In August, NVIDIA unveiled the first graphics card Pascal for the mobile market, based desktop chips. Therefore, only a matter of time was the emergence of the first mini-PC to a new generation of graphics cards. The exhibition Gamescom ZOTAC showed us the first samples of GPUs GP104, a little later they were formally presented. Now our editors received the first model ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060, equipped with a graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060. It will be interesting to see how the barebone for 900 euros will show itself in practice.
In recent weeks and months on the market Steam Machines and compact gaming PC it was pretty quiet. If you needed such a system, it had to be content with the video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or GeForce GTX 970M – long leadership held a mini-PC ZOTAC ZBOX Magnus NEN970, although he later conceded the performance recently tested Magnus EN980 Special Edition, but for it will have to pay very decent price of about 1,700 euros. With the advent of a new generation of mobile video cards Pascal in August, a mini-PC market has awakened, and the emergence of new models was only a matter of time. The exhibition Gamescom 2016 just ZOTAC ZBOX introduced the first system on the GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 1070.
If the ZOTAC ZBOX Magnus EN980 Special Edition uses a housing-cube, for the new ZBOX EN1060 manufacturer chose the body with less height, familiar from previous mini-PCs. The built-in water cooling system is no longer the same. As you can guess from the name, with the 3D-graphics responds NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 6 GB of video memory. As CPU Zotac has installed Intel Core i5-6400T. Memory and storage device, user installs their own. The first time we get a system with two slots Zotac SODIMM new standard DDR4 – previously used DDR3 memory. As for storage, it supports high-speed module M.2 and an additional 2.5 “hard drive with SATA interface. We installed 275 GB SSD from Crucial and 2.133 MHz memory capacity of 8 GB of Crucial. Of course, the performance of some of the tests will depend on of the installed components. The rest of the new ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 provides a quite modern USB Type C interfaces, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.3.
Optional: Bluetooth 4.0, WLAN 802.11-AC, memory card slot 3-in-1
System barebone ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 is available for order in Europe from 900 euros. To the price will have to add the operating system, SSD and memory. Of course, you can purchase the Plus version with predefined components, but we do not yet know the price and availability.
Below we evaluate performance, noise levels and energy consumption ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060.
Before we move on to the tests ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060, let me see the hardware.
In contrast to the recently tested mini PC ZOTAC ZBOX Magnus EN980 Special Edition, is not used within a fast Core i7 processor based on Skylake, and entry-level Core i5, which also refers to a desktop CPU. ZOTAC chose Intel Core i5-6400T. The processor has four cores, but does not support Hyper-Threading, so it can only handle four threads simultaneously. The frequency of 2.2 GHz – depending on the load and the temperature of individual cores can be accelerated up to 2.8 GHz. The processor belongs to the generation of Skylake, so he made on 14-nm process technology. Option T is an economical version of the normal Core i5-6400 operates at higher clock frequencies.
The processor is equipped with 6 MB of L3 cache, L2 cache of 256 KB per core. instruction and data cache of the first level is at 32 KB per core. The maximum power consumption (TDP) Intel indicates a relatively low level of 35 watts.
Skylake processor features an integrated graphics core. In the case of Intel Core i5-6400T is the Intel HD Graphics 530 with 24 execution units EU and the frequency from 350 to 1,150 MHz, which refers to the average level of the GT2. Of course, for today’s game is too slow, so fast ZOTAC has established a discrete solution.
Compared with the recently tested ZBOX Magnus EN980 Special Edition we get another graphics solution. Instead of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 is used on the GeForce GTX 1060 Pascal architecture. Both mobile chip correspond to their desktop counterparts. The first three mobile video Pascal NVIDIA announced in August. GeForce GTX 1060 mini PC ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 corresponds to the desktop model GPU GP106. We get 1,280 stream processors, which are distributed in two clusters GPC ten streaming multiprocessors. Each SMM includes 128 stream processors, eight texture units. As for the memory subsystem, compared with GeForce GTX GTX 1070 and 1080 one of the four memory controllers has been removed. The result is a 192-bit instead of 256-bit interface. Connected to the memory controller 48 raster operations pipelines. The amount of video memory is 6 GB. The maximum power consumption of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card is about 120 watts.
In the basic version for 899 euros will have to install the drive and the memory. We chose the 275 GB SSD M.2 and two SODIMM module from Crucial capacity of 2.133 MHz. The mini-PC is used Zotac motherboard chipset on the HM107. For cooling the processor and graphics card meet the two radial fan. Available modern interfaces such as USB 3.1 Type C, installed inside the Bluetooth and WLAN module, a built-in memory card slot 3-in-1. Power ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 external, used 180 watt PSU.
With the mini-PC ZBOX EN1060 ZOTAC once again chosen a flattened body, known from previous models ZBOX and Steam Machines. But it was strengthened with modern interfaces, including USB Type C.
The case is completely black, the front of the finished panel under lacquered piano arranged interfaces and the power button. Three LED indicate the status of the computer and hard disk activity, and SSD.
The front panel is installed port Type C, there is a standard interface Type A USB 3.1, two 3.5-mm audio jack for connecting a headset and a slot for SD cards.
Instead Steam logo on the lid, there ZBOX EN1060 only the famous ring ZBOX – still in front of us is not Steam Machine, a gaming PC with compact dimensions. However, no one bothers to activate the mode Big Picture Mode on Steam. And thanks to the Windows operating system, we get a wider game support.
The bottom of the hull is removed, followed by opening the easy access to accessories. You can install not only the memory, but the 2.5-inch HDD or SSD speed through M.2 slot.
In the left pane ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 present only a Kensington lock hole to prevent theft, as well as a number of vent holes through which the cooling system gets fresh air.
Most of the interfaces on the rear panel is made. At ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 there are two more USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 standard of the old, which can be used to connect the keyboard and mouse. Mini-PC is connected to a TV or monitor via HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.3 – available on two ports for each interface type. to the Internet or home network connection is realized via a wireless network (with support for up to 802.11ac standard) or Gigabit Ethernet. For the latter two ports available.
To remove enough to unscrew the bottom cover of the housing two screws behind, then barebone system can be equipped with hard drives and memory. The warranty is not lost as long as the motherboard will not be removed from the housing, which would entail a violation of the seal.
Most mini-PCs use the Cell processor that is soldered to the motherboard, the CPU we get a desktop, mounted to a socket in the case of ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060. ZOTAC chose T economical processor family Core i5, namely Intel Core i5-6400T with four cores and a frequency of 2.8 GHz.
Available space to install a 2.5 “drive. The compartment provides a regular hard drive or SSD with SATA interface 6 Gb / s. So in case of version barebone buyer can choose the drive on your own.
Alternatively (or additionally), you can install the SSD in M.2 format. The second slot is already occupied M.2 Bluetooth and WLAN. As for memory, the Zotac first supported SODIMM modules of the new DDR4 standard, they operate in dual-channel mode with a frequency of 1.866 MHz to 2.133 MHz. Previously, Zotac offered only the old standard DDR3 slots.
The processor and the graphics card is actively cooled by its own radial fans with a diameter of 60 mm. But the two coolers are connected to one another thick copper heat pipe, and thus help each other.
With regard to the cooling system, the ZOTAC almost always used copper. Centrifugal fans get fresh air from the bottom and throw it through the side panel outward. For GPU and CPU, thus provides for two separate air segment.
ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 is powered by an external power supply up to 180 watts. It included, as well as several types of plugs for the US and Europe. Also you will get a driver CD, quick start guide, WLAN antenna. The operating system will have to buy separately.
With such hardware ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 can offer a lot, the system can handle instead of modern games at high resolutions and detail levels. Here we evaluate the performance of a mini-PC.
Thanks to high-speed SSD M.2 we have a high level of performance ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 in everyday scenarios. The operating system boots in seconds, and the program will start the game with little or no delay. For gaming collection, we recommend that you install in the mini-PC an additional 2.5-inch hard drive, as our 275 GB drive rather quickly filled up, we had to remove the old test of the game to set new ones. less powerful processor is noticeable compared with the recently tested ZOTAC ZBOX Magnus EN980 Special Edition. In the tests, performance sensitive CPU minicomputer running ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 significantly slower, as seen, for example, two tests Cinebench, but also to games in resolution Full-HD. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 provides sufficient performance for all today’s games in the resolution of Full-HD, less demanding games can run in higher resolutions. Compared to the previously released Steam Machines 3D-performance is significantly increased, in some tests even ZBOX with the GeForce GTX 980 is left behind.
120W graphics card and a 35 watt CPU is necessary to dissipate into the environment, but the ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 system works pleasantly quiet. Under the regular Windows desktop or in a 2D-mode, two fans lead to the noise level of 33.6 dB (A), which can be called a fairly low. In games fans to build momentum, but the system is still relatively quiet with 36.5 dB Noise level (A). Under the stress load Prime95 and Furmark we got the noise level to 42.9 dB (A) – many gaming notebooks run much louder. Given the high level of performance ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 similar noise level is impressive.
Mini PC ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 pleases not only low noise, and low power consumption. In 2D-mode, we get less than 25 watts. Under full load, the system consumed from the power outlet to 139.2 watts. Under the load level of the game was a little more than 120 watts. Version Special Edition mini-PC Magnus EN980 consume significantly more.
Despite the powerful components and a quiet cooling system at ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 we have not got any problems with cooling. The processor and graphics card to work at temperatures up to 72 ° C, SSD and motherboard are not heated above 44 or 63 ° C – a temperature far below the threshold values. So the cooling system has the performance headroom to install a more powerful processor and graphics card. Zotac just released the mini-PC with the GeForce GTX 1070.
We recently tested a very fast mini PC ZOTAC ZBOX Magnus EN980 Special Edition, but it deters the high price of nearly 1,800 euros. For the ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 will have to pay much less – 900 euros. Of course, this price also can not be called low, but it is twice less. At the same time you get a slightly lower performance, in spite of the low-end processors Core i5. Intel Core i5-6400T processor and NVIDIA graphics card GeForce GTX 1060 could be called the perfect couple, we get high everyday performance and smooth frame rates in games, especially in Full-HD.
The system does not use the water cooling, but any air cooled we got problems. The temperature remained below the limit values for noise we got from 33 to 43 dB (A) – the work of a mini-PC could be heard, but many other gaming PCs and laptops running with a higher noise level. At first glance, the body no changes as compared to previous systems ZBOX this performance class, but they are. There was a modern port Type C. It is also a mini-PC provides a sufficient number of ports Type A, two ports, Gigabit LAN, a pair of HDMI and DisplayPort outputs. Inside the system is installed in Bluetooth and WLAN. At ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 has everything you need to casual gamers.
In Europe mini-PC is available only in the version of the barebone. It will cost 900 euros, but the price you have to add memory and storage, and operating system, if you are not willing to settle for Steam OS. Therefore, the system can not be called cheap. Inside you can install not only the 2.5-inch SSD or hard drive, but also additional storage M.2. On the positive side, we note that the manufacturer has finally moved on SODIMM memory strip modern standard DDR4. Until now Zotac used old DDR3 modules.
ZOTAC ZBOX EN1060 – one of the fastest mini PCs on the market, characterized by low noise levels and significantly lower cost compared to recently tested models Magnus EN980 Special Edition. Although, of course, the price still can not be called low.