ZOTAC AT CES 2017 - Thunderbolt 3 Zbox, TB3 external GPU dock

Subject: Shows and Expos | December 30, 2016 - 04:09 PM |
Tagged: zotac, ZBOX C, zbox, SFF, GTX 1080 Mini, external gpu, CES 2017

Zotac have hinted at three new products they will be showing off at CES this year.  The first is an updated ZBOX family which will feature Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for new monitors, high bandwidth external storage or perhaps even an external GPU.  It will be powered by a Kaby Lake processor and will be passively cooled, offering great performance in small and silent form factor.

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The second offering will be an enclosure for an external GPU, offering 16x PCIe 3.0 bandwidth thanks to the TB3 connection to your machine.  It also provides three USB 3.0 ports and a Quick Charge 3.0 USB port for your mobile devices.  Inside is a 400W PSU which can be used to power your system

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Last up is a tiny version of a GTX 1080, which doesn't skimp on the power.  It has a base clock of 1620 MHz and Boost of 1759 MHz, with a full 8GB of memory running at 5GHz.  The PR does not give the measurements of the card but as you can see below it is about half again as long as the PCI slot it plugs into and remains a two slot card.

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HONG KONG – December 30, 2016 – ZOTAC International, a global manufacturer of innovation, is pleased to bring 10 years of design excellence to CES 2017 and showcase innovative VR and commercial solutions. A strong lineup including ZOTAC’s first Thunderbolt 3 Mini PC and External VGA box will be on show at One-Story Sky Villa, Palms Casino Resort. “We believe the future of computing should be flexible,” says Tony Wong, CEO, ZOTAC International. “Our next generation of computing products enables users to get the best of mobile and stationary experience.”

New Productivity Levels with new Mini PCs
The next generation of high speed and versatile connection has arrived on ZOTAC Mini PCs with next generation Intel Kaby Lake processors and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. Thunderbolt 3 delivers more transfer speed, more charging power and more compatible protocols. Richer display colors, lightning data transfer speed and a wide range of expansions become available with this new protocol.

The new ZBOX Mini PCs also introduce greater productive functionality with Intel vPRO and UNITE features. UNITE is introduced for the first time in ZOTAC Mini PCs, enabling it to become a platform for secure conference connections. Furthermore, it retains the functions of Intel vPRO and AMT, providing the convenience of deep repairs and maintenance through a remote connection. Intel Kaby Lake processors and GeForce GTX graphics are paired for the first time to make gaming Mini PCs more powerful and even more power efficient.

Unlock Potential Performance with External Graphics Dock
The external graphics dock enables a device equipped with Thunderbolt 3 port to greatly enhance its graphical processing capabilities and expand its functionalities. The ZOTAC external graphics dock (tentative) comes with a PCIE 3.0 slot , 3 standard USB 3.0 ports and 1 Quick Charge 3.0 enabled USB 3.0 port. This enables users to take advantage of the latest in battery technology in their supported devices such as smartphones and tablets.

“Our goal is to turn low power and ultra-portable Windows devices such as notebooks and mini PCs into performance racecars,” says Danny Wong, Director of Product Management, ZOTAC International. “The external graphics dock enables any device equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports to take full advantage of the transfer speed and bandwidth, potentially becoming exponentially more powerful.”

The external graphics dock also serves as a power source with a 400W power supply, meaning it can directly power a connected mini PC or supported system. Only a single Thunderbolt 3 type-C cable connection is needed for both power and data transfer on supported devices. All these features allow the dock to become a literal powerhouse for any notebooks or mini PCs. See it in action at ZOTAC’s suite.

Explore New Territories with VR GO
As the VR GO hits the shelves, there is no better time to demonstrate what VR GO does that makes the difference.

The ZOTAC VR GO is designed for a truly mobile VR experience. From hardware to comfort, every detail is considered. VR GO provides powerful yet efficient performance with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics and Intel Core i7 processor. Hardware and thermal design enable marathon playtime with comfort and minimal noise.


Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!


Source: Zotac

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December 30, 2016 | 07:00 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

I am very interested in the external graphics options at CES2017, but like every other similar device on the market right now, the real question of if it is a deal breaker or not will be what it's selling price is...

January 1, 2017 | 11:39 PM - Posted by -- (not verified)

build a proper box

January 4, 2017 | 04:51 AM - Posted by Pauliunas (not verified)

If you know how, I would be interested in hearing it. AFAIK there are no DIY kits for Thunderbolt 3.

December 31, 2016 | 01:49 AM - Posted by Shawn Hicks (not verified)

"The second offering will be an enclosure for an external GPU, offering 16x PCIe 3.0 bandwidth thanks to the TB3 connection to your machine."
It may have a PCIe 16x slot, but the maximum bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 can deliver is 40gbps which is 5/8ths of a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot.

December 31, 2016 | 09:33 PM - Posted by Pixy Misa (not verified)

Real-world, it's more like 1/2, since the upstream connection of the Thunderbolt controller will be at most PCIe 3.0 x4.

January 1, 2017 | 06:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And it'll be half again of that, because the dock breaks out that x4 link into two x2 links, one used for the USB3 controller. You can't split 4x PCIe lanes into x1 and x3, so the slot drops down to x2.

January 1, 2017 | 10:47 AM - Posted by Pixy Misa (not verified)

I think the USB in the dock is just a hub, not a separate controller. The Thunderbolt controller in the computer muxes PCIe, video, and USB 3, and the controller in the dock demuxes them.

January 1, 2017 | 02:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If it's a TB3 dock yes it's most likely using the TB3 tunneling protocol to encapsulate those USB 3.0 packets, DP packets, 10Gb Ethernet(In TB3 only) packets, etc. So whatever protocol the TB3 dock supports is most likely tunneled via TB3. The software/drivers only actually see PCIe/USB/DP/Other connected devices and the TB/TB3 protocol is hidden from view by the TB-TB3 controller. So the computing system and driver and motherboard UPnP systems thinks any externally connected devices appear on the BUS enumerated list as if they were directly plugged into the PC/laptop.

The Type-C port on the Laptop/PC may however provide more than just the Type-C power pins and TB3 pins in the Type-C receptacle’s available pin-out! The Type-C port’s pin-out could also include native DP, HDMI, etc. pins. As the device’s maker, especially for laptops, may have included the extra additions to the Type-C plug to support any Type-C/DP direct native cables, HDMI over Type-C, etc.

It would be nice if the makers of the external docks and the cable makers would supply universal cables with enough wires to directly transmit all the signals natively except the PCIe(that has to done over TB-TB3) so users could take advantage of potentially all the types of pins provided in a Type-C receptacle and the total bandwidth that they would provide. More than likely though if a laptop maker is providing TB3 to begin with it may be better just to use TB3 and save costs by doing as much over the TB3 pins/controller and not providing any extra pins except any for protocol/standards that are not currently supported over TB3.

The one good thing about TB-TB3 is that PCIe is supported over TB-TB3 so really the dock could be made to support any protocol standard over PCIe that will then be tunneled through TB-TB3 by simply providing any controller on the dock/box wired to communicate over PCIe.

January 4, 2017 | 04:52 AM - Posted by Pauliunas (not verified)

Thunderbolt 3 provides 4x PCIe 3.0 bandwidth. The rest can be used for USB, Displayport or something else.

December 31, 2016 | 09:43 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Mini gtx 1080(560), they should have shipped them all in that form factor, remember the 1080 is the mid range Pascal die similar to the gtx 560 just a whole lot more expensive.

January 4, 2017 | 04:59 AM - Posted by Pauliunas (not verified)

Ummm no, GTX1080 is the most powerful consumer GPU on Earth. Are you trolling?

December 31, 2016 | 09:58 PM - Posted by Fourty7

I realize the GPU Dock + Zbox3 are seperate products, but the wording here (I'm guessing that's in the media doc) advertise them as a symbiotic product line.

Is it just me, or does that seem counter productive?... I get GPU docks for a laptop, but for a small form factor desktop it seems kind of crazy... If the user is someone who wanted to take their Zbox around with them as a portable PC, dragging along a monitor and the GPU dock would feel like you locked your "bike" to a cinder block and lost the key? ...Also anywhere you place them together kinda ruins the "Omg it's so small" factor! :X

On another note though, it's great to see new small form factor PCs!

January 4, 2017 | 04:54 AM - Posted by Pauliunas (not verified)

eGPU makes it more versatile, as you can also use the box with a laptop and upgrade the graphics card if you want.

January 4, 2017 | 04:59 AM - Posted by Pauliunas (not verified)

eGPU makes it more versatile, as you can also use the box with a laptop and upgrade the graphics card if you want.

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