Tom’s Guide Verdict
The Lenovo Legion Belfry v is an affordable, capable and upgradeable gaming PC. But it fails to stand out from the crowd.
Skillful gaming performance at 1080p
Some pre-installed bloatware
Fewer USB ports than similar models
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Lenovo Legion Tower v specs
Cost: $950 every bit reviewed
Processor: Intel Core i5-11400
RAM: 8 GB
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super
Storage: 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Accessories: USB wired keyboard, USB wired mouse
Ports: 6x USB-A, 1x USB-C, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, Ethernet, iii.5mm audio
Size: 8.07 x 15.57 x sixteen.54 inches
Weight: 27 pounds
The Legion Belfry v ($950 as reviewed, configurable up to $2,500) is Lenovo’s mid-range gaming desktop, offering solid performance without the hefty price tag of a high-terminate gaming rig.
After spending some time with the Legion Tower five, I retrieve it’southward a fine addition to the ranks of pre-built gaming PCs in this price category. Merely I’thou struggling for a reason to choose it over any of the other similar machines on the market.
Simply while it may not be one of the all-time gaming PCs you can buy, the Legion Tower 5 offers respectable functioning for roughly $1,000. Information technology’s a good reminder that y’all don’t demand to beat out thousands of dollars for a high-end rig in guild to relish great gaming functioning at 1080p.
Lenovo Legion Tower 5 review: Cost and configurations
- Expect to pay between $900 – $2,500
- $950 config (reviewed) delivers solid 1080p gaming
Our Legion Tower five review unit is a Intel-based $950 configuration available for purchase at All-time Buy
(opens in new tab). This is 1 of the cheapest versions of the Legion Tower 5 Lenovo has (high-finish configurations superlative out at around $two,500), but it nevertheless has some respectable specs for the money.
It comes with an Intel Core i5-11400F 2.half-dozen GHz processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super graphics card. Neither is likely to wow your friends with a top-of-the-line gaming rig, but they deliver decent gaming performance in the Legion five’due south 1080p comfort zone. I was a bit disappointed that our review model came with but 8GB of RAM, but to be honest, I didn’t really feel the lack of RAM during testing.
Probably the nigh pleasant surprise is that even the cheapest Legion Tower 5 model comes with a built-in SSD. Until recently, a fair number of machines at this price, including my ain home automobile, made yous jump for your ain solid country drive. Getting i packed in with the Legion Belfry v is a nice bonus, equally the slower read speeds of an HDD cause a significant functioning hit when gaming.
Lenovo Legion Belfry 5 review: Design
- Spacious internal expanse shines thank you to RGB lighting
The Legion Tower five has the traditional boxy, bulky desktop silhouette. At 27 pounds, it was light enough that I had no trouble moving information technology around for testing, but still heavy enough that I’d rather not be moving the thing regularly.
The simply details breaking up the standard black rectangle of the case are a clear glass side panel, and customizable RGB lights in both the front (displaying the Legion logo) and rear (illuminating the tower’southward interior) of the machine. The desktop measures 8.07 x 15.57 x 16.54 inches, which leaves a significantly spacious internal area that makes installing upgrades easier. It too gives the RGB lighting room to shine.
A lot of machines accept started to use a “PC internals as multicolored rave room” design, including the similarly-priced Dell G5 5090. Just it’s still nice to meet something other than a solid black case when your optics drift over to your desktop.
Lenovo Legion Belfry five review: Benchmarks and operation
- Runs about games well to groovy at 1080p
- Don’t expect to play many games well at 4K
Keeping in mind the price, the Legion Tower five held upward well during testing at 1080p. Far Cry New Dawn ran at an average of 83 frames per 2nd, and Grand Theft Machine 5 averaged 65 fps. Newer games ran a piffling chip slower, equally you might imagine, but no game in our battery of tests ran under xxx fps. The slowest was Red Dead Redemption 2, which achieved an average of 39 fps during testing.
Anecdotally, I saw similar results while using the Legion 5 casually for a week. If I was playing older or less graphically-intensive titles, the Legion v would permit me crank all graphics settings upwards to max and still run at 60 fps or more. More recent large-upkeep games required some settings tweaking to run at those speeds, but they were all playable.
Information technology was only when I tried to push button the limits of what the Legion Belfry v could do that information technology became obvious this isn’t a high-finish automobile. If for some reason you want to try to utilise the Legion Tower 5 to run the latest games in 4K resolution, you lot’re probably going to have a bad fourth dimension. The Legion Tower 5 managed to run Far Cry New Dawn in 4K at a surprisingly respectable 35 fps, but when playing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla at the same resolution, it chugged along at eighteen fps. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Red Expressionless Redemption 2 and GTA 5 wouldn’t run in 4K at all.
When used for non-gaming tasks, the Legion Tower five also delivered respectable — if not amazing — results. It took a little over ten minutes (10:17) to complete our video editing examination, which tasks the PC with transcoding a 4K video downwardly to 1080p in Handbrake. When we put the Legion Belfry 5’s SSD to the examination past request it to duplicate 25 GB of multimedia files, it managed to exercise so at a transfer rate of 454 MBps.
The Legion Belfry 5 performed reasonably well in the Geekbench 5.4 multi-core CPU benchmarking examination, earning a decent score of 6,047. That’s amend than the similarly-priced Dell G5 (v,558) but nowhere near the 10,000+ scores earned by loftier-end (and expensive) gaming rigs like the HP Omen 30L.
Lenovo Legion Belfry 5 review: Pre-loaded software
- Pre-loaded Lenovo software is inconspicuous
- McAfee Antivirus is a constant annoyance
Our review unit came pre-loaded with Windows 10 and Lenovo Vantage, which you use to manage the built-in RGB lighting, also as some other hardware settings. Information technology’s a perfectly fine piece of software that I played effectually with for a few minutes to exam out the RGB lighting, and then ignored for the rest of my testing.
The computer likewise, unfortunately, came pre-loaded with McAfee antivirus software, which tends to make a lot of racket about virus threats without doing a much amend job than Windows Defender. The PC proceeded to notify me it had McAfee installed every few minutes and warned me of the grave security threat of my Google results a few times. As bloatware goes, I’ve seen a lot worse, but every time I run across a “your virus protection is most to run out” warning I die a lilliputian fleck inside.
Lenovo Legion Tower 5 review: Ports and peripherals
- Included keyboard and mouse are subpar
- Decent port choice, but it needs more than USB options
The keyboard and mouse included with the Legion Tower 5 are barely worth mentioning. After confirming they were functional, I almost immediately swapped over to my personal mouse and keyboard set-up. If y’all’re planning to utilize the Legion Tower 5 as a primary auto, or even just for regular gaming sessions you’ll probably want to practise the same.
Both peripherals packed in with the Legion Tower v felt extremely flimsy compared to my defended gaming mouse and mechanical keyboard. It seems a bit lightheaded to mutter that a “gratuitous” mouse and keyboard don’t friction match up to more than expensive peripherals, but it definitely feels like this was an expanse where Lenovo skimped a piddling to keep costs downwardly.
The Legion Tower 5 as well comes upwardly a footling flake short when it comes to ports. The superlative of the case has headphone and microphone ports, along with two USB-A iii.2 Gen 1 ports. On the back you’ll observe an Ethernet port, three audio out ports, and the ports from the graphics menu — in this case one HDMI, i DisplayPort, and one DVI port. Besides that there’due south a USB-C 3.2 port, two additional USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and two USB-A 2.0 ports, for a total of 7 USB ports.
That last detail was actually my biggest problem with the Legion Tower v during my testing. Having vii USB ports isn’t exactly stingy, only it’southward pretty easy to build or buy a machine at this price with quite a few more. My dwelling motorcar, for instance, has eight —including two top-facing ports. The similarly priced Dell G5 comes with nine. As a result, the Legion v left me regularly plugging and unplugging some of my more rarely used peripherals, until I finally went rooting around for an old USB hub.
On the ane mitt, a problem that you can solve with a $10 USB hub almost seems like nitpicking. On the other hand, if you’ve got a desktop setup where accessing the back of your auto is a bit of a chore, a few extra ports on the Legion Belfry 5 would go a long manner.
Lenovo Legion Belfry 5 review: Upgradability
- Open up, accessible example makes upgrades piece of cake
- Cables tightly routed through the dorsum side can exist tricky
The skillful news is that if yous, like me, wish the specs of the Legion 5 were simply slightly dissimilar, the instance makes upgrading almost everything extremely simple.
It’s only a matter of using a Phillips caput screwdriver to accept two screws off the glass side of the case and you’re inside, where it’southward easy to slot in some new RAM or a USB card. At that place’southward plenty of open up infinite here, and well-nigh no cords to become in your way.
Calculation a new hard bulldoze is only slightly more circuitous. There are open bulldoze bays and SATA cables accessible through the opposite side of the instance, but there’s as well a lot less space to work with. I have absolutely no room to talk when it comes to cable management, but the prissy, clean space visible backside the glass paneling means there are a LOT of cables bundled very tightly and routed through the back side. These can exist tricky to work with.
Getting a drive into a drive bay and hooked upwards would probably require undoing a few of Lenovo’s cable ties simply to give yourself a little slack on the SATA and power hookups. Given how little open infinite there is on this side of the case, that would too probably mean doing a fair fleck of cable direction once you’re done.
Withal, installing a difficult drive seems like it would be more of a minor badgerer than an bodily problematic upgrade. About the only things that would be at all difficult for owners to upgrade or supplant are the motherboard and the processor, and that’south true of basically every desktop on the planet.
Lenovo Legion Tower five review: Verdict
The Legion Belfry v does what it says on the tin. Information technology’ll serve every bit a decent, though not spectacular, gaming desktop right out of the box. You tin can solve nigh of its small annoyances with quick and relatively cheap upgrades.
But if that doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement, it’due south because it isn’t ane. There are a lot of solid desktops for this amount of money, many of which have some bells and whistles that the Legion v lacks. The Dell XPS 8940, for example, tin evangelize similar functioning for roughly $1,000, and it offers more than ports than the Legion Tower 5 in a quiet, nondescript case.
Overall, the Legion Belfry 5 didn’t disappoint in testing but it also never wowed me. I was perfectly happy using it as my primary machine for a week or and then; I’ll also exist perfectly happy to return to my usual machine and send this ane back to Lenovo.