Found an Ideapad 720 15" (not Yoga or Legion)

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by franzerich, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. franzerich

    franzerich Notebook Evangelist

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    I accidentally found an interesting Lenovo notebook, which is hardly mentioned anywhere:

    Ideapad 720 15"
    IPS display
    CPU: i5-7200U
    GPU: 4gb AMD RX560

    German website http://www3.lenovo.com/at/de/laptops/ideapad/700-series/Lenovo-IdeaPad-720-15IKB/p/88IP7000910

    [​IMG]

    Based on the description and looking at the photos, following thoughts came to my mind:

    Nice design factor. Small footprint (like the Yoga 720). It's made of metal, therefore probably robust. It's without convertible/2-in-1 features (which I actually don't need at all). I really like that it has plenty of ports, especially an ethernet port which is often removed nowadays. I hate dongles. The keyboard seems also great (similar to the Legion keyboard, which I could test once).

    However what I dislike about it, is the processor. They should put in at least a i5-8550U. I also dislike having an AMD gpu here. Even a 2gb 1050gtx performs better than a 4gb rx560. Furthemore all tests have shown that the rx560 draws considerably more power than any gtx1050... almost as much as a gtx1060. Who in the right mind pairs an undervolted energy saving CPU with a power leecher like the rx560??? And not only that, but a gtx1050 has approximately 10 degrees less in most benchmarks. This is just dumb...

    I hope they gonna change that, because it's an interesing rig nevertheless...
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  2. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    Actually, the RX 560 performs exactly the same as the 1050. Don't confuse it with the 460 since the 560 has more shaders and compute units. Additionally, due to the 14nm node used, a small downclock goes a long way. Just look at the RX 580 in the GL702ZC. The desktop card uses 180W @ 1400MHz. The mobile card uses 80W @ 1150MHz.

    On a side note, comparing thermals with different coolers is somewhat pointless, especially if you are comparing desktop cards to mobile cards. Look at the 1060 desktop - that's a 120-140W GPU and in laptops it's only 80-100W depending on the configuration because it also comes with a downclock.
     
  3. franzerich

    franzerich Notebook Evangelist

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    It's kinda double-edged... the pattern seems to be that in DX11 titles it's 5-10 fps less, in DX12 titles it's equal and sometimes surpasses the gtx1050. Overall it still looks like that the gtx is more "stable" throughout both DX versions..

    About the shaders: the desktop rx460 has 896 shaders and the rx560 has 1024 shaders. However, based on the information of Notebookcheck, the laptop version of the rx560 has only 896 shaders, so it just matches the rx460 desktop version. Though not sure if the information is outdated...

    About the thermals and power usage... you got a point here. It's about time for an official review about the mobile version of the rx560...
     
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  4. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    Yeah, the AMD DX11 performance is largely limited by driver overhead, though with DX12 we do see the full potential of these chips. I really hope the industry moves forward with DX12 because it's just a better API than DX11 both in terms of GPU and CPU usage.

    I've actually got no idea whether the NBC info is correct. I mean, their tests with the mobile RX 580 put it within 5% of the 1060 laptop (not Max-Q, Max-Q is like 1000 behind in Fire Strike) so I just assumed that the mobile parts from Polaris were downclocked desktop parts - same as Nvidia.
     
  5. franzerich

    franzerich Notebook Evangelist

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    Eh... where my prayers heard? In this russian shop the laptop is already available with the i5-8250u, a true quadcore. Definitely worth over a dual core with hyperthreading. I hope the updated model comes to other countries soon.

    After watching some benchmarks about the rx560 I also came to the conclusion the gpu will be equal in value to the 1050 gtx, regardless the lesser DX11 performance. Possibly a better choice for the future (within this midrange class...). Also the more I think about it, the more I think the shader count is incorrect on NBC... it makes more sense if it were the full 1024 shaders, equal to the desktop specs. Haven't found hard proof though...

    However I found a german blog which tested a Lenovo Legion Y520 with the RX560, claiming it delivers 54fps in Crysis 3, in FHD and max settings... or 40fps in 2560x1080 and max settings. If I recall correctly from benchmark videos, the gtx 1050 2gb only delivered about 36fps in FHD at this exact scene in Crysis 3. To be honest, I'm kinda suspicious about the authenticity of the data, as it's almost 50% more fps for the Radeon. Hard to believe...

    Also the GPU-Z data from the blog is totally wrong, as it shows 2048 shader cores, but a ridiculous small 32 bit bus...
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
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  6. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    Yeah, that blog is full of crap, 50% more performance than the 1050 in a game that favours Nvidia cards for the most part is very strange. Besides, I don't recall a 560 model of the Y520 ever being released.
     
  7. franzerich

    franzerich Notebook Evangelist

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    So I thought this Ideapad was very interesting. However, before making an order, I wanted to know about its maintenance options. Luckily I found the manual on the Lenovo page with sketches of the disassembly and insides (see picture below).

    Access and maintenance is easy. Just unscrew the bottom panel, and that's it. The insides however are underwhelming:

    - First of all it's a poor way of cooling, if the fans only cool from 1 side and go over both CPU and GPU. Not saying it doesn't work, as I recall the Acer A715, the Lenovo Legion, and HP Omen having a similar way of cooling... but it still seems bad. In fact it seems even worse than on the 14" version...
    - The second thing I dislike about the cooling is the different fan sizes (you can see it better in the full manual). I once (10 years ago) had a laptop which had a similar setup: bigger fan for CPU and smaller fan for GPU. However these different fans became very annoying, as they resulted in uneven noise signature. Really annoying. This type of cooling has since disappeared for the most part... until now. In this modern laptop... what.the.f#ck? Why??? Not sure how bad it really is, but it's a huge disappointment to see something like that again. Even more so when you know, that all above mentioned laptops don't make that mistake. They all have equally big fans. Heck... even the Yoga 720 has equally big fans. And the 14" version as well. So why does the Ideapad 720 has not?? That's ridiculous. What a bummer...
    - Another (albeit minor) issue is, that there is only 1 slot for a RAM Stick (you can't see it here, but it's in the docs).

    My enthusiasm is mostly gone now...
    Kinda unfortunate, as it looked like a good alternative to the Asus n580vd...
    [​IMG]
     
  8. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    Lenovo have been doing this for quite a while. Y50, IdeaPad 700 and now 720 - all of those had different size fans. I guess they like it for some unknown reason. Or it's a cost-cutting measure.

    As for the N580 - it's a good machine provided you can get an IPS screen on it.
     
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  9. franzerich

    franzerich Notebook Evangelist

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    Ah yes, that's true. I remember now. However, now that I searched some pictures of disassembled Y50 and Ideapad 700, I'm not even sure the fans are different sized. Sure they look different sized on the first glance, but are they really? Or is it only the fan enclosure which makes them look bigger/smaller? The enclosures definitely have different sizes, but the fan engines themselves (without the rotor blades) seem to have the same diameter... not sure about the rotor blade sizes though, as they are hidden in the enclosure :vbconfused:

    Oh man... questions after questions... I guess only a full disassembly can tell... meh. But maybe it's not as bad, as I feared. If I recall correctly the Y50 received acceptable emissions and no disturbing frequencies... ah yes, there was a review on NBC. Now I'm as clever as before. Only a real "hands on" would eliminate the doubts.

    PS: about the RAM on the Lenovo 720-15: I forgot... on the website there is an option to get part of the RAM soldered, and a part as optional stick, which would allow dual channel.

    This Ideapad is obviously less flexible than the Asus n580vd. But it's indeed the TN panel which turns me off from Asus. In my country only the 4k panel is available as IPS, which is total overkill in usage and of course the ridiculous additional price tag...
     
  10. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    As a former Y50 owner, I believe the fans are indeed different sizes as during idle, only the larger one was spinning but as soon as the smaller one kicked in, there was an immediate change in the noise. Though there weren't any moments when I felt like there was uneven noise output (mainly due to the fans being next to each other I imagine)

    As for the RAM - I believe that with a CPU from this caliber, 16GB is probably the most you want. Hence why I opted for 16 on my machine rather than 24. It just doesn't make much sense with a lower end quad-core.

    The main draw to the N580 for me is the 1050, battery (6-7 hours of use IIRC) and keyboard. The main drawback is the screen. I like the materials used for the chassis but I wish it were sturdier. As it stands, it's a pretty thin metal body and it does suffer some flex. Though at 800$ and aluminium, I guess some concessions have to be made.
     
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