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Michael S.

Michael S.

Joined on 01/30/06

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 2
Most Favorable Review

Great gaming machine

ZOTAC ZBOX MAGNUS EN970 Gaming Mini PC Black Barebones System Intel Core i5-5200U Dual-core CPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Graphics
ZOTAC ZBOX MAGNUS EN970 Gaming Mini PC Black Barebones System Intel Core i5-5200U Dual-core CPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 Graphics

Pros: Quiet - Can't hear it even running full load. Cooling - Well designed, as I haven't seen CPU or GPU temps over 75C with room temp at 22C. Compact - Fits right under the TV. Powerful - Runs games at 1080P 60 fps with settings between medium and high, depending on the game. Infrared Receiver - Didn't even realize it had this. Seems to work with Windows Media Center remotes. Drive Support - Installed a 500 GB SSD and a 1 TB mechanical for backup

Cons: Thumbscrews are a bit hard to get back in. The holes don't line up well so it takes some gentle persuasion to get them both started without stripping out.

Overall Review: Ran a baseline of 34 fps on Heaven at 1080P on max settings. After bumping the core and memory up using Afterburner I was getting 39.5 fps. Tried to get 40 fps but the GPU memory couldn't handle it. Overclocking the memory made the biggest difference in fps. Temps only went up 2 degrees with the overclock. Haven't seen any issues yet with the 2 core processor being a bottleneck. I suppose it might get a few fps higher with a better processor, not sure. I generally don't see processor usage over 60-70% during games. Would make a great HTPC with the included infrared receiver. If Zotac keeps the same physical form factor and comes out with a newer/better model then I'll probably get the newer one for gaming and use the EN970 for a dedicated HTPC. In the past I enjoyed building computers. Selecting a case, components, etc. These Zbox machines are great though. I love the mini form factor, and as of now you just can't build a machine this small AND powerful.

Solid case, great layout and design

IN WIN IW-MS04-01-S265 Black 0.8 mm SGCC Mini ITX (M/B cooler maximum 65mm) Tower Mini 4 Bay Server Tower with 265Watts 80+ bronze Flex ATX power supply
IN WIN IW-MS04-01-S265 Black 0.8 mm SGCC Mini ITX (M/B cooler maximum 65mm) Tower Mini 4 Bay Server Tower with 265Watts 80+ bronze Flex ATX power supply

Pros: Removable motherboard tray Easy slim ODD mounting Hot swap trays are well built Included hardware is organized in bags and labeled 60mm CPU cooler height Power connector for a slim ODD already wired on Included PSU is silent Magnetic front door latch Well packaged

Cons: Power led is pretty blinding. I may end up unplugging it since I'm using this for a HTPC

Overall Review: Case is very easy to work with. There's no 'build order' you need to follow since all hardware is easily accessible. Motherboard tray pops out with 2 screws and a latch. The locks on the hot swap trays use just a regular hex head key, so no worries about misplacing the included key. Originally I installed a Noctua NH-L9i with a 92 x 92 x 38 mm fan, which did barely fit. However changing to a 92 x 92 x 25 mm fan I got better cooling since the fan wasn't shrouded so much by the hot swap cage.