Zotac’s first Steam Machine is a tiny desktop computer with NVIDIA GTX 970M graphics, 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and Valve’s Steam Operating system pre-loaded. It’s expected to be available in November for about $1000.

There’s no doubt the Zotac Steam Machine SN970 is designed for gamers.

But what if you want the same hardware… but don’t care for Steam OS? That’s there the Zotact ZBOX EN970 comes in.

en970_02

This little computer has the same basic design as the Seam Machine SN970, but it has a black case instead of white, and there’s no Steam logo on top.

Under the hood there’s an Intel Core i5-5200u Broadwell processor, NVIDIA GeForge GTX 970M graphics, and support for up to two storage devices thanks to a 2.5 inch drive bay and an mSATA connector.

The system has 4 HDMI ports, 2 Ethernet jacks, 5 USB Ports, and an SD card reader.

If it’s anything like Zotac’s other ZBOX mini computers, the company will probably sell the ZBOX EN970 as a barebones system without any memory, storage or operating system. Folks who want to spend a little more money on a Plus model will probably be able to get a version with memory and storage. But you’ll be able to install your own operating system, whether that’s Windows, Ubuntu, or the Linux-based Steam OS.

en970_01

via TweakTown

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11 replies on “Zotac EN970 mini PC is a Steam Machine without Steam OS”

  1. The i5 cpu on this thing is the bottleneck. It would be much better with a quadcore.

  2. This doesn’t look significantly smaller than the Alienware Alpha, which is on sale now with an desktop processor and all the other hardware bits for less than this, $849 for an i7/8GB/2TB maxed out model. And it comes with a Windows license, but you’re still free to install SteamOS, so… why?

    1. Alienware Alpha has a modified 860m I believe. And it is larger by a significant amount. So this is actually smaller and more powerful for gaming.

    2. If you want graphics, Zotac is your choice, if you don’t care too much about FPS, Dell has better processors.

  3. These are laptop parts. You can build your own PC with high powered desktop components like i5-4690K and GTX 970 (not this GTX 970M for mobile) for the same price.

    1. You can, sure – but that’s not the point of this type of device. The Zbox is incredibly small and very quiet. It is an ideal living room PC – you can mount it to the TV making it practically invisible. It is also super portable, so if you want to bring a machine somewhere – vacation, travel for work, gaming at a friends house – this is ideal for that. You’re absolutely paying a premium for that convenience, of course. This isn’t nearly as powerful as a $1K full-size gaming PC, and it isn’t much cheaper than a comparable gaming laptop, but if you sit in the niche it is trying to fill, it is a solid choice.

  4. Out of curiosity, what makes you say that?

    I got a great deal on eBay on the Zotac EN760 with a 4200U and 860M, and it is quite a nice little system. It can run most current AAA games on medium to high settings at 1080p, and it boots in about 10 seconds. This one should be even better. The 5200U should give a small performance boost but the 970M is a big upgrade in GPU. On paper this is a lot of power to jam into a tiny box. I’d think it’d offer quite good performance for everything but extremely demanding gaming (4K or multiple displays, or Ultra settings on system-destroying titles like Witcher 3 or Metro).

    1. Out of curiosity, what makes you say that?

      I got a great deal on eBay on the Zotac EN760 with a 4200U and 860M, and it is a nice system. It can run most current AAA games on medium to high settings at 1080p, and it boots in about 10 seconds. This one should be even better. The 5200U should give a small performance boost but the 970M is a big upgrade in GPU. On paper this is a lot of power to jam into a tiny box. I’d think it’d offer quite good performance for everything but extremely demanding gaming (4K or multiple displays, or Ultra settings on system-destroying titles like Witcher 3 or Metro).

      1. Matt,
        I would hope that you can prove me wrong, as I have been waiting for the sn970 for a while now, and it seems like my ultimate choice for a new gaming machine due to it’s low profile design and decent graphics card.

        I am currently running a AMD A10-5700 processor matched w/ a R9 290 card. Although I don’t assume that the EN970 would run a game such as Star Citizen until later in the development (Vulkan or DX12), my current system is bottle necked by the CPU. I also know that, while benchmarks, are not everything, they do give you a rough estimate of performance. My 5700 has just under 120%(passmark) score over the 5200u. I guess only time will tell if the 5200u will work with SC.

      2. The processor is definitely underpowered. This is also my dream PC, compact gaming but powerful PC, and I was expecting a better processor…

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