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Zotac goes small on desktops, big on graphics

Niche hardware manufacture Zotac, already known in the world of pint-sized PCs for its popular ZBox systems, has shown two new models just ahead of CES 2015.

The ZBox CI321 is the smallest of the pair. It’s a tiny box with a passively cooled Intel dual-core for silent operation. Despite its size, the system offers two Ethernet ports, 802.11ac WiFi, several USB 3.0 ports, and an SDcard reader.

Slightly larger, but still quite tiny, is the Zbox EN860. This wider, glossier box also uses an Intel Core processor, but it’s paired with Nvidia graphics to enable support for 4K monitors and G-Sync. Connectivity spans three USB ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, TOSLINK audio, two Ethernet ports, and 802.11ac WiFi. Zotac says the EN860 is “gaming capable,” but without specifics on the graphics chip it’s hard to say what, exactly, that means.

Gamers with a full-size desktop, meanwhile, may be excited by Zotac’s new Nvidia GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core Edition video card. The card is overclocked to a maximum boost speed of 1,380MHz. That’s just over 200MHz better than a standard GTX 970’s maximum clock of 1,178MHz. The heavily tuned GPU is kept in check by a custom cooler than has three fans for maximum airflow.

All of these products will be show on the show floor at CES 2015. The more intimate details, such as exact processor specifications and pricing, will not be available until then.