Lenovo Legion 7 AMD-version review (Ryzen 9, RTX 3080), vs Intel i9 model

18 Comments

  1. Hubert

    September 22, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    "the Ryzen 9 CPU is not as powerful as the Intel i9"

    I completely disagree with that.
    Ryzen in this laptop is an advantage, not a disadvantage.
    Performance differences on the verge of measurement error, while battery life or work culture are at a level completely unattainable for Intel. And do not forget about pricing….

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 22, 2021 at 4:25 pm

      Read the whole article and look at the numbers. The differences are not within the margin of error. Nobody's arguing against the efficiency of the AMD platform, or against it being perhaps a better-balanced choice on this chassis.

      • Hubert

        September 23, 2021 at 12:26 pm

        well i saw synthetic tests and game measurements. Nobody goes play benchmarks. We usually play games, and there – as I wrote earlier, the differences on the border of the measurement error or not at all

  2. Den

    September 22, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Really good article but preferably more focus on why Amd variant has 2 dB more in performance mode. As a regular user, I think why is Amd variant not quieter than Intel when Amd can handle more heat?

    I need to test two Amd laptop and see the difference between temperatures and performance (cpu and gpu), what programs should i use for that?

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 23, 2021 at 2:13 am

      I usually just use a demanding game that maxes out the GPU and still uses the CPU. For my testing I use Horizon Zero Dawn in a specific scenario. Cyberpunk would also work. If you wanted to try something more consistent, you could use a gaming benchmark such as Time Spy, but the fan noise fluctuates drastically between tests, especially the CPU only test.

      I wouldn't get too hung up on 2dB difference though. For fan noise, I take a reading and record average sound over a 1 minute span. The hi/low range during that period is sometimes 4dB depending on the distance I hold the mic, fan fluctuation, etc. I just report my results as is, but it could easily be a couple dB different if I were to try it again. I other words, it's not an exact science.

      Also keep in mind that the CPU/GPU utilization between tests was different for both models. Note my screenshot for HZD in performance modes on both versions. For Intel it used on average 45W for CPU and 148W for the GPU. For AMD it used on average 30W for the CPU and 157W for the GPU. So dynamic boost is treating the configs very differently for the same game.

      What stuck out as odd to me though, is even though the CPU was running at a higher wattage on the Intel CPU, it still ran slightly cooler than the AMD. This probably contributes to the 2dB difference. Why it's different is anyone's guess. It could be balancing on the vapor chamber being different, but it could also simply just be differing tolerances on the vapor chamber or even a slight pasting difference.

  3. Sid chugh

    September 25, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Can the i7 cpu be undervolted to end up similar efficiencies like the ryzen cpu and thus better battery life on the legion 7i?

    • Derek Sullivan

      September 27, 2021 at 5:58 pm

      It can be undervolted yes, but it won't affect the wattage by as much as the difference I saw. Maybe .1-.4 W difference depending on what you're doing.

  4. Serge

    October 17, 2021 at 6:49 am

    Thank you very much for a great and detailed review ! I used it as a main decision point in ordering this laptop. One of the few issues out of the box is that I have real trouble with battery life on my Legion 7, whatever options i try the best i can squeeze out of it is like 1.5 hrs of web browsing.. Better battery life, quiet profile, icue killed, brightness is all the way down.. What kind of software do you use to measure the wattage you posted in Battery Life part of the article ? Probably i can find which component draws so much power. Thank you.

    • Derek Sullivan

      October 17, 2021 at 1:41 pm

      Use hwinfo. There's a spec called "charge rate" that appears when you unplug. Good luck troubleshooting

  5. Serge

    October 18, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Derek, you are the man ! With that power draw monitor u advised and throttle stop to check CPU power states I was able to play with this and that and see what exact mofo steals the juice. And its not ICUE itself but Corsair service and killing that service alone doesnt affect LED control functionality on this laptop at all. You dont need to run any batch killer files after laptop reboot, you can keep ICUE running in the background, just go to Windows Services manager and DISABLE startup for that Corsair service and it will never start again and draw your power by constantly kicking CPU out of idle \ sleep state. So i found most usable ( responsive enough to use this laptop \ battery life balance ) mode for me is Balance thermal mode + Better performance for battery setting with screen brightness around 40-50%, that gives around 2.4Ghz CPU top allowed speed and 11.5-12.5 W idle power consumption which is good enough for like 6+ hrs of battery life. Im absolutely happy to fix this issue and bump my battery from 1.5 hrs to 6 hrs. As far as i understand that Corsair service thing is related to controlling some other or some advanced functions of Corsair products and is not related to LED control implementation of this Legion laptop. I really hope Lenovo can release some better software and finally stop that rainbow crap show and jumping through the hoops to have real battery life.. I saw they released some semi official keyboard LED firmware for Yoga and that update sets some blue or white backlite by default which was really really good idea, lets jump on their support nuts together and push em to release something like that for Legion as well.

    • Derek Sullivan

      October 18, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      Glad you got it figured out. Yeah, those services are brutal on the battery.

      Did the Yoga you referenced used to use iCue? I don't think it'll be an option for this one because it's technically a Corsair keyboard. Without the iCue software installed, you do get 2 or 3 presets that are baked into the firmware. Trouble is, only one of them is tolerable to use professionally and even that is a bit much for my taste.

      What I'd really like to see is a way to save some presets into the firmware. I'd love to overwrite that rainbow one that starts at boot. Desktop Corsair keyboards have the ability to overwrite the default profile, but that option isn't available for the Legion…

      • Serge

        October 19, 2021 at 6:01 am

        Yes, that was Yoga with ICUE , please check this thread

        https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Gaming-Laptops/Stop-the-RIDICULOUS-Spiral-Rainbow-Keyboard-backlight-effect-Let-us-turn-it-off/m-p/4552233?page=1

        Some support guy posted a KBD firmware update to overwrite default pride profile with plain blue and it worked well.

        We need to push for same stuff for Legion for sure. I could never imagine myself tearing my new laptop apart so fast to pull out those flex cables for side and vents LEDs, i totally cant wrap my head around the fact that we have no control in BIOS over that crap show and have to jump through the hoops. Maybe you can use this info in some of your articles to catch some of Lenovo attention, you guys are big and one of the best on review scene, it can make good circles on the water for em to hear and fix it finally.

        Worst case scenario, some good coder can look into KBD firmware update utility which is available and mod it the way we can upload our own profiles and settings, im ready to chip in for crowdfunding. I 100% agree with you on those baked in profiles are no go for daily use, the only plain color profile is way too bright for my eyes at any brightness level.

  6. Nost

    October 23, 2021 at 2:19 am

    Any thoughts on how the i7 version would compare to the ryzen version? I currently have the ryzen version but would prefer the intel with thunderbolt and pci v4. I ordered the i7 and will compare the two myself. Would've bought the i9 outright but its been out of stock forever. Do you think the i7 will be 5% slower than the i9? Maybe comparable to the ryzen?

    • Derek Sullivan

      October 23, 2021 at 2:23 am

      The i7 will probably perform identically in almost every way to the i9 I reviewed. Most games the CPUs in these laptops is overkill… The only time you'll notice a difference is if you do CPU processing long term. Unless you're doing a lot of batch processing or content creation that requires things to be done ASAP, you probably would be fine with the i7

      Also, the power profiles may differ.

      • Nost

        October 23, 2021 at 3:17 am

        What about for ue4 development?

      • Derek Sullivan

        October 23, 2021 at 3:25 am

        For that, yeah, you'll probably want the best CPU you can get. Still though, if you look at the benchmark comparison, the difference is small between Ryzen 9 and the i9. So the Ryzen 9 will probably perform slightly better than the i7. You mentioned you wanted Thunderbolt though, so that pretty much eliminates Ryzen from your choices.

      • Nost

        October 23, 2021 at 3:19 am

        i7 or ryzen

  7. Nost

    October 23, 2021 at 3:30 am

    Ok thanks, wish I could find an i9

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