Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (2024)

Our Verdict

The Lenovo Legion Tower 5i feels a thoroughly thought out prebuilt gaming PC, from its choice of components to overall finish. While the motherboard and RAM are a bit basic, its overall polish makes it one to consider.

For

  • Polished
  • Quiet even while gaming
  • Standard parts
  • Decent-sounding warranty

Against

  • Slower RTX 4070 than some
  • You can find an RTX 4070 Ti PC for the price
  • Basic motherboard

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The Lenovo Legion Tower 5i is as much of a fully-integrated gaming PC as you're going to find in the pre-built market. From top to bottom it looks and feels a Lenovo built machine, yet unlike one of its biggest competitors in this space, this tower doesn't come with any non-standard parts to make upgrades a hassle. No, this is a smart-looking and convenient gaming PC, and I'm here for it.

Lenovo is taking advantage of the relatively new Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 in this machine. It's a powerful GPU, but noticeably fits into a smaller space than the hulking behemoths that are most RTX 4070 Ti, RTX 4080, and RTX 4090 cards. The actual card that Lenovo has slotted into this machine is made to its own design. But it's compact, quiet, cool, and even has a built-in bracket to prevent stress applied to the PCIe slot in the long-term.

That's been paired with an Intel Core i7 13700F. A 16-core, 24-thread processor, you're not left wanting in any way for performance with this chip. Be that for gaming or editing. One of Intel's Raptor Lake chips, half of those cores are admittedly small Efficient-cores, but the bulk of gaming workloads defaults to the eight beefy Performance-cores.

This is a fiery combination for gaming and best suited to the blend of resolution and frame rate of 1440p. You could absolutely push this machine at 4K, though it's more dependent on the game at hand as to whether you'll manage over 60 fps.

Legion Tower 5i

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (1)

CPU: Intel Core i7 13700F
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070
Cooling: 4x Skytech RGB 120mm Fans, single-tower air cooler
Memory: 16GB (2x8GB) DDR5-4400
Storage: Samsung MZVL21T0HCLR 1TB
Warranty: 1 year on-site support
Price: $2,000 (on sale at $1,700 at time of review)

Though it's worth noting that this machine isn't equipped with the fastest RTX 4070 we've tested. It holds back a little more than most, which does lead to lesser performance in GPU-limited applications. Most importantly, gaming.

The moderately pared back graphics card of the Tower 5i is likely the key to its frosty operation, however. During benchmark runs this machine is hardly audible above the background din of the PC Gamer office, and only in longer gaming sessions did I hear the fans really whirr to life. Even when they did wind up, it remains a relatively quiet computer compared to some.

It's not a hot computer, either. The GPU hit 71°C during three runs of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition, while the CPU maintained a steady 87°C under load.

Gaming performance

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (14)

My one concern with the Lenovo out of the box was with the VRM, which I was initially worried may get particularly hot due to a lack of heatsink. The only way to find out if my fears were based in reality or not was to test those temperatures, so I've run a few tests while monitoring the provided data from three sensors on the 'Lenovo 3769' motherboard—Temp 1, 2, and 3.

Temp 1 and 2 don't reach a particularly high temperature (33°C and 23°C, respectively), but during gaming Temp 3 could reach as high as 76°C, which leads me to believe it's the power delivery sensor. That's not a particularly distressing temperature day-to-day, anyways, and since you can't overclock this non K-series chip it shouldn't pose too much of an issue.

CPU performance

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Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (17)

Whereas often we see these sorts of PCs use a cheaper case combined with lesser known off-the-shelf brands, Lenovo has put together a lovely-looking PC together here. The case is a smart grey and black mid-tower with the occasional RGB highlight, including the Legion logo down the front side, and a windowed side panel gives a glimpse into the machine's well-lit innards.

There are a host of lights you can control on the Legion, including all four of the fans included inside the case. That's two up front, one on the CPU cooler, and one on the rear exhaust. All offer user-controllable RGB lighting in the Lenovo Vantage app, which is one of the more simple manufacturer apps to navigate. The only downside is that the more general case lighting is a bluish-white only. The other lighting zone is the Legion logo down the front, and altogether I'm surprised to say it makes for a rather neat-looking machine.

As for the parts, I was expecting a more paltry cooler in this machine than the single-tower cooler provided. That's a win. The SSD is also a win as a speedy Samsung PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive capable of up to 7,000MB/s sequential read speeds.

Storage and memory performance

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Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (21)
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Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (25)

Buy if...

You want a well-finished product: Unlike some cheaper pre-built machines, this is a lovely-looking machine. It's filled with on-brand parts, yet they're still standard shape and sizes, so upgrading isn't an issue down the line.

You need a quiet PC: This machine is relatively low noise next to some chunky gaming towers. It's not too hot, either.

Don't buy if...

You need to save every penny: This Lenovo polish will set you back a bit more than some, including as much as some arguably cheaper-built RTX 4070 Ti PCs.

You plan to overclock: You can't overclock the CPU in this machine, but even with a different chip the VRM on the Lenovo's motherboard isn't up for the task. Lenovo does offer some mild-mannered GPU overclocking in the software, however.

Otherwise, the motherboard isn't much to look at, being one of Lenovo's own corporate lot. Neither is the RAM, a set of bare green DIMMs staring back at you leave a lot to be desired. On the plus side, there are two 8GB DIMMs making up this PC's 16GB capacity, and though they're only rated to 4200MHz (effective), this is at least DDR5.

This machine also has a one-year warranty that seems worth talking about, as Lenovo offers next business day on-site support and repair with this machine. I haven't had hands-on with this part of the customer experience, but from looking around online I've spotted tales of both good and bad experiences from Lenovo Ultimate Support customers. The good ones seem largely really good, and the bad ones seem largely very bad. At the very least, it sounds better on paper than some other warranties on the market.

Overall, I've come away impressed by the Lenovo Legion Tower 5i. While very much still a machine from a major manufacturer, unlike Alienware, Lenovo hasn't held back this machine with non-standard parts, yet it's an altogether smart-looking and operating machine.

That makes me a lot more confident about the price on this one, it's a little more expensive than other RTX 4070 gaming PCs at $2,000. It bears noting that this has a pretty powerful CPU inside it, one of the reasons for the price bump. However, you can find even RTX 4070 Ti machines around this sort of price when on sale. Personally, I'd buy the better GPU, but that would mean likely giving up some of the polish of this Lenovo Legion machine.

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Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (26)
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This Lenovo machine is also often on sale, however. At the time of writing this review, it's down to $1,700 over at Best Buy. If it stays at that sort of price often, it's a much easier recommendation.

But I get what Lenovo is offering here. It's rare that I'm impressed by the finish of a pre-built machine, and even rarer that it doesn't just look the part, it performs great too. Ultimately, I'd be pretty happy with this machine beside my desk each day.

The Verdict

82

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Lenovo Legion Tower 5i

The Lenovo Legion Tower 5i feels a thoroughly thought out prebuilt gaming PC, from its choice of components to overall finish. While the motherboard and RAM are a bit basic, its overall polish makes it one to consider.

Lenovo Legion Tower 5i (28)

Jacob Ridley

Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.

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