The game system and small-form factor PC (SFF) has emerged as a bright spot in the desktop PC market that has been experiencing severe challenges recently. Many vendors have tried to combine the two, but space constraints and power problems ultimately limit the performance of games from such systems. Zotac, in particular, has been very active in this space with their ZBOX MAGNUS series. Starting with ZBOX MAGNUS EN980 (Intel Core i5-6400 / GTX 980), they have followed the regular release rhythm - by mid 2016 we see EN1080 with updated GPU Pascal, and upgraded CPUs to Lake Kaby in EN1080K marketed in Q3 2017 .
The third generation ZBOX MAGNUS fixes some of the deficiencies identified in EN1080 with respect to system design. The main one among them is the use of a better thermal solution for SSD M.2. We also have a CPU upgrade from Skylake to Lake Kaby (Core i7-6700 replaced by Core i7-7700, while still having the same B150 chipset). Based on this update, the EN1080 and EN1080K performance should be very similar, except for the benefits offered by the slightly faster clock on Kaby Lake CPU. In this review, we will look at the performance of EN1080K and also determine the area where Zotac can improve the upcoming product in this lineup.
Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080K entry into the market about 6 - 8 months after the launch of EN1080. Claims for aircraft carriers continue to be the same - VR-ready gaming mini PCs equipped with desktop CPU and high-end GPUs. In terms of physical footprint, EN1080K remains the same as the previous version (EN980 / EN1080) (5.85L / 225 mm x 203 mm x 128 mm). Placing high-end desktop and GPU CPUs in form factor with liquid cooling system is technically impressive, and we've given the chassis and cooling system enough praise in the reviews for EN980 and EN1080. The EN1080K retains the EN1080 industrial design, with its front panel HDMI port enabling easy installation of VR systems. Fancy LED lighting (controlled via Spectra utility) is also available.
In addition to the main unit, the PC package also includes two bricks with a capacity of 180W (19.5V @ 9.23A) along with a US power cable and two WLAN antennas. Quick start guide with installation instructions for memory and disk drives, user manual and read-only USB key with driver collects the rest of the package.
We received a barebones version of ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080K. To complete the build, we use the same components used in the EN1080 build - two 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 SODIMMs and 512GB Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSD. Corsair SODIMM can operate up to 2667 MHz, but on EN1080K, they are limited to 2400 MHz (compared to 2133 MHz for the same SODIMM in EN1080). The Toshiba OCZ RD400 operates with full PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth. Note that a custom NVMe OCZ driver is required to get the best performance from SSD.
Our review configuration specifications are summarized in the table below.
Internally, EN1080 / EN1080K uses B150 chipset (compared to H170 used in EN980). However, given the configurability options (only DRAM and SSD / HDD are left to the end user to complete the hardware configuration), chipset selection is not really a problem. Obviously, if Zotac goes back to the specification stage and sees more I / Os peripherals based on PCIe bridges, the number of high-speed I / O paths of B150 may be problematic.
In terms of audio codec (Realtek ALC892), Wi-Fi (Intel AC3165), LAN controller (2x Realtek RTL8168), USB 3.1 (ASMedia ASM1142) controller, and SDXC card reader (Realtek based USB 2.0 bridge), EN1080 and EN1080K are the same .
In the table below, we have an overview of the various systems we compare with Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080K against. Note that they may not be the same market segment. The relevant configuration details of the machine are provided so that the reader has an understanding of why some benchmark numbers are tilted for or against Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080K when we arrive at that section. Keep in mind that we're using the latest updated benchmarks, and the number of benchmarks with limited point ratio.
Source by : https://www.anandtech.com
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