Lenovo is leading the way with gaming laptops in 2021, in particular their Ryzen powered Nvidia fueled 30 Series Legion 5 Pro and Legion 7 models.
The Legion 5 Pro
Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro laptop is built for gaming performance. It boasts AMD Ryzen processing and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics for high-resolution gaming. The Legion 5 Pro has amazing battery life, cutting edge graphics, a stunning 16” QHD HDR display, a glass trackpad, enhanced audio and a keyboard designed with gamers in mind.
The Legion 7
Similarly, the new Legion 7 is described as having the ‘’ultimate performance for gamers and creators’. As with the Legion 5 Pro, it is powered by the Ryzen 5000 H-series mobile processors, although the highest CPU tier from that lineup is only available on the Legion 7. The 7 is slightly smaller and lighter than the 5 Pro and has the additional feature of a more gamer-focused keyboard with Lenovos “true strike” design. The Legion 7s chassis is also made from anodised aluminium which adds to the high quality and premium feel as opposed to the Legion 5 Pro’s more plastic affair. The Legion 7s party peace has to be the full RGB design, with light strips and per-key RGB it’s sure to please any gaming fans. A feature that’s not talked about as much is the Legion 7s vapour chamber cooling system which means it won’t run quite hot as the 5 Pro, meaning more FPS and as we know “frames win games” if Nvidia is to be believed.
Sleek, modern and powerful these laptops should be a gamer’s dream and with demand being high and availability scarce, orders are taking months to ship. Yet despite these accolades and the goodwill Lenovo has earned with the Legion lineup in 2021, there seems to be a problematic pattern starting that’s causing these gaming behemoths to underperform.
Lenovo’s Legion Laptops Have RAM Issues
The issue seems to come with laptops that are fitted with single rank memory RAM modules rather than dual rank, which will compromise performance. For example, in practice memory commands take longer to process in the same bank group than if they are spread through more bank groups.
Breaking this down more simply for the average consumer if you were to purchase a 16gb Legion model you’d most likely be receiving 2 sticks of 8gbs with dual-rank memory modules on them, similarly, some 32gb models are also receiving this treatment e.g. 2 sticks of 16gbs with dual memory modules. Now the way the performance uplift works is simply having memory banks, e.g. more memory = means higher bandwidth for the system.
In gaming, this is particularly noticeable using said lower spec’d RAM, as it can cause as much as a 25% penalty in Frames Per Second (FPS) in some titles. Now let’s stop talking about the problem and instead focus on what you can do to improve upon this issue.
What RAM Upgrade Do I Need?
When you are paying over $1000 or $2000 (for the Legion 7) for a laptop you’d be forgiven for thinking you shouldn’t have to tinker with it. However, If you decide to upgrade your laptop’s memory yourself you are likely to see significant improvements. YouTuber Jarrod’s Tech has delved into the memory of the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro and these also affect the Lenovo Legion 7, there are a number of improvements across a variety of games with alternative RAM modules if you wanted to see a game by game improvement.
The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro and Legion 7 can support up to 3200MHz RAM speed. As they’re powered by Ryzen CPUs they don’t support Intel’s XMP profiles which is why we recommend these alternatives to the stock RAM.
By swapping out the included RAM for a better alternative there was a 10 – 12% improvement in average FPS and an even higher increase in minimum and maximum FPS resulting in a much smoother gaming experience. It’s not all a gamer-centric uplift as some creative applications such as Premiere Pro and Photoshop will also see an improvement, however, do note that the difference isn’t as pronounced as it is in gaming.
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