Zotac, which claims to be the world's largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards, and mini-PCs, took a standard GeForce GTX 560 Ti series videocard, goosed the clocks, spiffed up the heatsink, and released it as an AMP! edition part. Included with new card is a download voucher for the upcoming Ubisoft title, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, as well as the company's Boost Premium software bundle consisting of five various apps and utilities.
It's true that size matters, and sometimes you want to go small. That's what Zotac's banking on with the release of two new mini-ITX mainboards, one of which the company claims is the world's first AMD mobile-on desktop platform.
Both the Zotac M880G-ITX WiFi and 880G-ITX WiFi come built around the AMD 800 series chipset, with the M880G sporting an AMD Turion II Neo K625 dual-core processor, ATI Radeon HD 4200 series GPU, a pair of DDR3 memory slots, a single PCI-Express x1 port, six SATA 6Gb/s ports, USB 3.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.
The 880G is socket AM3 ready with support for AMD Phenom II, Athlon II, and Sempron processors. Specs are largely the same as the M880G, except it comes with four SATA 6GB/s ports instead of six.
Chinese website Expreview.com posted some scintillating pics of a Zotac brand GeForce GTX 460 videocard like no other. Unlike every other GTX 460 board, Zotac's card comes with two GPUs on a single PCB.
Whether Zotac plans to actually the ship the thing or is just playing around isn't yet known. But what we do know is that the card features two GF104 GPUs connected via an NF200 bridge chip, two 8-pin power connectors, and 1GB of GDDR5 per core for a total or 2GB or memory.
If Zotac were to actually release something like this, it would be interesting to see what price point the company settles on. Keep in mind Nvidia recently dropped the price of its GTX 460 part (and GTX 470) in an attempt to steal some thunder from AMD's Radeon HD 6800 series launch.
Zotac has always had an impressive lineup of barebones Atom based Nettops, but even with the added power of the Ion 2 chipset behind it, 1080p streaming in flash could be hit or miss making them difficult to recommend for anything other than basic standard definition streaming. In response to the critical review the follow up Zboxes are now shipping with optional dual core Intel CULV processors giving them the extra kick needed to make it an extremely powerful HTPC. The appeal of the Zotac Zbox from an enthusiast standpoint is that they come without RAM, Hard Drives, or the OS allowing you to easily open and customize the performance to fit your intended application. You can simply pop in any old 2.5” hard drive you have lying around, or even step up to an SSD.
The new Zbox HD series sports either a Celeron 743 (single-core) or SU2300 (dual-core) processor, can accommodate DDR3 memory, and comes with HDMI / DVI outputs for the video. Additional storage can be added via any of the 6 external USB ports or the single eSATA. Built in Wi-Fi 802.11N, Gigabit Ethernet, and even 7.1 Channel LPCM surround sound round out the features on a box that makes my PS3 slim feel chubby.
Pricing for the new Zboxes haven’t been announced, but it sounds as though the entry level models will retail for around $270 or less according to Engadget. Hit the jump to check out for yourself how easy it is to pop one of these apart for easy upgrading.
Zotac, which is perhaps best known for its line of videocards, today announced an itty-bitty motherboard -- the H55-ITX-C-E -- built around the ITX form factor, but don't let its diminutive size fool you. This little board's spec sheet reads like a full-sized ATX mobo aimed at enthusiasts.
Core i7 (in socket 1156 flavor) support? Check. PCI-Express 2.0 x16? Check. USB 3.0, HDMI, and SATA 3.0Gb/s? Check, check, and you betcha.
"We see a trend where gamers are moving towards small form factor systems but want high-end CPUs and graphics. With the updated Zotac H55-ITX WiFi (H55ITX-C-E), gamers can build a complete small form factor system with a high-end Intel Core i7 800 series processor and a Zotac GeForce GTX 400-series graphics card," said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International.
Zotac seems to have squeezed everything it could onto a board with limited real estate. Builders will find two DIMM slots with support for up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, six SATA 3.0Gb/s ports, one eSATA port, two USB 3.0 ports, a whopping 10 USB 2.0 ports (six on the back, 4 via pin header), a single PCI-Express 2.0 slot, HDMI and DVI, and other odds and ends.
No word yet on when this will ship or for how much.
If all you're looking for is vanilla GTX 460 graphics card, this isn't it. Instead, Zotac's upcoming non-reference GTX 460 strays from Nvidia's blueprint by doubling up on RAM to 2GB, following in the footsteps of Sparkle and Gainward, both of which also recently announced 2GB versions of the same card.
Unlike the other two, however, Zotac kicked the cooling scheme up a notch by slapping on a slightly modified Accelero TwinTurbo Pro VGA cooler from Arctic Cooling. The special cooler sports a dense aluminum fin array through which four 6mm copper heatpipes run through. On top of the fins sit two 92mm fans.
Despite the custom cooling system, it doesn't look like Zotac's version will come overclocked from the factory. According to a GPU-Z screenie over at EXPreview, Zotac's card runs at 675MHz, the same speed as Nvidia's reference design, and 25MHz slower than Gainward's 2GB version.
Zotac has put an interesting spin on Nvidia's ION graphics by being the first company to offer a user-upgradeable solution. In doing so, Zotac's ION Upgrade Kits consist of a small form factor motherboard and ION graphics card.
"Zotac believes performance and compatibility should never be sacrificed for value. With the Zotac ION Upgrade Kits, you can have a premium computing experience complete with high-definition video playback, image editing, and video processing in a value package," said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International.
Available in mini-ITX and mini-DTX flavors, the Upgrade Kits' graphics cards slip into a PCI-E x1 slot, serving up 16 unified shaders and 512MB of DDR3 memory. The graphics card boasts support for Cuda, PureVidoe HD technologies, DirectX 10.1, DirectCompute, OpenGL, and OpenCL. Other specs include a 589MHz engine clock, 790MHz memory clockspeed, 1402MHz shader clock, and a 64-bit memory interface.
Nvidia this morning officially launched its next-generation Ion platform, and with it, we expect a deluge of product announcements. One of those comes from Zotac, who today announced what it claims is the world's first Ion 2 powered mini-PC.
"The ZOTAC ZBOX HD-ID11 mini-PC is perfect for home theater PC use as well daily usage. Watching high-definition movies with premium audio tracks is a rewarding experience with the ZOTAC ZBOX HD-ID11 mini-PC." Mr. Berger said. "The amount of clarity high-resolution 7.1-channel digital surround sound audio brings to the experience is phenomenal and can’t be put into words."
Boasting easy customization with a tool-less case design, Zotac says users can cram their own memory and 2.5-inch SATA hard drive into the ZBox HD-ID11. Otherwise, the rig comes built around Nvidia's next-gen Ion platform and includes an Intel Atom D510 dual-core processor clocked at 1.66GHz, 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI and DVI outputs, VESA monitor mount, OpenCL compliance, Gigabit Ethernet, and Windows 7. It also includes six USB 2.0 ports, a single eSATA port, and a 6-in-1 memory card reader.
Nvidia's Ion platform has gotten off to somewhat of a slow start, but that's starting to change thanks to Acer, Lenovo, and Zotac, all of which have recently launched Ion-based mobos and nettops.
Relative newcomer Zotac (founded in 2006) just launched its Ion-based ITX-F motherboard series for use in nettops. And in a nod to the power of customer feedback, the company's new 'F' series also sports a PCI-E x16 expansion slot.
"Zotac always listens to user requests for features. End users loved our Ion ITX series motherboards, but some requested PCI Express expansion. We listened and thus the Zotac Ion ITX F series was born," said Carsten Berger, marketing director, Zotac International. "Our engineers managed to integrate PCI Express x16 expansion without sacrificing any of the award-winning features either."
Acer, meanwhile, recently released its AspireRevo AR1600-U910H nettop with an Intel Atom 230 processor (1.6GHz) and Nvidia Ion LE graphics, and it streets for under $200.
Finally, Lenovo has jumped on the Ion bandwagon with the launch of its IdeaCentre Q110 nettop here in the States. Priced twice as much as Acer's cut-down model, Lenovo's version comes with the same Aton N230 processor, but uses the regular Nvida Ion graphics chip.