One of the top reasons to buy a custom PC from Sim Lim Square over an off-the-shelf computer is that the latter often does not cater to future upgrades or expansion.
But this is not the case for Lenovo's latest gaming PC. The Ideacentre Y900 actually makes it easy for users to add or change its hardware with a tool-free chassis design that does not require a screwdriver.
For instance, the side panel pops open when you push a button at the top of the chassis. This panel also has a transparent window that lets you admire the red LEDs on the CPU and rear fans.
The front panel features a Y- shaped red LED - an aesthetic touch that will please gamers. Remove this panel to access and clean the dust filters of the front suction fan.
Installing additional hard drives is a simple task of pulling out the removable drive bays and attaching the drives. The Y900 has a solid- state drive with the Windows 10 operating system, and a 2TB hard drive for your data. You can also add two more internal drives. Also present is a DVD drive for videos and games.
Even the graphics card (Nvidia GeForce GTX 970) is held securely in place without screws. A second GTX 970 can be added to boost the Y900's gaming performance.
The only scenario which calls for a screwdriver is if you are upgrading the processor. But this should not be happening soon because the Y900 comes with a high-end Intel Core i7-6700K processor that supports overclocking.
Together with its 16GB of RAM, this CPU scored a respectable 3,927 in the PCMark 8 benchmark. This result is just slightly below our own reference custom PC.
In Crysis 3, the Y900 managed a smooth 66 frames per second at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels at Very High setting. This is identical to the performance produced by the Aftershock Hypergate gaming PC, which has a similar GeForce GTX 970 graphics card.
To sweeten the deal, Lenovo has thrown in its own mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse. Of the two, I was more impressed with the mechanical keyboard. It has a red LED backlight, six extra programmable keys for game controls and dedicated keys for volume and video playback.
There is also a keyboard shortcut to disable the Windows logo key, which is desirable for gamers as it prevents accidental key presses during a game. In short, this keyboard feels like it is easily worth over $100.
At $2,699, the Y900 is more expensive than a do-it-yourself system from Sim Lim Square, though you get technical support and warranty from Lenovo. The Aftershock Hypergate ($1,839) is a more affordable option, albeit with a less powerful CPU.
Verdict: Tech-savvy gamers will also appreciate the ease of upgrading the PC components in this gaming PC. Also, the bundled accessories are surprisingly good.
Installing additional hard drives is a simple task of pulling out the removable drive bays and attaching the drives. The Y900 has a solid-state drive with the Windows 10 operating system, and a 2TB hard drive for your data. You can also add two more internal drives. Also present is a DVD drive for videos and games.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6700K (4GHz)
GRAPHICS: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 STORAGE: 120GB SSD and 2TB HDD RAM: 16GB
CONNECTIVITY: 2 x HDMI, 3 x DisplayPort, 2 x DVI, VGA, 6 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, SD card reader, Gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks
VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5
This article was first published on Feb 17, 2016. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.