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.
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 / DDR-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.