Lenovo’s gaming notebooks form the market’s midrange and upper midrange segments, right below Razer and Alienware. The relatively affordable pricing paired with an ergonomic build has ample appeal amongst gamers and eSports enthusiasts. Today, we’ll test the Lenovo Legion Pro 5 featuring a Core i9-13900HX (Raptor Lake-HX) and the GeForce RTX 4070 mobile.
The Legion Pro 5 has a 16″ 1600p 240Hz display, 32GB DDR5 (DC) memory, and 1 TB NVMe storage. The GPU is paired with 8GB of GDDR6 16Gbps memory across a 128-bit bus, resulting in an external bandwidth of 256GB/s. The 32MB of L2 cache further improves performance with on-die datasets.
CPU Performance: The Intel Core i9-13900HX
Starting with the PCMark 10 benchmark suite, we see the Core i9-13900HX perform within 12-14% of the Core i9-13950HX on the Razer Blade 15. Unlike the “H” and “HK” lineups, the “HX” series can be thought of as “the desktop counterparts in BGA soldered form.” Consequently, in most cases, you’re bound by thermals and power. In lightly threaded productivity workloads, the Legion is as fast as the Razer Blade, whereas, in heavily threaded content creation, the latter pulls ahead.
Cinebench is a compute-intensive benchmark that pushes modern CPUs to their power and temperature limits. The Core i9-13950HX on the Razer Blade pulls ahead due to its superior cooling technology.
The single-core scores are within the same range, but the multi-core performance delta between the Core i9s is even wider in Cinebench R23.
GPU Performance: Mobility Ada on a Budget
The GeForce RTX 4070 mobile doesn’t do particularly well in the synthetics. It’s only half as fast as the RTX 4090 mobile and over 35% slower than the RTX 3080 (desktop) in FireStrike. It performs poorly across both the quality presets of FS.
TimeSpy is a similar story. The RTX 4090 mobile is nearly 2x as fast as the RTX 4070 in TimeSpy Extreme with a 60-70% lead in the base quality preset. The desktop chips are out of their league, with even the RTX 3080 maintaining a 50% lead over the RTX 4070 mobile.
Gaming Benchmarks: 1080p and 1440p
We tested the Legion Pro 5 across seven performance-intensive games at 1080p and 1440p and got the following results. Please note that the first entry in every chart is the 1080p score, followed by the 1440p result:
The Lenovo Legion Pro 5 offers nearly 100 FPS or more in almost every game at 1080p with 50-60 FPS at 1440p. Enabling ray-tracing pushes the mobile RTX 4070 to its limit with averages of under 50 FPS, even at 1080p. We didn’t use any upscalars, so take FHD as the equivalent of 1440p with DLSS.
In recently released ray-traced titles, stick to 1080p or reduce the quality for stable 60 FPS+ gameplay.
Thermals and Throttling
The Core i9-13900HX on the Legion Pro 5 runs an inch lower than the 13950HX on the Razer Blade, both limited to under 5.5GHz. The same can be said of the temperature graphs.
The Legion experiences several CPU power and temp spikes likely related to the CPU performance profile. These variations skew the graph in favor of the Razer Blade.
The GeForce RTX 4070 mobile on the Legion Pro 5 does something similar. Even when idle, the GPU memory and core clocks fluctuate wildly. This adversely affects the power and, in turn, the thermals. I’m not sure why this is happening, even though there is no significant GPU load in the first half of the benchmark.
Conclusion: Gaming on a Flexible Budget
The Lenovo Legion Pro 5 is a decent high-end notebook priced at $2,309. It pairs Intel’s toasty Raptor Lake HX CPU with a midrange GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. It will handily net 100 FPS at 1080p (or 60 FPS at 1440p) in most titles, with room for ray-tracing. However, the CPU is prone to thermal throttling, making it slower than on rival designs. Luckily for most, the GPU will be the bottleneck rather than the CPU.