The Bottom Line
Feb 28 2013 - The Lenovo IdeaCentre K430 is a solid general performance desktop system for those looking to do computing tasks such as CAD or desktop video that demand a lot of processing power and memory. The downside is that the system does not have much when it comes to the graphics system. This makes it a much more limited choice for those either looking to it for use as a gaming system or something that needs lots of acceleration from graphics processors.
- Strong General Performance
- Wireless Mouse and Keyboard
- Relatively Modest Graphics With Limited Upgrade Possibility
- No Wireless Networking
- Intel Core i7-3770 Quad Core Desktop Processor
- 16GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 2TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual Layer DVD+/-RW Burner
- AMD Radeon HD 7570 Graphics Card With 2GB Memory
- Intel HDA 7.1 Audio
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Two USB 3.0, Four USB 2.0, DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, 9-in-1
- Windows 8, Office Starter
Review - Lenovo IdeaCentre K430
Feb 28 2013 - In terms of general performance, the Lenovo IdeaCenter K430 offers a lot thanks to the Intel Core i7-3700 quad core processor. This is currently one of the fastest consumer desktop processors on the market and should have no trouble with even demanding tasks such as desktop video editing. To help this out, Lenovo matched it up with 16GB of DDR3 memory which is more than enough for a smooth experience in Windows. In fact, there is very little chance that the memory would need to be upgraded over the lifetime of the system.
The storage setup for the Lenovo IdeaCentre K430 is pretty typical of most desktops at its price point. A two terabyte hard drive provides it with plenty of storage space for applications, data and media files. It spins at the normal 7200rpm rate which gives it a good level of performance but it does trail a bit behind the HP ENVY Phoenix h9 that features a 16GB solid state drive for caching that helps boost its booting time and application loads. If you do need additional space, there are two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage drives. Most of its competition tend to have four of the ports. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CD or DVD media while there is a flash card drive for the most common types of memory cards for digital peripherals.
The graphics system is probably one of the few areas where the IdeaCentre K430 could use some work. The AMD Radeon HD 7570 is a lower end graphics card that provides a minor level of 3D graphics acceleration. It isn't an ideal card for those looking to use the PC for gaming beyond at a casual level as it won't support the 1920x1080 resolution of LCD monitors with most games. It does provide some acceleration for non-3D applications such as Photoshop and digital video which is some of a benefit. The big downside here is that the power supply in the system has under 300 watts of total wattage output. This means that it is restricted to the more basic graphics cards and can't really be upgraded much beyond the card installed in it.
One minor quibble with the IdeaCentre K430 is the networking. The system relies on the standard gigabit Ethernet that is built into the motherboard. Most of the systems from name brands that it competes with are including wireless networking standard in their desktop systems. This means that it isn't quite as easy to setup with an existing wireless home network as it will need Ethernet cabling or a separate wireless adapter installed. Now some version of the K430 do feature this but it really should be standard. On the other hand, Lenovo does include a wireless mouse and keyboard which is not something that typically comes with a standard desktop system and helps keep cable clutter to a minimum.
With a price tag starting at $999, the Lenovo IdeaCentre K430 is on the upper edge of its price range. It's primary competitors are the Dell XPS 8500 and the HP ENVY Phoenix h9. The Dell is a bit more affordable but comes with less memory but offers the same general performance along with more USB ports and wireless networking. The HP has a bit slower Core i5 quad core processor and 10GB of memory but features a faster storage system thanks to the SSD caching and an improved Radeon HD graphics card.