The Zotac ZBOX CI660 nano Fanless mini-PC Assessment: A Promising HTPC Platform

Zotac is a serious participant within the SFF PC area, and with the appearance of ultra-compact kind issue (UCFF) NUCs, the accessible marketplace for mini-PCs has expanded. The corporate markets its passively cooled machines underneath the Moniker C sequence. Their C-Collection Nano Models have a kind issue similar to Intel's NUCs, providing efficiency and thermal effectivity that matches their dimension.

The corporate's newest fashions, the CI6xx Nano items, are based mostly on the Kaby Lake-Refresh U-series processors. They intention to boost the older C-Collection items with a bigger kind issue and extra platform capabilities. The bigger kind issue ought to theoretically have the ability to accommodate a extra environment friendly cooling system. The extra platform capabilities ought to have the ability to develop the talked about markets. However how good is Zotac by way of these objectives? This overview ought to give solutions.

Introduction and Platform Evaluation

The Zotac ZBOX CI660 nano belongs to the passively cooled C-series. It’s based mostly on the SiPs of the Kaby Lake R U sequence (KBL-R U). In 2016 we reviewed the Zotac CI523 nano . At the moment, we launched Zotac, an reasonably priced, fanless, high-performance laptop system for the typical client. The CI523 nano based mostly on a 15 W TDP Core i3-6100U was barely bigger than the CI540 nano (based mostly on an 11.5 W Haswell Y-SiP).

Zotac's new CI660 nano, then again, dispenses with the sq. kind issue of the earlier C-series PCs for an oblong board. Due to the bigger map space, Zotac may combine two Gigabit Ethernet ports (in comparison with the one port of the CI523 nano). The bigger warmth sink permits integration of the Core i7-8550U, a processor with 15W TDP, which may also be configured to function at 7.5W or 25W.

The CI660 nano is accessible in barebones or in a PLUS mannequin with RAM and SSD (with out working system). The latter prices $ 700 . Zotac supplied us with a barebones mannequin for evaluate, and we used a 2.5-inch Essential BX300 2.5-inch SATA SSD and two Patriot Reminiscence DDR4-2800 SODIMMs to run the Full development.

The specs of our Zotac ZBOX CI660 Nano take a look at configuration are summarized within the following desk.

Zotac ZBOX CI660 Nano specs

Processor
Intel Core i7-8550U
Kaby Lake Refresh-U, 4C / 8T, 1.eight (four.zero) GHz
8MB L2, 15W TDP

Reminiscence
Patriot Reminiscence 2800 C18 Collection PV432G280C8SK DDR4 SODIMM
18-18-18-43 at 2800 MHz
2×16 GB

Graphics
Intel UHD graphics 620

Arduous disk (s)
Essential BX300
(480 GB, 2.5 "SATA III SSD, IMFT 32L 3D MLC)

Networking
Intel Twin Band Wi-fi AC 3165
(1×1 802.11ac – 433 Mbps)
2x Realtek RTL8168 (MAC) / RTL8111 (PHY) Gigabit Ethernet Controllers

Audio
three.5mm headphone jack
5.1 / 7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (HDMI) potential

Numerous I / O connections
5x USB three.zero Sort-A
2x USB three.1 Gen 2 Sort-C
1x SDXC UHS-I

Working System
The retail unit is made up of barebones, however we’ve got Home windows 10 Enterprise x64 put in

Pricing
$ 700 (PLUS mannequin with 4GB DDR4 SODIMM and 120GB SSD)
$ 865 (as configured, no working system)

Full Specs
Zotac ZBOX CI660 nano specs

The Zotac ZBOX CI660 Nano Equipment features a fast begin information, a person information, VESA mounting , a set of screws for putting in the storage drive, and a 65W adapter (19V @ three.42A) with a US Energy wire. A read-only USB drive with the mandatory drivers can be included.

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The next gallery introduces us to the chassis design. Word that the system is generously perforated to facilitate convective warmth dissipation.

Entry to the SATA drive bay and SODIMM slots is tool-less, as is typical of Zotac's Mini-PCs. Unscrewing the bottom additionally reveals the ASMedia ASM2142 daughter board, which prompts the 2 USB three.1 Gen 2 Sort-C connectors. The bottom itself is supplied with thermal pads for the RAM sticks in addition to the SSD.

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The cooling fins that grew to become seen by eradicating the socket utterly encompass the higher section of the board. The gallery under leads us across the unit, as a result of it’s topic to an extra demolition.

Platform Evaluation

The Core i7-8550U bundle consists of an Intel Cannon Level LP platform controller hub (PCH). Whereas Zotac doesn’t element the map structure, the distribution of PCIe traces from the SiP is proven within the system report abstract generated by AIDA64:

PCI-E three.zero x1 # three in Use @ x1 (PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Adapter from Realtek RTL8168 / 8111)
PCI-E three.zero x1 # four in Use @ x1 (PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Adapter from Realtek RTL8168 / 8111)
PCI-E three.zero x1 connector # 5 in use @ x1 (Intel dual-band wi-fi AC 3165 AC-HMC wi-fi adapter)
PCI-E three.zero x4 connector # 9 in use @ x2 (ASMedia ASM2142 USB three.1 xHCI controller)

In contrast to Bean Canyon NUC's CNVi Wi-Fi, which is built-in into the PCH, the CI660 nano should use one of many PCIe lanes to help the Intel Wi-fi-AC 3165 wi-fi adapter. The USB three.1 Gen 2 ports should even be activated by a discrete ASMedia ASM2142 bridge. We now have two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and each are enabled by Realtek controllers.

The HDMI show of the CI660 nano will not be output instantly from the SiP's HDMI show. As a substitute, Zotac makes use of a Parade Applied sciences PS175 LSPCon on board to transform the show port 1.2 output of the processor to an HDMI 2.zero port with HDCP 2.2. Theoretically, this additionally helps HDR. Stereoscopic 3D will not be supported.

Within the following desk we’ve got an summary of the totally different methods with which we evaluate the Zotac ZBOX CI660 nano. Word that they might not be in the identical market section. The related configuration particulars of the machines are supplied to assist readers perceive why some benchmark numbers are being shot for or in opposition to the CI660 nano once we come to those sections.

Comparative PC configurations

facet
Zotac ZBOX CI660 nano
Zotac ZBOX CI660 nanoECS LIVA Z2Intel NUC6i7KYK (Cranium Canyon) Intel NUC7i7BNH (Child Canyon) Intel NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon) Zotac ZBOX MI553ASRock DeskMini 310

central processor
Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U

GPU
Intel UHD graphics 620
Intel UHD graphics 620

R.A.M.
Patriot Reminiscence Viper PV432G280C8SK DDR4 SODIMM
18-18-18-43 at 2800 MHz
2×16 GB
Patriot Reminiscence Viper PV432G280C8SK DDR4 SODIMM
18-18-18-43 at 2800 MHz
2×16 GB

warehouse
Essential BX300
(480 GB, 2.5 "SATA III, Micron 32L 3D MLC)
Essential BX300
(480 GB, 2.5 "SATA III, Micron 32L 3D MLC)

Wi-fi Web entry
Intel Twin Band Wi-fi AC 3165
(1×1 802.11ac – 433 Mbps)
Intel Twin Band Wi-fi AC 3165
(1×1 802.11ac – 433 Mbps)

Value (in USD if constructed)
625 US (barebones)
$ 865 (as configured, no working system)
625 US (barebones)
$ 865 (as configured, no working system)

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