Lenovo has a couple of its more affordable gaming laptops on offer right now, making this a great time to pick up a decent gaming PC without having to remortgage your house. These two machines both feature Nvidia’s RTX 3060 GPU, paired with high-refresh, 1080p displays to make for a solid gaming experience. The main difference is on the CPU front—you can either go with a Core i5 11400H for a smashing $1,199, or an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H, which is $80 cheaper at $1,119.
In case you don’t know these things off by heart, both of these are 6-core, 12-thread processors that are more than capable when it comes to modern gaming, and they’re not bad at more serious number crunching either. The Intel Core i5 11400H has a higher Turbo Boost of 4.5GHz to the Ryzen 5 5600H’s 4.2 Max Boost, although has a slightly lower L3 Cache at 12MB as opposed to 16MB.
In practice, there is very little between the two chips. This is one of those rare occasions where it’s going to come down to your own personal preference more than anything else. The benchmarks between the two are within the margin of error, and they’re both as capable as each other. So, Intel or AMD? The size of the machine is probably better to go off—do you have room for a 17-inch laptop, or is a 15-inch model more to your liking?
Beyond their size, both machines have similar core specs, with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 to power your games. This is a great mobile GPU that can handle the latest games at decent settings, with a little DLSS magic to help things along if needed.
The only obvious mark against both machines is the amount of RAM available as standard—8GB is a bit cramped these days. Upgrading the memory yourself is straightforward enough, although it’s worth looking at the configuration tool on the site, as going up to 32GB for the Intel machine only adds $55 to the price (which is a bit of a bargain). The same cash gets you 16GB in total for the AMD system.
The 17-inch AMD Legion 5 features a slightly faster and slightly brighter display than the Intel machine, with a 300nits 144Hz panel as opposed to a 250nits 120Hz screen. There’s a more notable difference in that the AMD machine has to make do with a lowly 256GB SSD, while the Intel machine has a 512GB SSD. Again, you can upgrade these at the time of buying, or upgrade them later yourself.
The Legion 5 Gen 6 chassis, in both 15-inch and 17-inch flavors, ain’t a bad-looking machine either, with a keener eye to functionality and airflow over some of its peers. It’s fair to say that there are thinner gaming laptops out there, but at least here you know you’re CPU and GPU are not going to be held back by the aesthetic. Factor in the $280 or $300 saving, and you’re looking at two decent gaming laptops at reasonable prices.