This desktop computer review looks at the Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 77273GU and the Alienware Aurora.
Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 77273GU
Lenovo's IdeaCentre K330 77273GU is a budget gaming desktop that offers decent gaming performance, some entertainment extras, and a solid design. The IdeaCentre K330 is available at a starting price of $999. The desktop is covered by a one-year warranty on parts and labor.
The IdeaCentre K330 comes equipped with a 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500 processor. The multi-core processor gives the desktop performance that is comparable with others in its budget gaming class. Everyday tasks such as internet browsing, viewing multimedia, and more are handled with relative ease. It's not the top performer out there, but it should suffice for most casual users. A healthy dose of 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM is onboard for additional multitasking help.
A Nvidia GeForce GT 440 graphics hard comes with the desktop, and it offers moderate performance when it comes to modern gaming. Hardcore gamers may want to upgrade for more optimal performance. Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit is the operating system that comes pre-installed.
You get a satisfactory amount of storage with the IdeaCentre K330 via a 1TB hard drive. The desktop is a viable home entertainment solution, thanks to a built-in Blu-ray drive that gives you the capability to enjoy DVDs at their best. If you want to transfer data from other digital devices with ease, there's a 15-in-1 card reader as well that supports a variety of formats. One disappointing omission in the desktop's feature set is that of integrated Wi-Fi. You will have to add this feature on your own.
Speaking of adding on to the IdeaCentre K330's feature set, let's discuss its expansion options. They are nothing special, but there are some possibilities should you find the need to upgrade the basics. As mentioned, you may want to upgrade the budget Nvidia graphics card. One possible limitation could be the IdeaCentre K330's power supply. You will need to find a power efficient graphics card replacement to ensure system compatibility. If you want to upgrade the 8GB of RAM, there are two slots available. There's room for an additional hard drive as well. Finally, there are vacancies in the form of 1x and 4x PCI Express card slots.
Lenovo did a nice job with the IdeaCentre K330's design. It has some of that gaming desktop flair that potential owners might look for with its orange accents that dot its black and gray exterior. The tower is fairly large, but that's to be expected with the desktop gaming genre. Perhaps the highlight of the IdeaCentre K330's design is its CPU speed control dial which sits on the front panel. The dial allows you to toggle among three different CPU speed settings: cool, auto, and turbo. The feature may be a bit gimmicky, but we can't fault the designers for trying.
The desktop's front panel also houses the DVD drive, expansion bay, and a few connections at the top. The connections include the media card reader, microphone and headphone jacks, and two USB 2.0 ports. The rest of the connectivity resides on the back panel, including keyboard and mouse ports, a host of additional USB ports, an eSATA port, Ethernet port, VGA port, DVI port, HDMI port, and analog audio jacks. Unfortunately, the IdeaCentre K330 is lacking FireWire, USB 3.0, and digital audio connectivity.
Is the Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 77273GU the best budget gaming desktop out there? Absolutely not. It has its negatives, but it does provide a decent all-around gaming and entertainment feature set that should appease those seeking a tower capable of performing a wide variety of tasks at a decent price level.
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