Published
By
Editor: Matthew DeCarlo

Read user comments (10)

The Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 is a budget gaming desktop PC that has ample power for general-purpose work, and should be well suited for video and other multimedia work as well as PC gaming. Released earlier this year, the machine is powered by your choice of a second-generation Intel Core series processor and up to 16GB of RAM. Additionally the K330 features a unique three-speed power control switch so you can dial-up performance when you need it.

The K330 series ranges in price from $699 up to our review unit's $1,099 configuration (recently discounted). At the heart of this system is a power plant featuring a 3.4 GHz Intel i7-2600, 12GB of DDR3 RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card, a Hitachi 2TB 7200 RPM hard drive, a Blu-ray / DVD combo drive and a 16-in-1 card reader, all running on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. The unit comes standard with a one-year warranty from Lenovo.

Included with the tower is a wired, full-size black keyboard and a matching mouse with an orange scroll wheel. Both are of the quality you'd expect from a package like this and serious gamers will likely replace them with upper-end aftermarket gear.

The Lenovo K330 is housed in a black microATX chassis with subtle orange accents on the front bezel, which consists of a brushed aluminum looking plastic and glossy black plastic. Here we find the Blu-ray combo drive and an expansion bay, both behind folding doors with labels. Above the optical drive is the 16-in-1 card reader with the following compatibility: MS/Pro/ProDuo, SD/Mini/HC/HC MMC/RS/Plus/Mobile, xD and CF/I/II/MD. Additionally there are two USB 2.0 ports as well as headphone and microphone jacks.

On the lower section of the bezel is a switch labeled Turbo / Auto / Cool. According to the user guide, Cool mode runs the CPU at low frequency and the system consumes less power. Auto mode is your "everyday" configuration while Turbo allows the system to run at full speed for optimal performance.

On the top of the tower is the power button, an on/off switch for the front power switch and a file backup button. The backup button launches the BackOn Track software which is a guided interface that allows you to save important files to a disc, hard drive or other storage device. There is also a built-in handle that allows for easier transportation of the case.

The left and right side panels are identical with a cutout for passive cooling. Lenovo's brand is also embossed at the top of both panels. The right panel additionally includes stickers for the Windows product key, specifications and serial number.

Around back, we find a plain gray panel with the power supply located at the top. The I/O shield consists of separate PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, six USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, Ethernet jack, 7.1 channel audio ports and the graphics card connectors (two DVI ports and an HDMI port).

The left side panel is held in place with two large thumbscrews while the right panel gets the standard Phillips head treatment. Inside we find a typical unpainted steel chassis with cables scattered about.

The microATX motherboard is blue with no clear markings indicating a manufacturer. CPU-Z only reveals it to be a P67 board with a B3 stepping chipset. The memory chips are a bit more forthcoming, however. Each module is 4GB in capacity and labeled as Samsung 1066. The cooling fan on the CPU heatsink lists AVC as the manufacturer, although it appears the heatsink may be from a different manufacturer. It's not a retail Intel cooler, or at least not one that I am familiar with.

The power supply is from AcBel Polytech Inc. and is rated at a maximum of 450w according to the label. The graphics card in this system is a reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 460. Although the product sheet lists support for up to two GTX 560s in SLI, I'm not sure if the provided PSU would be willing to cooperate under such a configuration. We will look at power consumption for this system during our battery of tests.

A Hitachi 2TB hard drive is installed in one of the two tool-less drive bays. Lenovo offers RAID solutions as an added feature when custom configuring your system online, or you could add additional storage at your own leisure as you see fit. SSDs are not offered as an option out of the box.