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Zotac ZBox ID80 Plus review

A tiny, tidy PC just waiting to be bunged under your TV box

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Decent performance
  • Improved graphics
  • IR remote control
  • Small form factor

Against

  • No OS installed
  • Performance could be better

Rapidly becoming as well-known for its mini PCs as it is for its Nvidia-based graphics cards, Zotac has released yet another version of the ZBox. This time it's the diminutive ZBox ID80 Plus; the 'Plus' meaning that the unit comes with memory and a hard drive pre-installed.

The ZBox is the bulky, bigger brother of the ZBox Nano. This ZBox employs a desktop version of Intel's latest Atom platform refreshes, codenamed Cedar Trail.

The new CPU's have had a die shrink - 32nm down from 45nm - and uses an entirely new GPU core. The D2700 Atom CPU comes with a 2.13GHz clock speed and - whereas the previous processors only supported DDR3 up to 667MHz - Cedar Trail processor support, DDR3-800 and 1,066MHz.

With a TDP of 10W the desktop part is also very power efficient; with the new mobile part even more so.

Nvidia, please

The biggest change in the new Atom platform - apart from the die shrinkage - is in the design of the graphics. The previous generation of Atom CPUs used the GMA3150, which was based on the GMA3100 GPU, but in the new architecture the graphics are powered by a PowerVR SGX 545 from Imagination Technologies.

Unfortunately, we can't gauge how much of an improvement - if any - the new sub-system offers, because it has been turned off in the ZBox ID80 in favour of the Nvidia GeForce GT520M GPU, which has been added directly to the motherboard.

The price doesn't include an installed OS, but memory wise, Zotac has fitted 2GB of DDR3 1,066MHz, though the mobo can support up to 4GB, and the hard drive is a mechanical 5,400rpm 320GB spinner.

Benchmarks

CPU encoding performance
X264 v4: Index score: Higher is better
Sapphire Edge HD3: 3.20
Zotac ZBox ID80 Plus: 3.56

CPU rendering performance
Cinebench R11.5: Index score: Higher is better
Sapphire Edge HD3: 0.63
Zotac ZBox ID80 Plus: 0.72

Memory bandwidth
SiSoft Sandra: GB/S: Higher is better
Sapphire Edge HD3: 4.27
Zotac ZBox ID80 Plus: 4.15

The ID80 comes with plenty of USB 2.0 ports, which makes loading an OS a lot easier an operation than on Sapphire's HD3 - as long as you have an external optical drive or the OS stored on a USB stick or external hard drive.

The Zotac certainly looks the part in its aluminium and super-shiny piano black finish. When it's switched on a large bright blue ring appears on the top. Thankfully this isn't connected to anything like the hard drive - if it were, it would surely drive you up the wall when it started flashing.

Connection-wise, it's well catered for - not only do you get Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet there's also a USB-driven IR receiver and a remote control bundled in the box. Fancy.

The ID80 Plus not only comes with its own plastic stand, it also comes with a VESA mount, which enables you to mount it on the back of a monitor or TV, add a wireless keyboard and mouse and hey presto you have a space-saving PC, albeit a space-saving PC with some core performance limitations.

Apart from the lack of an OS there's not an awful lot to dislike about the Zotac ID80 Plus. Yes, the performance isn't great but then you could always opt for the standard ID80 barebones system and fit the maximum amount of memory and an SSD in yourself for that bit more get-up-and-go.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNettop Computer
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GT 520M
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Total Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
HDMIYes
DVIYes
DisplayPortNo
Product FamilyZBOX Plus
Processor ModelD2700
Operating SystemNo
Brand NameZotac
Processor Speed2.13 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Standard Memory2 GB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelNM10 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 512 MB
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Number of Processors Supported1
Number of Processors Installed1
Hyper-ThreadingYes
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Number of Total Expansion Bays1
Number of Total Expansion SlotsNo
Media Center ComputingYes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height188 mm
Width188 mm
Depth43.9 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
ManufacturerZOTAC International
Product ModelZBOX ID80 Plus
Product NameZBOX ID80 Plus Nettop Computer
Product LineZBOX Plus
Controller TypeSerial ATA/300
Manufacturer Part NumberZBOX-ID80-PLUS
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.zotac.com
Marketing InformationEnjoy eco-friendly computing with superior energy-efficiency and performance with the ZOTAC ZBOX ID80 Plus mini-PC powered by an NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 520M graphics processor and Intel® Atom™ processor. NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 520M graphics deliver unrivaled levels of performance and high definition video decode capabilities to the ZOTAC ZBOX ID80 Plus mini-PC with NVIDIA® CUDA™, PureVideo™ HD and HDMI 1.4a technologies for eco-friendly computing with premium audio and video capabilities.
Maximum Memory4 GB
Package Contents
  • ZBOX Plus ZBOX-ID80-PLUS-E Nettop Computer
  • 1 x Power Brick & Cable
  • 1 x VESA Monitor Mount (w/4 screws)
  • 1 x Stand
  • 1 x WiFI Antenna
  • 1 x MCE compatible remote
  • 1 x AC Adapter
  • 1 x Warranty Card
  • 1 x User Manual
  • 1 x Driver CD
  • 2 x CR2032 Batteries (for Remote)
  • 1 x USB IR Receiver
Limited Warranty2 Year