Zotac is updating its line of little desktop computers with two new models featuring Intel Braswell processors. While that means you can probably expect better graphics performance from these mini PCs, I wouldn’t necessarily expect improved CPU performance.

Still, the new Zotac ZBOX BI323 and CI323 nano computers should pack enough power for basic computing tasks, and either one would probably make a decent home theater PC.

zotac ci323

Both computers feature Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core Braswell processors, support for up to 8GB of DDR3L-1600 memory (with two SODIMM slots) and a 2.5 inch hard drive or SSD.

The Zotac ZBOX CI323 nano is a fanless computer with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and a USB Type-C port.

It has HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA ports, a mini optical S/PDIF adapter, an SD card slot, and mic and headphone jacks. The computer also includes a wireless card with support for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

zotac bi323

The Zotac ZBOX BI323 uses active cooling (there’s a fan, and has a different case design. But most of the guts of this system are similar: it also has 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, support for up to 8GB of RAM, and a 2.5 inch drive bay.

This model has just one Gigabit Ethernet port, a USB Type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a USB 2.0 port. It has VGA, DisplayPort, and HDMI port.

Zotac will offer 3 different versions of each computer:

  • Bareboness models with no memory, storage, or OS
  • Plus models with 4GB of RAM and 120GB solid state drives
  • Windows 10 Home models with 2GB of RAM and 32GB M.2 SSDs

via Zotac

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5 replies on “Zotac launches mini PCs with Intel Braswell chips”

  1. I hope you get a chance to review a CI323. Seems promising, but FanlessTech states the top vents are actually closed off by a thermal pad. Weird.

    1. Vents are of no use in a fanless system. Thermal Pads that can distribute the heat onto a larger surface area of the external case is much better.
      However, the lack of an external antenna really irks me. I have the CI320 and it’s a flawless, solid system.

      1. Vents are an integral part in fanless systems with convection cooling.

        What you’re talking about is when the external case is used as a large heatsink, in which case (no pun) a fully sealed ventless solution would be preferable in order to help keep dust out of the enclosure.

        The CI323 appears to be designed with convection cooling in mind, so having the top vents blocked off by a thermal pad would be a poor design choice.

        1. I respectfully disagree. Leveraging the external case as a heat sink is still a form of convection cooling. The difference is that now the heat source is distributed over a larger surface area, making the displacement of heat even more effective. The only exception is when the unit is under the sun and now the external case is capturing more heat and transferring the heat to the CPU, causing more harm than good.

          Also, don’t forget the device supports being mounted sideways on a VESA mount. In such scenarios, rising heat would not be able to escape from the top vent.

          1. Yes, case orientation, such as sideways on a VESA mount, is a big factor.

            I was specifically responding to your comment “Vents are of no use in a fanless system.”

            If you take a fanless system that uses vents to allow warm air to escape from the top and block off those vents you are going to see a temperature increase. Therefore, the vents are of use.

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