Lenovo IdeaCentre 3 Tower Desktop with Athlon Silver 3050U
Silver Lenovo IdeaCentre 3 (90NT0000US) is a compact desktop tower with the entry level specs and features for handling your daily tasks. These include the mid-range AMD Athlon Silver 3050U processor, Radeon RX Vega 2 graphics card, 256GB Solid State Drive, 4GB DDR4 memory, Windows 10 Home operating system and a variety of connectivity ports including 8 USB ports, Bluetooth WiFi combo, DVD-RW Optical Drive.
The quarter two of 2020 release dual core AMD Athlon Silver 3050U (4 MB L3-Cache, 2 cores, 2 threads) works at the speeds between 2.3GHz and 3.2GHz with the turbo boost function. The average CPU Passmark benchmark score is 3204 for a mid-range performance and the typical TDP- Thermal Design Power is only 15 watts. It is adequate for handling the daily computing and multitasking. You can use it for browsing the internet, watching Youtube videos, word processing, working on spreadsheets, chatting on Skype and more.
When we say mid-range it is for mobile systems- laptops and that is what Athlon Silver 3050U is for, rather than desktops. This same APU is available in Chromebooks with the name of 3050C and the same specifications and performance level. It performs a bit less than the Athlon 300U and Pro 300U processors. It doesn’t have a powerful dedicated graphics card but an entry level Radeon Vega 2 and with the limited power of the CPU you can only play the basic, not so demanding games at the acceptable settings and resolutions. The 256GB SSD is a reasonable amount and gives you a good amount of local storage space for you to store many files including photos and videos.
The contemporary silver Lenovo IdeaCentre 3 with a stylish wavy line design is a compact desktop computer that measures just 11.26 x 4 x 12 inches (weighs 12.97 pounds) and will fit in most spaces. It has a rather simplistic design with the parallel lines and looks good in silver and black. Connectivity options include the DVD-RW Optical Drive, RJ45 Ethernet connector, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0 combo, 6 x USB 2.0 ports, 2 x USB 3.1 port, an HDMI output, audio jacks, and a 7-in-1 Media Card Reader for you to hook up all your peripherals. The monitor that you see in the product photos is not included and you’ll just get the tower desktop and a basic wired keyboard and a mouse. Four of the USB ports and a microphone and headphone jack are located at the front for your easy access.
The built-in Radeon RX Vega 2 has a video card benchmark score of just 460 and you can only play the light games with this machine. And you will have problems with the more demanding games even at the low settings. It shares 1GB of the memory with the Athlon Silver CPU and you have about 3GB left for your use, which is not a lot. You can easily connect it to a TV as long as the TV has a VGA port or an HDMI port which most modern day televisions do. The display quality is fine when you connect it to external displays and run at high FHD or 4K resolutions. Web pages and movies run smoothly without any problems.
You can use any brand mouse and keyboard, including Logitech and HP as long as they are universal and compatible with Windows 10 operating system. You’ll get quite a bit of junkware loaded by Lenovo that you may need to uninstall and 4GB RAM is unfortunately not much. Please note that this is a compact desktop tower that doesn’t really let you add new drives or GPU. And it has an external 90-watt power supply that is adequate for the CPU etc. it offers but not for a powerful system upgrade. The good quality 256GB SSD is the best thing on this computer and contributes heaps to the overall performance and you can open files very quickly.
You can’t use this computer for multimedia editing, 3D or video rendering but for watching videos or web browsing. The system supports up to 16GB of RAM if you want to upgrade the 4GB, but you’d need to remove the 4GB to put 2 x 8GB in the two DIMs. You can’t upgrade the video card as there is not a PCI express port. For cooling you have a heatsink with a fan, it is not upgradeable but not needed anyway. The system supports another SATA connection for upgrading the storage space and you can fit in a 2.5 or 3.5 drive. At the low current price point at the time of this review this computer has a very competitive price and it is very good value for money. It is currently one of the better selling desktop computers on Amazon.com and is rated an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars by 321 customers since it first appeared at Amazon.com on July 13, 2020 at the time of this post release. The first release date is April 2020.