Performance Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: We tempered our expectations when we saw Lenovo sent us its lowest end IdeaCentre Erazer X700 configuration with a single GeForce GTX 660 graphics card, and overall, nothing really surprised us during our benchmarking run. For the most part, the Erazer X700 trailed other gaming rigs using beefier graphics cards, though in some cases, the difference only came down to a few frames per second. One high point was RAM performance in SiSoft SANDRA. Whereas most rigs are configured in dual-channel, the Erazer X700 we received had three sticks of DDR3-1600 RAM in triple-channel mode. With a fourth stick, however, it would have run in quad-channel mode and offered even better performance.
Lenovo first showed off its IdeaCentre Erazer X700 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, and for whatever reason, it's taken the OEM eight months to start selling these machines. Given that it was shown off at the beginning of the year, that might explain why Lenovo is building these systems around Intel's X79 chipset with Sandy Bridge-E hardware.
That decision allows Lenovo to offer this series at a competitive price point compared to what the boutique system builders charge, but it comes at the expense of performance. As configured, the rig we received makes several compromises, including not taking advantage of the X79's ability to run RAM in quad-channel mode. Then there's the GeForce GTX 660 graphics card and 1TB of storage, both of which are decent but they won't have enthusiasts pumping their fists.
Compromises aside, the Erazer X700 is a respectable stab at offering gamers a dedicated gaming rig that looks the part. Our configuration sells for $1,699 online and at Best Buy, though at the time of this writing, there's an eCoupon code on Lenvoo's website that brings the price down to $1,349. That's a pretty good value for a system that's capable of high-end gaming at 1920x1080. In many cases, Full HD gaming is possible even with all the eye candy turned on, though that's not always going to be the case.
For gamers who can live without cutting edge hardware, we feel Lenovo's IdeaCentre Erazer X700 offers a nice alternative to spending a premium on a boutique build. Furthermore, if you have the budget for higher end hardware, Lenovo will take your money and slap faster gear into this machine. Unfortunately, you can't customize these gaming boxes on Lenovo's website, though there are four different pre-configured setups to choose from, culminating in a $3,999 system that's currently marked down to $3,199.