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CNET First Look
Lenovo IdeaCentre K330The Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 is a decent attempt to compete with other budget gaming PCs, but a few configuration misses prevent a stronger recommendation. It's best for mainstream shoppers looking for a combination of basic 3D power and Blu-ray playback...
Hi, I'm Rich Brown, senior editor for CNET.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the Lenovo IdeaCentre K330. So, this is a 999 budget gaming PC, comes with an Intel Core i5 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GT 440. It's actually not a bad system for day to day entertainment. It comes with a Blu-ray drive a graphics that let you play basic games of lower image quality, but it's not really much of a higher end gaming PC. You will definitely find tittles the system can't play. Now, it's not a bad-looking case; that definitely looks like other budget gaming PCs out there. One unique feature in the front is this CPU speed control. It has 3 settings, cool, auto, and turbo, and the idea is to expose to set your CPU to either on very fast or maybe conserve energy and run it on lower settings. The problem is that Intel's Core i5 CPU has that functionality built in with. If an application needs more speed, the chip will wrap it is clock speed. It doesn't need that much. It will slow down and become more power efficient. So, I said, we're little bit mystified as to why Lenovo would include this feature. For other feature in the front systems, you get a Blu-ray drive up here as well as mini card reader and handful ports here at the top. Now, the back of the system actually echoes a sort of frustrating trend we found lately in PC and in this price range. You can see you get handful USB ports, PS2 jacks, 7.1 audio, and there's even an eSATA port in there, but there's not USB 3, digital audio out, or fire wire. Now, we've seen those kinds of ports in other PCs in the price range. So, sound to be frustrating that they are disappearing now. Down here, on the graphics card, you did get a nice array of video outs. There's DVI output, VGA as well as HDMI out. On side of the the case is pretty typical for a budget price gaming PC from a major vendor. Kind of a messy, you can see the wires are just sort of clipped haphazardly, but you can still get in and make basic upgrade without so much difficulty. See, here is the Core i5 CPU that with the graphics card here and underneath, there's a 1x and 4x PCI express slot. Over here, you gut 8 G of RAM and there are 2 slots free. So, you actually get some nice memory upgrade options. Over here you got 2 hard drive based. One of which is a 5 x 1 terabyte drive. One big downfalls about this PC is that its power supply is kind of weak. This is a 280 watt PSU and that made you kind of limited in terms of the graphics card upgrades you can make. The power supply also has no graphics card power cable. So between that and a slow wattage are really limited to lower end graphics cards. That means, while the system can play basic games and you did get a Blu-ray player, it really is kind of limited to mainstream home entertainment. Overall, the Lenovo makes a decent intent of a gaming PC for budget buyers, but there's definite room for improvement. Hopefully, Lenovo give that little more attention in the future generation. I'm Rich Brown. This is a Lenovo IdeaCentre K330.