Benchmarks And Conclusion
We're running some synthetic and gaming benchmarks to give you an idea of how the Ideapad Y700-17 performs. Our suite includes PCMark 8, 3DMark Firestrike, GFXBench and Unigine Valley, along with Bioshock Infinite and Metro: Last Light Redux. The Y700-17 is being compared to Lenovo's Y700-15 Touch and Acer's Predator 15. We also threw in results from the Gigabyte P37X v4.
As a reminder, the P37X v4 employs a fifth-generation Core i7-5700HQ, while the Predator 15 and two Lenovos include Skylake-based Core i7-6700HQs. The P37X v4 and Predator 15 both sport GeForce GTX 980M modules, although the Predator 15's 980M only has 4GB of GDDR5. The Broadwell-powered P37X v4 contains 16GB of DDR3 memory. The Predator 15 and the two Lenovos contain DDR4 memory; the two Lenovos contain 16GB, while the Predator 15 sports 32GB. The Lenovo laptops feature 1080p IPS panels (15-inch multi-touch for the Y700-15 Touch and 17.3-inch for the Y700-17). The P37X v4 has a 17.3-inch FHD IPS display.
Synthetic Benchmark - PCMark 8
PCMark 8 scores attempt to represent real-world performance. The Home module consists largely of Web browsing, writing, gaming and photo editing. The Creative test includes a lot of content creation, transcoding and gaming. Finally, Work is built on office-oriented tasks like browsing, working in spreadsheets and video chat. All of our PCMark 8 runs utilize OpenCL acceleration when possible.
The Y700-17 performed slightly better than Lenovo's Y700-15 Touch, and it fared relatively well against the higher-end Predator 15 and P37X v4 systems.
Synthetic Benchmark - 3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike attempts to convey how a system will perform under a demanding graphics workload. Since the Y700-17's internals are almost identical to the Y700-15 Touch, there wasn't a big discrepancy between them. Our 17-inch sample was a little slower, though you wouldn't see the difference in a real game. However, the Y700-17 falls dramatically behind the Predator 15 and the P37X v4, which are both equipped with GeForce GTX 980M modules.
Synthetic Benchmark - GFXBench
During the High-Level tests, Lenovo's Y700-17 performed similarly to the Y700-15 Touch, as expected. What we didn't anticipate was how well it'd fare against the much stronger (and more expensive) Predator 15.
The Low-Level tests paint a similar picture; the Y700-17 scored similarly to the Y700-15 Touch. Our Y700-17 falls behind the Predator 15, but not spectacularly so.
Finally, during the Battery test, Lenovo's Y700-17 scored an average of nearly 28 FPS during the slowest run. We have to imagine that the larger screen hurts battery life somewhat compared to the Y700-15 Touch.
Synthetic Benchmark - Unigine Valley
Since the Y700-17 sports the same performance specs as Lenovo's smaller Y700-15 Touch, we used the same benchmark settings (High Quality preset at 1920x1080, using DirectX 11 and disabling the Anti-Aliasing option). The Y700-17 may not have the strongest processor, but it still garners a respectable score.
Gaming Benchmark - Bioshock Infinite
Bioshock Infinite is well-optimized and not as taxing as the synthetic benchmarks. Most modern GPUs easily cut through it, and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 960M is no exception. The Y700-17's average performance was well over 100 FPS, and rarely did it dip below 60 FPS.
Gaming Benchmark - Metro: Last Light Redux
Metro: Last Light Redux is much more demanding. Still, the GeForce GTX 960M achieves acceptable frame rates with its settings scaled back. We went with a Medium quality preset with SSAA off, Texture Filtering at Anisotropic Filtering 4X, Motion Blur off, Tessellation at Normal, Vsync disabled and Advanced PhysX turned off. The benchmark scene was run once, with the Y700-17 scoring an average of 54.46 FPS.
The 17-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 features solid build quality and capable performance in an elegant package. Our benchmarks illustrate that it performs nearly the same as the company's Y700-15 Touch, and all of that notebook's strengths are evident here as well. You simply give up the touch-capable panel and gain more screen space. Then again, the same weaknesses show up too, though, like the uneven trackpad.
The two systems are comparable that, really, it's going to be a form factor decision if you're set on Lenovo's offering.
As I write this, the Y700-17 we tested sold for $1,350, while the Y700-15 Touch we previously tested was available for $1,300. For $50, you have to pick between touch or a 17" display.
Interestingly, a non-touch Y700-15 with similar specifications is available for $1,350. That's the same price as the Y700-17, which is more expensive than the Y700-15 Touch. Then again, Lenovo does have weekly deals on the Y700 line, and its prices are constantly fluctuating. Just keep an eye out for the Y700 that suits your needs best.
Alexander Quejado is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Alexander Quejado on Twitter.