Subject: General Tech | June 14, 2018 - 03:24 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: video, zotac, VOID PRO, toshiba, Optane, noctua, logitech, Intel, i7-8086k, G512, corsair, coolermaster, amd, podcast
PC Perspective Podcast #503 - 06/14/18
Join us this week for discussion on Intel i7-8086K, Corsair Void Pro headset, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:18:14
Subject: General Tech | June 8, 2018 - 05:22 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: zotac, zbox, SFF, fanless, computex 2018, computex
First spotted at last year’s Computex, Zotac’s smallest ZBOX PC made an appearance again this year - and this time around it is actually available for sale and with detailed specifications available.
The ZBOX Pico PI225 is a miniature computer approximately the size of a 2.5” SSD (it is a hair thicker though) measuring 95.4mm x 63mm x 8mm (3.76”x2.58”x0.31”) powered by a passively cooled dual core Intel processor. The all black PC features two USB Type-C ports, one micro USB port for power, and a micro SDXC card reader around the edges.the USB Type-C ports support USB 3.0 and DisplayPort with one display output adapter included in the box to drive a HDMI display. Speaking of displays, the PI225 can reportedly drive a single display at up to 4k@30Hz.
Internally the ZBOX PC is powered by a dual core Intel Celeron N3350 clocked at 1.1 GHz, Intel HD Graphics 500, 4GB LPDDR3 memory, and 32GB eMMC storage. While it would have been nice to see a refresh at this year’s Computex to Gemini Lake or something this older Intel SoC is based on the Apollo Lake architecture. Also note that it comes with Windows 10 Home x64 pre-installed so most of that 32GB internal storage will not be available out of the box. Further, the mini PC has an internal antenna and radios for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.
This small form factor PC is aimed at digital signage and kiosks, but at a current price of $179 including a valid Windows license it is within reach of consumers as well. The passively cooled PC could be useful as Plex endpoints for media streaming or a very cheap portable, and silent audio recording PC (don’t expect any fancy audio editing on this dual core heh but it may be just enough to work with your usb mixer and other accessories and record onto a SDXC card. I’m sure there are plenty of other possible uses for such a small PC that is a full x86-64 PC alternative to single board computers like the Raspberry Pi, odroids, et al.
What are your thoughts on Zotac’s Zbox Pico?
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2017 - 09:20 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: zotac, zbox, SFF, kaby lake refresh, Kaby Lake R
Zotac recently launched two new small form factor PCs under its Zbox brand – the Zbox MI660 nano and MI640 nano – powered by Intel's latest "8th Generation Core" Kaby Lake Refresh processors. Both computers utilize the same platform and have the same specifications save for the processor SKU. The Zbox MI660 nano (and MI640 nano) measure 5" x 5" x 2" (13cm x 13cm x 5.1cm) and feature an all black chassis with a flat vented top panel, round corners and sharp angled edges around the bottom. The PCs also have vents along the left, right, and bottom so no matter how it's mounted it should not have any problems getting proper airflow.
Zotac is using Kaby Lake R processors in these SFF PCs. Specifically, the MI660 is powered by a quad core (eight thread) Intel Core i7-8550U clocked at up to 4 GHz while the MI640 uses the Core i5-8250U clocked at up to 3.4 GHz (this chip is also a quad core). Both processors are 15W (configurable TDP up to 25W) 14nm+ chips that feature Intel UHD 620 graphics clocked at up to 1.1 GHz on the i5-8250U and 1.15 GHz on the i7-8550U. Zotac's new Zboxes also have two DDR4 SODIMM slots for up to 32GB of 2400 MHz memory and a single 2.5" bay for a SATA hard drive. Notably, there is no support for the ever-popular M.2 solid state drive here.
On the outside, the Zbox MI660 nano and MI640 nano feature a total of five USB 3.0 Type A ports, two USB 3.1 (presumably USB 3.1 Gen 1) Type C ports, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, two audio jacks, one SDXC card slot, one HDMI 2.0, and one DisplayPort 1.2 port. Zotac claims that the PCs are capable of outputting 4k60 video and the Kaby Lake R processors should support the DRM needed to stream videos at that resolution. In addition to the wired network connections, the SFF PCs also support 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 and there is a standard port on the back for an external antenna.
These little machines will likely be more popular with business users, but they may also do well as family PCs for doing homework in common areas or pulling HTPC duties in the living room as well. If you are interested in the performance of Kaby Lake R, Ken did a review of two notebooks powered by the Core i7-8550U that the MI660 uses here.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 25, 2017 - 03:34 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: zotac, gtx 1080 ti, SFF, water cooler
Zotac finally made its watercooled GTX 1080 Ti ArcticStorm Mini official last week. A card that was first teased at Computex, the ArcticStorm Mini is a dual slot with metal backplate and full cover water block that has been significantly shortened such that it can fit into many more cases including Micro ATX and some Mini ITX form factors. Specifically, the ArcticStorm Mini measures 212mm (8.35”) x 164mm (6.46”) and uses a custom shortened PCB that appears to be the same platform as the dual fan air cooled model.
The star of the ArcticStorm Mini is the full cover waterblock with nickel plated copper base and a tinted acrylic top cover. According to Zotac the waterblock uses 0.3mm micro channels above the GPU to improve cooling performance by moving as much heat from the GPU into the water loop as possible. There are ports for vertical or horizontal barb orientation though I would have loved to see a card that routed the water cooling in and out ports to the rear of the card rather than the side especially since this is aimed at small form factor builds. The water block can accommodate standard G1/4” fittings and Zotac includes two barbs that support 10mm ID (inner diameter) tubing in the box. A metal backplate helps prevent warping of the PCB from the water cooling which can be rather hefty.
While there is no RGB on this card, Zotac did go with an always on white LED that along with the gray and silver colors of the card itself are supposed to be color neutral and allow it to fit into more builds (as opposed to Zotac’s usual yellow and black colors). Around the front are five display outputs including: DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b, and three DisplayPort 1.4 connections.
Out of the box, the GTX 1080 Ti ArcticStorm Mini comes with a modest factory overlock that pushes the GP102’s 3,584 CUDA cores to 1506 MHz base and 1620 MHz boost. The 11GB of GDDR5X remains clocked at the stock 11 GHz, however. (For comparison, reference clocks are 1480 MHz base and 1582 MHz boost.) The graphics card is powered by two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors and enthusiasts should be able to push it quite a bit further than the out of the box clocks simply by increasing the power target as we saw in our review of the 1080 Ti, and barring any silicon lottery duds this card should be able to clock higher and have more stable clocks than our card thanks to the liquid cooler.
As is usual with these things, Zotac did not reveal exact pricing or availability, but with the full sized GTX 1080 Ti ArcticStorm already selling for $809 on Amazon and $820 over at Newegg, I would expect the little SFF brother to sell for a bit of a premium beyond that, say $840 at launch with the price going down a bit with sales later.
It would have been nice to see this be a single slot card, and giving up DVI would be worth it, but you can’t have everything (heh). I am looking forward to seeing the systems modders and enthusiasts are able to cram this card (or two) into!
Subject: Systems | October 3, 2017 - 05:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: zotac, zbox, Magnus EN1080K, GeForce GTX 1080, i7-7700, SFF, water cooler
The newest Zbox from Zotac is also the most powerful one they have made, which does make it a bit of a different beast than other Zotac SFF products. With an i7-7700 paired with a GTX 1080, along with 16GB of DDR4-2400 and a WD Black 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD the Magnus offers more power than you find in many a mid-range system. The heat produced in the tight confines of the system, 8.9x8x5" (23 x 20 x 13cm), is handled by a custom built watercooling system which cools both the CPU and GPU. This does make the system significantly larger than previous Zbox products and it is much more power hungry, with two power adapters required to run it. The Tech Report loved the performance but did encounter some significant issues with the Zbox, which they overcame with quick and effective support from Zotac. Check this one out for the impressive build design as well as it's impressive gaming abilities.
"Zotac's Zbox Magnus EN1080K pairs Intel's Core i7-7700 CPU with a GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card in an impressively dense liquid-cooled package. We ran some of our favorite games on this system to see how it stacks up in the small-form-factor pantheon."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Return To The Asus Tinker Board: Have Six Months Changed Anything? @ Hack a Day
- Upgrade My PC Please! Ep 5: Dem Tings Wit Graphics @ Techspot
- Pairing CPUs and GPUs: PC Upgrades and Bottlenecking @ Techspot
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 14, 2017 - 08:42 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: zotac, gtx 1080 ti, factory overclocked, gp102, SFF
Zotac recently unveiled a slimmed down GTX 1080 Ti graphics card that uses a dual slot and dual fan cooler with a short PCB. The aptly named Zotac GTX 1080 Ti Mini measures 8.3” (211mm) long and will be the smallest GTX 1080 Ti on the market. Despite the miniaturization, Zotac is still offering a decent factory overclock on the Pascal GPU (but not the memory) with a boost clock of 1620 MHz versus the reference boost clock of 1582.
Zotac uses two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors to drive the card with its GTX 1080 Ti GPU (3584 CUDA cores) and 11GB of GDDR5X memory clocked at 11 GHz. The slimmed down graphics card features a metal backplate, dual shrouded fans, and a heatsink with aluminum fins and five 6mm heat pipes. The card has three DisplayPort 1.4 ports, one HDMI 2.0b port, and one DL-DVI output with the card supporting up to four simultaneous displays.
The Zotac GTX 1080 Ti Mini should enable quite a bit of horsepower in small form factor systems. The graphics card is model number ZT-P10810G-10P and Zotac has it listed on its website. Unfortunately, Zotac is not yet talking pricing or availability for the shortened card.
It appears that overclocking is not out of the question, but I am curious just how far it could be pushed especially in a small case with tight quarters and less airflow.
Subject: Systems | May 30, 2017 - 02:18 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: zotac, PC, mini-itx, MEK, kaby lake, Intel Core i7, GTX 1080 Mini, GTX 1080, gaming, computex 2017, computex, computer
ZOTAC has introduces a new gaming brand at Computex, and along with it their first gaming PC. Have no fear, however, this gaming machine is quite compact from the mini-PC maker, as it is built around a mini-ITX motherboard and compact GPU.
"ZOTAC Gaming’s first gaming product, MEK Gaming PC, debuts at Computex Taipei. Built for gaming enthusiasts, it is powered by a ZOTAC GeForce® GTX 1080 Mini, 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor and a low-profile CPU Cooler to deliver overwhelming performance for high-end gaming and premium entertainment. With a futuristic design, MEK marks the beginning of gaming products for a new brand, ZOTAC Gaming, focused on gaming products fit for all who Live to Game."
The GPU might be based on a smaller than the average PCB, but you are getting a full NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 courtesy of ZOTAC's own GTX 1080 Mini graphics card, which is just 8.3 inches long (and "the world's smallest GeForce GTX 1080," according to ZOTAC).
Other than the above quoted 7th-gen Intel Core i7 processor we don't have much information on the specifications for the upcoming MEK Gaming PC, but the images of the enclosure paint a promising picture for small form-factor gaming enthusiasts as it appears to be quite compact.
Subject: Systems | May 29, 2017 - 08:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: zotac, zbox
Zotac is announcing two new additions to their line of mini PCs: the ZBOX Pico PI225 and the ZBOX Pico PI335. There’s not a whole lot of information about specifications and other details, but they are both passively cooled.
The smaller PI225
The main difference between the two that one is smaller, but the other has more video connectivity. The ZBOX Pico PI225 is listed as the thinnest ZBOX that has ever been made, and it is capable of powering a single display at up to 4K resolution. Judging by the photos, it looks about SSD sized. The ZBOX Pico PI335 is bigger, but it has the ability to power two displays at up to 4K resolution.
The larger PI335, view of ports
(not visible, 2x USB 3.0 and 1x DC Power on other side)
Zotac has not yet released pricing or availability info.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | May 25, 2017 - 07:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: external gpu, zotac, thunderbolt 3, computex 2017
They haven't given us much detail but as you would expect the ZOTAC external GPU box connects an GPU to your system via a Thunderbolt 3 connector, allowing you to add more GPU power to a mobile system or any other computer which needs a little boost to its graphics. You can fit cards of up to 9" in length, which makes it a perfect match for the two Mini-GPUs just below or other lower powered cards which are not as well endowed as your average GTX 1080 or 1080 Ti. It also adds four USB 3.0 ports and a Quick Charge 3.0 port to your system so you can leave it at home and simply attach your laptop via the Thunderbolt cable and get right to gaming.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | May 25, 2017 - 07:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: zotac, GTX 1080 Ti Mini, GTX 1080 Ti Arctic Storm Mini, gtx 1080 ti, computex 2017
ZOTAC is claiming bragging rights about the size of their new GTX 1080 Ti's, that they are the smallest of their kind. The two new cards measure a miniscule 210.8mm (8.3") in length and in the case of the Arctic Storm mini it is the lightest watercooled GPU on the market.
You can see the size of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini by how much of the length is taken up by the PCIe connector, compared to most 1080 Ti's which are over a foot long. This card is not long enough to fit a third fan on.
The Arctic Storm version is the same size as the air-cooled model but opts for the worlds lightest watercooler. That may mean you want a powerful pump attached to the GPU as there is less metal to transfer heat but it means small silent builds can pack a lot of graphical power.
Both these cards will use dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors, expect to see more of them at Computex.