Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review

The Philippines isn’t one of the best markets for prebuilt PCs, so much more so for gaming PCs. That said, prebuilt and botique PCs make up a larger segment of the market than what many proponent of DIY PC builds claim it to be. That’s just facts. The other side of the coin is that most namebrand boutique and prebuilts come at a premium and many of which are just hard to justify for people who are used to not paying for their OS or who do not value about technical support.

Post-pandemic, this has somewhat changed. With the allure of new graphics cards becoming much more enticing thanks to their performance promise, many people want to get in the gaming hype. With prices sky high though, this has created a market wherein its much more feasible to buy a prebuilt gaming desktop than build your own. In this review, we’ll take a look at the flagship gaming PC line from Lenovo Legion: the Legion Tower 7i.

Released in 2021 and featuring an 11th-gen Intel Core CPU, we’ll see how this CPU handles in this review. We’ll be jumping ahead to gaming performance but if you want to read up on CPU performance, you can check out Intel Core i9-11900K review for a relative comparison of CPU performance for other applications.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Specifications and Configuration

Legion Tower 7i 2021
SKU 34IMZ5 90Q9005NPP
CPU Intel Core i9-11900K, Intel Core i7-11700K
MB Custom Lenovo Legion Z490 motherboard
RAM Up to 4x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory
STORAGE Up to 1TB PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD
EXPANSION Supports M.2 expansion, Available 2x PCIe 1x slots, SATA ports
I/O
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 4 x USB 2.0 Ports
  • 2 x Front USB.2.0
  • 2 x Front USB 3.2 Gen1
  • 6 x 3.5mm Rear Audio
  • 1 x 3.5mm Front Speaker Out
  • 1 x 3.5mm Front Mic In
VGA Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
DISPLAY OUT 1xHDMI, 3x DisplayPort
NETWORKING Gigabit LAN, 802.11ax WLAN (varies)
POWER 850W 80 PLUS GOLD PSU (FSP HYDRO G PRO)
Others
  • Pre-installed Windows 11 Home
  • Bundled with Office Home and Student 2021
  • 3-year Premium Care warranty

More Lenovo and Legion products

Its important to note that while Lenovo Philippines bundles a peripheral set with this PC, you will need your own monitor or buy one together with the Legion Tower 7i. The specific models sold are below:

Note: Prices may vary since date of posting.

Closer Look

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Lenovo has never had colored packaging in the last decade so anyone looking for a flashy box like that some other brands. To save you the heartbreak of finding out later, here’s a shot of the packaging for the Legion Tower 7i. Its like the ones on laptops but bigger. This package weights around 15kg so please ask for help if you cannot lift it yourself.

Not pictured here are the packaging foam and plastic bag that protects the Legion 7i during transport. Taking those out, we see the Legion 7i all prepped and ready. Since the device already has Windows installed, you only need to plug the peripherals and power in and you are good to go.

Going over aesthetics, if you’re familiar with the Legion Tower 5, the Tower 7 follows the same design language with the clean front display the OY Legion logo whilst the sides are clean. Lenovo uses 4mm tempered glass on the side with the rear motherboard panel a metal one.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

The Tower 7i follows modern design principles for its case design but the most important bit is that unlike most monolith cases with slits for intake, the Lenovo Legion Tower 7 design is aimed for high airflow. This is showcased in the front with a mesh intake front panel with 3x 120mm fans serving as intake.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Exhaust is done by 3 fans: 2 on top and 1 on the rear. The two top fans are from the AIO cooling for the CPU. Lenovo has a mesh top for low-restriction airflow to compliment the front intake.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Since we’re already on top, let’s check out the front IO that lined on top. We have a pair of USB3.0 and USB2.0 ports here for your devices. Just beside the power button are the mic and audio 3.5mm jacks for your audio devices.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

We have a couple more USB2.0 on the back as well as a pair of USB3.2 Gen1 5Gbps ports and a USB-C 10Gbps port alongside a USB-A 10Gbps. We have the 5-channel audio ports in the back as well and a single 1GbE LAN. Shame Lenovo didn’t go for a 2.5GbE or something faster which should really compliment this PC.

Lights On

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Its hard capturing RGB and showing it in photos but this one should best demo the lighting in a well-lit room.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower
Full disclosure: the blue backlighting is for effects and not a feature of this gaming PC

Lights off and RGB galore. All the fans on the Legion Tower 7i besides the GPU fans are RGB-illuminated. The front mesh do mask the RGB a bit but the internals are glowing. Lenovo may have intentionally kept the lower part of the board a bit dim to only show the GeForce RTX logo on the graphics card.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

With the system powered on, just hook up a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speaker (or headset) and you’re LAN cable and you’re good to go.

Disassembly

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

When you buy the Legion Tower 7, you’re also buying a Lenovo Premium Care warranty. Part of that warranty entails that Lenovo service your unit for anything you need. This also means that anyone that doesn’t know how to tinker with their PC doesn’t have to but for those that do, this section is for you.

The Lenovo Legion  Tower 7 side panels come off easily and are not warranty sealed. The tempered glass panel are screw-on while the rear panel have screw locks that allow it to slide out sideways.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Let’s start off at the back: Lenovo’s cable management is good on this model. The case they made has good tie down points with the cables already tied down to keep them neat and tidy.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

There are no SATA drives in this model but the drive cage on the bottom or drive trays on the board tray can be used to connect multiple drives to your system. Lenovo already preinstalled two SATA cable for expansion drives.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

The drive trays on the back have their locking screws already on the board which secures your 2.5″ drives in place. The trays themselves slide in places on notches and are locked with a thumbscrew.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

3.5″ drive trays are in the drive cage on the bottom. When connected SSDs on these trays, you will need to use the screws on the 2.5″ drive trays to secure them in place.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Now onto the board side: we have some slight obstruction here though. For maximum airflow, Lenovo uses a shroud to direct airflow to the board and GPU. This restricts air cycling in the area on the front which is a good idea and also keeps internals clean as it hides the cable mess if any (this board doesn’t have cable mess).

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

The plastic shroud is held down by some screws but slides out once that is removed revealing the entire length of our GPU and a couple of cables.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Lenovo uses a single type of fan on the entire system. These are also controlled via Lenovo’s Legion Vantage software.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Specs will vary by region so please be aware that these may not be the same for you. In this case, our unit is using a pair of Kingston FURY DDR4 memory sticks. There are are a total of 4 RAM slots so you can populate these with your own sticks or expand it using Lenovo’s recommendation.

Lenovo uses their own inhouse motherboard and GPU. The RTX 3080 of our unit looks like a standard RTX 3080 reference model.

Performance Summary

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

We’ll focus on the gaming performance of the Legion Tower 7i here and see how Lenovo manages that RTX 3080 afterwards.

RTX 3080 Performance

1080p1440p2160p

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

RTX 3070 Performance

1080p1440p2160p

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Temperature

One of the highlights of the Legion Tower line is their airflow. Lenovo goes of their way to market the Legion Tower with their ColdFront 2.0 design which blasts air throughout vital components of the system. As you’ve seen in our teardown images, Lenovo’s Legion Tower 7i uses design principles already in use in many prebuilts for years: an airflow shroud that directs air to vital components. In this model, it guides air in a linear direction towards the motherboard area where fresh air is readily provided for the AIO radiator and GPU. In effect, it provides a very cool internal case temperature than similar design.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

As a gaming PC, holding temperatures is vital to maintaining performance. In our temperature analysis chart above we have the Legion Tower 7i’s RTX 3080 holding just under 1800Mhz boost clock but keeping its temperate under 70*C. The CPU itself is under 67*C during this benchmark with the case ambient never reaching past 40*C. Users have the option of controlling the fan speed directly via Lenovo Vantage which gives 1-click control for all fans in the chassis. Our tests are performed with the default speed settings.

Conclusion

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

It is imperative that you look at this from a perspective of use and not practicality. While 90% of our readership is capable of building their own PC, many still would just want something that is one-and-done. Pre-builts have had the reputation of being overpriced and underpowered and depending on who you’re buying from, that may be true but in the case of the Lenovo Legion Tower 7i, for  Php149,995 (i9)or Php129,995(i7) the deal is quite a bit more valuable as Lenovo does bundle Windows 11 and Office, easily a Php20,000 value along with the keyboard and mouse.

The choice to go Core i9-11900K or Core i7-11700K  would mean little if you’re mostly gaming, in that case any RTX 3080 or RTX 3070 model would be a decent choice. I was offered both Core i9 and i7 models to review but since we’re looking at gaming performance, I went with the i7+RTX 3080 as it made more sense. Anyone looking to buy the Legion Tower for work should turn to an AMD system or upcoming Intel 12th-gen Core models as the 11th-gen Intel CPUs aren’t the best choice but for gaming, its enough.

Lenovo pulled thru in their promise of good cooling and the design is really well-built. This is followed up by a simple fan control system to further air the system although it really doesn’t need to go past stock unless you really want a cooler system in exchange for a bit more fan hum.

The Lenovo Legion Tower 7i does lack IO. The rear IO options lacks IGP output and Lenovo kept USB options slim despite not using the available PCIe options on board. This is a very poor decision and really restricts the usability of the system for use with other devices. Lenovo does have options for internal expansions for at least 4x 2.5″ SSD drives or two 3.5″ HDDs. For M.2, there are 2 slots available so users can expand further than the single option available especially with only 512GB sold on the i7 model.

In terms of price-to-performance, the Lenovo Legion Tower 7 would sit just below today’s modern standard for pure gaming. System prices today would put any RTX 3080 build close to the price of the Legion Tower 7i so I’m not too othered about the cost especially with what I’m getting, primarily for anyone who has no idea how to mess around or fix a problem. Lenovo’s Premium Care coverage supports customers for 3-years and has options for on-call support as well as deskside, meaning they’ll go to you if you have a problem at no charge. If you are aware of the current PC market, you know on-call PC technicians will charge anywhere from Php500-3000 for their time. If your problem is just plugging in a USB device, this is just unacceptable. This is one of the strongest points of Lenovo and their support has really been industry-leading since its inception.

All in all, the Lenovo Legion Tower 7i is a nice and cool system that is ready to go straight from the store. Quality parts and excellent support make it well worth the price and is highly recommended for young gamers as well as any adult who just want a system that runs well and is supported by a robust technical support policy. And it has RGB. 😉

Lenovo backs the Legion Tower 7i with an industry-leading 3-year Premium Care warranty.

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review - legion tower
Lenovo Legion Tower 7i 2021 (i7) Gaming PC Review
Final Thoughts
All in all, the Lenovo Legion Tower 7i is a nice and cool system that is ready to go straight from the store. Quality parts and excellent support make it well worth the price and is highly recommended for young gamers as well as any adult who just want a system that runs well and is supported by a robust technical support policy. And it has RGB. 😉
Performance
9.2
Build Quality
9.5
Functionality
8.9
Value
8.4
Pros
Excellent cooling
Robust build quality
Unmatched support
Cons
CPU Upgrade deadend
Limited configuration options
Needs more I/O
9
Rating