Notebookcheck

Lenovo IdeaPad Y900 17ISK Notebook Review

Allen Ngo, 09/18/2016

A souped-up Y700. The higher-end Y900 feels unique with more features and better craftsmanship than its immediately Y700 predecessor. Unfortunately, its chiclet mechanical keyboard, loud pulsating fans, and high starting price leave a lot to be desired.

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The gaming Y series from Lenovo has always been a family of mainstream notebooks at relatively affordable prices. Thus, it has never catered to the same hardcore gaming audiences as do the MSI GT series or Asus ROG series where larger and faster solutions are more common.

This is all set to change with the $2500 USD Ideapad Y900 as Lenovo is doubling down on notebook gamers with a completely revised chassis and the fast GTX 980M. Not to be confused with the IdeaCentre Y900, the IdeaPad Y900 was teased at CES 2016 and wasn't available for purchase until very recently, so it's a bit late to the game now that notebooks sporting Pascal are out in the wild. In this case, the Y900 can be considered a supercharged Y700 with more features including Turbo Mode, additional keyboard backlight options, RAID 0, and Thunderbolt 3. Are these changes enough to sway gamers away from the more established MSI GT72, Asus G752, or Alienware 17?

See our reviews on existing Lenovo Y gaming notebooks to get a feel for the series and how the more mature Y900 compares to its predecessors.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y900 (IdeaPad Y900 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M - 8192 MB, Core: 1038 MHz, Memory: 5010 MHz, GDDR5, 372.54
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4, PC4-17000, 1300 MHz, 15-15-15-36, Dual-Channel
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, Name: LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF1, ID: LGD0469, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel CM236 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2, 256 GB 
, Secondary: 1 TB Western Digital WDC WD10SPCX-24HWST1
Soundcard
Nvidia GM204 - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone, Card Reader: SD reader
Networking
Qualcomm/Atheros e2400 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 36 x 427 x 318 ( = 1.42 x 16.81 x 12.52 in)
Battery
90 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo + subwoofer, Keyboard: Mechanical chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Lenovo Nerve Center, Magic Y Key, Training Manual software, Lenovo Solution Center, Dolby Audio, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
4.4 kg ( = 155.21 oz / 9.7 pounds), Power Supply: 965 g ( = 34.04 oz / 2.13 pounds)
Price
2400 USD

 

Case

The design of the Y900 is, an essence, a beefier and more aggressive version of the existing 17-inch Y700. It builds upon the brushed aluminum outer lid, sharp corners and glossy plastic accents, rubberized aluminum base, and front-facing red speaker grilles from its predecessor while incorporating new features like the anti-smudge textured palm rests to further distinguish it from competing gaming notebooks. The new palm rests increase friction while keeping surface temperatures from getting too warm or cool, but is more difficult to clean because of its rubberized texture.

The build quality of Y series notebooks has been steadily increasing and the Y900 is the sturdiest one yet in the family. Attempting to twist the base results in very slight warping and creaking while pushing down on the center of the keyboard results in minimal visible flexing. The lid is strong down its center due in part to its rigid single-hinge design whereas most notebooks use two smaller hinges nearer the corners. It's still susceptible to side-to-side twisting, but not any more than on the MSI GT series.

Of particular note is the overall workmanship around the edges and speakers. The chassis utilizes many different smaller materials instead of a more unibody design, so the potential for uneven gaps between edges is much higher as shown by our previous Y700 test unit. Fortunately, our Y900 test model exhibited no unintended gaps or holes while the rear ventilation grilles are thicker and more rigid than on some of the newer Clevo barebones. Aside from some slight creaking, its construction is near flawless.

In terms of size and weight, the Y900 is very dense and is a few hundred grams heavier than most competing 17-inch models. The Asus G752VS is an exception with its bulky vapor chamber cooling while the GT72VR is significantly thicker with its superior expandability. Overall size is very close to the Predator 17 and noticeably larger than the super-thin Gigabyte and Aorus models.

Turbo Mode slider
Turbo Mode slider
Anti-smudge rubberized palm rests
Anti-smudge rubberized palm rests

Connectivity

Core options are available including multiple video-out ports and USB Type-C. Perhaps more importantly, the notebook utilizes HDMI 2.0 instead of 1.4 and USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 instead of just Gen. 1 or Gen. 2, so enthusiasts with high-end displays and accessories will appreciate the features. All ports are positioned to be easy to reach for both left- and right-handed users. It's strange that the system offers two USB 2.0 ports as most gaming notebooks in this class and price range only offer one at most with the rest being USB 3.0.

The Novo Recovery button on the right edge will boot the system to BIOS and requires a sharp point or paperclip to access. The BIOS itself is barebones with no auxiliary features or options catered to gamers.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: Novo Recovery button, SD reader, 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm headset, 2x USB 2.0, Kensington Lock
Right: Novo Recovery button, SD reader, 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm headset, 2x USB 2.0, Kensington Lock
Left: AC adapter, DisplayPort ???, HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB 3.0
Left: AC adapter, DisplayPort ???, HDMI 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB 3.0
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity

SD Card Reader

Transfer rates from the card reader average about 94 MB/s according to AS SSD and transferring 1 GB of images from our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II test card will take around 14 seconds. This is in line with most gaming notebooks with the MSI GT series being a notable exception where transfer rates can be over twice as fast.

Keep in mind that the SD card reader on the Y900 is not spring-loaded and the SD card itself will protrude by quite a bit, so care should be taken to prevent bending or physically breaking the card.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
135.3 MB/s ∼100% +80%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
75.29 MB/s ∼56%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
23.8 MB/s ∼18% -68%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
186.3 MB/s ∼100% +99%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
93.84 MB/s ∼50%
MSI GS73VR 6RF
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
27.6 MB/s ∼15% -71%

Communication

WLAN is provided by a Killer 1535 M.2 module capable of theoretical transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps. A real-world test using Jperf settings as shown below reveal a transfer rate of about 518 Mbps when standing 1 meter away from our Linksys EA8500 test router. Systems with Killer WLAN now ship with a special Network Manager software for prioritizing applications and toggling special features.

Jperf (Client)
Jperf (Client)
Jperf (Server)
Jperf (Server)
Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m 512KB
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
518.333 MBit/s ∼100%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
467.9 MBit/s ∼90% -10%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 512KB
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
544 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
531.839 MBit/s ∼98%

Accessories

Lenovo is generous with included extras. Users will get a Micro-USB cable, an external slim DVD burner (GP60NB60), additional WASD keycaps, and a key puller alongside the standard Quick Start Guide and warranty card. No cleaning cloth is included oddly enough unlike on most high-end gaming notebooks from other manufacturers.

The manufacturer also offers a host of optional Y branded accessories such as headphones, mice, backpacks, and mechanical keyboards.

Discussion

Maintenance

Like the Y700, serviceability is tricky on the Y900 due to the tight latches along the bottom panel and rear edges of the ventilation grilles. A sharp edge, Philips screwdriver, and some patience and practice are all required to remove the panel. Accessibility is thus much more difficult compared to most of the MSI G series and some Asus ROG models.

Users have direct access to most core components including the 2x SODIMM slots, 3x drive bays, battery, and cooling system. The other two SODIMM slots are underneath the motherboard and the GPU is soldered and not upgradeable.

Software

New to the Y series is the software package that includes the Training Manual, Nerve Center, and Magic Y Key. The Training Manual is a simple user's manual on core features and specifications while the Nerve Center is home for toggling Turbo Boost and the keyboard backlight. Magic Y Key is for customizing keys to user-defined macros and, in our opinion, should have been integrated with the Nerve Center to reduce the number of individual software applications.

It's worth noting that unlike the Turbo Mode on the MSI G series, the Turbo Mode on the Y900 does not directly affect fan noise. It instead allows the CPU and GPU to operate at higher clock rates, which the fans will respond to appropriately with higher RPMs when necessary. The Y900 Turbo Mode provides only marginal benefits to both CPU and GPU performances according to our CineBench R15 test.

Set Macros for each individual key
Set Macros for each individual key
Nerve Center for Turbo Boost, backlight, network features, and Dolby
Nerve Center for Turbo Boost, backlight, network features, and Dolby
Preset lighting effects for the touchpad, keyboard, and speakers
Preset lighting effects for the touchpad, keyboard, and speakers
18 preset colors for the 7 different regions of the keyboard
18 preset colors for the 7 different regions of the keyboard
Turbo Boost off. Fan speeds are not customizable
Turbo Boost off. Fan speeds are not customizable
Turbo Boost on with FurMark running
Turbo Boost on with FurMark running

Warranty

The standard one-year limited warranty applies to new purchases of the Y900. In comparison, most major manufacturers of high-end gaming notebooks offer two-year limited warranty as standard. Luckily, Lenovo offers a wider range of optional warranty extensions compared to the competition.

Serviceability can be tricky
Serviceability can be tricky

Input Devices

Keyboard

The mechanical chiclet keyboard is a defining characteristic of the Y900. Unlike the Cherry Brown keyboard on the MSI GT80 series, however, the keyboard on the Y900 do not appear to correspond to any standard from Cherry. Instead, these keys have a very light tactile feedback when pressed with a soft auditory click unlike on most other notebooks with standard keyboard keys. Thus, some users may not like the unique feel of the keys for typing and we highly suggest trying them out before purchasing if possible. In our experience, we find that the keys wiggle in place far too easily which negatively impacts WPM and performance. In fact, it's even possible to input a letter without hearing the click or feeling the tactile feedback especially for the all-important Enter key, so accuracy seems inferior to the standard AccuType keyboard on most modern ThinkPads.

We do, however, like the large size of the keys and the ample travel on each. It's only the tactile feedback and click that could use some work for more agreeable typing.

Unlike on most newer Aorus notebooks and the Razer Blade Stealth, the Y900 does not offer millions of color options or the ability to set the backlight for each individual key. Instead, it simply offers 18 preset colors around 7 pre-defined areas of the keyboard. Thus, it cannot be considered a "true" RGB keyboard with individually lit keys. Nonetheless, the number of colors and separate areas are more than what some competing notebooks offer like the Predator 17, ROG series, or the Alienware 17 series.

Lastly, the slider on the top left is used for toggling Turbo Mode with a red light indicator when active. A simple button would have also worked, though it would have been a less stylish solution.

Touchpad

The touchpad surface (10.5 x 7.0 cm) is a smooth glide with no responsiveness issues for both simple cursor movement and multi-touch gestures of up to four fingers. Its integrated mouse keys are slightly muffled, shallow in travel, and soft in feedback, but are still comfortable to use if an external mouse is unavailable. Our biggest gripe with the touchpad is that it's possible to lightly push down on the surface without the notebook registering a click, which can take some getting used to.

Roomy mechanical keys with dedicated column of Macro keys
Roomy mechanical keys with dedicated column of Macro keys
Unfortunately, the keys wiggle in place too easily and feedback is on the soft side
Unfortunately, the keys wiggle in place too easily and feedback is on the soft side
Backlit keys with three brightness levels
Backlit keys with three brightness levels

Display

Our model comes equipped with a 1080p screen of the exact same LP173WF4-SPF1 panel name as our previous Y700 17ISK test unit. A quick look with a microscope also reveals a semi-glossy cover not unlike the 17-inch Y700, so we're convinced that this is a 1:1 transition of the screen from the Y700. Other properties like maximum backlight brightness and contrast ratio are almost identical between them as well at about 330 nits and 1000:1, respectively. Response times, however, appear to be faster on our Y900 test unit and on par with the display on our GT72VR 6RE.

Subjectively, image quality is clean without any graininess. Uneven backlight bleeding is barely noticeable with only very slight hints around the bottom and top edges.

Minimal uneven backlight bleeding
Minimal uneven backlight bleeding
Subpixel array. The camera is focused to show the semi-glossy panel
Subpixel array. The camera is focused to show the semi-glossy panel
334.3
cd/m²
346
cd/m²
342.1
cd/m²
338.3
cd/m²
344.9
cd/m²
326.4
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
315.7
cd/m²
298.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 346 cd/m² Average: 329 cd/m² Minimum: 2.69 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 344.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 988:1 (Black: 0.349 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.49 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.63 | - Ø
86.4% sRGB (Argyll) 56.7% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.11
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
17.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
LG Philips LGD046E, IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
AU Optronics B173ZAN01.0 (AUO109B), IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
EVGA SC17
IPS, 17.3, 3840x2160
Asus G752VS-XB78K
LG Philips LP173WF4-SPF3 (LGD04E8), IPS, 17.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
-41%
2%
0%
-78%
3%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
34.8
51.6
-48%
34.4
1%
37
-6%
69.6
-100%
38
-9%
Response Time Black / White *
25.6
34.4
-34%
25.2
2%
24
6%
40
-56%
22
14%
PWM Frequency
1000
Screen
9%
10%
19%
3%
10%
Brightness
329
332
1%
327
-1%
320
-3%
368
12%
317
-4%
Brightness Distribution
86
90
5%
89
3%
88
2%
83
-3%
88
2%
Black Level *
0.349
0.304
13%
0.323
7%
0.25
28%
0.439
-26%
0.3
14%
Contrast
988
1150
16%
1080
9%
1344
36%
898
-9%
1093
11%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.49
3.99
11%
4.09
9%
3.61
20%
5.79
-29%
3.74
17%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.63
3.34
28%
2.14
54%
4.78
-3%
4.23
9%
2.67
42%
Gamma
2.11 114%
2.23 108%
2.25 107%
2.32 103%
2.11 114%
2.41 100%
CCT
6905 94%
6111 106%
6885 94%
6185 105%
7479 87%
6861 95%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56.7
55.8
-2%
56.9
0%
88
55%
86.6
53%
56
-1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.4
84.8
-2%
86.5
0%
100
16%
100
16%
85
-2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-16% / -1%
6% / 8%
10% / 15%
-38% / -13%
7% / 8%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is approximately 57 percent and 86 percent of the AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively. Competing gaming notebooks may offer full sRGB coverage including the Predator 17 and the MSI GT series to appease professional digital artists.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. Acer Predator 17 G9
vs. Acer Predator 17 G9
vs. Lenovo Y700 17ISK
vs. Lenovo Y700 17ISK

Colors and grayscale are average out of the box and a quick calibration improves both noticeably. Colors still become increasingly inaccurate the higher the saturation level due to the panel's imperfect sRGB coverage.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
25.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4.8 ms rise
↘ 20.8 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 40 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (27.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
34.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 20.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 24 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44.3 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 965 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average at best when under shade. An overcast day or direct sunlight will wash out onscreen texts and colors and should be avoided if possible. The semi-glossy screen does not reduce reflections as much as a matte panel and the hinge only allows for a maximum angle of about 130 to 140 degrees. Nonetheless, viewing angles are wide as expected from an IPS panel with no major color or grayscale degradation.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Configurations are limited as the i7-6820HK CPU, GTX 980M GPU, and 1080p G-Sync panel all appear to be fixed with only RAM and storage drives as expandable options. While we're expecting Lenovo to eventually update the series with Pascal, we're not expecting to see Core i7-6700HQ options or anything similar as the system's Turbo Mode makes direct use of the HK series unlocked multiplier.

The integrated HD Graphics 530 is disabled as Optimus is not available.

Processor

The Core i7-6820HK is a common find on very high-end gaming notebooks and so its performance has been well documented in our database. Users shouldn't expect significant performance advantages over the older Broadwell i7-5700HQ or the Haswell i7-4720HQ while moving up to the desktop-class i7-6700k will net users about a 20 percent performance increase in multi-threaded workloads.

Unique to the Y900, however, is its Turbo Mode that allows the CPU to run up to 3.8 GHz for all of its cores. As shown by our CineBench R15 results below, this ups the notebook's single- and multi-threaded scores to 164 and 751 points, respectively. Not exactly significant, but measurable nonetheless. If Turbo Mode is off, then CPU performance is essentially on par with the i7-6700HQ or i7-5700HQ.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-6820HK for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
CineBench R15 (Turbo Mode)
CineBench R15 (Turbo Mode)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
166 Points ∼86% +9%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
158 Points ∼81% +4%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Intel Core i7-6820HK
152 Points ∼78%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
143 Points ∼74% -6%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
131 Points ∼68% -14%
CPU Multi 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
865 Points ∼47% +22%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
860 Points ∼46% +22%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Intel Core i7-6820HK
707 Points ∼38%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
682 Points ∼37% -4%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
641 Points ∼34% -9%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
1.91 Points ∼87% +14%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.78 Points ∼81% +7%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Intel Core i7-6820HK
1.67 Points ∼76%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
1.66 Points ∼75% -1%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
1.49 Points ∼68% -11%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
1.49 Points ∼68% -11%
CPU Multi 64Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
9.56 Points ∼48% +24%
MSI GT73VR-6RE16SR451
Intel Core i7-6820HK
9.53 Points ∼48% +23%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Intel Core i7-6820HK
7.73 Points ∼39%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
7.53 Points ∼38% -3%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
6.94 Points ∼35% -10%
Asus G750JS-T4064H
Intel Core i7-4700HQ
6.94 Points ∼35% -10%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
6487 Points ∼88% +17%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Intel Core i7-6820HK
5559 Points ∼75%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
5449 Points ∼74% -2%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
26150 Points ∼65% +25%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Intel Core i7-6820HK
20910 Points ∼52%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
18785 Points ∼47% -10%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Intel Core i7-6820HK
229.223 s * ∼3%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
210.067 s * ∼2% +8%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
178.464 s * ∼2% +22%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
Intel Core i7-5700HQ
561.953 Seconds * ∼2% -1%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Intel Core i7-6820HK
556.105 Seconds * ∼2%
DogHouse Systems Mobius SS
Intel Core i7-6700K
498.33 Seconds * ∼2% +10%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
10260
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
20910
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5559
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.73 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
71.32 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.67 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
152 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
109.55 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
707 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank the Y900 in the same ballpark as its most recent 17-inch competitors including the MSI GT72VR and the Acer Predator 17. We experienced no software or hardware hiccups during our time with the test unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
5533 Points ∼85%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
5095 Points ∼78% -8%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
5044 Points ∼77% -9%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
7636 Points ∼82% +16%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
6609 Points ∼71%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
4762 Points ∼51% -28%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
2303 Points ∼25% -65%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
4952 Points ∼83%
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
4620 Points ∼77% -7%
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
4060 Points ∼68% -18%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
3848 Points ∼64% -22%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4952 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
6609 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5533 points
Help

Storage Devices

Users have access to 2x M.2 slots capable of RAID 0 and a 2.5-inch SATA III bay for additional storage. Our test model shipped with a 256 GB NVMe Samsung M.2 SSD and a secondary 1 TB Hitachi HDD.

Performance from the primary SSD is good for a NVMe SSD, but not the fastest. The Samsung SSD 950 in our EVGA SC17 handily outperforms the SM951 in our Lenovo in all tested cases according to CrystalDiskMark. Nonetheless, transfer rates are still significantly faster than other gaming notebooks limited to SATA III speeds. The secondary HDD averages 86 MB/s according to HD Tune whereas most 7200 RPM Hitachi drives are slightly faster at 90 MB/s or above.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmarks and comparisons.

2.5-inch HDD wrapped under a ribbon
2.5-inch HDD wrapped under a ribbon
Dual M.2 2280 SSD slots
Dual M.2 2280 SSD slots
AS SSD (Primary SSD)
AS SSD (Primary SSD)
CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Primary SSD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
CDM (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
HD Tune (Secondary HDD)
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
EVGA SC17
Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB m.2 NVMe
Asus G752VS-XB78K
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-55%
-58%
21%
23%
Write 4k QD32
345.3
138.9
-60%
236.9
-31%
422
22%
578
67%
Read 4k QD32
538.9
358.8
-33%
147.5
-73%
635.2
18%
743.9
38%
Write 4k
140.3
96.95
-31%
99.36
-29%
149.2
6%
154.4
10%
Read 4k
49.32
36.89
-25%
23.1
-53%
52.13
6%
44.42
-10%
Write 512
1228
156.5
-87%
319.2
-74%
1490
21%
1438
17%
Read 512
850
435.6
-49%
288.9
-66%
1113
31%
1250
47%
Write Seq
1254
156.3
-88%
338.5
-73%
1534
22%
1305
4%
Read Seq
1559
513.2
-67%
529
-66%
2247
44%
1718
10%
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Sequential Read: 1559 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1254 MB/s
512K Read: 850 MB/s
512K Write: 1228 MB/s
4K Read: 49.32 MB/s
4K Write: 140.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 538.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 345.3 MB/s

GPU Performance

The GTX 980M in the Y900 performs exactly where we expect it to be according to our database. 3DMark shows it to be on par with the GTX 980M in the Asus GL502VY across the board with the GTX 1060 and the GTX 980 coming out ahead by about 10 to 30 percent depending on the benchmark.

Note that our results below were performed with Turbo Mode active. When Turbo Mode was deactivated, 3DMark results were very poor and only slightly ahead of the GTX 960M. For example, running Fire Strike Ultra with Turbo Mode disabled would return Physics and Graphics scores of only 9877 and 1251 points, respectively. We recommend turning Turbo Mode on when gaming to get the most out of the Y900.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
3009 Points ∼30% +29%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
2592 Points ∼26% +11%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
2326 Points ∼23%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
2299 Points ∼23% -1%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
974 Points ∼10% -58%
Fire Strike Extreme Graphics
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
6123 Points ∼45% +32%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
5541 Points ∼41% +19%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
4650 Points ∼34%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
4623 Points ∼34% -1%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
2012 Points ∼15% -57%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
13018 Points ∼33% +32%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
11957 Points ∼30% +21%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
9888 Points ∼25%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
9608 Points ∼24% -3%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
4318 Points ∼11% -56%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
9842 Points ∼62%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
9017 Points ∼56% -8%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
8343 Points ∼52% -15%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
8338 Points ∼52% -15%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5474 Points ∼34% -44%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus G701VO-CS74K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK
16946 Points ∼33% +29%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
13168 Points ∼26%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ
12731 Points ∼25% -3%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ
12472 Points ∼24% -5%
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5237 Points ∼10% -60%
3DMark 11 Performance
12267 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
134877 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
26493 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
8653 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
4478 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Most titles are playable at 1080p60 on high to maximum settings. Games with Ultra texture packs should also work well on the Y900 as its GPU utilizes 8 GB of GDDR5 VRAM instead of just 4 GB on some gaming notebooks with the same GTX 980M. The newer GTX 1060 is slightly faster in most games without necessarily consuming more power.

See our dedicated GPU page on the GTX 980M for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

Sleeping Dogs - 1920x1080 Extreme Preset AA:Extreme
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
75.2 fps ∼100% +29%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
58.1 fps ∼77%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
57.5 fps ∼76% -1%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
44.9 fps ∼60% -23%
Guild Wars 2 - 1920x1080 All Maximum / On AA:FX
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
58.2 fps ∼100%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
52.9 fps ∼91% -9%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
106.2 fps ∼100% +18%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
105.5 fps ∼99% +17%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
90.2 fps ∼85%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
86.4 fps ∼81% -4%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
69.5 fps ∼65% -23%
Metro: Last Light - 1920x1080 Very High (DX11) AF:16x
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
88.3 fps ∼100% +32%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
82.1 fps ∼93% +23%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
66.8 fps ∼76%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
50.5 fps ∼57% -24%
Thief - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FXAA & High SS AF:8x
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
72.4 fps ∼100% +17%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
67.9 fps ∼94% +9%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
62.1 fps ∼86%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
58.6 fps ∼81% -6%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
47.5 fps ∼66% -24%
Batman: Arkham Knight - 1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
63 fps ∼100% +24%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
62 fps ∼98% +22%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
51 fps ∼81%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
36 fps ∼57% -29%
Metal Gear Solid V - 1920x1080 Extra High / On
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
60 fps ∼100%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
60 fps ∼100% 0%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
60 fps ∼100% 0%
Fallout 4 - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:T AF:16x
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
79.3 fps ∼100% +38%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
71.6 fps ∼90% +25%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
57.9 fps ∼73% +1%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
57.4 fps ∼72%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
43.5 fps ∼55% -24%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
63.5 fps ∼100% +25%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
60.4 fps ∼95% +19%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
55 fps ∼87% +9%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
50.6 fps ∼80%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
42.8 fps ∼67% -15%
Doom - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:SM
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
96.5 fps ∼100% +17%
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
84.3 fps ∼87% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
82.3 fps ∼85%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
56 fps ∼58% -32%
Overwatch - 1920x1080 Epic (Render Scale 100 %) AA:SM AF:16x
Asus G701VO-CS74K
GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop), 6820HK, 2x Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL (RAID 0)
118.2 fps ∼100% +38%
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
106.3 fps ∼90% +24%
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
GeForce GTX 980M, 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122
87.3 fps ∼74% +2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
85.7 fps ∼73%
low med. high ultra
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 58.1fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 58.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 90.2fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 66.8fps
Thief (2014) 62.1fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 51fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 57.4fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 50.6fps
Doom (2016) 82.3fps
Overwatch (2016) 85.7fps

Stress Test

The Y900 performs very well when subjected to maximum stress from both Prime95 and FurMark. The system never throttles its CPU and will always maintain some level of Turbo Boost, but core CPU temperature stabilizes at a high 84 C or an even higher 96 C when Turbo Mode is active and under maximum workloads. It is unable to maintain anything higher than 3.2 GHz when under Prime95 stress, which is disappointing when compared to the thicker MSI GT73VR with the same CPU. Keep in mind that Turbo Mode will actually increase core temperatures since it does not directly raise the RPM ceiling of the fans in contrast to the MSI GT72/GE72 series.

In contrast, core GPU temperatures remain relatively low with 80 C being the absolute worst case scenario in Turbo Mode and 65 to 70 C being average when gaming. This suggests that the chassis may be able to handle Pascal GPUs of higher TDPs such as the GTX 1070 should Lenovo choose to update the model in the future.

Running on battery power will throttle both CPU and GPU performances. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 9148 and 6236 points, respectively, compared to 10418 and 13168 points when on mains.

Turbo Mode can only be activated when the system is connected to a power outlet.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress (Turbo Mode)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Turbo Mode)
Unigine Valley stress
Unigine Valley stress
Unigine Valley stress (Turbo Mode)
Unigine Valley stress (Turbo Mode)
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.0 - 3.1 -- 64 41
FurMark Stress -- 696 - 709 70 63
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.2 696 - 709 84 68
Unigine Valley Stress 3.2+ 1088 66 63
Prime95 + FurMark Stress (Turbo Mode) 3.0 - 3.2 911 96 80
Unigine Valley Stress (Turbo Mode) 3.8+ 1126 68 66

Emissions

System Noise

A quick look at the motherboard and cooling system shows that the Y900 has been completely revised when compared to its Y700 predecessor. The positioning of the dual fans and heat pipes is now more similar to the ones on Aorus notebooks and the thinner MSI GS series.

Unfortunately, fan noise is unacceptable on the Y900. While it is very quiet during low loads at around 30 to 32 dB(A), it frequently and inexplicably pulsates to as high as 48 dB(A) before quickly dropping back down to the low 30 dB(A) range. We tried all Power Modes including Power Saver up to High Performance, but results remained the same. This is extremely irritating and something we hope Lenovo will address through a future update.

To add insult to injury, there are no included fan controls for the end-user to customize. Most high-end gaming notebooks from competing manufacturer include basic fan controls at the very least, so this is a very disappointing omission from Lenovo.

Beyond the conspicuous pulsating behavior of the fans, fan noise is otherwise standard for a gaming notebook. The fans are almost always active and will settle in the 42 to 44 dB(A) range during gaming loads to be just slightly louder than the MSI GT72VR and Asus G752VS. Maximum fan noise is independent on Turbo Mode and is just over 48 dB(A).

Twin ~50 mm fans
Twin ~50 mm fans
Three large heat pipes for symmetrical cooling
Three large heat pipes for symmetrical cooling
Lenovo Y900 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Valley, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Lenovo Y900 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Valley, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
MSI GT72VR 6RD
MSI GT72VR 6RD
EVGA SC17
EVGA SC17

Noise Level

Idle
29.4 / 32.4 / 48 dB(A)
Load
42.5 / 48.5 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.8 dB(A)
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung MZNLN128HCGR-000L2
MSI GT72VR 6RE-015US
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1122
Asus G752VS-XB78K
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
Noise
10%
4%
7%
-1%
Idle Minimum *
29.4
28
5%
32.4
-10%
31
-5%
33
-12%
Idle Average *
32.4
28.1
13%
32.4
-0%
32
1%
34
-5%
Idle Maximum *
48
31.5
34%
32.4
32%
33
31%
40
17%
Load Average *
42.5
40.6
4%
39.4
7%
40
6%
44
-4%
Load Maximum *
48.5
51
-5%
52
-7%
47
3%
50
-3%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are low for a gaming notebook under all conditions. The cooling solution does an excellent job at keeping warm areas closer to the rear of the notebook and away from the keyboard while the rubberized palm rests keep the hands cool no matter the onscreen load. At worst, we were able to record a concentrated surface temperature of almost 50 C on the top surface when under extreme loads. The gradient falls off quickly when compared to the Alienware 17 or EVGA SC17, so much of the notebook remains relatively cool.

Maximum load (Top)
Maximum load (Top)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Max. Load
 37.6 °C49 °C36.8 °C 
 32.8 °C40 °C36.2 °C 
 24.4 °C23.8 °C28.8 °C 
Maximum: 49 °C
Average: 34.4 °C
38.6 °C39.2 °C38.8 °C
32.2 °C36.4 °C32.4 °C
30.2 °C30 °C31.2 °C
Maximum: 39.2 °C
Average: 34.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  41.4 °C | Room Temperature 21 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

The integrated JBL speakers are some of the loudest we've heard on a notebook at up to 87 dB according to our microphone measurements. Unfortunately, its balance is subpar with louder midtones as shown by our pink noise graph below. A more ideal graph would show a flatter curve across a wider frequency range instead of an upside-down parabola. We can otherwise notice no static or major reverberations from the speakers.

Two 3.5 mm audio-out options are available as opposed to four on most MSI G series notebooks and Clevo barebones.

Dedicated ~2 cm subwoofer
Dedicated ~2 cm subwoofer
(Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
(Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2037.437.42534.337.73134.136.44035.635.55033.635.56332.435.68033.339.410031.641.112530.2541602963.620028.468.125026.669.131526.86740026.267.45002671.56302581.580024.381100024.27812502477.4160023.577.6200023.372.9250023.572.8315023.272.9400023.270500023.266.9630023.263.3800023.2551000023.354.11250023.348.21600023.444.1SPL03687.1N2.668.1median 24Lenovo IdeaPad Y900median 68.1Delta1.76.935.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | reduced highs - on average 6.4% lower than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 64% of all tested devices in this class were better, 10% similar, 26% worse
» The best had a delta of 10%, average was 17%, worst was 29%
Compared to all devices tested
» 38% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 95% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Gaming loads demand about 110 W of power while idling on the lowest power settings will draw anywhere between 24 W to 30 W. In contrast, gaming on the Asus GL502VY or MSI GS73VR will draw about 130 W and 115 W, respectively. Maximum performance from both Prime95 and FurMark demands about 171 W against a power adapter (~20 x 10 x 2.5 cm) rated for up to 230 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.35 / 0.88 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 24.3 / 29.6 / 29.9 Watt
Load midlight 110.1 / 171.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256 m.2, , 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M, SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Acer Predator 17 G9-793-77LG
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7, IPS, 3840x2160, 17.3
MSI GS73VR 6RF
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), SanDisk SD8SN8U1T001122, TN LED, 1920x1080, 17.3
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
9%
-20%
-3%
54%
Idle Minimum *
24.3
20.6
15%
25
-3%
22.6
7%
5.3
78%
Idle Average *
29.6
22.1
25%
35
-18%
32.7
-10%
10.6
64%
Idle Maximum *
29.9
22.5
25%
46
-54%
32.8
-10%
11.8
61%
Load Average *
110.1
130.6
-19%
103
6%
114.7
-4%
70.9
36%
Load Maximum *
171.4
177.2
-3%
223
-30%
167.9
2%
119.8
30%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes from the non-removable 90 Wh battery are average at just under six hours on the most conservative conditions (Power Saver, minimum display brightness, idling on desktop) and just over four hours on more real-world WLAN conditions (150 nit brightness, Balanced profile, looping browser script). Its battery life under heavy loads is longer than expected due to the heavy system-imposed throttling of the CPU and GPU when not connected to mains.

Charging from near empty to full capacity will take roughly 2.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
5h 49min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
4h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 16min
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
6820HK, GeForce GTX 980M, 90 Wh
Lenovo Ideapad Y700 17ISK 80Q0
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 960M, 60 Wh
Asus Strix GL502VY-DS71
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 980M, 64 Wh
Asus G752VS-XB78K
6820HK, GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 90 Wh
MSI GT72VR 6RD-063US
6700HQ, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 83 Wh
Battery Runtime
33%
-30%
-21%
-17%
Reader / Idle
349
688
97%
273
-22%
311
-11%
323
-7%
Load
136
91
-33%
76
-44%
84
-38%
93
-32%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
248
334
35%
187
-25%
210
-15%
221
-11%

Pro

+ relatively low surface and core temperatures
+ large keys with dedicated Macro keys
+ RAID 0 compatibility; 3x storage bays
+ unique design; strong build quality
+ wide keyboard backlight options
+ USB Type-C w/ Thunderbolt 3
+ very loud internal speakers
+ removable mechanical keys
+ no CPU or GPU throttling
+ G-Sync

Cons

- disappointing Turbo Mode; high CPU temperature under extreme loads
- keyboard does not offer "true" individually-lit RGB keys
- loud pulsating fan behavior during low loads
- sound reproduction could be more balanced
- no 120 Hz/5 ms or 4K UHD display options
- loud fan noise when gaming
- no custom fan controls
- non-upgradeable GPU
- difficult serviceability
- average battery life
- soft key feedback
- pricey

Verdict

In review: Lenovo Ideapad Y900-17ISK. Test model provided by Lenovo US.
In review: Lenovo Ideapad Y900-17ISK. Test model provided by Lenovo US.

Lenovo is treading on deeper ground with its new Y900 and the $2000+ USD price tag proves it. While design and workmanship are sound, the new mechanical keyboard and Turbo Mode are a mixed bag. The keys feel soft and uneven and some users may not like its unique tactile feedback. Meanwhile, Turbo Mode offers few gaming benefits and we recommend leaving it on at all times when gaming since there is no real disadvantage to having it off during gaming loads.

Another major drawback is the system's strange pulsating fan behavior and lack of customizable fan controls at the time of review. This may eventually be patched up, but users should avoid using the notebook in noise-sensitive environments even when set to Power Saver settings. Fan noise when gaming is slightly louder than most other 17-inch notebooks save for the thinner MSI GS73VR or Gigabyte alternativesAorus X7 Pro v5 Notebook Review.

At its core, the Y900 offers strong performance at relatively low temperatures with no CPU or GPU throttling. Nonetheless, we have a hard time finding enough value in the system to recommend it over something less expensive like the GT72VR with its easy serviceability and upgradeable MXM 3.0b GPU.

Lenovo's latest flagship gaming notebook is a strong step forward in terms of quality and design, but it is ultimately held back by annoying pulsating fans, lack of display configuration options, soft chiclet mechanical keys, and low value for the high asking price especially now that competing notebooks are shipping with the more efficient GTX 1060 GPU.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y900 - 10/10/2016 v5.1
Allen Ngo

Chassis
82 / 98 → 83%
Keyboard
73%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
64 / 81 → 79%
Weight
45 / 66 → 63%
Battery
76%
Display
83%
Games Performance
92%
Application Performance
96%
Temperature
90 / 95 → 95%
Noise
60 / 90 → 67%
Audio
70%
Camera
50 / 85 → 59%
Average
74%
81%
Gaming - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo IdeaPad Y900 17ISK Notebook Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-09-18 (Update: 2016-09-19)