At first glance Zotac’s new ZBOX MA621 nano and ZBOX CA621 nano computers look pretty familiar — because these small desktop computers have cases that are nearly identical to those the company has used for previous-gen mini PCs. The MA621 is a small computer that looks a lot like an Intel NUC, while the CA621 is a slightly larger, elongated model with ventilation in the case that makes passive cooling possible (the computer doesn’t have a fan).
What’s new are the processors — these are Zotac’s first ZBOX nano mini PCs to feature AMD Ryzen chips.
Under the hood, the ZBOX MA621 nano and ZBOX CA621 feature 15 watt, AMD Ryzen 3 3200U dual-core processors with Radeon 3 graphics.
These are the sort of low-power chips that are typically found in low-cost laptops rather than desktop computers. They’re hardly AMD’s most impressive chips, and it seems likely that Zotac will position these little computers as low-cost alternatives to the new ZBOX MA662 nano and ZBOX CA622 nano systems which support up to an Intel Core i7-10501U COmet Lake processor.
Still, it’s interesting to see the company jump on the AMD bandwagon using a Ryzen U-series chip just a few months after AMD announced it’s partnering with PC makers to offer mini PCs with Ryzen Embedded processors. Perhaps we’ll see models with higher-performance Ryzen chips in the future?
For now, it looks like here’s what we can expect from the first Ryzen-powered ZBOX nano systems:
- Ryzen 3 3200U processors
- Radeon Vega 3 grpahics
- 2 x SODIMM slots for up to 32GB of DDR4-2133/2400 memory
- 2.5″ drive bay
- M.2 2242 SATA SSD slot
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Bluetooth 4.2
- 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
- HDMI 2.0
- 4 x USB 3.0 ports
- SDXC card reader
- VESA Mount support
I really do wonder why Zotac even pretend to support AMD products – their availability is next to dismal, and usually with the worst examples of AMD products long after they would otherwise be interesting.
They are announcing Picasso 3xxx APU based machines literally as benchmarks from the Renoir 4xxx APU’s are starting to appear, talk about late to the party.
Watch out, Atari VCS! Whatever happened to them, anyway? Last I heard was their chief operating officer saying “No news is good news!”
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