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Lenovo Legion C530 Cube (i5-8300, GTX 1050 Ti) Mini PC Review

Ready to go. Lenovo is making it real easy for mainstream gamers who just want an affordable pick-up-and-play gaming PC without the hassle. Beginner builders will find a lot to like about the Legion C530 even if it's missing a few common features.

The Legion C530 is Lenovo's affordable gaming desktop aimed at mainstream gamers on a budget. It's marketed as being easy to transport, easy to upgrade, and easy to play.

Configurations start with the Core i5-8400 CPU, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD, and 16 GB Optane Memory up to the i7-8700 CPU, GTX 1060 GPU, 16 GB of RAM, 1 TB HDD, and 128 GB PCIe SSD. A Radeon RX 570 option is also available outside of the usual Nvidia options. Our test unit today is the entry-level configuration retailing for just under $900 USD. For this review, we'll be comparing the performance of the Legion C530 to entry-level gaming laptops like the Legion Y730 or Dell G3 and seeing what upgrade opportunities are possible on this chassis.

Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
Processor
Intel Core i5-8400 6 x 2.8 - 4 GHz, Coffee Lake-S
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop) - 4096 MB, Core: 1290 MHz, Memory: 7008 MHz, GDDR5, 416.94
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4, PC4-21300, 19-19-19-32, Single-Channel
Mainboard
Intel B360 (Cannon Lake-H)
Storage
Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003, 1024 GB 
, 7200 rpm
Soundcard
Nvidia GP107 - High Definition Audio Controller
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 231 x 332 x 242 ( = 9.09 x 13.07 x 9.53 in)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Additional features
12 Months Warranty
Weight
8.9 kg ( = 313.94 oz / 19.62 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Much like the Ideacentre Y720 Cube, the Legion Y520 Cube takes a no-frills approach with emphasis on practicality over sleek curves and gaudy LEDs. The large handle on top, for example, makes transporting much easier than your typical tower. The front of the system is reserved for air intake, the rear for ports and exhaust, the clear plexiglass top window for showing off the lit GPU and motherboard, and the two easily removable side plates for upgrades and servicing. It doesn't have the looks of an enthusiast gaming PC, but we can appreciate its ease-of-use.

A minor complaint about its design is that the large handle cannot be detached. Removing the handle would have made for a cleaner look to show off the internal components even better or allow room for resting more items on top of the system. Users who don't plan on moving the system around often may find the large handle to be more bothersome than useful.

As for the LED lighting along the top, the color can only be customized on the C730 series while the C530 is fixed at red.

332 mm / 13.1 inch 242 mm / 9.53 inch 231 mm / 9.09 inch 8.9 kg19.6 lbs225 mm / 8.86 inch 203 mm / 7.99 inch 128 mm / 5.04 inch 3.3 kg7.38 lbs221 mm / 8.7 inch 142 mm / 5.59 inch 39 mm / 1.535 inch 1.3 kg2.94 lbs

Connectivity

Available interfaces include 8 USB Type-A ports, three different audio ports, and a number of video-out ports depending on the GPU option. In our case, the GTX 1050 Ti provides DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI outputs. The chassis is able to accept dual-width and full length graphics cards should users wish to upgrade in the future.

There are a number of missing ports including Thunderbolt 3, SD card reader, and USB Type-C. The latter is a head scratcher as even budget laptops and desktops are beginning to integrate the increasingly common USB Type-C port.

Lastly, the front ports can be difficult to reach since they are positioned so closely to the floor. The USB ports are also upside-down that will inevitably cause some frustration down the road.

Front: 3.5 mm mic-in, headphone-in, 2x USB 3.0
Front: 3.5 mm mic-in, headphone-in, 2x USB 3.0
Rear: DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI, 3.5 mm audio out, RJ-45, 2x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen. 2, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen. 1, AC cable
Rear: DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI, 3.5 mm audio out, RJ-45, 2x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen. 2, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen. 1, AC cable

Communication

Every SKU includes a Realtek 8822BE WLAN module for 802.11ac connectivity and Bluetooth 4.2. We experienced no issues with the wireless during our time with the unit. The module is removable although it will be hidden underneath the graphics card should a longer one be installed. Some gaming laptops, like the Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC, are also equipped with this same Realtek module.

Transfer rates are where we expect them to be given that the theoretical maximum is limited to 768 Mbps.

WLAN card positioned towards the end of the PCIe x16 slot
WLAN card positioned towards the end of the PCIe x16 slot
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC-GC204T
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
632 MBit/s ∼100% +9%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
602 MBit/s ∼95% +4%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
591 MBit/s ∼94% +2%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
580 MBit/s ∼92%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC-GC204T
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
670 MBit/s ∼100% +3%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
Realtek 8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC
651 MBit/s ∼97%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
553 MBit/s ∼83% -15%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
376 MBit/s ∼56% -42%

Maintenance

The right panel pops off with just a pull of a lever to expose the MATX motherboard. However, Lenovo says its dimensions have been reduced to 244 x 200 mm due to space constraints. The dual DDR4 slots, M.2 PCIe slot, three SATA ports, and CPU/GPU can all be easily serviced as needed. Additional 8-pin, 6-pin, and 2-pin rails are here should the GPU require more juice.

There are no other PCIe expansion slots other than the one being occupied by the GPU likely due to the limited space available. A second PCIe x1 or x4 slot would have been useful for expansion purposes.

The left panel is screwed on by two large flathead screws. Once removed, users will have direct access to the 450 W PSU and all three 3.5-inch SATA bays. The metal mounting tray for the drives can be pulled open at an angle for quick swapping. There are unfortunately no included mounting brackets for laptop-sized 2.5-inch drives and so users will have to provide their own 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch adapters.

The official user's manual for the Legion C530 can be found here.

Rear lever for detaching the right panel
Rear lever for detaching the right panel
Rear thumb screws for detaching the left panel
Rear thumb screws for detaching the left panel
Left panel exposes the PSU and mounting tray for the three SATA III drives
Left panel exposes the PSU and mounting tray for the three SATA III drives
Right panel exposes the motherboard and all its glory
Right panel exposes the motherboard and all its glory

Accessories and Warranty

Included extras are a basic wired keyboard and mouse. Thermal paste and additional screws for the motherboard would have made the package more attractive to builders.

The standard one-year limited warranty applies with two-year and three-year extensions. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Performance

 

Processor

CineBench R15
CineBench R15

Much like how most gaming laptops can be configured with either the i5-8300H or i7-8750H, the Legion C530 can be configured with either the i5-8400 or i7-8700. The i5-8400 is only about 15 percent faster than the i5-8300H in the Legion Y530 despite having 50 percent more physical cores. The main reasoning for the relatively minor performance advantage over mobile Coffee Lake-H is the lack of Hyper-Threading on the i5-8400. Users who choose to upgrade to the i7-8700 SKU will see a 24 percent boost in multi-thread performance.

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop shows steady CPU performance over time whereas some Ultrabooks, like the MateBook X Pro, may suffer from sharp drops due to throttling.

See our dedicated page on the Core i5-8400 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

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Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400, Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø929 (917.45-937.25)
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø817 (804.93-829.48)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
192 Points ∼86% +12%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
190 Points ∼85% +10%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
188 Points ∼84% +9%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
180 Points ∼80% +5%
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
185 Points ∼83% +8%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
Intel Core i5-8600K
181 Points ∼81% +5%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
178 Points ∼79% +3%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Intel Core i7-8750H
173 Points ∼77% +1%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
Intel Core i5-8400
172 Points ∼77%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i5-8300H
171 Points ∼76% -1%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Intel Core i7-8550U
162 Points ∼72% -6%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
160 Points ∼71% -7%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBM 80YY001APB
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
149 Points ∼67% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
1391 Points ∼32% +48%
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
1359 Points ∼31% +45%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
Intel Core i7-8750H
1230 Points ∼28% +31%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
1167 Points ∼27% +24%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
Intel Core i5-8600K
991 Points ∼23% +6%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
Intel Core i5-8400
939 Points ∼21%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
864 Points ∼20% -8%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i5-8300H
830 Points ∼19% -12%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
808 Points ∼18% -14%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
798 (671.37min - 798.44max) Points ∼18% -15%
Lenovo Lenovo Legion Y720 80VR002XGE
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
737 Points ∼17% -22%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBM 80YY001APB
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
517 Points ∼12% -45%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
Intel Core i7-8550U
503 Points ∼11% -46%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
2.18 Points ∼85%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
2.17 Points ∼85%
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
2.16 Points ∼84%
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
2.1 Points ∼82%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
Intel Core i5-8600K
2.07 Points ∼81%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
1.99 Points ∼78%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
15.13 Points ∼34%
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
14.98 Points ∼34%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
12.9 Points ∼29%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
Intel Core i5-8600K
10.76 Points ∼24%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
9.41 Points ∼21%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
7.32 Points ∼17%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
39380 Points ∼60%
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
38810 Points ∼59%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
34532 Points ∼53%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
Intel Core i5-8600K
32863 Points ∼50%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
25809 Points ∼40%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
23215 Points ∼36%
Rendering Single 32Bit
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
7249 Points ∼67%
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
7243 Points ∼67%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
Intel Core i7-8700
7171 Points ∼66%
Aorus X9 DT
Intel Core i9-8950HK
6978 Points ∼64%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
Intel Core i5-8600K
6875 Points ∼63%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
6668 Points ∼62%
wPrime 2.10 - 1024m
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBM 80YY001APB
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
348.084 s * ∼4%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Core i7-8559U
234.569 s * ∼3%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
186.66 s * ∼2%
Eurocom Sky X4C
Intel Core i7-8700K
120.923 s * ∼1%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
172 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
939 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
134.72 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank our Lenovo desktop in the same ballpark as many Lenovo gaming laptops if not slightly slower because of its primary 1 TB HDD. We experienced a few BSODs that seemingly went away after we disabled Optane.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, i7-8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
5598 Points ∼43% +3%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400, Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003
5430 Points ∼42%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
5290 Points ∼41% -3%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
4959 Points ∼38% -9%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
4007 Points ∼31% -26%
Average of class Desktop
  (972 - 11987, n=26)
3874 Points ∼30% -29%
Productivity
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, i7-8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
7915 Points ∼76% +28%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
7246 Points ∼70% +17%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
7236 Points ∼69% +17%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
7057 Points ∼68% +14%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400, Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003
6192 Points ∼59%
Average of class Desktop
  (2883 - 8515, n=26)
6151 Points ∼59% -1%
Essentials
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, i7-8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
9125 Points ∼80% +32%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
8994 Points ∼79% +30%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
8989 Points ∼78% +30%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
8418 Points ∼73% +21%
Average of class Desktop
  (4418 - 10598, n=26)
7699 Points ∼67% +11%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400, Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003
6931 Points ∼61%
Score
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, i7-8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
5301 Points ∼65% +20%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
4982 Points ∼61% +13%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
4812 Points ∼59% +9%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
4580 Points ∼56% +4%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400, Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003
4411 Points ∼54%
Average of class Desktop
  (1658 - 7329, n=26)
3998 Points ∼49% -9%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400, Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003
4939 Points ∼81%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, i7-8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
4833 Points ∼79% -2%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
4674 Points ∼77% -5%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
4148 Points ∼68% -16%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
4129 Points ∼68% -16%
Average of class Desktop
  (1928 - 5418, n=28)
3720 Points ∼61% -25%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4939 points
Help

Storage Devices

Our test unit includes a 1 TB Seagate HDD and a 16 GB M.2 Intel Optane SSD to accelerate HDD performance. Unfortunately, our unit would not boot into Windows correctly until we disabled the Optane SSD. Thus, our PCMark and storage benchmarks represent the system running off the primary Seagate HDD only with no aid from the Optane drive. The M.2 PCIe x4 drive supports NVMe SSDs.

The 7200 RPM HDD returns fast read and write rates of 184 MB/s and 128 MB/s, respectively, according to CDM 5 compared to around 100 MB/s on most 7200 RPM 2.5-inch HDDs. For budget-conscious gamers, we recommend a primary 64 GB or 128 GB SSD for Windows while relegating the 1 TB Seagate HDD to secondary storage. A classic SATA III SSD is still much faster than a typical HDD and less costly per GB than Intel Optane.

All three 3.5-inch SATA slots sit snugly on the metal tray
All three 3.5-inch SATA slots sit snugly on the metal tray
M.2 2280 Intel Optane SSD
M.2 2280 Intel Optane SSD
Motherboard supports up to three SATA drives
Motherboard supports up to three SATA drives
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003
Panasonic Toughbook CF-54G2999VM
Seagate BarraCuda Compute 1TB ST1000LM048
Lenovo IdeaPad 330-15ARR-81D2005JGE
Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
HP 15-db0500ng
Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
MSI GF63 8RC
Seagate BarraCuda Pro Compute 1TB ST1000LM049
Asus VivoBook 15 F510UF-ES71
Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LM035
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-6%
-44%
-32%
2%
3%
Write 4K
0.942
1.145
22%
0.217
-77%
0.727
-23%
1.244
32%
1.283
36%
Read 4K
0.472
0.453
-4%
0.367
-22%
0.379
-20%
0.544
15%
0.493
4%
Write Seq
128.3
52.22
-59%
98.79
-23%
85.14
-34%
97.1
-24%
79.27
-38%
Read Seq
183.7
122.7
-33%
131.1
-29%
95.63
-48%
162.1
-12%
136.7
-26%
Write 4K Q32T1
1.061
2.428
129%
0.222
-79%
0.99
-7%
1.674
58%
2.266
114%
Read 4K Q32T1
1.192
1.063
-11%
0.781
-34%
0.869
-27%
0.998
-16%
1.068
-10%
Write Seq Q32T1
177.6
73.66
-59%
97
-45%
92.24
-48%
134.8
-24%
108.7
-39%
Read Seq Q32T1
174.1
120.4
-31%
93.25
-46%
91.82
-47%
154.8
-11%
143.7
-17%
Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003
Transfer Rate Minimum: 96.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 212.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 162 MB/s
Access Time: 14.3 ms
Burst Rate: 124.7 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.2 %

GPU Performance

The GTX 1050 Ti has been well-documented and so it offers no performance surprises. Users can expect a performance level between that of the last generation GTX 960M and GTX 970M or about 25 to 30 percent slower than the GTX 980M. Upgrading to the GTX 1060 option will give a substantial performance boost of about 70 to 90 percent for significantly better gaming performance. There are no major performance differences between the 4 GB GTX 1050 Ti for desktop or laptops.

We can record no recurring frame drops or interfering background activity when gaming as exemplified by our constant Witcher 3 FPS readings below. See our dedicated page on the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti for more technical details and benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
11160 Points ∼49% +26%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
10391 Points ∼46% +17%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
9842 Points ∼44% +11%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400
8854 Points ∼39%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, i9-8950HK
8450 Points ∼37% -5%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H
7363 Points ∼33% -17%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBM 80YY001APB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-7300HQ
6212 Points ∼27% -30%
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 Zotac GT 1030
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
4378 Points ∼19% -51%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, i5-8550U
4354 Points ∼19% -51%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
2583 Points ∼11% -71%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
17401 Points ∼34% +89%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
14302 Points ∼28% +55%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBM 80YY001APB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-7300HQ
13388 Points ∼26% +45%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
13168 Points ∼26% +43%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H
9909 Points ∼19% +8%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400
9212 Points ∼18%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, i9-8950HK
9032 Points ∼18% -2%
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 Zotac GT 1030
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
4751 Points ∼9% -48%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, i5-8550U
4686 Points ∼9% -49%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
3081 Points ∼6% -67%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
2908 Points ∼19%
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 Zotac GT 1030
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
1088 Points ∼7%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
633 Points ∼4%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
12984 Points ∼32% +73%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBM 80YY001APB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-7300HQ
10338 Points ∼25% +38%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
10248 Points ∼25% +37%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
9888 Points ∼24% +32%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H
7860 Points ∼19% +5%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H
7740 Points ∼19% +3%
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400
7485 Points ∼18%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, i9-8950HK
7374 Points ∼18% -1%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, i5-8550U
3712 Points ∼9% -50%
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 Zotac GT 1030
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
3585 Points ∼9% -52%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
2260 Points ∼6% -70%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
80879 Points ∼41%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
67779 Points ∼35%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
59162 Points ∼30%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBM 80YY001APB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-7300HQ
57208 Points ∼29%
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H
50732 Points ∼26%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i5-8300H
50387 Points ∼26%
Dell XPS 15 9570 Core i9 UHD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q, i9-8950HK
42202 Points ∼22%
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 Zotac GT 1030
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
22171 Points ∼11%
MSI Prestige PS42 8RB-059
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, i5-8550U
21586 Points ∼11%
Intel NUC8i7BE
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
16698 Points ∼9%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, i7-8809G
282345 Points ∼39%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y900
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 6820HK
215674 Points ∼30%
Desktop PC Intel Xeon E5 2680v4 Zotac GT 1030
NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop), E5-2680 v4
100969 Points ∼14%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBM 80YY001APB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, i5-7300HQ
71289 Points ∼10%
3DMark 11 Performance
9151 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6644 points
Help
0102030Tooltip
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400, Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003; FPS: Ø24 (21-27)
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 303.5 77.2 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 24 fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 43.9 39.1 fps

Emissions

System Noise

Internal fans include the GPU fan, CPU fan, air intake fan and exhaust fan. Fan noise when idling on desktop is quite high at about 41 dB(A) whereas the Legion Y730 laptop is almost silent under similar conditions. In defense of the C530, the desktop will likely sit further away from the user and its fan noise is lower-pitched to be less noticeable.

Fan noise jumps just slightly when gaming from 41 dB(A) to only 43 dB(A). Its range is much narrower here especially when compared to laptops. Some ultra-performance gaming laptops like the Aorus X7 DT can be as loud as 53 dB(A) when gaming.

80 mm Exhaust fan sits adjacent to the CPU fan
80 mm Exhaust fan sits adjacent to the CPU fan

Noise Level

Idle
41.4 / 41.5 / 41.7 dB(A)
Load
42 / 43.3 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.3 dB(A)
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), i5-8400, Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EK71080
GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), i7-7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, i7-8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, i7-8750H, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G
Intel NUC8i7BE
Iris Plus Graphics 655, i7-8559U
Noise
1%
13%
15%
14%
off / environment *
28.3
29.9
-6%
28.7
-1%
28
1%
28.7
-1%
Idle Minimum *
41.4
38.6
7%
29
30%
28
32%
28.7
31%
Idle Average *
41.5
38.6
7%
29
30%
28
33%
29.3
29%
Idle Maximum *
41.7
39
6%
29
30%
31.3
25%
31.8
24%
Load Average *
42
40.6
3%
36
14%
33.4
20%
39
7%
Witcher 3 ultra *
42
41.7
1%
42
-0%
42.8
-2%
39
7%
Load Maximum *
43.3
47
-9%
49.4
-14%
46.2
-7%
41.4
4%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

There are only minor changes in surface temperature between light and heavy processing loads. When under high load, the front of the system becomes cooler than the rear since fresh air is drawn from the front grilles. Exhaust is warmest from the GPU at about 45 C. The surface ever becomes uncomfortably warm so long as the ventilation grilles have ample breathing space.

System idle (front)
System idle (front)
System idle (rear)
System idle (rear)
Prime95+FurMark load (front)
Prime95+FurMark load (front)
Prime95+FurMark load (rear)
Prime95+FurMark load (rear)

We stress the system with synthetic loads to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When subjected to Prime95 load, the CPU can be observed running stably at 3.8 GHz and at a core temperature of 71 C with no recurring dips. In fact, the CPU will hold this clock rate no matter how high the load may be to represent excellent Turbo Boost sustainability. In contrast, most Ultrabooks and mini PCs will typically run fastest during the first few seconds of an intense benchmark before throttling due to temperature management. The Asus Strix GL704, for example, can reach core temperatures upwards of 80 C or even 90 C compared to <70 C on our Legion C530. When running Witcher 3, our GTX 1050 Ti GPU is able to run at a steady core clock of 1595 MHz compared to its base clock rate of 1290 MHz.

Interestingly, the same GPU in the Legion Y730 is able to run at a faster clock of 1721 MHz when under the same Witcher 3 load. The Fire Strike benchmark above shows the Legion Y730 outperforming our C530 desktop by about 5 percent.

System idle
System idle
Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
System Idle -- -- 25 19
Prime95 Stress 3.8 -- 71 23
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 3.8 1303 75 67
Witcher 3 Stress 3.8 1595 48 65

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Idling will demand about 30 W to be three times more than most Ultrabooks and about two times more than a high-power 15-inch or 17-inch gaming laptop like the Asus GL704GM. When under higher loads, however, power consumption becomes nearly identical to the Lenovo Legion Y530 or Y730 equipped with the same GTX 1050 Ti GPU. Maximum power consumption is higher for the C530 since its processors are less likely to throttle when under extreme processing stress.

The Hades Canyon NUC is just a fraction of the size of the Legion C530 and yet it consumes 36 percent more power when running Witcher 3. Perhaps not by coincidence, its 3DMark Fire Strike score is also about 36 percent higher.

The 450 W PSU can handle cards up to the GTX 1070 should users choose to upgrade beyond the pre-configured GTX 1050 Ti or GTX 1060.

Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Power consumption is constant
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Power consumption is constant
Prime95+FurMark initiated at 20s mark. Power consumption is constant
Prime95+FurMark initiated at 20s mark. Power consumption is constant
Constant power consumption when running 3DMark06 to indicate smooth performance when gaming
Constant power consumption when running 3DMark06 to indicate smooth performance when gaming
3DMark06 on Intel NUC8 in comparison. The NUC is only able to sustain very high Turbo Boost speeds for the first few seconds
3DMark06 on Intel NUC8 in comparison. The NUC is only able to sustain very high Turbo Boost speeds for the first few seconds
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.43 / 1.01 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 29.9 / 30.4 / 30.8 Watt
Load midlight 94.3 / 167.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Legion C530-90JX003AUS
i5-8400, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), Seagate Desktop HDD 1TB ST1000DM003, , x,
Intel NUC8i7BE
i7-8559U, Iris Plus Graphics 655, , , x,
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
i7-8809G, Vega M GH, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA, , x,
Lenovo Legion Y730-17ICH, i7-8750H
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile, Toshiba KBG30ZMT128G, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Asus GL704GM-DH74
i7-8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Mobile, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G, IPS, 1920x1080, 17.3
Power Consumption
67%
21%
38%
6%
Idle Minimum *
29.9
2.7
91%
15.5
48%
6.3
79%
15.2
49%
Idle Average *
30.4
3.1
90%
16.2
47%
11
64%
20.4
33%
Idle Maximum *
30.8
6.3
80%
16.5
46%
11.5
63%
27.3
11%
Load Average *
94.3
59.7
37%
83.4
12%
89.8
5%
92.9
1%
Witcher 3 ultra *
99.5
47.2
53%
121.7
-22%
102
-3%
143
-44%
Load Maximum *
167.6
78
53%
173.5
-4%
130.7
22%
190.6
-14%

* ... smaller is better

Verdict

Pros

+ support for full-length, dual-width graphics cards
+ practical design and handle for carrying
+ no performance throttling under load
+ 4x storage slots and 2x DDR4 slots
+ compatible with Intel Optane
+ easy to service or upgrade
+ affordable price of entry
+ quiet fan noise
+ RAID options

Cons

- no 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch SATA mount included
- boxy design may be bland to some
- carrying handle is not detachable
- all SKUs limited to a 450 W PSU
- no SD reader or USB Type-C
- no free PCIe x1/x4 slot
In review: Lenovo Legion C530 Cube. Test model provided by Lenovo US
In review: Lenovo Legion C530 Cube. Test model provided by Lenovo US

The best affordable gaming PCs are the ones with ample upgrade opportunities for longer legs. Users could simply purchase an entry-level configuration and slowly upgrade it over time without voiding the original warranty. In this regard, the compact Legion C530 checks all the right boxes to be a long-lasting pre-built PC especially when compared to smaller options like the MSI Trident 3, Intel Hades Canyon NUC, or Zotac ZBox Magnus that are more difficult to service.

A few cost-cutting omissions prevent the Legion C530 from being the "perfect" gaming chassis for starters. The systems lacks Thunderbolt 3, a second PCIe slot, 10 Gbit Ethernet, a card reader, optical drive, and a specialized BIOS menu that most gaming PCs now carry. The ATX12V / BTX PSU is also a bit more difficult to swap than than the main motherboard components. We would've preferred a simple SATA III M.2 SSD as well in lieu of the forced Intel Optane for the lower-end configuration.

A strong jumping off point for beginner PC builders. The Lenovo Legion C530 offers ample performance headroom and upgrade opportunities to be an affordable long-term desktop option.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Legion C530 Cube (i5-8300, GTX 1050 Ti) Mini PC Review
Allen Ngo, 2018-11-18 (Update: 2019-02-26)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.