Miniature PC systems aren’t usually known for their horsepower, even if recent generations have been getting much more powerful as technology continues to shrink these systems down. But even with that added power, discrete graphics isn’t usually their forte, which is why Zotac’s new Zbox Magnus EN970 is such an impressive device, since it packs in not only a new Broadwell CPU from Intel, but an Nvidia GTX 960 graphics card too.
More impressively, this isn’t even a standard 960 GPU we’re talking about. Obviously there wouldn’t be room for a full desktop graphics card, but the GM206 chip used in this design has been made even more powerful than usual. It comes with 1,280 shader cores rather than 1,024 of them, 3GB of RAM rather than 2GB, and a 192-bit memory interface, rather than 128-bit.
This is paired up with an Intel i5-5200U CPU and up to 16GB of memory.
This should make it quite a powerful little gaming system. Rather impressive considering the chassis for the new Zbox is just eight inches across. That makes this one of the most powerful sub-ITX size systems in the world.
Other noteworthy aspects of the Magnus include four USB 3.0 ports and a pair of USB 2.0 ports, as well as I/O ports for microphone, headphones and HDMI. Networking-wise, it also supports dual ethernet connections up to a gigabit per second, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
When it comes to buying one of these mini-systems, there’s two choices available. The standard Magnus EN970 which requires the purchasing of its own memory and storage solutions, or the Plus version, which comes pre-equipped with 8GB of DDR3L (with one spare slot for expansion) and a 120GB M.2 SSD. Both versions have extra space for up to two additional SATA III devices.
As it stands, no pricing or availability information has been released, but don’t expect this to be the cheapest of micro-PCs.
- The best laptops for 2020
- Laptop buying guide: What to look for in 2020, and what to avoid
- The best iMac alternatives for 2020
- Intel Comet Lake vs. Ice Lake
- What do you need to power 4K games and movies?