Lenovo embraces MoDT in China — laptop CPUs are used in its new Legion 7000K gaming towers

Lenovo Legion 7000K gaming PCs
(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo has launched a new series of gaming desktops powered by laptop CPUs. PCs like this are commonly described as having adopted the MoDT (Mobile on Desktop) hybrid design. Mini PCs and All-in-Ones were the first to make MoDT popular, but they also usually used mobile GPUs (or just integrated graphics). In contrast, Lenovo’s new Legion 7000K PC series, now available in China, come in sizable tower cases and are sold with powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs pre-installed.

With an MoDT platform, if you want to change your CPU you would have to buy a complete new mainboard / CPU / cooler bundle. Mobile CPUs aren’t socketed but are soldered to the board, so the average tech enthusiast isn’t going to be able to swap or upgrade the CPU. Thus it is very important to consider this spec very carefully before committing.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Looking more closely at the new Legion 7000K machines, we see that they come with a choice between two pretty strong Intel Raptor Lake Refresh mobile CPUs. The most powerful option is the Core i9-14900HX, with 24C/32C, clock speeds up to 5.8 GHz, and 36MB Smart Cache. This powerful chip can be quite thrifty with its 55W base power, but also has a max turbo power of a laptop-melting 157W. In Geekbench nT rankings, for example, the performance of this CPU sits snugly between the Core i9-13900 and the Ryzen 9 PRO 7945 desktop chips – so it isn’t a lightweight.

One other CPU option is available to buyers, and that is the Core i7-14650HX. This is a 16C/24T part, with clock speeds up to 5.2 GHz, and 30MB Smart Cache. Again there is a standard TDP of 55W, with the chip attempting to suck up to 157W if the situation demands it and cooling is adequate.

As with other MoDT platforms, we aren’t sure if the cooling system is easy to change or upgrade, as the mounts won’t likely be the same as in a desktop PC.  Lenovo seems to indicate its CPU cooler is good for up to 190W. If the CPU cooling fan is standard, we guess it could be changed or upgraded.

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Another spec of the Legion 7000K gaming desktop that users will have to decide upon is what GPU to choose. The product page allows the choice of RTX 4060 / Ti, RTX 4070 Ti / Super. As with a traditional desktop PC, users can upgrade at any time later.

Lastly, the new Legion systems come with a standard 32GB DDR5-5600 dual-channel RAM and 1TB PCIe Gen4 storage. Again, upgrades shouldn’t be a problem in the future with SODIMMs presumably used for RAM, and two M.2 slots and two SATA ports available for storage.

A wide range of I/O is available from the motherboard including one USB 3.2 gen2 Type-C, a plethora of other USB Type A ports, audio I/O, 2.5G Ethernet (Wi-Fi 6 is also onboard), and DP video. The desktop GPU also has a trio of DP ports and an HDMI 2.1a output. Front I/O consists of twin USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports and audio I/O. The system also comes with Nahimic 5.1 sound and some RGB lighting.

Lenovo is selling these Legion 7000K systems in China starting from around $1,300 (i7, RTX 4060), all the way up to around $2,350 (i9, RTX 4070 Ti Super). If those direct currency exchange figure prices were actual U.S. prices, these MoDT pre-builts wouldn’t really be very interesting. Customers should expect a decent discount to accept the CPU upgrade (and other) limitations.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • Notton
    I'm not surprised Lenovo did this.
    They were the only ones to use the vendor/mobo fuse locking feature on AMD pro series.
  • kealii123
    I don't understand the point of this