with the Cube, though Lenovo bundles a good mechanical keyboard with programmable keys and a gaming mouse.

At around 8kg, this gaming PC is portable enough to take to LAN parties. Lenovo seems to have this in mind because the case comes with a carrying handle at the top.

Accessing the Cube's internal hardware is easy - just unscrew two thumbscrews and pull off the side panel.

Inside the Cube, the components are tightly packed. There is space for a couple of additional storage drives, but expansion options are limited.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $3,099

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6700 (3.4GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X

    STORAGE: 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD

    RAM: 32GB

    CONNECTIVITY: 4 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, 3 x DisplayPort, HDMI, 2 x DVI, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, PS/2 port, headphone and microphone jacks

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

For instance, there are just two slots for system memory and both are already occupied by the Cube's 32GB of RAM. To be fair, this amount is sufficient for most users.

I was impressed by the Cube's cooling system. While I could hear the whirl of the system fans, they are not noisy enough to distract me from the games.

It probably helps that the chassis is dotted with air vents to allow good airflow within the case. On the flip side, these vents and the angular lines running along the side of the chassis will accumulate dust.

Optional but useful: a pre-installed receiver for a Microsoft Xbox One wireless controller in the Cube that lets you use your Xbox One controller with this gaming PC without having to attach a cable or a USB adapter.

Performance-wise, the Cube will handle any game at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels at the best graphics quality setting. With its top GTX 1080 graphics card, the Cube will probably run most games at 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), though I did not test this.

With Doom, the Cube scored around 145 frames per second (fps) at Ultra setting and at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The computer also managed 122fps in Crysis 3 at Very High and at the same resolution.

In comparison, the Asus ROG G20 ($3,198)with a similar configuration scored 119fps in Crysis 3.

The Cube is also reasonably priced for a pre-built gaming rig. A similar configuration from boutique PC builder Aftershock would cost around $3,000 and it won't come with a gaming keyboard or mouse.

Of course, you can probably pay even less if you source the PC hardware yourself from Sim Lim Square. But that would require some tech know-how, as well as effort and time.

•Verdict: A powerful, competitively priced gaming rig that is suitable for LAN parties and VR games.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'This gaming rig is solid and compact'. Print Edition | Subscribe