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Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH Laptop Review: A good gaming laptop with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU

Mike Wobker, 👁 Andreas Osthoff (translated by Alex Alderson), 08/14/2019

A cheap gamer. The Legion Y540 may be touted as an RTX gaming laptop, but Lenovo also sells GTX variants that may be more suitable for the budget gamer. Switching to a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti drops the price by around 20% to 1,400 Euros (~US$1,565), which is a healthy saving. Read on to find out if Lenovo has made any other changes to keep the price down and how this GTX 1660 Ti-powered gaming laptop fares against its competitors.

Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH

The Legion Y540-15IRH is back again, with us already having reviewed the GeForce RTX 2060 version earlier this month. Our first review unit demonstrated that Lenovo had made improvements to the chassis and cooling system compared to the Legion Y530 while delivering the usual bump in performance between generations too. This model also came with 16 GB of RAM, a 1 TB SSD, a 2 TB HDD and an Intel Core i7-9750H, the combination of which made for a decent 15.6-inch gaming laptop.

Now it is the turn of its cheaper sibling, specifically the Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE, which retails for around 20% less than our first review unit at 1,400 Euros (~US$1,565). The device retains the CPU and 16 GB of RAM of our first review unit, although Lenovo has made some cutbacks to keep costs down. The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti takes over GPU responsibilities from the GeForce RTX 2060, with Lenovo including just a 512 GB SSD too. There is also a Core i5-9300H-powered model that costs less than 1,000 Euros (~US$1,118) online, but this also comes with less memory than either of our review units.

We shall compare the Legion Y540-15IRH against its GeForce RTX 2060-powered sibling, along with other comparably priced 15.6-inch gaming laptops like the ASUS ROG Strix G GL531GV, CUK Model Z and HP Gaming Pavilion 15. You can add more laptops from our database to the comparison tables below too.

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE (Legion Y540 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop) - 6144 MB, Core: 1455 MHz, Memory: 1500 MHz, GDDR6, ForceWare 417.98, Intel UHD Graphics 630 (Optimus)
Memory
16384 MB 
, Dual-Channel, DDR4 SDRAM
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, BOE 084D, IPS, 144 Hz
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake HM370
Storage
WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G, 512 GB 
, 1x M.2-2280 (occupied), 1x SATA (free), 454 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Cannon Lake-H/S - cAVS (Audio, Voice, Speech)
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined 3.5 mm microphone and headphone jack
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 26 x 365 x 260 ( = 1.02 x 14.37 x 10.24 in)
Battery
57 Wh, 4955 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 0.9 MP, 16:9 (1,280 x 720)
Additional features
Speakers: Harman-branded stereo speakers, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.2 kg ( = 77.6 oz / 4.85 pounds), Power Supply: 963 g ( = 33.97 oz / 2.12 pounds)
Price
1400 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

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Case

The Legion Y540-15IRH has the same design and I/O as its GeForce RTX 2060 sibling. Please see our first Legion Y540-15IRH review for our thoughts on these areas.

Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH
Lenovo Legion Y540 15IRH

Size Comparison

365 mm / 14.4 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2.2 kg4.85 lbs365 mm / 14.4 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 26 mm / 1.024 inch 2.3 kg5.07 lbs365 mm / 14.4 inch 260 mm / 10.2 inch 24 mm / 0.945 inch 2.3 kg5.07 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 274 mm / 10.8 inch 25.9 mm / 1.02 inch 2.4 kg5.29 lbs360 mm / 14.2 inch 256 mm / 10.1 inch 23.4 mm / 0.921 inch 2.4 kg5.24 lbs359 mm / 14.1 inch 243 mm / 9.57 inch 22 mm / 0.866 inch 2.2 kg4.77 lbs

Connectivity

Left-hand side: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 3.5 mm jack
Left-hand side: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, 3.5 mm jack
Right-hand side: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
Right-hand side: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
Rear: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, mini DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI, Gigabit LAN, power connector, Kensington lock slot
Rear: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, mini DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI, Gigabit LAN, power connector, Kensington lock slot
Front: No connections
Front: No connections

Communication

The Y540-15IRH comes with an Intel Wireless-AC 9560 module that supports all modern Wi-Fi standards up to IEEE 802.11ac. The chip utilises the current Bluetooth 5.0 too. The 9560 also has a 2x2 MIMO antenna, which allows our review unit to average over 600 Mb/s in both the iperf3 Client Wi-Fi tests that we conducted. The device finished in the midfield of our comparison tables and 9% off its GeForce RTX 2060-powered sibling, or approximately 50 Mb/s.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
677 MBit/s ∼100% +9%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
660 MBit/s ∼97% +7%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
638 MBit/s ∼94% +3%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
619 MBit/s ∼91%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
614 MBit/s ∼91% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (141 - 702, n=275)
605 MBit/s ∼89% -2%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
293 (min: 186, max: 315) MBit/s ∼43% -53%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
684 MBit/s ∼100% +9%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Realtek RTL8822BE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCIe Adapter
638 MBit/s ∼93% +1%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
630 MBit/s ∼92%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
611 MBit/s ∼89% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (144 - 749, n=275)
558 MBit/s ∼82% -11%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
548 MBit/s ∼80% -13%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
144 (min: 113, max: 190) MBit/s ∼21% -77%

Accessories

The Y540-15IRH comes with only one accessory, with Lenovo including just a 230 W power supply in the box. The company does not sell any Y540-15IRH specific accessories either, although you can buy general or Legion-branded accessories like bags and rucksacks on its website.

Maintenance

The Y540-15IRH does not have a maintenance cover for accessing the RAM or SSD as other laptops do, but the device is still easy to repair or maintain, nonetheless. Lenovo secures the bottom cover to the rest of the chassis with several screws, making it easy to access most internal components. Please keep in mind that Lenovo also uses several plastic clips to keep the cover in place, which are easy to break. Hence, we would recommend using a flat plastic tool like a spudger to pry the cover free to minimise the chance of doing any damage. Removing the cover reveals the cooling system, battery, drive bays, SODIMM slots and Wi-Fi card, as you can see from the photo below.

A look at the inside of the Legion Y540-15IRH
A look at the inside of the Legion Y540-15IRH

Warranty

The Y540-15IRH comes with a 24-month limited manufacturer’s warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices

As we mentioned earlier, our review unit has the same keyboard and trackpad as the previous Y540-15IRH that we tested. Please see our original review for our thoughts on the keyboard and trackpad.

A look at the keyboard and trackpad
A look at the keyboard and trackpad

Display

Sub-pixel array
Sub-pixel array
Our review unit suffers from minor backlight bleeding
Our review unit suffers from minor backlight bleeding

Our review unit also has the same 15.6-inch IPS panel as its Y540-15IRH sibling. The display operates natively at 1920x1080 with a 144 Hz refresh rate too, which remains the standard for midrange gaming laptops. The display achieved an average maximum brightness of 290 cd/m², according to X-Rite i1Pro 2, while also being 89% evenly lit. Our review unit leads our comparison devices with the latter, but it is slightly dimmer than the CUK Model Z and HP Gaming Pavilion 15. The display does not use pulse-width modulation (PWM) either, which is the bane of many laptops and smartphones.

299
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
279
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
306
cd/m²
298
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
BOE 084D
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 306 cd/m² Average: 289.6 cd/m² Minimum: 2.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 299 cd/m²
Contrast: 1031:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.7 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 2
ΔE Greyscale 4.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
91.5% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 59.3% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.19
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
BOE 084D, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Panda LM156LF-GL02, , 1920x1080, 15.6
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
LG Philips LGD05C0, , 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
LG Philips LGD05FE, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
LG Display LP156WFG-SPB2, , 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
BOE NV156FHM-N4G (BOE084D), , 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
-154%
-28%
-37%
-31%
9%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
8.8 (4, 4.4)
26 (13.6, 12.4)
-195%
13.6 (6.8, 6.8)
-55%
16.4 (8.4, 8)
-86%
15 (8, 7)
-70%
8.8 (4.4, 4.4)
-0%
Response Time Black / White *
12 (6.8, 5.2)
25.6 (14.8, 10.8)
-113%
12 (7.6, 4.4)
-0%
10.4 (5.2, 5.2)
13%
11 (7, 4)
8%
10 (5.6, 4.4)
17%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-49%
1%
19%
-11%
1%
Brightness middle
299
290.1
-3%
306.8
3%
345
15%
305
2%
284
-5%
Brightness
290
274
-6%
309
7%
324
12%
284
-2%
277
-4%
Brightness Distribution
89
86
-3%
87
-2%
86
-3%
83
-7%
87
-2%
Black Level *
0.29
0.54
-86%
0.38
-31%
0.42
-45%
0.52
-79%
0.3
-3%
Contrast
1031
537
-48%
807
-22%
821
-20%
587
-43%
947
-8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.7
5.16
-39%
3.16
15%
1.3
65%
3.63
2%
3.53
5%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7
18.09
-158%
6.05
14%
2.8
60%
8.18
-17%
6.11
13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2
4.35
-118%
2.4
-20%
1.1
45%
1.31
34%
1.81
9%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.1
4.4
-7%
2.3
44%
1.2
71%
4.77
-16%
3.56
13%
Gamma
2.19 100%
2.1 105%
2.17 101%
2.31 95%
2.54 87%
2.47 89%
CCT
7166 91%
7362 88%
6557 99%
6476 100%
7500 87%
7257 90%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
59.3
38.1
-36%
60
1%
60.5
2%
59
-1%
59
-1%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
91.5
60
-34%
92.6
1%
94.9
4%
93
2%
91
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-102% / -65%
-14% / -3%
-9% / 10%
-21% / -14%
5% / 3%

* ... smaller is better

The Y540-15IRH has a higher contrast ratio than our comparison devices too thanks to its comparatively low 0.29 cd/m² black value. The display has a slight grey haze to it but looks still look rich, with colours also being nicely demarcated from each other.

We also ran further tests with our spectrophotometer and CalMAN analysis software, which revealed that the display is well-calibrated out of the box. While DeltaE deviations were already low, additional calibration brought them even closer to ideal levels. We have included the corresponding ICC file in the box above our comparison table should you wish to use it. Applying it to any panel other than the BOE 084D could worsen colour accuracy rather than improve it though.

CalMAN: Colour Accuracy
CalMAN: Colour Accuracy
CalMAN: Colour Accuracy – calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Accuracy – calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: Colour Saturation
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: Colour Saturation - calibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
CalMAN: Grayscale - calibrated
91.5% sRGB colour-space coverage
91.5% sRGB colour-space coverage
59.3% AdobeRGB colour-space coverage
59.3% AdobeRGB colour-space coverage

The Y540-15IRH is usable outdoors if you can find a shady spot. While the matte display diffuses reflections well, the panel does not get bright enough to overcome bright sunshine. In short, the display will look washed-out if it is placed in direct sunlight, as the photos below demonstrate.

Using the Legion Y540-14IRH outdoors
Using the Legion Y540-14IRH outdoors
Using the Legion Y540-14IRH outdoors
Using the Legion Y540-14IRH outdoors

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
12 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 5.2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 12 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
8.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 4 ms rise
↘ 4.4 ms fall
The screen shows fast response rates in our tests and should be suited for gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.7 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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9352 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The Y540-15IRH has stable viewing angles though thanks to its IPS panel. We noticed no distorted colours or drops in brightness even at acute viewing angles, making the display readable from practically any angle.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Lenovo currently sells several variants of the Y540-15IRH, with the company giving people two CPUs and three GPUs from which to choose. The base model comes with a Core i5-9300H and a GeForce GTX 1650, although you can upgrade to a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti while retaining the same CPU. The latter can also be paired with a Core i7-9750H, but Lenovo offers the GeForce RTX 2060 too, as we discussed in our previous Y540-15IRH review.

You can also choose up to 3 TB of storage with a 1 TB SSD and a 2 TB HDD. Incidentally, the base model comes with 8 GB of RAM, with Lenovo reserving 16 GB of RAM for the Core i7-9750H versions.

Processor

Lenovo equips our review unit with a Core i7-9750H, the successor to the popular Core i7-8750H. The Core i7-9750H is a hexa-core chip like its predecessor, which Intel also bases on its Coffee Lake Refresh architecture. The CPU has slightly higher clock speeds than its predecessor though, with its 2.6 GHz base clock being 400 MHz more than that of the Core i7-8750H. The Core i7-9750H can also boost up to 4 GHz on all cores thanks to Intel Turbo Boost, while it can also get 100 MHz faster for every fewer core it uses, with it peaking at 4.5 GHz on a single core. Not all devices maintain their turbo clock speeds for the same amount of time though, with the period that they can do so depending on the quality of their cooling system.

We subjected our review unit to an hour-long Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit endurance test to see how well it maintained its performance under sustained load. Our review unit initially scored a lowly 899 points before rising to 1,211 points in the second benchmark run-through. Usually the opposite happens, with scores dropping after the first benchmark as the CPU exhausts its turbo, making this behaviour even stranger. Our review unit then dropped to around 1,150 points, with it scoring between 1,150 and 1,160 for the remainder of our endurance test. Overall, the Y540-15IRH finishes in the upper-midfield of our CPU benchmark comparison tables. Switching to battery power results in 25% lower benchmark scores though.

Please see our CPU benchmarks page for more information about the Core i7-9750H and how it fares against other processors.

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Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1147 (899.54-1211.72)
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74 Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1103 (1087.93-1223.2)
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1190 (1182.24-1239.66)
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1035 (1020.33-1139.99)
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH Intel Core i7-8750H, Intel Core i7-8750H: Ø1118 (1106.5-1218.62)
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH Intel Core i7-9750H, Intel Core i7-9750H: Ø1208 (1186.17-1271.21)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Core i7-9750H
188 Points ∼100% +1%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Core i7-9750H
187 Points ∼99% 0%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H
187 Points ∼99%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Intel Core i7-9750H
186 Points ∼99% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (170 - 194, n=50)
183 Points ∼97% -2%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Intel Core i7-9750H
179 Points ∼95% -4%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
175 Points ∼93% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (77 - 212, n=521)
157 Points ∼84% -16%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Core i7-9750H
1271 Points ∼100% +10%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Core i7-9750H
1261 Points ∼99% +9%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Intel Core i7-9750H
1226 Points ∼96% +6%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H
1192 Points ∼94% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H
  (964 - 1306, n=52)
1189 Points ∼94% +3%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H
1155 (min: 899.54, max: 1211.72) Points ∼91%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Intel Core i7-9750H
1140 Points ∼90% -1%
Average of class Gaming
  (196 - 2022, n=524)
831 Points ∼65% -28%
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
1155 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
145 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
100 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
187 Points
Help

System Performance

Our review unit performed smoothly during our tests, with no system stutters or the like. PCMark results reflected this, with the Y540-15IRH generally scoring well. There were some aberrations in our comparison tables, but the device always achieved above-average scores.

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
8069 Points ∼100% +7%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
7564 Points ∼94%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
7190 Points ∼89% -5%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (5898 - 7638, n=11)
6832 Points ∼85% -10%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
6673 Points ∼83% -12%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
6502 Points ∼81% -14%
Average of class Gaming
  (1764 - 11191, n=214)
6359 Points ∼79% -16%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5983 Points ∼74% -21%
Productivity
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
7687 Points ∼100% +3%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
7631 Points ∼99% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (7241 - 8136, n=11)
7569 Points ∼98% +2%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
7546 Points ∼98% +2%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
7431 Points ∼97% 0%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
7430 Points ∼97%
Average of class Gaming
  (4175 - 8968, n=215)
7180 Points ∼93% -3%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
7019 Points ∼91% -6%
Essentials
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
9509 Points ∼100% +5%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (9020 - 10098, n=11)
9503 Points ∼100% +5%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
9450 Points ∼99% +5%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
9245 Points ∼97% +2%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
9158 Points ∼96% +2%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
9020 Points ∼95%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
8702 Points ∼92% -4%
Average of class Gaming
  (4892 - 10668, n=216)
8510 Points ∼89% -6%
Score
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
5997 Points ∼100% +5%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
5716 Points ∼95%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
5678 Points ∼95% -1%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (5301 - 5829, n=11)
5652 Points ∼94% -1%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5583 Points ∼93% -2%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5528 Points ∼92% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (2603 - 7171, n=217)
5224 Points ∼87% -9%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5125 Points ∼85% -10%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
5901 Points ∼100% +17%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
5696 Points ∼97% +13%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5608 Points ∼95% +11%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
5543 Points ∼94% +10%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (5041 - 5913, n=9)
5525 Points ∼94% +10%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
5419 Points ∼92% +7%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
5041 Points ∼85%
Average of class Gaming
  (2484 - 6515, n=397)
5041 Points ∼85% 0%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
5185 Points ∼100% +15%
Average Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (4074 - 5217, n=8)
4563 Points ∼88% +1%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
4507 Points ∼87%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 9750H, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
4459 Points ∼86% -1%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4440 Points ∼86% -1%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 9750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
4362 Points ∼84% -3%
Average of class Gaming
  (2554 - 6093, n=414)
4260 Points ∼82% -5%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9750H, Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
4251 Points ∼82% -6%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4507 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5041 points
Help

Storage Devices

Lenovo has equipped our review unit with a 512 GB Western Digital SN720 SSD, of which around 454 GB was free upon first turning on the device. If 454 GB is not enough, then you could add a 2.5-inch drive or swap the SN720 for a higher capacity M.2-2280 SSD.

The SN720 is an impressively fast drive, with it only averaging slower transfer speeds than the 2 TB Intel 660p in CrystalDiskMark. Higher-capacity SSDs typically run faster than their smaller counterparts, which explains the discrepancy in speeds between the 512 GB and 2 TB Intel 660p. Please see our HDD/SSD benchmark page for more comparisons.

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR
Average WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-16%
12%
-18%
-16%
11%
10%
Write 4K
158.8
121.9
-23%
134.4
-15%
100
-37%
108.9
-31%
131.7
-17%
154 (109 - 194, n=3)
-3%
Read 4K
29.11
53.62
84%
56.75
95%
31.39
8%
40.23
38%
48.06
65%
40.2 (29.1 - 51.2, n=3)
38%
Write Seq
1584
966.9
-39%
1742
10%
1308
-17%
1390
-12%
1234
-22%
1948 (1584 - 2488, n=3)
23%
Read Seq
1694
1461
-14%
1687
0%
1083
-36%
964.2
-43%
972.5
-43%
2041 (1694 - 2512, n=3)
20%
Write 4K Q32T1
535.7
431.4
-19%
535
0%
362.9
-32%
314.2
-41%
576.3
8%
450 (382 - 536, n=3)
-16%
Read 4K Q32T1
363.9
337.3
-7%
639.2
76%
425.7
17%
369.2
1%
655.1
80%
442 (364 - 539, n=3)
21%
Write Seq Q32T1
2536
971.5
-62%
1903
-25%
1411
-44%
1506
-41%
3012
19%
2539 (2536 - 2542, n=3)
0%
Read Seq Q32T1
3458
1727
-50%
1849
-47%
3240
-6%
3446
0%
3481
1%
3422 (3320 - 3489, n=3)
-1%
AS SSD
-44%
-26%
-43%
-45%
13%
0%
Copy Game MB/s
943.02
1170.83
399.89
921
Copy Program MB/s
749.45
548.62
371.74
498
Copy ISO MB/s
1518.69
3088.75
1042.93
1810
Score Total
4208
1711
-59%
2745
-35%
2014
-52%
1663
-60%
5087
21%
4261 (4208 - 4329, n=3)
1%
Score Write
1794
958
-47%
1075
-40%
819
-54%
514
-71%
2256
26%
1851 (1794 - 1927, n=3)
3%
Score Read
1621
498
-69%
1082
-33%
810
-50%
763
-53%
1851
14%
1612 (1604 - 1621, n=3)
-1%
Access Time Write *
0.026
0.046
-77%
0.042
-62%
0.038
-46%
0.038
-46%
0.03
-15%
0.0245 (0.023 - 0.026, n=2)
6%
Access Time Read *
0.065
0.058
11%
0.036
45%
0.093
-43%
0.085
-31%
0.039
40%
0.0765 (0.065 - 0.088, n=2)
-18%
4K-64 Write
1432.15
760.81
-47%
791.59
-45%
587.71
-59%
273.64
-81%
1883.05
31%
1470 (1432 - 1546, n=3)
3%
4K-64 Read
1285.67
321.15
-75%
904.03
-30%
564.81
-56%
536.48
-58%
1599.04
24%
1278 (1272 - 1286, n=3)
-1%
4K Write
147.12
107.03
-27%
110.07
-25%
96.52
-34%
97.03
-34%
124.26
-16%
151 (144 - 162, n=3)
3%
4K Read
42.43
48.73
15%
49.89
18%
36.14
-15%
46.1
9%
56.71
34%
43.7 (42.4 - 45.7, n=3)
3%
Seq Write
2148.72
904.89
-58%
1729.7
-20%
1346.75
-37%
1429.35
-33%
2483.66
16%
2301 (2149 - 2381, n=3)
7%
Seq Read
2927.09
1280.44
-56%
1283.12
-56%
2087.58
-29%
1808.33
-38%
1954.25
-33%
2901 (2888 - 2927, n=3)
-1%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-30% / -33%
-7% / -10%
-31% / -33%
-31% / -33%
12% / 12%
5% / 5%

* ... smaller is better

WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G
Sequential Read: 1990 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1650 MB/s
512K Read: 1176 MB/s
512K Write: 897.2 MB/s
4K Read: 18.82 MB/s
4K Write: 79.8 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 241.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 329.7 MB/s

Graphics Card

Our review unit generally scored a few percent below average in 3DMark for a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti-powered device, but it still placed well in our comparison tables. Switching to battery power caused 3DMark 11 scores to drop by almost 65% to just 6,858 points.

The Y540-15IRH has a second GPU too, the Intel UHD Graphics 630, although Lenovo disables this by default. You can activate this via the BIOS, which switches on NVIDIA Optimus too, extending battery life by almost 50% in the process.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
21409 Points ∼100% +9%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
20723 Points ∼97% +6%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (18610 - 20940, n=15)
19935 Points ∼93% +2%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
19553 Points ∼91%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
19537 Points ∼91% 0%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
17264 Points ∼81% -12%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
14569 Points ∼68% -25%
Average of class Gaming
  (513 - 50983, n=623)
13486 Points ∼63% -31%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
6503 Points ∼100%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
6059 Points ∼93%
Average of class Gaming
  (368 - 13013, n=160)
5716 Points ∼88%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (5335 - 5931, n=13)
5618 Points ∼86%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
4925 Points ∼76%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
Points ∼0%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
16460 Points ∼100% +15%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
15913 Points ∼97% +11%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
14970 Points ∼91% +5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (14186 - 15482, n=15)
14729 Points ∼89% +3%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
14288 Points ∼87%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
12903 Points ∼78% -10%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
11640 Points ∼71% -19%
Average of class Gaming
  (385 - 40636, n=548)
11408 Points ∼69% -20%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
110817 Points ∼100% +19%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
100726 Points ∼91% +8%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (85805 - 103428, n=11)
96886 Points ∼87% +4%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
95562 Points ∼86% +3%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), Intel Core i7-9750H
92951 Points ∼84%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, Intel Core i7-9750H
88271 Points ∼80% -5%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8750H
83591 Points ∼75% -10%
Average of class Gaming
  (5761 - 184578, n=529)
67721 Points ∼61% -27%
3DMark 11 Performance
17291 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
32884 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
12884 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The GeForce GTX 1660 Ti is powerful enough to play all modern triple-A games smoothly in 1080p at high graphics. Even demanding titles like Anno 1800 averaged a respectable 54 FPS, as could The Witcher 3. We would recommend turning the graphics settings down if you plan to game in 4K on an external monitor, as complex games will look choppy if you try running them at maximum graphics.

Please see our GPU games list for more GeForce GTX 1660 Ti gaming benchmarks.

The Witcher 3 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
63.3 fps ∼100% +19%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
63 fps ∼100% +19%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
56.7 fps ∼90% +7%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (51.6 - 60.6, n=12)
56 fps ∼88% +5%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
53.1 fps ∼84% 0%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
53.1 (min: 50, max: 58, 99th percentile: 51) fps ∼84%
Average of class Gaming
  (12.6 - 115, n=317)
49.8 fps ∼79% -6%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
41.4 fps ∼65% -22%
Anno 1800 - 1920x1080 Ultra Graphics Quality (DX11)
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
54 fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (31.1 - 54, n=4)
40.1 fps ∼74% -26%
Average of class Gaming
  (17.4 - 54.3, n=20)
36.9 fps ∼68% -32%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
33.2 fps ∼61% -39%
Dota 2 Reborn
1920x1080 ultra (3/3) best looking
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
125 (min: 106) fps ∼100%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
118.2 (min: 103.4) fps ∼95% -5%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
118.9 (min: 103.9) fps ∼95% -5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (111 - 125, n=4)
117 fps ∼94% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (14 - 125, n=27)
93 fps ∼74% -26%
1920x1080 high (2/3)
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
130 (min: 114.5) fps ∼100%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
121.3 (min: 105.6) fps ∼93% -7%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
123.2 (min: 107.6) fps ∼95% -5%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (118 - 130, n=4)
122 fps ∼94% -6%
Average of class Gaming
  (15.3 - 133, n=24)
95.3 fps ∼73% -27%
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
150.2 fps ∼100% +9%
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
145.3 fps ∼97% +5%
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
138 fps ∼92%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (129 - 144, n=10)
138 fps ∼92% 0%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
126.3 fps ∼84% -8%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
114.2 fps ∼76% -17%
Average of class Gaming
  (9.7 - 266, n=345)
97.8 fps ∼65% -29%
1366x768 High Preset
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop)
258.5 fps ∼100%
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
  (241 - 275, n=9)
256 fps ∼99%
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
255.7 fps ∼99%
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q
246.8 fps ∼95%
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
Intel Core i7-8750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
224.8 fps ∼87%
Average of class Gaming
  (31.5 - 348, n=282)
175 fps ∼68%

We also left The Witcher 3 running for an hour to see how the system managed under sustained load. Frame rates fluctuated between 50 and 58 FPS during this test, with the game set to 1080p and maximum graphics. While frame rates briefly drop to the low 50s, they recover to around 55 FPS, so you should not experience any prolonged throttling when gaming.

05101520253035404550556065Tooltip
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 9750H, WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G: Ø53.1 (50-58)
low med. high ultra4K
BioShock Infinite (2013) 138fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 53.1fps
Dota 2 Reborn (2015) 137.2130.2121.3118.285fps
X-Plane 11.11 (2018) 11710685fps
Anno 1800 (2019) 54fps

Emissions

Fan Noise

Our review unit always keeps its fans running, but they whir away at a pleasant 29.3 dB(A) at idle. Predictably, the fans get louder under load, but the Y540-15IRH is one of the quieter gaming laptops we have tested. The fans peaked at 45.7 dB(A) during our stress test and average 35.7 dB(A) when gaming, which is quiet enough to game without needing headphones.

However, we did hear some electrical interference during our tests, but only while charging. We doubt that this is coil whine, but we would recommend testing the Y540-15IRH before buying it if these noises annoy you, as the device will probably spend much of its life connected to a charger, especially when gaming.

Noise Level

Idle
29.3 / 29.3 / 29.3 dB(A)
Load
35.7 / 45.6 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: 29.3 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.731.229.231.532.42535.430.128.928.5353133.330.325.827.430.34029.826.324.526.528.4502824.126.524.927.9633025.225.925.3298026.32423.82325.810023.821.8222224.712525.623.124.322.324.71602322.52422.224.720026.522.223.622.126.825026.622.222.920.927.831528.322.523.620.630.640029.122.523.720.329.950031.922.72619.632.963032.622.125.419.333.280031.821.124.918.733.2100033.222.725.818.435.1125033.921.224.818.134.8160034.721.526.117.235.9200033.62023.816.734.9250034.622.525.516.436.1315032.920.124.315.634.6400032.716.821.715.534.2500029.415.918.315.631.3630023.615.616.415.525.6800020.615.415.815.522.21000018.415.215.515.319.81250016.31515.314.916.81600016.315.916.21515.7SPL44.232.435.729.345.6N4.51.72.31.25median 29.1median 21.5median 23.7median 18.1median 30.6Delta4.72.52.92.54.3hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseLenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE

Temperature

System information during a FurMark and Prime95 combined stress test
System information during a FurMark and Prime95 combined stress test

Our tests certify that the Y540-15IRH runs comparatively hot even when idling. Most of the bottom case remains at nearly 40 °C during undemanding tasks, with one area peaking at 41 °C. Only the palm rest remains below 30 °C on the top case too, which is disappointing. The latter area remains cool under sustained load or when gaming, so it should not feel hot to the touch during prolonged gaming sessions.

Surface temperatures generally increase by around 10 °C though, with one area peaking at 52.7 °C. Hence, we would recommend placing the Y540-15IRH on a table if you are pushing it hard, as it may burn your legs if you leave it on your lap.

We also subjected our review unit to a FurMark and Prime95 combined stress test to see how well it managed its performance under extreme load conditions. We left our stress test running for an hour, with CPU core temperatures quickly rising to 95 °C. While this is within spec for the Core i7-9750H, it still downclocked below its 2.6 GHz base clock to 2.2 GHz, where it remained for the rest of the stress test. You should not experience such heavy thermal throttling in daily use though, as our stress test pushes systems to their limits.

Max. Load
 39 °C
102 F
42.7 °C
109 F
40.9 °C
106 F
 
 35.2 °C
95 F
42.4 °C
108 F
41.5 °C
107 F
 
 26.2 °C
79 F
34.8 °C
95 F
32.1 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 42.7 °C = 109 F
Average: 37.2 °C = 99 F
49.7 °C
121 F
52.7 °C
127 F
44.9 °C
113 F
40.8 °C
105 F
47.3 °C
117 F
39.8 °C
104 F
32.9 °C
91 F
34.7 °C
94 F
25.5 °C
78 F
Maximum: 52.7 °C = 127 F
Average: 40.9 °C = 106 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.2 °C = 103 F | Room Temperature 21.2 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.2 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Gaming.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42.7 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 39.6 °C / 103 F, ranging from 21.6 to 68.8 °C for the class Gaming.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 52.7 °C / 127 F, compared to the average of 42.2 °C / 108 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.6 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 35.2 °C / 95 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (34.8 °C / 94.6 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.8 °C / 83.8 F (-6 °C / -10.8 F).
Heat map of the top of the device while running The Witcher 3
Heat map of the top of the device while running The Witcher 3
Heat map of the bottom of the device while running The Witcher 3
Heat map of the bottom of the device while running The Witcher 3
Heat map of the top of the device under sustained load
Heat map of the top of the device under sustained load
Heat map of the bottom of the device under sustained load
Heat map of the bottom of the device under sustained load

Speakers

Lenovo equips the Y540-15IRH with surprisingly good stereo speakers. While they only reached a maximum of 77.4 dB(A) during our tests, they deliver an impressively wide spectrum of frequencies. Bass tones are underrepresented, but that is a problem of almost all laptops. In short, the speakers are good enough for using when gaming or for watching the occasional video.

We would still recommend using external audio equipment where possible though, whether that be headphones or speakers. These can be connected via the 3.5 mm jack or Bluetooth, both of which worked perfectly during our tests.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.533.22528.530.83127.430.34026.528.75024.927.86325.327.4802328.51002228.512522.328.816022.239.920022.151.325020.958.231520.657.640020.357.650019.660.463019.365.580018.766.3100018.463.8125018.166.4160017.265.5200016.766.5250016.468.3315015.667.7400015.565.4500015.661.7630015.564.2800015.561.81000015.357.11250014.960.9160001560.4SPL29.377.4N1.240.7median 18.1median 61.7Delta2.56.735.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GEApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (77.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 17.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 41% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 53% worse
» The best had a delta of 6%, average was 17%, worst was 37%
Compared to all devices tested
» 20% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 77% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

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
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Power Management

Power Consumption

Our tests certify that the Y540-15IRH consumes a minimum of 14.5 W at idle and up to 208 W under load. These values put the machine in the midfield of our comparison devices but a bit higher than other GeForce GTX 1660 Ti-powered gaming laptops.

Therefore, the 230 W power supply that Lenovo includes in the box has spare capacity and is never fully tested. Our review unit consumed a maximum of 132 W while running The Witcher 3 too, for reference.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.36 / 0.67 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 14.5 / 18.5 / 20 Watt
Load midlight 81.6 / 208.1 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), WDC PC SN720 SDAPNTW-512G, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
9750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Intel SSD 660p SSDPEKNW512G8, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, Intel SSD 660p 2TB SSDPEKNW020T8, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB256HAHQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
9750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), Samsung PM981a MZVLB1T0HBLR, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Average NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop)
 
Average of class Gaming
 
Power Consumption
-13%
-34%
24%
22%
-14%
-5%
-26%
Idle Minimum *
14.5
10.9
25%
23.5
-62%
6.8
53%
7.3
50%
15
-3%
13.9 (3.9 - 20, n=11)
4%
19.4 (3.4 - 113, n=706)
-34%
Idle Average *
18.5
14.7
21%
28
-51%
10.7
42%
11.1
40%
20
-8%
20.1 (8.9 - 30.7, n=11)
-9%
24.9 (6.6 - 119, n=706)
-35%
Idle Maximum *
20
32.4
-62%
32
-60%
12.5
37%
12.6
37%
33
-65%
25.6 (12.2 - 35, n=11)
-28%
30.1 (8.3 - 122, n=706)
-51%
Load Average *
81.6
121.9
-49%
102.4
-25%
87.2
-7%
109
-34%
88
-8%
81.5 (8 - 114, n=11)
-0%
104 (8 - 319, n=697)
-27%
Load Maximum *
208.1
209.6
-1%
209
-0%
191.4
8%
168
19%
213
-2%
190 (168 - 216, n=11)
9%
171 (21.9 - 590, n=696)
18%
Witcher 3 ultra *
132
143.5
-9%
142.8
-8%
121
8%
128
3%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Lenovo equips the Y540-15IRH with a 57 Wh battery, which is on par with most of our comparison devices. However, the company disables the integrated Intel GPU by default, causing the machine to rely on its more powerful NVIDIA GPU for all tasks.

Thankfully, this can be re-enabled in the BIOS, as the Y540-15IRH has dreadful battery life at stock settings. Our review unit lasted just 2:25 hours in our practical Wi-Fi test, which is almost two hours shy of the class average. Re-enabling the integrated GPU allows the device to make use of NVIDIA Optimus, which allows it to switch between GPUs to reduce power consumption. Doing so extended the runtime in our Wi-Fi battery life test by about two hours, which still falls short of the 4:50 hours for which the HP Gaming Pavilion 15 lasted.

Our review unit also needs around 2:30 hours for a full charge with the included power supply.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 00min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
2h 25min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 16min
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE
9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (Laptop), 57 Wh
Asus Strix GL531GV-PB74
9750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 66 Wh
CUK Model Z GK5CQ7Z
9750H, GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 46.74 Wh
HP Gaming Pavilion 15-dk0009ng
9750H, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q, 52.5 Wh
Lenovo Legion Y530-15ICH
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 52 Wh
Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH
9750H, GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 57 Wh
Average of class Gaming
 
Battery Runtime
-23%
23%
73%
32%
6%
43%
Reader / Idle
240
522
118%
495
106%
233
-3%
347 (39 - 1174, n=668)
45%
WiFi v1.3
145
112
-23%
178
23%
290
100%
228
57%
192
32%
259 (78 - 622, n=369)
79%
Load
76
76
0%
26
-66%
67
-12%
79 (18 - 202, n=634)
4%
Witcher 3 ultra
60
56.5 (50 - 66, n=6)

Pros

+ decent maintenance options
+ good gaming performance at 1080p
+ comparatively quiet by gaming laptop standards
+ surprisingly good speakers

Cons

- mediocre battery life
- Lenovo disables Intel UHD Graphics GPU by default
- no SD card reader
- no Thunderbolt 3

Verdict

The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH laptop review. Test device courtesy of CampusPoint.
The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH laptop review. Test device courtesy of CampusPoint.

The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH remains a powerful gaming laptop that can run all modern triple-A games at 1080p, despite the switch to a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU. While the Turing card does not support DLSS or ray tracing like the RTX 2060 does, the latter is not powerful enough to fully utilise these new technologies, so you would not be missing out on features by choosing the GTX 1660 Ti over the RTX 2060.

In short, the Y540-15IRH is a midrange gaming laptop that can maintain its potential over prolonged periods thanks to its decent cooling system. The device has good maintenance options too and a 2.5-inch drive bay should you need additional storage.

The Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE is a powerful gaming laptop despite the absence of RTX graphics.

The main oddity about the Y540-15IRH is Lenovo’s decision to disable the integrated GPU by default, which leaves the GTX 1660 Ti permanently active. Correspondingly, our review unit has woeful battery life at stock settings, but it is possible to enable the integrated GPU in the BIOS, which dramatically improves runtimes. Impracticalities aside, the Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH is an excellent device for the money and one that we recommend if you are in the market for a 15.6-inch gaming laptop.

Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH-81SX00B2GE - 09/20/2019 v7
Mike Wobker

Chassis
73 / 98 → 74%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
51 / 80 → 64%
Weight
62 / 10-66 → 92%
Battery
45 / 95 → 48%
Display
86%
Games Performance
89%
Application Performance
87%
Temperature
85 / 95 → 90%
Noise
89 / 90 → 99%
Audio
74%
Average
76%
83%
Gaming - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Legion Y540-15IRH Laptop Review: A good gaming laptop with a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GPU
Mike Wobker, 2019-08-14 (Update: 2019-08-15)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.