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Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano (i7-8550U) Mini PC Review

Allen Ngo 👁, 09/22/2018

No fans required. A fanless mini PC with the power of a modern Ultrabook. The ZBox CI660 proves you can passively cool a 15 W Core i7-8550U CPU without resorting to severe throttling.

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(Source: Zotac)
(Source: Zotac)

Zotac offers a very wide range of mini PCs from the ZBox B series all the way up to the ZBox S series with each family specializing in a specific market segment. Today, we'll be looking at the ZBox C series that specializes in fanless designs for silent operation.

The fanless ZBox CI660 Nano could have gone the easy route by incorporating a slow <7 W TDP Intel Atom or Celeron CPU as is tradition for fanless designs. To stand out from the crowd, however, Zotac has managed to cram in a more powerful 25 W cTDP (or 15 W TDP) Core i7-8550U that is traditionally cooled with running fans. Such as a CPU can be found on popular Ultrabooks like the XPS 13 or Huawei MateBook X Pro. For this review, we will see just how well the CI660 Nano can perform under load and what compromises were necessary - if any - to offer a completely noiseless machine.

The CI660 is not yet available in market. When prices are known, we will update this page with the information accordingly.

Lower-end CI640 and CI620 SKUs will also be available with the Core i5-8250U and Core i3-8130U, respectively.

Other Zotac mini PCs:

Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300 MHz, Memory: 1067 MHz, DDR4, 23.20.16.4973
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2132, 1200 MHz, PC4-17000, 15-15-15-36, Single-Channel
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U + iHDCP 2.2 Base PCH
Storage
OCZ Vertex OCZSSD2-1VTX120G, 120 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
7 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone, Card Reader: SD reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 68 x 204 x 129 ( = 2.68 x 8.03 x 5.08 in)
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Additional features
VESA mount and screws, antennae, Quick Start guide, Drivers USB drive, Drivers DVD, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
1.143 kg ( = 40.32 oz / 2.52 pounds), Power Supply: 321 g ( = 11.32 oz / 0.71 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

A significant percentage of the chassis volume is dedicated to the large heat sink. The hollow honeycomb holes on five of the six sides allow heat to dissipate more freely and they give the ZBox a unique sponge-like look in the process. The rather unconventional design is necessary to maximize breathability and accommodate the 15 W Core i7 CPU without any fans.

Beyond its distinct appearance, the chassis is mostly plastic from top to bottom. Pushing down on the center of the top or bottom will warp the surfaces and cause a light creak. Flexing is not severe enough to be worrisome, but the overall feel of the unit is not as rigid or firm as an Intel NUC or Gigabyte Brix.

As for size, the CI660 Nano is bigger than competing mini PCs equipped with the same Core i7 CPU. The Gigabyte Brix BRi7, for example, is 34 mm thick compared to 68 mm on the Zotac. This is unsurprising as the fanless CI660 will naturally require a larger volume for cooling. Thankfully, the system is much lighter than it looks at just over 1.1 kg.

Connectivity

Users have access to a wide array of ports along the front and back. Notable exceptions are Thunderbolt 3 and an IR receiver. While we can forgive the former, the latter is a bummer for HTPC users. The USB Type-C ports do not support DisplayPort and are data only.

Front: 3-in-1 SD reader, 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone, USB 3.0 Type-A, 2x USB Type-C 3.1,  (Source: Zotac)
Front: 3-in-1 SD reader, 3.5 mm earphones, 3.5 mm microphone, USB 3.0 Type-A, 2x USB Type-C 3.1, (Source: Zotac)
Rear: Detachable antennae, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, 4x USB 3.0 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, Full-size DisplayPort 1.2, Kensington Lock, AC adapter (Source: Zotac)
Rear: Detachable antennae, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, 4x USB 3.0 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, Full-size DisplayPort 1.2, Kensington Lock, AC adapter (Source: Zotac)

SD Card Reader

The integrated card reader is slow with a transfer rate of just 35 MB/s on our UHS-II test card. Moving 1 GB worth of images from card to desktop takes almost 30 seconds compared to 6 or 7 seconds on the XPS 13. The slot is not spring-loaded and a fully inserted SD card will still protrude by about half its length.

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SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II)
156.4 MB/s ∼100% +347%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
81 MB/s ∼52% +131%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
43.3 MB/s ∼28% +24%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
35 MB/s ∼22%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro UHS-II)
207.16 MB/s ∼100% +449%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
88.27 MB/s ∼43% +134%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
41.68 MB/s ∼20% +10%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
37.73 MB/s ∼18%

Communication

The ZBox CI660 Nano uses the same Intel 3165 1x1 WLAN module as on the ZBox Magnus EN51050 for similar speeds and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. There are disappointingly no 2x2 WLAN options and so transfer rates can be about 50 percent slower. Systems with the Intel 8260 or Killer 1435, for example, can reach transfer rates of over 600 Mbps compared to 300 Mbps on our Zotac.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
665 MBit/s ∼100% +121%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
591 MBit/s ∼89% +96%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
327 MBit/s ∼49% +9%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
301 MBit/s ∼45%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
504 MBit/s ∼100% +131%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
376 MBit/s ∼75% +72%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
219 MBit/s ∼43% 0%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
218 MBit/s ∼43%

BIOS

Accessories

Notable extras are the USB flash drive with drivers, support DVD, detachable antennae, and a VESA mount. It's unfortunate that the AC adapter is external instead of an integrated solution.

Maintenance

The four rubber feet on the bottom double as screws for easy access to the 2.5-inch SATA III bay, 2x DDR4 SODIMM slots, and M.2 WLAN module. The SATA bay can accept 7 or 9.5 mm drives and the removable WLAN card makes upgrading possible. Additional servicing, however, will void the warranty.

Warranty

The unit is covered by a two-year manufacturer warranty in North America compared to just one year on most consumer products.

Performance

 

Processor

CineBench R15
CineBench R15

To our surprise, the Core i7-8550U in the CI660 performs quite well considering there is no system fan. Its CineBench R15 Multi-Thread score is almost 20 percent higher than the average i7-8550U in our database to suggest that the system has excellent Turbo Boost clock rates. Raw CPU power is even noticeably faster than the pricier ZBOX Magnus EN51050.

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop reveals that CPU performance declines over time as shown by our graph below. Its initial score of 702 points can fall by as much as 23 percent halfway through the stress test. While this sounds discouraging, performance sustainability is actually better than expected. The Huawei MateBook X Pro with the same i7-8550U CPU, for example, settles at around 470 points compared to 540 points on the Zotac when subjected to the same CineBench loop test. Put another way, the CI660 is able to maintain faster Turbo Boost clock rates for longer.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-8550U for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
165 Points ∼76% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (108 - 172, n=67)
160 Points ∼73% +3%
Asus FX503VM-EH73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
156 Points ∼72% 0%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
Intel Core i7-8550U
156 Points ∼72%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
154 Points ∼71% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
154 Points ∼71% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
146 Points ∼67% -6%
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
Intel Core i5-8250U
141 Points ∼65% -10%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G-R6BR
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
138 Points ∼63% -12%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
135 Points ∼62% -13%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
129 Points ∼59% -17%
Fujitsu Lifebook E746
Intel Core i5-6200U
112 Points ∼51% -28%
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
Intel Atom x5-Z8350
27 Points ∼12% -83%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus FX503VM-EH73
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
733 Points ∼17% +8%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
687 Points ∼16% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-8259U
608 Points ∼14% -10%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
Intel Core i7-8550U
678 Points ∼15%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel Core i7-8550U
639 Points ∼15% -6%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G-R6BR
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
613 Points ∼14% -10%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U
  (301 - 761, n=69)
575 Points ∼13% -15%
Lenovo Ideapad 720S-13ARR
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
546 Points ∼12% -19%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
512 Points ∼12% -24%
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
Intel Core i5-8250U
493 Points ∼11% -27%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
397 (min: 337, max: 397) Points ∼9% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
367 Points ∼8% -46%
Fujitsu Lifebook E746
Intel Core i5-6200U
278 Points ∼6% -59%
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
Intel Atom x5-Z8350
95 Points ∼2% -86%
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
156 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
678 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
46.78 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark scores are almost exactly where we expect them to be for a system equipped with a Core i7-8550U CPU. In other words, the Zotac mini PC performs just as well as an Ultrabook with the same CPU.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 10 - Score
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, 8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
5301 Points ∼68% +38%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
4355 Points ∼56% +14%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, OCZ Vertex OCZSSD2-1VTX120G
3837 Points ∼49%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3728 Points ∼48% -3%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2629 - 4072, n=23)
3608 Points ∼46% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
3035 Points ∼39% -21%
Intel NUC7CJYH
UHD Graphics 600, J4005, SanDisk Ultra II
1136 Points ∼15% -70%
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, 8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
4833 Points ∼79% +34%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
4755 Points ∼78% +32%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
3764 Points ∼62% +5%
Average Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3255 - 4197, n=26)
3641 Points ∼60% +1%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, OCZ Vertex OCZSSD2-1VTX120G
3594 Points ∼59%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G
3371 Points ∼55% -6%
Intel NUC7CJYH
UHD Graphics 600, J4005, SanDisk Ultra II
2084 Points ∼34% -42%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3594 points
Help

GPU Performance

3DMark 11
3DMark 11

Graphics performance from the integrated UHD Graphics 620 has been well documented. When compared to the last generation HD Graphics 620, the performance benefits are negligible for gaming. This should be of no hindrance to the system as the CI660 is meant for 4K streaming, browsing, word processing, and other HTPC tasks. Users who may need more graphics power should consider the ZBOX Magnus EN51050 or an Intel NUC with Iris graphics.

See our dedicated page on the UHD Graphics 620 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
10391 Points ∼57% +637%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7500T
6938 Points ∼38% +392%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G-R6BR
AMD Radeon RX 540, 2500U
4569 Points ∼25% +224%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2975 Points ∼16% +111%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
2683 Points ∼15% +90%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1968 Points ∼11% +40%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1800 Points ∼10% +28%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1755 Points ∼10% +24%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (959 - 1928, n=104)
1495 Points ∼8% +6%
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1489 Points ∼8% +6%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1410 Points ∼8%
Intel NUC7CJYH
Intel UHD Graphics 600, J4005
593 Points ∼3% -58%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
14302 Points ∼28% +708%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7500T
7831 Points ∼15% +343%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-41G-R6BR
AMD Radeon RX 540, 2500U
4646 Points ∼9% +163%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2018 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655, 8259U
3044 Points ∼6% +72%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2849 Points ∼6% +61%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
2401 Points ∼5% +36%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1980 Points ∼4% +12%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1915 Points ∼4% +8%
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1769 Points ∼3%
HP EliteBook x360 1030 G3
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1738 Points ∼3% -2%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 1979, n=104)
1680 Points ∼3% -5%
Intel NUC7CJYH
Intel UHD Graphics 600, J4005
579 Points ∼1% -67%
3DMark 11 Performance
1937 points
Help

Stress Test

We stress the system with synthetic loads to test for any potential throttling or stability issues. When running Prime95, the CPU can be observed running as high as 3.7 GHz for the first few seconds before immediately falling to 3.1 GHz in order to keep core temperature in check. Eventually, the CPU settles at around 2.5 GHz and a steady core temperature of 86 C. When considering that the base clock rate of the Core i7-8550U is 1.8 GHz, we're impressed that the passively cooled system is able to maintain a Turbo Boost clock rate of +700 MHz for so long.

Running both Prime95 and FurMark to fully stress the CPU will cause clock rate to drop to just 2.0 GHz. A core temperature ceiling of 86 C is seemingly in effect at all times.

System idle
System idle
Prime95 stress (first few minutes)
Prime95 stress (first few minutes)
Prime95 stress (after 15 minutes)
Prime95 stress (after 15 minutes)
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C)
System Idle -- -- 49
Prime95 Stress 2.6 -- 86
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.0 750 86

Emissions

System Noise

There is no system noise to speak of. Even coil whine or electronic noise is not present.

Temperature

Surface temperatures can be as warm as 43 C simply by idling on desktop as shown by our temperature maps below. In comparison, the gaming-centric ZBOX Magnus EN51050 hovers around 35 C when idling. The higher temperatures are by design for the CI660.

Running very high loads can cause temperatures to be as high as 66 C on the very top of the machine. At this point, the CI660 essentially becomes a mini radiator for cats. Avoid stacking books or heavy items on top of the unit.

System idle (front)
System idle (front)
System idle (back)
System idle (back)
Maximum load (front)
Maximum load (front)
Maximum load (back)
Maximum load (back)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Idling on desktop draws about 10 W to 11 W while gaming loads or higher will demand about 51 W. Interestingly, power consumption is measurably higher than on the XPS 13 9370 even though the Dell system must power a 4K UHD display alongside the same i7-8550U CPU. Running extreme loads will demand an average of 63 W from the small (~10.5 x 4.5 x 3.0 cm) 65 W AC adapter. We are able to record power consumption much higher than 65 W during extreme loads and so a more capable adapter would have been more appropriate.

As shown by the graph below, power consumption can spike to as high as 77 W when initiating Prime95 before steadily falling over time. This behavior mirrors our CineBench loop test above to confirm that the system is only able to sustain very high Turbo Boost speeds for short periods.

Power consumption when running 3DMark 06
Power consumption when running 3DMark 06
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Power consumption spikes before steadily falling due to throttling
Prime95 initiated at 20s mark. Power consumption spikes before steadily falling due to throttling
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 1.3 / 1.9 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 9.7 / 9.8 / 11.8 Watt
Load midlight 51.6 / 63.2 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, OCZ Vertex OCZSSD2-1VTX120G, , x,
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
8809G, Vega M GH, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA, , x,
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
7500T, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2, , x,
Intel NUC7CJYH
J4005, UHD Graphics 600, SanDisk Ultra II, , 0x0, 0
Dell XPS 13 9370 i7 UHD
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
HP EliteBook 735 G5 3UN62EA
2700U, Vega 10, Toshiba KBG30ZMV256G, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Power Consumption
-80%
-102%
57%
24%
20%
Idle Minimum *
9.7
15.5
-60%
21.1
-118%
3.9
60%
5
48%
5.5
43%
Idle Average *
9.8
16.2
-65%
22.1
-126%
4.5
54%
8.3
15%
9.4
4%
Idle Maximum *
11.8
16.5
-40%
26.6
-125%
8.4
29%
8.8
25%
11.6
2%
Load Average *
51.6
83.4
-62%
77.5
-50%
12.3
76%
46.4
10%
39
24%
Load Maximum *
63.2
173.5
-175%
121.7
-93%
21.4
66%
48.6
23%
45.6
28%
Witcher 3 ultra *
135.5
92.4

* ... smaller is better

Pros

+ easily accessible SODIMM and 2.5-inch SATA bay
+ good CPU performance; no major throttling
+ standard two-year warranty
+ small and lightweight
+ completely silent

Cons

- no M.2 SSD support or Thunderbolt 3
- CPU temperature could be cooler
- surfaces can get quite warm
- no 2x2 WLAN options
- slow SD card reader
- no IR receiver

Verdict

In review: Zotac ZBox CI660 Nano. Test model provided by Zotac
In review: Zotac ZBox CI660 Nano. Test model provided by Zotac

Passively cooled mini PCs usually have one major drawback and that is CPU performance. Most are equipped with <10 W TDP CPUs like the Atom x5-Z8350 or a Celeron J series which are notorious for their molasses speeds and poor multi-tasking. The ZBox CI660 bucks this trend by incorporating a full-fledged 15 W TDP Core i7-8550U CPU to be one of the fastest passively cooled mini PCs available. In fact, its oversized heat sink allows the CPU to run even faster than on many super-thin Ultrabooks without requiring any fans. Our initial fears of a heavily throttled system can be put to rest.

While performance is great, there are a few missing features worth mentioning. The lack of both an IR receiver and M.2 storage slot impacts the HTPC capabilities of the unit. The slower 1x1 WLAN may also affect streaming quality for enthusiasts who wish to stream 4K content or games without resorting to cabled Ethernet. Lastly, the size of the unit is slightly larger than other mini PCs with the same CPU or faster such as the GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BRi7 or Intel Skull Canyon NUC. Users gain on quiet operation by losing a bit on size.

Beyond the short list of disadvantages, the CI660 is excellent for users who want a completely silent mini PC with more processing power than is typically associated with fanless designs. We're hoping that Zotac will take the concept even further by introducing Iris graphics options on future models.

Fanless but with the power of a traditional Ultrabook. The Zotac CI660 Nano is for users who want a completely silent mini PC without sacrificing performance. If fan noise is not a concern, however, then there are smaller competing options with the same CPU or better.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Zotac ZBOX-CI660 Nano (i7-8550U) Mini PC Review
Allen Ngo, 2018-09-22 (Update: 2018-09-25)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.