Zotac’s ZBOX C-series line of computers are small, fanless desktop PCs that measure 5″ x 5″ x 1.8″ and which use passive cooling instead of noisy fans to keep the computers from overheating.

When Zotac launched its first C-series devices last year, the company offered models with a choice of low-power AMD and Intel chips.

Now the company is adding one more model to the mix. The new ZBOX CI321 nano features a 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron 2961Y dual-core “Haswell” processor.

ci321_02

That’s a higher-performance chip than the AMD Temash or Intel Bay Trail processors used for the ZBOX CA320 nano and CI320 nano, but it won’t be quite as fast as the Core i3 or Core i5 Haswell chips used in the ZBOX CI520 nano and CI540 nano, even though all the Haswell chips used in these systems have an 11.5 watt TDP.

Zotac says the new CI321 nano supports up to 16GB of storage, has a 2.5 inch drive bay for a hard drive or SSD, features 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI and DisplayPort.

The company will offer a barebones model without memory or storage, as well as a Plus model that will come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Interestingly it looks like Zotac has changed the case design a bit. The older models featured 6 USB ports, while picture of the new version show just 5 (including 1 USB 2.0 ports and 4 USB 3.0 ports), but the CI320 nano also appears to have dual Ethernet jacks.

 

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9 replies on “Zotac introduces fanless ZBOX CI321 nano PC with Intel Haswell”

  1. “Old” CI320 has Intel Celeron N2930, CI321 has Celeron 2961Y. Are you really sure that the Haswell one (2961Y) is really going to be faster than the CI320’s? I am not so sure

  2. What is the point of telling us about a product if you don’t have the price ready?

  3. One of the most interesting things I’ve seen this week. Really curious to see a price. This might be a great pfsense and file server box. Wonder what’s driving those twin ethernet ports.

    1. I, too, was interested in it as a pfSense box. Zotac, six months later, still have none available in the U.S. The distributors don’t list them on their websites. No retailers have U.S. Zotac CI321 systems. Emails to Zotac go unanswered or they get a worthless ‘check with distributors’, none of whom seem to know anything about the CI321.

  4. Is a 1.1ghz dual-core Haswell really going to be faster than the CI320’s N2930 (4-core Bay Trail, 1.8ghz)? Single-threaded, sure.

    Also, 2 LAN ports just seems unnecessary for this kind of a box. Especially since they removed the eSATA port, which is also pretty niche, but less so.

    1. The dual physical NICs is really nice if you want to use the system as a router, firewall or fileserver without doing any VLAN tagging.
      Although the eSATA would still be nice to have.

  5. This definitely fills in a gap in their C-series lineup.

    When I bought my Celeron NUC DN2820FYKH, I was considering getting the Baytrail powered Zbox CI320, but the I was concerned the fanless Zbox would act more “throttley” not having a fan. I definitely would have picked this model though.

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