ZOTAC Introduces ZBOX MAGNUS EN980 VR Ready Mini-PC

Subject: Graphics Cards, Systems | March 10, 2016 - 11:38 AM |
Tagged: zotac, zbox, VR, SFF, nvidia, mini-pc, MAGNUS EN980, liquid cooling, GTX980, GTX 980, graphics, gpu, geforce

ZOTAC is teasing a new mini PC "ready for virtual reality" leading up to Cebit 2016, happening later this month. The ZBOX MAGNUS EN980 supplants the EN970 as the most powerful version of ZOTAC's gaming mini systems, and will come equipped with no less than an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980.

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(Image via Guru3D)

Some questions remain ahead of a more formal announcemnent, and foremost among them is the version of the system's GTX 980. Is this the full desktop variant, or the GTX 980m? It seems to be the former, if we can read into the "factory-installed water-cooling solution", especially if that pertains to the GPU. In any case this will easily be the most powerful mini-PC ZOTAC has released, as even the current MAGNUS EN970 doesn't actually ship with a GTX 970 as the name would imply; rather, a GTX 960 handles discrete graphics duties according to the specs.

The MAGNUS EN980's GTX 980 GPU - mobile or not - will make this a formidable gaming system, paired as it is with a 6th-gen Intel Skylake CPU (the specific model was not mentioned in the press release; the current high-end EN970 with dicrete graphics uses the Intel Core i5-5200U). Other details include support for up to four displays via HDMI and DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and 3.1 Type-C inputs, and built-in 802.11ac wireless.

We'll have to wait until Cebit (which runs from March 14 - 18) for more details. Full press release after the break.

HONG KONG - March 10, 2016 - ZOTAC International, a global manufacturer of innovation, is pleased to introduce the most powerful ZBOX Gaming Mini PC ready for virtual reality, MAGNUS EN980. This ZBOX is equipped with a 6th generation Intel Skylake processor and features an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics card to deliver a VR experience in the most compact form factor.

MAGNUS EN980 packs the full power of a premium desktop gaming solution into a ZBOX Mini PC. The result is the most powerful ZBOX, and goes beyond the recommended specifications for VR experience. The unit supports up to four displays via HDMI and DisplayPort, enabling other forms of entertainment that is best enjoyed with multiple displays. USB 3.0 is the standard with a USB 3.1 type-C port which delivers up to 10Gbps data transfer rate. Along with dual gigabit LAN and 802.11ac WiFi, the MAGNUS EN980 is quick across the board.

While the Intel Skylake CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 provides the power that pushes the gaming experience further, the factory-installed water-cooling solution keeps MAGNUS cool. By lining liquid channels, heatpipes and heat fins, the heat is directed away from the source, effectively keeping the power core cool. With all the powerful hardware in the most compact of size, amazingly ZOTAC still manages to keep it whisper quiet. 

All the performance is housed by a newly designed case that encompasses function and style. Designed with a functional minimalistic approach, it incorporates the water-cooling system, and the shape and surface dimensions to provide great effectiveness in heat dissipation, further strengthening the cooling process with the help of natural aerodynamics.

The MAGNUS EN980 will be exhibited at the upcoming Cebit 2016 and GDC 2016 in March.

Source: ZOTAC

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March 10, 2016 | 12:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"USB 3.0 is the standard with a USB 3.1 type-C port which delivers up to 10Gbps data transfer"

So is this USB Type-C Gen 1(with a USB 3.0 controller chip/5Gbs), or USB Type-C Gen 2(with a USB 3.1 controller chip/10Gbs)

there is no USB-IF classification of a "USB 3.1 type-C port"
there is the proper classification from the USB-IF(USB Implementers forum) of:

USB Type-C gen 1, and USB Type-C gen 2! The USB Type-C port standard is in no way tied to only USB 3.1 connectivity!

So the promotional ad copy is misleading and not following the USB-IF's naming guidance!

March 10, 2016 | 08:56 PM - Posted by Peter Oliver (not verified)

product images and possibly more information if you speak the language: http://www.pcpop.com/doc/2/2567/2567904.shtml

March 12, 2016 | 02:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I estimate the price to be somewhere between $outrageous and $obnoxious.

March 14, 2016 | 05:28 PM - Posted by Photonboy (not verified)

Naming needs to reflect the GPU inside. If it's a 970 or 970M then the product should say "EN970" or "EN970M".

I can appreciate (but still find annoying) the need to say "980M" when you don't get the same performance due to lower clock speeds. You can't simply call it a "970" for example if it's a 980 down-clocked due to architecture differences.

However, nothing excuses the NAME being IMO intentionally misleading to indicate a higher performing GPU inside.

(If it ends up a full 980 GPU with similar to reference desktop performance I'd be impressed though)

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