Desktop Comet Lake Prices Up with Ampere

Desktop Comet Lake Charges Up with Ampere

Zotac has been a pioneer in bringing compact small form-factor (SFF) machines to the market proper because the ION days. The introduction of the ZBOX EI750 in 2014 marked the start of Zotac’s foray into the SFF gaming PC section. With the burgeoning marketplace for compact programs (kickstarted by the success of the Intel NUC initiative), Zotac has additionally grown from power to power. The corporate now has round 8 totally different mini-PC households concentrating on totally different segments. The ZBOX E collection (E initially stood for ‘EPIC GAMING’, earlier than changing into the extra arcane ‘Fanatic’ lately) caters to the gaming crowd and is marketed below the MAGNUS tag. The primary mini-PC on this collection, the ZBOX EI750, used the eDRAM-augmented CrystalWell elements in 2014. The MAGNUS EN970 launched in 2015 was Zotac’s first try at integrating a discrete GPU board into the mini-PC form-factor.

Gaming mini-PCs have at all times needed to take care of tradeoffs when it comes to processor TDP, GPU TDP, and PSU integration. Nearly the entire early gaming mini-PCs concerned re-imagining a gaming pocket book motherboard in a desktop form-factor – MXM GPUs and sub-45W TDP processors had been the norm. Intel’s gaming-focused Fanatic and Excessive NUCs have been upping the ante on this division, and Zotac has additionally been as much as the problem. The corporate’s present flagship is the ZBOX MAGNUS ONE (launched on the 2021 CES). Coupling a desktop Comet Lake CPU with a desktop nVIDIA Ampere GPU, it guarantees loads of gaming prowess. This evaluate takes a have a look at the efficiency and worth proposition of the top-end ZBOX MAGNUS ONE mannequin – the ZBOX-ECM73070C-W2B.

Introduction and Product Impressions

Zotac’s E-series mini-PCs have loved nice success within the gaming mini-PC market, prompting the corporate to often replace the lineup with the most recent and biggest CPUs and GPUs. Tracing the historical past of Zotac’s flagship E-series programs, we discover totally different tradeoffs utilized between the CPU TDP, GPU TDP, and PSU. Larger TDP parts have usually carried a premium price ticket to accommodate a liquid cooling answer, prompting the corporate to experiment with air-cooled programs to broaden the market enchantment with decrease pricing. The small print of the gaming flagships in every era are listed under:

  • 2014 ZBOX EI750: CrystalWell (65W TDP for CPU + built-in Iris Professional GPU), 120W exterior energy brick
  • 2015 ZBOX MAGNUS EN970: Broadwell-U 15W TDP CPU + 100W TDP GTX 970M, 180W exterior energy brick
  • 2016 ZBOX MAGNUS EN980: Skylake-S 65W TDP CPU + 180W TDP GTX 980, 2x180W exterior energy bricks
  • 2016 ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080: Skylake-S 65W TDP CPU + 180W TDP GTX 1080, 2x180W exterior energy bricks
  • 2017 ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080K: Kaby Lake-S 65W TDP CPU + 180W TDP GTX 1080, 2x180W exterior energy bricks
  • 2018 ZBOX MAGNUS EK71080: Kaby Lake-H 45W TDP CPU + 180W TDP GTX 1080, 330W exterior energy brick
  • 2019 ZBOX MAGNUS EN72080V: Espresso Lake-H 45W TDP CPU + 150W TDP RTX 2080 Cellular, 330W exterior energy brick
  • 2020 ZBOX MAGNUS EN072080S: Comet Lake-H 45W TDP CPU + 150W TDP RTX 2080 Tremendous Cellular, 330W exterior energy brick
  • 2021 ZBOX MAGNUS ONE: Comet Lake-S 65W TDP CPU + 220W TDP RTX 3070, 500W inside PSU

Between the MAGNUS EK71080 and the MAGNUS ONE, Zotac began focusing extra on the content material creators market with their high-end E-series items. The flagship Encourage Studio sported a 65W TDP Espresso Lake-S CPU and a 175W TDP RTX 2060 SUPER, with a form-factor just like that of the MAGNUS EK71080. The EN72080V and EN072080S had been primarily based on the thinner EN970 form-factor. The 2021 MAGNUS ONE thus marks Zotac’s robust return to the SFF gaming market with a correct desktop CPU and GPU.

Zotac provided us with an engineering pattern of the high-end MAGNUS ONE SKU – the ZBOX-ECM73070C-W2B. It sports activities the Intel Core i7-10700 Comet Lake-S CPU and a GeForce RTX 3070 Ampere GPU (Zotac RTX 3070 Twin Edge), together with a 512GB NVMe SSD and a 1TB 2.5″ HDD. A 16GB DDR4 SODIMM can also be a part of the bundle. Home windows 10 Dwelling x64 is pre-installed on the SSD. The entire system is housed in 265.5mm x 126mm x 249mm (10.45in x 4.96in x 9.8in) 8.3L chassis. Taking the cue from Intel’s Ghost Canyon NUCs, Zotac has built-in a 500W 80+ Platinum PSU and redesigned the chassis for vertical orientation. These contribute to the creation of a compact and simply transportable system.

Because of the built-in PSU, the bundle contents are largely simplified in comparison with the opposite E-series mini-PCs. There’s a US AC energy wire, two WLAN antennae, a read-only USB key for Home windows Picture Restoration, and a fast begin information.

The specs of our evaluate configuration are summarized within the desk under:

Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS ONE (ECM73070C) Specs
Processor Intel Core i7-10700

Comet Lake-S, 8C/16T, 2.9 – 4.8 GHz, 14nm+++, 16MB L2, 65W TDP
Reminiscence Essential CT16G4SFS832A DDR4-3200 SODIMM

22-22-22-52 @ 3200 MHz

1×16 GB
Graphics Zotac Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 Twin Edge

5888 CUDA Cores


Intel UHD Graphics 630
Disk Drive(s) Phison E13 Reference Design (Zotac-sourced)

(500 GB; M.2 Kind 2280 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe; Kioxia 96L 3D TLC)

(Phison E13 Controller)

Seagate BarraCuda ST1000LM048

(1 TB; 2.5in SATA 6Gb/s)
Networking Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650x

1 × Realtek RTL8168 Gigabit Ethernet

1 × Killer Ethernet E3000 2.5Gbps controller
Audio 3.5mm Headphone Jack

Able to 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (HDMI / DP)
Miscellaneous I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Kind-A (Entrance)

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Kind-C (Entrance)

1 x SDXC UHS-I (Entrance)

2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Kind-A (Rear)

4 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Kind-A (Rear)
Working System Retail unit is Home windows 10 Dwelling x64, however we put in Home windows 10 Enterprise x64
Pricing (as configured) $2400
Full Specs Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS ONE ECM73070C with Home windows 10 Specs

When it comes to exterior look, the affect of the Ghost Canyon NUC could be clearly seen. The highest panel of the chassis contains a few followers. It slides off simply after the 2 rubber screws are eliminated. It is a tool-less operation, not like what we noticed within the Ghost Canyon and Beast Canyon NUCs.

The 2 facet panels could be eliminated as soon as the highest panel is out of the image. This exposes the GPU and the motherboard on both facet.

In contrast to the NUCs, the M.2 SSD slots, 2.5″ drive caddy, and the vertical SODIMM slots are instantly accessible after the facet panel’s elimination.

Since our evaluate pattern was basically a pre-built system, we did not have to put in any new parts contained in the chassis. Zotac opts to populate just one DRAM channel within the system. This does hamstring the efficiency of the system, however we opted to evaluate the system as-is when it comes to {hardware}. We did re-image the M.2 SSD with Home windows 10 Enterprise x64, because it offers extra fine-grained management over benchmarking routines with out surprising interference from the OS.


Within the subsequent part, we check out the BIOS choices together with an evaluation of the motherboard platform. Following that, now we have quite a lot of sections specializing in varied efficiency points earlier than concluding with an evaluation of the worth proposition of the system.

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