Zotac Launches SFF Zbox PCs With Refreshed Kaby Lake Processors
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.