Zotac ZBOX Magnus Mini PC Packs A GeForce RTX 3080 For Big Gaming In A Small Package
Fans of the mini PC form factor are in for a treat. That's because Zotac, one of the most active players in the compact PC space, has updated its popular ZBOX Magnus line with a new model. The latest addition pairs a Core i7 Tiger Lake processor with a mobile GeForce RTX 3080 to deliver some major gaming chops from a small box.
Several of us at Hot Hardware are big fans of the ZBOX range, based on hands-on experiences with past models. They're sort of like Intel's NUCs (the smaller ones, not the NUC 11 Extreme), except they are mainly aimed at gamers. And that is the case with the newly announced ZBOX Magnus EN173080 that's being offered in both barebones and pre-populated packages.
The GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPU is the highlight of the latest model. It's based on NVIDIA's latest generation Ampere architecture, and up until this week, was the fastest mobile chip it offered (that distinction now belongs to the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti). Even better, Zotac isn't gimping the mobile chip in any way.
As you might already be aware, NVIDIA affords its hardware partners a flexible range of configurations for its mobile GeForce RTX 30 series, and especially the GeForce RTX 3080. That particular SKU can be matched with 8GB of 16GB of GDDR6 memory, and delivered in a 80W to 150W power package, the choice of which affects clock speeds and performance.
Zotac opted for the full configuration on both fronts. The GeForce RTX 3080 inside the latest Magnus sports 16GB of GDDR6 memory and a 150W power range, which suggests it can boost to 1,710MHz. That's perhaps an advantage of working with a mini PC compared to a laptop, as the taller profile can potentially offer more cooling to support faster configs.
The CPU side of the equation is less thrilling now that Intel has launched its 12th Gen Core-H series based on Alder Lake. Zotac instead opted for a Tiger Lake-H platform. To be fair, it's still a stout CPU inside the newest Magnus—it's an 8-core/16-thread Core i7-11800H processor with a 2.3GHz base clock, 4.6GHz max turbo frequency, and 24MB of L3 cache.
Up until this week's unveilings, the Core i7-11800H was one of the fastest mobile CPUs around. And it still is, really, at least the new stuff from Intel and AMD land on the market.
The latest Magnus also sports a pair of SO-DIMM slots that can be stuffed with up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 memory. In addition, there's an M.2 slot for high-speed storage, a SATA 6Gbps drive bay, two HDMI 2.1 ports, two DisplayPort 1.4a outputs, five USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, a USB4 port, dual LAN ports (1Gbps and 2.5Gbps), and Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5 for wireless connectivity.
Users who opt for the barebones kit will need to bring their own RAM, storage, and operating system. Otherwise, Zotac intends to sell a fully configured version with 16GB of DDR4 memory, 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD, and Windows 11.
Pricing and availability have not yet been announced.