The ZBOX MI574 is bigger than an Intel NUC, but not by much and offers the potential for a lot more performance thanks to its octa-core 65W processor.
Intel may be preparing to release its Frost Canyon 10th-gen NUCs, but Zotac just announced its latest, tiny ZBOX desktop PC and it packs quite a punch due to the use of a 65W processor.
As Liliputing reports, the new Zotac ZBOX MI574 is larger than Intel’s NUC, measuring 7.3-by-7.3-by-2.7 inches, but many will forgive the larger footprint when they find out what processor is inside. Typically, NUC-like mini PCs use a 15W or 25W processor to offer decent performance without getting too hot. Zotac is focusing on performance, though, and has somehow managed to squeeze a 65W Core i7-9700 chip into this tiny case.
The i7-9700 offers eight cores running at 3GHz boosting to 4.7GHz when required, combined with an Intel UHD Graphics 630 GPU. The MI574 supports up to 64GB of DDR4-2666 across two RAM slots and includes room for both a 2.5-inch SATA drive and a M.2 PCIe x4 SSD. There’s also a 3-in-1 SD card slot, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.2, two Gigabit Ethernet, one USB 3.1 Type-C port, and six USB 3.0 Type-A ports.
As you’ve no doubt guessed, this ZBOX is not passively cooled, but Zotac says we can expect “whisper quiet” operation. And if you don’t require the performance of a Core i7, Zotac is also offering a ZBOX MI554 which uses a hexa-core Core i5-9500 processor instead, but it’s still a 65W chip.
Pricing for these latest ZBOX PCs hasn’t been revealed yet, so we can only look at how Zotac priced its previous models. The best comparison I can find is the ZBOX MI572, which used a 35W Core i7-7700T chip and cost $500. If Zotac can offer this new ZBOX for around the same price it could prove to be quite popular. Just keep in mind they are barebones PCs so you’ll have to purchase memory and storage separately.