Zotac ZBOX C-Series is a line of silent, fanless mini PCs for $150 and up

Zotac is launching a new line of tiny desktop computers with passive cooling. That means they’re no noisy fan spinning, which could make the new Zotac ZBOX C-Series boxes good choices for folks looking to build a media center PC.

The Zotac C-series nano-PCs measure just 5″ x 5″ x 1.8″, have ventilated cases, and come with a choice of AMD or Intel processors.

Prices start as low as $150.

Zotac C Series

Like most Zotac PCs, the new fanless models will be sold in two configurations: there’s a barebones model which lacks a hard drive or storage, or a Plus model that includes both. In this case, the Plus models have 4GB of RAM and a 64GB solid state drive. You’ll still need to supply an operating system yourself.

All models feature 2.5 inch drive bays, 1 memory slot, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and HDMI and DisplayPort. But there are a few differences between individual models.

Here’s  quick overview (prices are for the standard and “plus” models):

  • Zotac ZBOX CA320 nano – AMD A6-1450 CPU / DDR3-1066 memory / SATA 3.0 Gb/s interface, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 5 USB 2.0 ports ($150 /$260)
  • Zotac ZBOX CI320 nano – Intel Celeron N2930 CPU / DDRr-1333 memory / 1 SATA 3.0 Gb/s + 1 eSATA  / 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports ($180 / $290)
  • Zotac ZBOX CI520 nano – Intel Core i3-4020y CPU / DDR3-1600 memory / 1 SATA 6.0 Gb/s + 1 eSATA / 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports ($310 / $410)
  • Zotac ZBOX CI540 nano – Intel Core i5-4210y / DDR3-1600 memory / 1 SATA 6.0 Gb/s + 1 eSATA / 4 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports ($370 / $480)

Each model includes integrated graphics, so don’t expect any of these systems to make a great gaming rig. But most models should be able to handle HD video playback and internet audio and video streaming, among other tasks.

  • tedus

    most interesting things missing:
    price and availability

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      Yeah, I can’t remember Zotac *ever* including those in a press release. I’d keep an eye on Newegg. That’s one of the first places where Zotac boxes usually show up.

      • Tuanies – ZOTAC

        CI540: $369.99/479.99

        CI520:309.99/409.99

        CI320: $149.99/259.99

        CA320: 179.99/289.99

      • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

        I stand corrected. Thanks!

  • Grant Russell

    What a horrible naming scheme.
    CiA = A6
    Ci3 = celeron
    Ci5 = i3
    Ci5 = i5
    ????

    • Grant Russell

      Regardless, this is a fantastic pricepoint. The celeron model looks great. I’ve been waiting for something like this for running Xubuntu on my TV

    • Tuanies – ZOTAC

      Our naming scheme is first letter denotes the series, so C = passive. Second letter is AMD or Intel, so CA = AMD, CI = Intel. We use 3, 5 and 7 to denote the positioning, entry, mainstream and high end.

      • Grant Russell

        Understood. The confusion lies in the similarity to Intel’s own naming scheme.

        I’m happy to see a product in this segment using the cheaper Y cpus, instead of the U cpus. But I’m a little confused about your choice of i3 and i5 chips. The i3-4020y, and the i5-4210y are virtually identical CPUs (performance-wise). infact the i3 scores higher in a few benchmarks.

        I understand your i5 model is almost $100 cheaper than your competitor’s (Gigabyte Brix) even though they use the higher end U chips, but why even offer an i5? Why not add $100 to the price and sell me an i7-4610y?

        Don’t get me wrong, your lineup looks so much better than the Gigabyte Brix, or the Intel NUC. The amount of ports is amazing. I will certainly buy one of your Celeron models

      • Tuanies – ZOTAC

        Core i5 adds TurboBoost, the rest isn’t up to me :).

      • http://romanovskis.blogspot.com romanovskis

        is it at all possible to run 4610y fanless?

      • Grant Russell

        I doubt it. The only device I know of with the 4610y is the Sony Vaio Tap, and it has a fan.

  • John

    Will they be released in the US and if so, when?

    • Tuanies – ZOTAC

      They’re shipping out soon, should be available in the US by August at the latest

  • Alex

    Good news!
    PSU voltage ? can it work with 12v ? 19v ?
    ubuntu compatible ?
    which network modules ?
    where we can get “lshw” output?

    • Tuanies – ZOTAC

      Should be 19V like the rest of our ZBOXes.

  • David

    Your website seems to imply these do not come with CPUs. Is this correct?

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      They all have CPUs… but the Plus models have no operating system and the standard models have no RAM or hard drive/SSD. You’ll need to install your own operating system and on some models you’ll have to install memory and storage.

  • 生逢一九八四

    can boot from SD card?

    • Tuanies – ZOTAC

      Yes

  • e

    Will wait to see what the power consumption is like on the AMD version. It should support 6gb/s SATA, not 3gb/s.

  • Jim

    Support for only 1 internal hard drive? I’d like an SSD for system drive and a large HD for media storage. :(