Zotac ZBOX ID89 Plus Mini PC Review

Article Index

Performance Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: Most mini PCs bring underpowered CPUs to the SFF party, but in this case, processor performance was anything but weak. The Core i5 3470T in the ZBOX ID89 Plus was a primary reason why the system scored well in the majority of our benchmarks, including PCMark Vantage and PCMark 7, and it even helped pick up the slack by the single stick of RAM running in single channel mode. Graphics performance wasn't nearly as impressive, though if you're willing to drop to a lower resolution, you'll see playable framerates in some game titles.

Zotac ZBOX ID89 Plus

Mini PCs are on the march, and if the ZBOX ID89 Plus is any indication of where they're headed, fans of SFF systems are in good shape. Intel's Core i5 3470T processor deserves much of the credit for the system's performance, though Zotac is also deserving of kudos for building a tiny system around the chip with an intelligent layout that's easy to service and upgrade. We're also impressed with how quiet the ID89 runs, even under load.

That's not to say the ID89 Plus is perfect. A second stick of RAM is needed to thrust the system into dual-channel mode, and a faster storage device like a 7200 RPM hard drive, SSD, or hybrid hard drive would prevent the ID89 Plus from feeling sluggish during disk-intensive tasks.

You can apply these upgrades yourself, though it's not really necessary if you're looking for a general-purpose machine or a media player. HD video playback on the ID89 Plus is super smooth, and you can even enjoy some light-duty gaming, though you need to play with visual quality settings.

This is a flexible machine, both in where and how you can mount it, and with regards to what you can use it for. In our opinion, it works best as a media PC, though it's certainly powerful enough to handle higher-level activities. It's attractive to boot, which could be a tipping point when shopping for SFF systems if all other things are equal.

  • Smooth video playback
  • Strong processor
  • Flexible mounting options
  • Small footprint
  • Runs cool and quiet


  • Pokey 5400 RPM hard drive
  • Doesn't come with an OS or optical drive
  • No discrete graphics

Tags:  SFF, Zotac, HTPC, Core i5, ZBox, ID89

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