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Small form factor systems are vogue, and that's just fine by Zotac, which has been cashing in on the craze for palm-sized systems with its Zbox Nano line. These aren't wimpy little systems, either, especially now that some of them have been upgraded with Ivy Bridge processors from Intel. These include Intel's Core i3 3227U, Core i5 3337U, and Core i7 3537U processors.
If you subscribe to the philosophy that big things come in little packages, you'll love hearing about Zotac's new H87-ITX Wi-Fi motherboard, a tiny slice of silicon designed for Intel's 4th Generation Core processor family (Haswell). It's a mini-ITX board for small form factor (SFF) builds, yet is capable of running Intel's newest processors and up to four SATA 6Gbps drives, plus a spot for an mSATA drive.
Small form factor (SFF) computing meets up with Ivy Bridge.
When you stop and think about it, the amount of power in some of today's mini PC systems is pretty amazing. Enter Zotac, a company that lives and breathes small form factor (SFF) systems under its Zbox line, which today it infused with an Intel Core i5 3470T processor. It's a respectable desktop part built around Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture with two processing cores clocked at 2.9GHz (3.6GHz via Turbo), 3MB of cache, and a rated max TDP of 35W -- plenty powerful enough for general purpose computing.
Don't confuse Zotac's StreamBox with Valve's SteamBox, two very different products.
Zotac, a major player in the mini PC category, is "embark[ing] on a new era of digital media sharing" by announcing its new StreamBox and RAIDbox accessories. Starting with the StreamBox, this NUC-sized device is supposed to make it easy to broadcast audio, video, and image files from Android smartphones, tablets, and notebooks via DLNA. It supports display mirroring on select Android mobile devices via Miracast compatibility, Zotac says.
The refreshed Zbox Nano XS now sports an AMD E2-1800 Accelerated Processing Unit (APU).
Zotac's Zbox Nano XS mini PCs are about as small as they come, measuring 4.17 inches x 4.17 inches x 1.46 inches, trumping even Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) system, which measures 4.59 inches x 4.41 inches x 1.55 inches. Another difference between the two is that Zotac offers an AMD version (Nano XS AD13), which it just refreshed to take advantage of the Brazos 2.0 platform.
Zotac's bread and butter is its line of Zbox mini PCs, one of which just got a little bit faster today. The Zbox AD06 gets a performance boost thanks to the addition of AMD's E2-1800 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), which features integrated Radeon HD 7340 graphics. According to Zotac, the net result is 10 percent faster performance compared to the previous generation Zbox.
Zotac specializes in pint sized PCs and is best known for its Zbox Nano line of small form factor (SFF) systems. Thanks to the rapid march of technology, these types of machines, when properly configured, can pack a performance punch that defy their compact form, and that's exactly what Zotac hopes to achieve by upgrading its Zbox Nano line with an AMD E2-1800 accelerated processing unit (APU).
If Intel's Ivy Bridge ultimately crumbles, it won't be for lack of vendor support. While the tech world waits for Intel to launch its 3rd generation Core processor family, motherboard makers and system integrators are busy pushing out upgraded platforms that support the upcoming CPUs, everything from big and bad notebooks to little motherboards like Zotac's new Z77-ITX Wi-Fi and H77-ITX Wi-Fi, a pair of Intel 7-series mini ITX boards intended for anyone who wants to pack big performance into a small footprint.
Zotac's ZBOX line of itty bitty mini-PCs must be doing well; new models have been popping up on what seems like a biweekly basis. Nothing changed at CeBIT! Zotac spent its time at the German tech conference showing off three new ZBOX mini-PCs announced earlier this week -- one standard-sized Sandy Bridge-sporting model, another ZBOX nano offering, and a third with a Blu-ray drive.