Pending the arrival of the Legion gaming laptops announced at CES by Lenovo, the manufacturer has sent us a desktop PC, the Ideacentre Y710 Cube. Do not be fooled by this slightly wise name, the Cube is far from being a child at heart! It’s a half transportable game machine that reconciles small size and big firepower.
No, Lenovo does not start manufacturing knight helmets. However, the face of the Ideacentre Y710 Cube casing makes us think clearly. Improved impression when the device is switched on, with its red beam in the shape of a “Y”. The latter reminds us of a demonic warrior who would be hiding in the small box, scrutinizing us with his flaming look of hatred. What scare your opponents in Lan Party? Not sure ! On the other hand, no doubt, the Cube will surprise them because, for a first try of a small gaming PC, Lenovo makes a remarkable entry.
Ideacentre Y710 Cube, the portable gaming PC
Let’s start by doing an inspection of the case which is obviously not a cube. The dimensions of the latter (31.4 x 25.3 x 39.3 cm) allow it to take place on a desk or table without occupying too much space. We do not recommend placing it on the ground. This may be uncomfortable to use the USB 3.0 and audio sockets located on the upper edge of the machine. In addition, if you are a natural and rather restless during online games, you may get kicked in, unwittingly.
Confining it in a cabinet is also not recommended since the vast majority of the openings required for ventilation are also placed on the top.
The handle is also located on the top of the case, very handy for taking the Y710 to friends for local LAN games. Or, quite simply, to transport the Cube from the bedroom to the living room, for example, to enjoy games or a movie, alone or with others, on the family flat screen.
Passing a head at the back of the case gives a good overview of the connections available. This consists of 4 USB 2 and 2 USB 3 (in addition to the two at the front), a network socket, several analog and digital audio outputs without forgetting the Wi-Fi module present, for its part, on the card mother. Examining him from behind also gives some interesting clues about how his interior is organized.
The motherboard (Mini-ITX) is mounted on a vertical panel separating the case into two parts, with on the left an integrated power supply (and not external like on the Acer Predator G1 for example) and on the right enough space to mount the rest of the components.
In terms of layout, we will have to progress!
Armed with a screwdriver, we dismantled the side panels to push our investigations to the maximum. First observation, Lenovo will have to make efforts on the assembly and, above all, on the organization of the passage of the cables in the small box! Players are demanding customers who don’t hesitate to spend several thousand euros on a configuration and for whom everything matters. The care taken in the development and assembly of their machine is very important and, somewhere, is a good reflection of the know-how of a brand. Scarlet red card for the pile of cables!
Careful assembly as well as well-collected and well-arranged cables also facilitate air flow passages. Here it is a 120 mm fan positioned at the front which is responsible for bringing fresh air into the housing. The calories are dissipated, on the one hand, by the multiple openings scattered on the Cube, on the other hand, by the fan of the processor and the cooling device of the graphics card. This is enough to keep the components at acceptable thresholds. However, in hot weather, it is impossible to add even a fan to the top panel. it will therefore be necessary to keep an eye on the mercury via some specialized software utilities (like GPU-Z and CPU-Z for example).
Note, however, that when the configuration is launched at full speed, the various elements of the cooling system remain fairly silent (for a game machine). Our sound level meter never measured more than 39 dB, placed 50 cm from the Y710. Finally, on the wattmeter side, the Cube wins a 10/10 with only 260 watts consumed (on average) in intense game phase.
But where did the SSD go?
To justify the price of this version of the Ideacentre (1800 euros), Lenovo does not hesitate to take out the heavy artillery! The small motherboard thus accommodates an Intel Core i7-6700 processor of Skylake generation non-overclockable, 16 GB of memory and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. With this trio, there is something to have fun whatever the games past and future, in Full HD or 1440p, with lots of details and, above all, without asking too many questions.
For example, The Division rotates between 90 and 114 frames per second depending on the level of detail. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, the lovely Lara Croft, for its part, infiltrates the Templar base at more than 119 ips on average, with all the graphic options set to the highest.
On the other hand, Lenovo should not be fully aware of the lareview gaming standards. Nowadays, any high-end machine dedicated to gaming MUST carry an SSD. The effectiveness of this component is no longer really to demonstrate, its absence is simply incomprehensible. Especially on a machine at 1800 euros. Rest assured, there is still enough to install your games!
The Chinese manufacturer puts on a large hard disk of 2 TB. Hard disk which, certainly, offers services quite correct but which remain well below those of the flash memory disks. For the price of the Y710, we even expected to have an SSD and hard drive combination available. This is undoubtedly the best way to reconcile speed and archiving capacity.
An absence which is all the more difficult to explain since there is enough to mount an SSD in the housing. The presence of a 2.5 inch location (and a second 3.5 inch location) inside the case is not accidental. Clearly, if you were to fall for the Y710, keep in mind to plan between 100 and 150 additional euros to buy an SSD. And if you still have a few euros in your pocket, also offer him some nice cable ties …
The verdict of the review
Lenovo Ideacentre Y710 Cube
Due to a lack of SSD, the Lenovo Ideacentre Y710 Cube cannot claim to obtain a very good rating. Especially for its high price of 1800 euros! Despite this regrettable oversight, the configuration is homogeneous and really powerful. Especially since it is housed in a box which only lacks a good arrangement of cables and better ventilation to be able to compete with some of its fiercest competitors.