ZOTAC Launches ZBOX CI329 Nano: Fanless Quad-Core Gemini Lakeby Anton Shilov on May 17, 2018 12:00 PM EST
- Posted in
- Gemini Lake
- ZBOX CI329
ZOTAC has introduced its new affordable miniature PCs based on Intel’s Gemini Lake platform. Designed for office and media streaming applications, the new ZBOX CI329 Nano are powered by a quad-core SoC, featuring 4Kp60-capable DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0a outputs, and are equipped with two GbE ports.
ZOTAC’s ZBOX CI329 Nano comes in a black enclosure with a rather distinctive look featuring the manufacturer’s renowned honeycomb openings that enable passive cooling of the system’s key component — the Celeron N4100 SoC (four cores, 1.1 – 2.4 GHz, 4 MB cache, UHD Graphics 600 with 12 EUs, 6.5 W). The chip supports H.264 and H.265 hardware decoding and the Clear Video HD tech, making it a viable choice for multimedia enthusiasts looking for a low-power system for streaming. The PC is outfitted with a DDR4 SO-DIMM slot supporting up to 8 GB modules as well as a 2.5-inch bay with a SATA connector for an HDD or an SSD.
When it comes to connectivity, the ZBOX CI329 Nano comes with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5 wireless module, two GbE controllers (particularly important for enterprises), three USB-A 3.0 ports, one USB-C 3.0 header, one USB-A 2.0 connector, one HDMI 2.0a output, a DisplayPort 1.4, a D-Sub port, an SD card reader, and two 3.5-mm audio connectors.
|ZOTAC ZBOX CI329 Nano|
|Aspect||ZBOX CI329 Nano||ZBOX CI329
1.1 - 2.4 GHz
4 MB Cache
|Memory||1 × DDR4 SO-DIMM (Up to 8 GB)|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 600 with 12 EUs|
|Storage||1 × 2.5" SATA III|
|Networking (Wireless)||802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 5|
|Networking (Wired)||2 × GbE|
|Audio||3.5mm Headphone and Microphone Jacks
Capable of 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (HDMI)
|Display Outputs||1 × DisplayPort 1.2 (up to 3840×2160 at 60 Hz)
1 × HDMI 2.0a (up to 3840×2160 at 60 Hz)
1 × D-Sub (up to 1920×1080 at 60 Hz)
|Miscellaneous I/O||3 × USB 3.0 Type-A
1 × USB 2.0 Type-A
1 × USB 3.0 Type-C
1 × SD/SDHC/SDXC reader
|Cooling||Fanless / Passively Cooled|
|Dimensions||Length||127.8 mm | 5.31 inch|
|Width||126.8 mm | 4.99 inch|
|Height||56.8 mm | 2.24 inch|
ZOTAC will traditionally offer ZBOX CI329 Nano in three versions: the barebones flavor without memory and storage, the Plus SKU with factory installed 4 GB of DRAM and a 120 GB SSD, and the model with pre-installed Windows 10. ZOTAC did not announce pricing of the systems, but keeping in mind that we are dealing with an entry-level platform, MSRP of the ZBOX CI329 Nano should be consistent with the SoC positioning and remain on the same level as pricing of the previous-gen CI327 fanless PC. We enquired the company about recommended prices of the systems and will update the story once we hear back from ZOTAC.
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The Chill Blueberry - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - linkOne would think they'd choose NVMe or at least SATA m.2 for storage for this form factor. They could easily fit two m.2 slots instead of one 2.5in sata. It would allow for more flexibility in storage options.
Btw the prices have really gone down on those m.2 drives. 2.5in sata SSDs too.
Golgatha777 - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - linkI think a combo of m.2 and 2.5in SATA is the most flexible. m.2 for your boot disk and 2.5in SATA for bulk storage, backups, game installs, etc.
NeatOman - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - linkI don't think you would see much of a difference between M.2 and a SSD via SATA using the Celeron N4100 with a base clock or 1.1GHz. And to use it as a HTPC you would have even less of a necessity for storage that fast.
My ancient HTPC from 2010 with a i5 661 with a 60GB SSD (SATA 2) on boots in about 5 seconds and launches chrome in a split second. And at 4.2GHz (2c/4t) I'm certain it's faster than the N4100.
IntelUser2000 - Thursday, May 17, 2018 - linkOn these boards with any M.2, they only support x2 connection so you won't get the full throughput.
On a low cost setup like this its also an advantage to support HDDs so it needs to have an SATA port.
mode_13h - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkThis thing is mainly about low-cost, which is not (yet) consistent with NVMe.
And, as @NeatOman said, you wouldn't notice much performance difference. Also, I wonder if they even have x4 lanes free for a full NVMe interface, since the SoC has only x6 lanes of PCIe 2.0, to start with. It'd probably have to be x2 of PCIe 2.0, which would max out at about 1 GBps.
oRAirwolf - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkThis may be interesting depending on what ethernet controllers it is using. Might make for a nice sophos or pfsense firewall
Ertaz - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - linkProbably Realtek again. Have they ever made an entry level box with Intel Nics?
mode_13h - Friday, May 18, 2018 - linkSadly, this thing doesn't even have the fastest Gemini Lake, and further hamstrings its SoC with single-channel memory. Don't even try to tell me they couldn't have passively dissipated 10 W.