Lenovo K330 Review

Think Twice

The K330 may trump most basic household PCs, but it barely competes as a gaming PC. Its lack of an overclocked CPU and limited upgrade options keep it from competing with the other budget systems we reviewed.

Lenovo is probably not the first name that comes to mind when you think of gaming PCs. The brand's IdeaCentre K330 is one of the cheapest gaming computers we looked at. While it impresses as a traditional desktop, gamers find its hardware and performance underwhelming, according to Lenovo K330 reviews. Experts at TechSpot tested a version with a faster processor and video card and twice the hard drive capacity of the machines other reviewers evaluated. The site calls the K330's gaming performance respectable but says the system would benefit considerably from a beefier video card, as well as an upgraded power supply unit. A similar configuration earns mixed feedback on Amazon. Lenovo K330 reviews by users include numerous complaints about the video card, and satisfied customers seem to use this PC for business rather than gaming.

The configuration CNET tested simply could not keep up with other budget gaming PCs priced from $1,000 to $1,500, according to the site's Lenovo K330 review. A reviewer at PC World concludes that the K330 actually has a good price-to-performance ratio all things considered, and appreciates the fact that the system he reviewed included a Blu-ray drive, rather than the DVD-RW drive that comes standard on other budget gaming PCs. However, the reviewer declares the K330 better for general use than gaming, where its performance is "lackluster."

The Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 (starting at $950, Amazon) that CNET and PC World tested has an Intel Core i5-2500 CPU and 8GB of RAM. The version available on Amazon and the one TechSpot reviewed come with faster i7-2600 processors and 12 GB of RAM. While experts evaluated machines with Nvidia GeForce GT 440 or GTX 460 video cards, the system sold on Amazon comes with an AMD Radeon HD 6450 video card. Expert comparisons generally rank this card at least a notch below the aforementioned Nvidia cards that didn't impress reviewers. For storage, you can find a Lenovo IdeaCentre K330 with a 2TB hard drive -- twice the size of the hard drives on most other budget systems -- spinning at 7,200 rpm.

The K330 isn't a bad deal as far as desktop PCs go, but it lacks the more powerful components you typically find in budget gaming systems. Sure, it can run PC games, but if you want to up the game settings to maximum, you'll need a more powerful, albeit probably more expensive, gaming rig.

The newer Lenovo IdeaCentre K430 just might fill the bill. With the exception of an overclocked CPU, it has the available components and certainly the pricing to compete with our picks. However, we're still waiting to see what reviewers will have to say about its performance.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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