Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 - An Affordable AND Powerful Gaming Notebook?

Launch SRP: S$1999

Performance & Benchmarking

Performance & Benchmarking

In its default state, with a single NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650M, the Y500 is comparable to many multimedia notebooks out there, such as HP's Pavilion DV6. It also has very similar specs to the Razer Blade, with the Blade having a slightly better GPU. In its SLI setup however, we were interested to see how much of a performance boost it would get and how it would fare against some serious gaming machines. As such, we're putting it up against Dell's Alienware M17X R4 (GTX 675M) and MSI's GT70 0NE (GTX 680M), winner of our Tech Awards 2013 Editor's Choice Best Gaming Notebook.

Test Notebooks Compared
  Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 HP Pavilion dv6-7009TX Razer Blade (2012) Dell Alienware M17XR4 MSI GT70 0NE
Processor and Chipset
  • Ivy Bridge Intel Core i7-3630QM (2.4 GHz)
  • HM77
  • Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor (2.3 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
  • Intel HM77
  • Intel Core i7-3632QM (2.2GHz)
  • Intel HM77
  • Intel Core i7-3820QM (2.7GHz)
  • Intel HM77
  • Intel Core i7-3610QM (2.3GHz)
  • Intel HM77
Operating System
  • Windows 8 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 7
System Memory
  • 8GB RAM
  • 4GB DDR3-1333MHz (1 DIMM) with Dual Channel Memory Support – up to 8GB max supported
  • 16GB
  • 16GB
  • 16GB
Video & Display
  • 15.6-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT650M 2GB (option for SLI configuration with interchangeable drive bay)
  • 15.6-inch Full HD anti-glare display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 2GB VRAM
  • 17.3-inch Full HD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
  • 17.3-inch Full HD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M
  • 17.3-inch Full HD
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX680M
Storage
  • 1TB HDD (5400 rpm)
  • 750GB Hard Drive
  • 500GB HDD
  • 64GB SSD
  • 2 x 1TB HDD
  • 750GB HDD
Optical Drive
  • DVD-RW
  • Blu-ray player and SuperMulti DVD burner
  • None
  • DVD-RW
  • Blu-Ray
Connectivity
  • RJ-45 Ethernet
  • 802.11 bg/bgn WiFi
  • 10/100/1000M Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet Port
  • Wireless 802.11b/g/n WLAN + Bluetooth
  • Intel Wireless Display Support
  • RJ-45 Ethernet Port
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • RJ-45 Ethernet Port
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • RJ-45
Audio
  • 2.1 speakers (with built-in subwoofer)
  • 1 x Headphone jack
  • 1 x Microphone jack
  • Beats Audio, Quad Speakers with HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer
  • 2 x speakers
  • 1 x headphone port
  • 2 x headphone port
  • 1 x microphone port
  • 1 x S/PDIF/headphone
  • 2.1 Speakers (with built-in subwoofer)
I/O Ports
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
  • 1 x 6-in-1 card reader (SD, SD-Pro, MMC, MS, MS-Pro, XD)
  • 3 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x RJ-45
  • 2 x Headphones out
  • 1 x Microphone in
  • 3 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x eSata/USB 2.0
  • 1 x HDMI input
  • 1 x HDMI output
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1 x Multi-card reader
  • 3 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x USB 2.0
  • eSATA/USB combo
  • D-Sub (VGA)
  • HDMI
  • Mic/Headphone
  • SD(XC/HC)/MMC/MS(PRO)/xD Card Reader
Battery Type
  • 6-cell
  • 6-cell Lithium Ion
  • 6-cell
  • 6-cell
  • 9-cell battery
Dimensions
  • 387 x 259 x 15.5 - 36 mm
  • 378 x 247 x 29.4 - 32.5mm
  • 427 x 277 x 22mm
  • 405 x 321 x 51-53 mm
  • 428 x 288 x 55mm
Weight
  • 2.7kg
  • 2.57kg
  • 2.99kg
  • 5.3kg
  • 3.9kg
Miscellaneous
  • Full-sized island-style keyboard with integrated numeric keypad
  • TouchPad supporting Multi-Touch gestures with On/Off button
  • HP SimplePass Fingerprint Reader
  • HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
  • Kensington MicroSaver lock slot
  • Razer Switchblade touchscreen UI
  • HD Webcam

 

PCMark 7 Results

PCMark 7 tests a machine's overall capabilities. The SLI setup didn't seem to make a difference in this benchmark, with both results almost identical. The Y500's biggest downfall was its System Storage score, where it was let down by its mediocre 5400 RPM HDD. 

 

3DMark 11 Results

3DMark 11 is a synthetic benchmark designed to test a notebook's GPU performance at various aspects of DirectX 11 such as tessellation and DirectCompute. With the single GPU configuration, the Lenovo Y500 scored very similarly to HP's Pavilion DV6, and slightly behind the Razer Blade. However, when we tested the SLI setup, it almost doubled its score, matching and actually slightly surpassing Dell's monster Alienware M17X R4 machine!

 

Far Cry 2

We saw a similar result in Far Cry 2 with the Y500 SLI config easily outscoring the Razer Blade and matching the Alienware M17X R4.

Note: Unfortunately, we did not have the HP Pavilion DV6 available for any of the gaming benchmark tests.

 

Dirt 3

Dirt 3 showed the same result, with the Y500 SLI almost doubling the performance output of the single GPU default configuration, and matching the performance of the Alienware M17X R4.

 

Crysis 2

The very intensive Crysis 2 benchmark consists of a grueling test of tessellation, Parallax Occlusion Mapping, water rendering, and particle motion blur and shadowing. Despite this, the Y500 SLI config still managed to perform well, continuing to outscore the Razer Blade, with output equal to the Alienware M17X R4. 

8.5
Design
7.5
Features
9
Performance
9
Value
9.5
Mobility
7.5
The Good
Adding swappable second GPU module offers GTX 675M level performance
Fantastic value
Good battery life
Decent audio with built-in subwoofer
The Bad
Trackpad feels cheap
Some backlight bleed
Keyboard a bit mushy
Swapping of GPU module is necessary to balance battery life vs. gaming performance
Awards:
Best Valued for MoneyMost Innovative Product