Best answer: The best place to buy a Legion C530 desktop gaming PC is straight from Lenovo. There you’ll find a healthy amount of configuration options with both NVIDIA and AMD hardware, and warranty and support are included with each purchase.
Lenovo: Legion C530 Cube ($880+)
Starting at about $880, you can get a Legion C530 with an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8400 processor (CPU), 8 GB of DDR4-2666MHz RAM, a 1 TB 7,200 RPM hard-disk drive (HDD) coupled with 16 GB of Intel Optane memory, and a NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti graphics card (GPU) with 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This configuration has the power for medium gaming, though many people feel the GTX 1060 is where true gaming performance starts.
Lenovo also offers a configuration with the beefier GPU for about $1,250. Other than the GTX 1060 with 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, it also has inside an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1 TB 7,200 RPM HDD coupled with a 128 GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) that helps boost performance.
Coming in at the same $1,250 price is a model with an AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU with 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM, an Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1 TB 7,200 RPM HDD coupled with a 128 GB PCIe SSD. That’s twice the amount of RAM for the same price, though you do lose out on the superior GTX 1060 performance.
Finally, there’s a Core i5-8400 model with 8 GB of RAM, a 1 TB HDD with 16 GB of Optane memory, and an AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU, which altogether costs about $930. That extra $50 compared to the similar model with GTX 1050 Ti GPU will no doubt be worth it as long as you don’t mind using AMD hardware, as the RX 570 will deliver significantly superior performance.
Should you opt for AMD or NVIDIA hardware?
Besides the slight difference in price and performance — the RX 570 beats out the GTX 1050 Ti, but the GTX 1060 beats out both — choosing between AMD and NVIDIA really comes down to personal preference and will likely depend on what type of monitor you have sitting on your desk. Many gaming monitors will advertise either G-Sync or FreeSync technologies, which are proprietary to NVIDIA and AMD respectively.
While most games offer vertical sync (V-Sync) settings of their own, the proprietary GPU technologies go beyond and offer smooth visuals without performance taking as much of a hit. With both G-Sync and FreeSync, gameplay is smoothed out to avoid tearing and lag.
If you have a FreeSync monitor, an AMD GPU undoubtedly makes more sense, while G-Sync monitors are better off connected to a NVIDIA GPU. NVIDIA also recently announced that some FreeSync monitors now also work with NVIDIA GPUs, so be sure to verify the make and model of your monitor before making a final decision.
Is the Legion C530 Cube meant for you?
The Legion C530 is a relatively compact gaming PC with a square design that offers mid-range performance without taking up a ton of room on or under your desk. It lights up, it stays cool and quiet while running, and you can get inside to tinker without the need for any tools. If you’re jumping into the PC gaming world and need an affordable rig that can run most modern games smoothly at 1080p, the C530 should make a good choice. The addition of a one-year warranty, financing and leasing options, and live support direct from Lenovo only sweeten the deal.
Don’t forget accessories at checkout
All Legion C530 models come with a basic keyboard and mouse that are suitable for productivity purposes, but gamers will likely want to add some of Lenovo’s accessories — including gaming keyboards, mice, monitors, and extra RAM — when checking out.