Product Review: Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 (16IRX8)

System Specs:

Legion Pro 5 16IRX8 System SpecificationPROS:

Incredible portable processing-power

I have done many real workloads which suggested that this system has a beast of a CPU.  And 16 GB DDR5-4800 may not seem like much these days, but it's actually plenty for most use-cases.

I think many do not know — the 13th-gen Core i7-13700HX is not compatible with DDR5 SODIMM faster than 4800 MHz.

So don't waste money upgrading to "compatible" DDR5-5600 RAM-kits.

In benchmarks, I have gotten phenomenal results...

(links open new tab or window)

in Geekbench 6: 2,836 Single-Core Score | 15,332 Multi-Core Score 

CPU classroom.blendin Blender (classroom.blend): 4m 3.28s
(click image to enlarge/zoom; 2560×1600 original)

And even the discreet GPU... an RTX 4060 MaxQ/Mobile w/ 8 GB GDDR6 is quite capable for GPU-compute

GPU-complete classroom.blendin Blender (classroom.blend): 43.87s!

• Incredible I/O

I already have a laptop with USB-A 3.2 Gen 1×1 ports (×2).  But, the type-A ports (×4) on the Legion Pro 5 16IRX8 (typically) achieve incredible write-speeds — to the same external HDD(s) — at double the rate: 280–350 MiB/s!  Unfortunately, at 5 Gbps (limited to 4 Gbps by the Gen 1 communication-protocol), I don't have any USB-A devices which can test the full (practical) transfer-speeds.

But, it really shines with its USB-C 3.2 Gen 2×2 ports (×2).  At 20 Gbps (limited to 19.4 Gbps by the Gen 2 communication-protocol), I get read/write speeds to my latest external SSD limited only by the device: 1 GiB/s!  That's nearly 8.6 Gbps — roughly half of Gen 2×2's (practical) limit!

$ lsusb -t 
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci_hcd/10p, 20000M/x2

The HDMI 2.1 output works perfectly with all of my TVs, but none require versions higher than 1.4.  I don't have a 4K TV or monitor, yet.

I have not tested the (USB-C) DisplayPort 1.4.  Nor have I tested the 140W power-delivery available on the same (rear) USB-C port.

• Lightening-fast rapid-charging

The 300W power-brick is no joke.  In only 40–45 minutes, it will fully recharge the internal (80 Wh) battery: 2%→100%!  I keep the power-brick plugged into a 1500VA/900W TrueSine UPS, which confirms — the power-brick draws upward of 290W during rapid-charging.

To extend the lifespan of the battery, however, I have disabled RapidCharge in the BIOS.

• Great compatibility with Linux

I have already written (extensively) about my experience on Lenovo's EDU Community.  Please click here to read more (link opens new tab or window).

• Incredible 2560×1600 eDP built-in display-panel (embedded DisplayPort)

Supports many resolutions and refresh-rates.  But, only 2560×1600 165 Hz and 2560×1600 60 Hz are marked "preferred" in the list; i.e. xrandr -q results:

$ xrandr -q 
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 2560 x 1600, maximum 16384 x 16384
eDP-1 connected primary 2560x1600+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 344mm x 215mm
  2560x1600    165.04*+  60.03 +  59.99    59.97   
  2560x1440     59.99    59.99    59.96    59.95   
  2048x1536     85.00    75.00    60.00   
  1920x1440     85.00    75.00    60.00   
  1856x1392     75.00    60.01   
  1792x1344     75.00    60.01   
  2048x1152     59.99    59.98    59.90    59.91   
  1920x1200     59.88    59.95   
  1920x1080     60.01    59.97    59.96    59.93   
  1600x1200     85.00    75.00    70.00    65.00    60.00   
  1680x1050     59.95    59.88   
  1400x1050     74.76    59.98   
  1600x900      59.99    59.94    59.95    59.82   
  1280x1024     85.02    75.02    60.02   
  1400x900      59.96    59.88   
  1280x960      85.00    60.00   
  1440x810      60.00    59.97   
  1368x768      59.88    59.85   
  1280x800      59.99    59.97    59.81    59.91   
  1152x864      75.00   
  1280x720      60.00    59.99    59.86    59.74   
  1024x768      85.00    75.05    60.04    85.00    75.03    70.07    60.00   
  1024x768i     86.96   
  960x720       85.00    75.00    60.00   
  928x696       75.00    60.05   
  896x672       75.05    60.01   
  1024x576      59.95    59.96    59.90    59.82   
  960x600       59.93    60.00   
  832x624       74.55   
  960x540       59.96    59.99    59.63    59.82   
  800x600       85.00    75.00    70.00    65.00    60.00    85.14    72.19    75.00    60.32    56.25   
  840x525       60.01    59.88   
  864x486       59.92    59.57   
  700x525       74.76    59.98   
  800x450       59.95    59.82   
  640x512       85.02    75.02    60.02   
  700x450       59.96    59.88   
  640x480       85.09    60.00    85.01    72.81    75.00    59.94   
  720x405       59.51    58.99   
  720x400       85.04   
  684x384       59.88    59.85   
  640x400       59.88    59.98    85.08   
  576x432       75.00   
  640x360       59.86    59.83    59.84    59.32   
  640x350       85.08   
  512x384       85.00    75.03    70.07    60.00   
  512x384i      87.06   
  512x288       60.00    59.92   
  416x312       74.66   
  480x270       59.63    59.82   
  400x300       85.27    72.19    75.12    60.32    56.34   
  432x243       59.92    59.57   
  320x240       85.18    72.81    75.00    60.05   
  360x202       59.51    59.13   
  360x200       85.04   
  320x200       85.27   
  320x180       59.84    59.32   
  320x175       85.27   
DP-1-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-1-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-1-2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-1-3 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-1-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-1-4 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

• Smooth and large (enough) built-in touchpad

• Highly customizable built-in RGB keyboard w/ number-pad

CONS:

• Too durable

Package damaged by UPSToo durable is a con?  Yes.  If it hadn't survived incompetent (or malicious) United Parcel Service (UPS) employees, I would have exchanged it for a replacement.  Minor damage (click image to enlarge/zoom; 4000×3000 original)

• Limited compatibility with Linux, for some hardware features

I can only upgrade the UEFI/BIOS firmware through Windows 11 (which is awful).  I can only customize the (advanced) RGB settings through Windows 11.  Both of those actions (virtually) require Lenovo Vantage, which is only available on Windows.  So, I'm stuck with a Windows 11 partition which I do not want. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • I won't edit that, again.  I forgot to mention the battery-life.  It's surprisingly good.  I get 7 hours of (mostly) productivity-tasks with (minutes) of high-performance tasks, like exporting a short (1080p) video or a large (1920×1080) animated-image (.gif or .webp).

    I also forgot to include the product link to Lenovo's online store: Legion Pro 5i Gen 8 Intel (16") with RTX 4060 | Lenovo US (opens new tab or window).

    Why?  Why do I go nuts writing verbose topics?  Which only a few will actually read? smh

    I'm fried, now.  "I'll gladly pay you on Tuesday, for a hamburger today." - J. Wellington Wimpy lol

  • Wow!  No one likes this?  No replies?  Ok.

    Intel Core i7-13700HX Memory SpecsI also forgot to include a link to Intel's product-page for the Core i7-13700HX — to prove that SODIMM modules faster than DDR5-4800 are a waste of money.  They may be "compatible".  But, that means they'll down-clock to 4800 MT/s.

    Intel® CoreTm i7-13700HX Processor (link opens new tab or window; click image to enlarge/zoom — 600×217 original)

    I guess I'll try a review of my Lenovo PS8 Portable SSD (1 TB), next.  I'm sure that'll be a crowd-pleaser.  Yikes! smh

  •    &   

    I've explained the process by which I make animated images, to both of you.  In one case, to export the 1,200-frame animation from GIMP — that took about 1 hour.

    Do you remember when I mentioned that I couldn't get VLC's Scene video filter to work on my Legion, Chris?  But, I found that ffmpeg actually exported the still-frames much faster?  So, I stopped using VLC to export the stills — even on my IdeaPad.

    As it turns out... ffmpeg has libwebp and libwebp_anim codecs. smh lol

    Screenshot documenting my (slow) learning processI embed an image showing my 1st attempt (click to enlarge/zoom; 2560×1600 original).  The mouse-pointer is pointing to the time-to-complete: under 2 minutes.  In Dolphin (file manager), you can see the file-size (larger is GIMP — smaller is ffmpeg).

    On subsequent attempts, I tried different options.  On the 5th attempt, I got a slightly larger file than the 1st attempt — ultimately, with a noticeable improvement in the animation.  And those options finish the export in 90% of the time → at most, 12 seconds faster.

    The 1st attempt exported the source at the rate of normal playback.  That's why it took just under 2 minutes.  I used a 2-minute video.

    Do you have any idea how many hours I wasted exporting animated images "the old way"?

    Me neither.  But, it was quite a few.

    Oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      

    Since you already use Linux.  I export to webp.  I suspect gif also works.  Allegedly, the png format also supports animation.  But, i've never found an example.

    Examples (1st → exports full video; 2nd → exports video starting at (-ss) time, and ending after the (-t) time has elapsed from the starting-time):

    ffmpeg -i /path/to/source.mp4 -loop 0 -an -fps_mode cfr -vf "fps=10, scale=1920:1080" -q:v 90 /path/to/animated.webp
    ffmpeg -ss "00:00:11.75" -t "00:00:11.5" -i /path/to/source.mp4 -loop 0 -an -fps_mode cfr -vf "fps=10, scale=1920:1080" -q:v 90 /path/to/animated.webp
  • Wow - awesome write up and review  ! One of the most comprehensive posts I've seen here. Glad to hear that you're enjoying the device overall!

  • Uhhhhhhh... probably no replies because everyone's jaw is still on the floor about the comprehensive nature of your post. Well done my friend... well done. I'm still on the hunt for what I'll eventually do to replace my aging i7 gaming laptop. Who knows... maybe my name will get pulled out of a hat in a couple of weeks. Wink

  • webp is a better choice than gif in my opinion... I like your style! I've not thought about png... hmmmmmm... although I've also heard it can work... it has been more than a... it should work or for lack of a better phrase, there's no reason it shouldn't work...

  •  

    Cheers, buddy.

    Obviously, I highly recommend Lenovo Legion.  One of my pet-peeves; Linus Sebastian (LTT) will compare a set of different gaming-laptops and mention, "We didn't include any entries from Lenovo.  Don't get me wrong, Lenovo's gaming-laptops are — solid.  But, we want to compare laptops which are..."

    Flimsy?  Deck-flexing, recently breached¹, "safe" models (as in, popular with LTT's audience/sponsors)? smh

    But, that's LTT doing LTT.  When Linus (inevitably) drops something on each laptop, how will it look when the Legion proves to be more resilient than one from an LTT-sponsor?

    To be fair, my opinion is also biased.  After using a handful of Lenovo laptops (mostly ThinkPads), starting in 2008, I decided "Lenovo is the continuation of IBM's consumer/workstation brands."  And I loved my IBM machines.  When I first heard of brands like MSI, I thought, "Who?  Are they a 'boutique' operation?  Will they still be around in 5 years?"

    Those 1st-impressions still influence my opinions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    ¹ Malwarebytes article: Ransomware attack on MSI led to compromised Intel Boot Guard private keys

    Abstract: Hackers stole MSI's software signing-keys.  Because the signing-keys are immutable and embedded in hardware (TPM), they can only be changed by changing the hardware.  With those keys, malicious software (viruses, trojans, etc) can be digitally signed and will appear as "trusted" MSI-software — to anyone with affected MSI hardware, including multiple other vendors (e.g. a few Lenovo desktop-models are on the list).  The vulnerability extends to (potential) fake UEFI/BIOS firmware.  Solution: "Only download and install UEFI frimware from the official vendors' website."  At the time of publishing, no attacks of that type had been found in the wild. (fingers crossed)

  • Cheers,  !

    Regarding the only real con I describe... I assume I can expect Lenovo to extend Linux-support to their non-business brands... any day now? lol

    Lenovo Vantage appears to be an Electron app (opens new tab or window).  So the front-end is (likely) already cross-platform compatible.  But, the firmware (binaries) do not need Lenovo Vantage.  Lenovo could just add the firmware to fwupdate repositories — like Lenovo has (already) done for ThinkPads, ThinkBooks, and ThinkCentres.

    As for the RGB-keyboard... even if Lenovo just certified an open-source project for Linux.  The L5P-Keyboard-RGB project (on GitHub) looks promising (click image to enlarge; 878×870 original).  According to the developer:

    Compatibility
    This program has been tested to work on:

    • Legion 5 (Pro) 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
    • Ideapad Gaming 3 2021, 2022, 2023

    Can Lenovo's devs do a code-review and some QA — to publish a recommendation?

  • TL;DR - computer = good         ...but is it entirely outside of my price range?

    Did you put a review on the shopping part of the site? I believe they will give you a dollar. They need those reviews to inform the uninformed (me). I have to get around to reviewing more of the stuff I bought here. Not sure if there is a limit to how much one can review at once for dollars. I have a bit of a backlog.

    I generally think of myself as linux curious and this site is fueling that with many well informed users ditching windows. One day... Any tips? Do I need to buy sticks or is it fully available as downloads from their site?

    Did you make that Blender, or just find it for a test? Who was the cat's father? Too many loose ends.

  • What did I do!?!  It's 11:00???  I've been doing this for 3 hours?!? *look-of-terror*

    Good.  Yes.  No.  I gotta go! lol