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Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050 Mini PC Review

Gaming black box. The mid-range EN51050 strikes a great performance balance between the i5-7500T CPU and GTX 1050 GPU. Still, at $700 USD, the asking price for a barebones kit is within striking distance of a full-fledged gaming notebook equipped with faster hardware.

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The Zotac Magnus family houses some of the most powerful gaming mini PCs for the size. The flagship EN1080K, for example, is much smaller than the console-sized MSI Trident, Asus ROG GR8, and Gigabyte Brix GB while managing to incorporate a Core i7-7700 CPU and faster GTX 1080 GPU.

Our test unit today is from the same Magnus EN family but at the mid-range level aimed at mainstream gamers. The EN51050 is the Kaby Lake update to the EN1060/1070 series and comes equipped with a Core i5-7500T and GeForce GTX 1050 to succeed both the Maxwell-based EN970 and EN760 mini PCs. Thankfully, Zotac has decided to drop the ULV U-class CPUs from the previous EN generations in favor of the faster T class to provide a better performance balance between the CPU and GPU. Additional SKUs are available in the EN family sporting GTX 1060, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080 GPUs with up to 65 W CPU options.

The barebones EN51050 kit we have on hand retails for $700 USD and will require users to outfit the unit with an operating system, HDD or SSD, and DDR4 RAM. We've installed 2x 8 GB DDR4 2400 MHz HyperX RAM modules and a 512 GB Samsung SSD 960 Pro all courtesy of Eurocom and the Eurocom Q5. When taking into account these vital components, the cost of a fully-equipped EN51050 is not all that much different from a mainstream gaming notebook with the same GTX 1050 GPU like the Gigabyte Sabre 15, HP Pavilion 15 Power, or Samsung Odyssey 15. We'll be comparing the Zotac mini PC to gaming notebooks to see what benefits and drawbacks the mini PC form factor will bring.

No, or more than one (0) Rating for the given SpecsID 283342 found

Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook) - 2048 MB, Core: 1354 MHz, Memory: 7008 MHz, GDDR5, 382.16
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4 PC4-19200, 1600 MHz, 14-14-14-35, Dual-Channel
Mainboard
Intel B150 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2, 512 GB 
, Secondary: Empty 2.5-inch SATA III bay
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Infrared, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm headphones, 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): 62.2 x 210 x 203 ( = 2.45 x 8.27 x 7.99 in)
Additional features
Quick Start guide, User's manual, Antenna, Warranty card, Drivers DVD, Drivers USB flash drive
Weight
1.724 kg ( = 60.81 oz / 3.8 pounds), Power Supply: 794 g ( = 28.01 oz / 1.75 pounds)
Price
700 USD

 

Case

The chassis is black matte plastic all around with a glossy front face. Its rough top and bottom contrast the smoother four sides in terms of texture, but the overall design feels quite dull for a gaming mini PC. Of course, some users may prefer the simplistic and understated look over RGB LED lights. The glossy front in particular is an odd choice since it will attract fingerprints very quickly from constant Power button presses and swapping of USB devices. There is unfortunately no native support for VESA mounting unlike on most mini PCs this size and vertical positioning is a bit too top-heavy if not leaning against a shelf or wall.

Case quality is otherwise excellent on our test unit. We can observe no unintended gaps or crevices between materials and applying pressure on the top center will only depress the surface just slightly. The bottom panel creaks very lightly to pressure since it was designed to be easily removed and is not held in place by an array of screws.

In terms of size, the cuboid EN51050 is compact in keeping with the tradition of a mini PC. Its width is exactly the same as the EN980 while being less than half the height and weight. Intel's Skull Canyon NUC is even smaller still, albeit significantly slower in GPU performance.

Glossy front plate will attract grease and fingerprints
Glossy front plate will attract grease and fingerprints
Rear thumb screws come off easily for servicing and upgrading
Rear thumb screws come off easily for servicing and upgrading

Connectivity

There is a wide selection of ports as is common on mini PCs from Zotac. The ports along the rear are now more evenly spaced unlike the overly crowded positioning of the USB ports on the Magnus EN980. Up to four 4K UHD displays can be connected simultaneously via HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.3. The dual RJ-45 ports remain, but we would've preferred just one if it had meant we could get the more versatile Thunderbolt 3 in its place.

The front of the unit integrates an IR receiver for HTPC purposes.

Front: Power button, SD reader, USB 3.1, 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm earphones, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 2
Front: Power button, SD reader, USB 3.1, 3.5 mm microphone, 3.5 mm earphones, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 2
Left: Kensington Lock
Left: Kensington Lock
Rear: AC adapater, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 2x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort 1.3, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, Antenna
Rear: AC adapater, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 2x HDMI 2.0, 2x DisplayPort 1.3, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, Antenna
Right: No connectivity
Right: No connectivity

SD Card Reader

Transfer rates from the integrated card reader is slow at just over 40 MB/s with our Toshiba Exceria UHS-II SD card. Transferring 1 GB worth of photos from the card to desktop will take about 40 seconds compared to 20 seconds on the Sabre 15.

The card reader is not spring-loaded and a fully inserted SD card will protrude by about half its length.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
 
78.76 MB/s ∼100% +82%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
 
43.3 MB/s ∼55%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
 
19.54 MB/s ∼25% -55%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
 
86.53 MB/s ∼100% +108%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
 
41.68 MB/s ∼48%
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
 
19.83 MB/s ∼23% -52%

Communication

WLAN is provided by a removable 1x1 M.2 Intel 3165 module with integrated Bluetooth 4.2. Maximum theoretical transfer rates are limited to 433 Mbps compared to twice that on the pricier 2x2 Intel 8360 or Killer 1535 series. A real-world test standing one meter away from our Linksys EA8500 router shows a steady transfer rate of about 327 Mbps.

We experienced no connectivity issues during our time with the test unit.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
594 MBit/s ∼100% +82%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
327 MBit/s ∼55%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
240 MBit/s ∼40% -27%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
505 MBit/s ∼100% +131%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
319 MBit/s ∼63% +46%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
219 MBit/s ∼43%

BIOS

The BIOS hasn't changed much since the old EN760 days. Of particular note is the independent fan speed settings for the CPU and GPU fans. By default, the minimum fan speed and maximum fan speed are set to 20 percent and 80 percent, respectively, for both processors. There is no reason to lift the 80 percent fan speed ceiling for this particular EN51050 SKU since it runs well below 90 C as our Stress Test section will show. For higher-end EN SKUs like the EN51070, however, the optional 100 percent fan speed setting will have more of a purpose. Maximum fan speed cannot be set below 60 percent for either the CPU or GPU while the "Fan Start" temperature cannot be above 50 C and 60 C for the CPU and GPU, respectively. All measurements in this review were performed at the default fan settings.

Perhaps annoyingly, users must enter BIOS to access the fan speed controls whereas most gaming notebooks from MSI, Alienware, Gigabyte, Clevo, and others have more user-friendly Windows apps for tweaking hardware. 

Accessories

Included extras outside of the AC adapter are the detachable antenna, USB flash drive and DVD with OS drivers, Warranty Card, User Manual, and Quick Start Guide. The DVD feels redundant not only because it will require an external optical drive, but its contents are already included in the USB drive. There is no stand for positioning the system vertically unlike on the older EN760.

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Maintenance

Serviceability is incredibly fast and simple and requires no tools. Once the two thumb screws are removed from the rear of the unit, the bottom panel will slide off to reveal 2x SODIMM slots, the M.2 WLAN module, and both storage bays. One of the two fans is accessible for cleaning purposes. Unfortunately, the CPU and GPU are tucked away on the other side of the motherboard where access is much more difficult and will void the warranty. If tampered, enthusiasts will enjoy the fact that the system utilizes standard LGA1151 and MXM 3 sockets - a rarity for such a small mini PC.

Warranty

Zotac includes a two-year limited warranty as standard for most regions whereas many gaming notebooks are covered for the first year only. 

Performance

The 35 W quad-core i5-7500T CPU and ~50 W GeForce GTX 1050 GPU are an uncommon pair on notebooks. Nonetheless, many mini PCs from Zotac utilize T-class processors that generally perform faster than the ULV U-class family but slower than the HQ-class processors found on most gaming notebooks. Since the Core i5-7500T is a desktop-class processor, it lacks Hyper-Threading unlike the mobile Core i5 series and the performance consequences are noticeable.

Users who want more powerful GPUs may want to consider the EN1060 or EN1070 with GTX 1060 and GTX 1070 GPUs, respectively. The less expensive EN31050 ships with the same GTX 1050 GPU but with the slower Core i3-7100T. There are currently no SKUs in this family with processor options faster than the i5-7500T. Daring enthusiasts can still upgrade the CPU and GPU themselves once the system is out of warranty and as long as power consumption remains within the confines of the AC adapter.

There is no Optimus option and so the integrated HD Graphics 630 is disabled.

Processor

The Core i5-7500T is hardly an upgrade from the Core i5-6400 in the older EN980 in terms of performance. CineBench benchmarks show the EN51050 to be nearly identical to the EN980 is both single- and multi-threaded workloads. Worse yet, the brand new Kaby Lake-R quad-core i5-8250U with Hyper-Threading is comparable to the i5-7500T in multi-threaded workloads while being faster in single-threaded workloads. Raw performance sits comfortably between the Kaby Lake dual-core U-class and quad-core HQ-class of processors. While sufficient for gaming, we can't help but imagine how an i7-7700HQ can perform in the EN51050 chassis especially when considering that Intel was able to pack in a more powerful i7-6770HQ CPU in the smaller Skull Canyon NUC. Zotac is not offering any HQ-class CPU options likely because the motherboard was designed for a specific range of desktop CPUs instead of soldered mobile CPUs.

Running CineBench Multi-Thread in a loop results in steady scores throughout with no performance degradation over time. While performance drops aren't uncommon on Ultrabooks, we expected no less from a mini PC catered specifically to gamers. Our Stress Test section below shows reliable Turbo Boost even when subjected to extreme processing loads.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Core i5-7600K
168 Points ∼82% +30%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
162 Points ∼79% +26%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
161 Points ∼79% +25%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 Points ∼71% +12%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Core i7-6770HQ
139 Points ∼68% +8%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
Intel Core i5-6400
134 Points ∼65% +4%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
133 Points ∼65% +3%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
130 Points ∼63% +1%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
129 Points ∼63%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
123 Points ∼60% -5%
HP Pavilion 15-bk001ng x360
Intel Core i5-6200U
113 Points ∼55% -12%
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
AMD A12-9720P
69 Points ∼34% -47%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
736 Points ∼34% +44%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Core i7-6770HQ
711 Points ∼33% +39%
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Core i5-7600K
660 Points ∼31% +29%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
543 Points ∼25% +6%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
538 (min: 467.61, max: 538.34) Points ∼25% +5%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
512 Points ∼24%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
Intel Core i5-6400
510 Points ∼24% 0%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
503 Points ∼23% -2%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
343 Points ∼16% -33%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
328 Points ∼15% -36%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
327 Points ∼15% -36%
HP Pavilion 15-bk001ng x360
Intel Core i5-6200U
284 Points ∼13% -45%
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
AMD A12-9720P
229 Points ∼11% -55%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Core i5-7600K
1.98 Points ∼85% +34%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.85 Points ∼79% +25%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.84 Points ∼79% +24%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Core i7-6770HQ
1.66 Points ∼71% +12%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.6 Points ∼69% +8%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
Intel Core i5-6400
1.51 Points ∼65% +2%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
1.51 Points ∼65% +2%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
1.48 Points ∼64% 0%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
1.48 Points ∼64%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
1.45 Points ∼62% -2%
HP Pavilion 15-bk001ng x360
Intel Core i5-6200U
1.28 Points ∼55% -14%
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
AMD A12-9720P
0.94 Points ∼40% -36%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.17 Points ∼34% +39%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Core i7-6770HQ
7.76 Points ∼32% +32%
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Core i5-7600K
7.67 Points ∼32% +31%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
6.11 Points ∼26% +4%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
Intel Core i5-6400
5.92 Points ∼25% +1%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
5.86 Points ∼25%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
5.81 Points ∼24% -1%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
3.78 Points ∼16% -35%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
3.67 Points ∼15% -37%
HP Pavilion 15-bk001ng x360
Intel Core i5-6200U
3.16 Points ∼13% -46%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
3.15 Points ∼13% -46%
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
AMD A12-9720P
2.7 Points ∼11% -54%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Core i5-7600K
6730 Points ∼62% +35%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
6243 Points ∼58% +25%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
6107 Points ∼56% +22%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
5545 Points ∼51% +11%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Core i7-6770HQ
5536 Points ∼51% +11%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
Intel Core i5-6400
5088 Points ∼47% +2%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
5002 Points ∼46%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
4975 Points ∼46% -1%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
4920 Points ∼45% -2%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
4904 Points ∼45% -2%
HP Pavilion 15-bk001ng x360
Intel Core i5-6200U
4368 Points ∼40% -13%
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
AMD A12-9720P
2640 Points ∼24% -47%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Core i5-7600K
23585 Points ∼47% +73%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
22273 Points ∼45% +64%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Core i7-6770HQ
21075 Points ∼42% +55%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
Intel Core i5-6400
18297 Points ∼37% +34%
Acer Aspire V17 Nitro BE VN7-793G-52XN
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
17618 Points ∼35% +29%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
14148 Points ∼28% +4%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
13614 Points ∼27%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
12153 Points ∼24% -11%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
11373 Points ∼23% -16%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
10897 Points ∼22% -20%
HP Pavilion 15-bk001ng x360
Intel Core i5-6200U
9723 Points ∼20% -29%
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
AMD A12-9720P
7200 Points ∼14% -47%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
489.402 s * ∼6% -47%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
484.33 s * ∼6% -45%
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
AMD A12-9720P
415.484 s * ∼5% -25%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
333.206 s * ∼4%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
Intel Core i5-6400
327.064 s * ∼4% +2%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
314.7 s * ∼4% +6%
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Core i5-7600K
253.57 s * ∼3% +24%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Core i7-6770HQ
225.673 s * ∼3% +32%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
217.072 s * ∼3% +35%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
AMD A12-9720P
863.551 Seconds * ∼4% -37%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
Intel Core i5-6400
660.102 Seconds * ∼3% -5%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Intel Core i5-7500T
628.572 Seconds * ∼3%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Intel Core i5-7200U
627.687 Seconds * ∼3% -0%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-566U
Intel Core i5-8250U
611 Seconds * ∼3% +3%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
549.204 Seconds * ∼2% +13%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Core i7-6770HQ
538.979 Seconds * ∼2% +14%
Dell Latitude 7480
Intel Core i7-7600U
510.27 Seconds * ∼2% +19%
Eurocom Tornado F5 Killer Edition
Intel Core i5-7600K
467.526 Seconds * ∼2% +26%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
10608
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
13614
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5002
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
64.27 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.86 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.48 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
122.86 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
512 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
129 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark 10 benchmarks rank the system very similarly to the Sabre 15 and Surface Pro 4. Its Digital Content score is noticeably higher than the Microsoft tablet due to the slower Iris Pro graphics in the Surface Pro series. Subjectively, we experienced no issues relating to slowdown or boot up during our time with the EN51050 unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10 Standard
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
4432 Points ∼47% +4%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
4243 Points ∼45%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
3014 Points ∼32% -29%
Productivity
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
6781 Points ∼71%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
6749 Points ∼71% 0%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
6665 Points ∼70% -2%
Essentials
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
8076 Points ∼80% +4%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
7791 Points ∼77%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
7542 Points ∼75% -3%
Score
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
4364 Points ∼56% 0%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
4355 Points ∼56%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
3909 Points ∼50% -10%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
5063 Points ∼78% +1%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
5027 Points ∼77%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
4431 Points ∼68% -12%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
6341 Points ∼67%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
5540 Points ∼58% -13%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
4274 Points ∼45% -33%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
4755 Points ∼80%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
4095 Points ∼69% -14%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
3431 Points ∼57% -28%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4755 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
6341 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5027 points
Help

Storage Devices

Easily accessible drive bays
Easily accessible drive bays

Two internal storage bays are available in the form of M.2 PCIe x4 and 2.5-inch SATA III. The M.2 slot can accept 2242, 2260, and 2280 NVMe SSDs while the 2.5-inch bay can accept both 7 mm and 9.5 mm thick drives.

NVMe SSDs are supported for transfer rates easily surpassing the 1000 MB/s mark. The B150 chipset does not support RAID options and so the M.2 SSD and 2.5-inch drive operate independently. Interestingly, CDM 5 results are consistently slower than on the Eurocom Q5 equipped with the very same Samsung SSD as shown by our table below even after several retests.

See our table of SSDs and HDDs for more benchmark comparisons.

Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
Eurocom Q5
Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
Liteonit CV3-8D128
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
MSI WS63VR 7RL-023US
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7
Asus ZenBook Pro UX550VD
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
15%
-60%
-63%
-19%
-1%
Write 4K
164.8
202.6
23%
66.28
-60%
105.4
-36%
157.1
-5%
187.02
13%
Read 4K
54.79
57.19
4%
36.68
-33%
34.45
-37%
43.82
-20%
48.96
-11%
Write Seq
1956
2073
6%
469.2
-76%
458.4
-77%
1110
-43%
1378.45
-30%
Read Seq
1964
2763
41%
535.9
-73%
489.4
-75%
1162
-41%
1877.57
-4%
Write 4K Q32T1
424.8
498.7
17%
182
-57%
99.16
-77%
361.3
-15%
515.99
21%
Read 4K Q32T1
483.8
574.9
19%
357.9
-26%
273.5
-43%
562.8
16%
583.14
21%
Write Seq Q32T1
2042
2075
2%
506.6
-75%
512.1
-75%
1558
-24%
1586.6
-22%
Read Seq Q32T1
3157
3381
7%
562.3
-82%
551.1
-83%
2635
-17%
3266.5
3%

GPU Performance

Raw GPU power is more similar to the mobile GTX 1050 than to the desktop GTX 1050 according to 3DMark benchmarks. A closer look at GPU-Z reveals half the ROPs compared to the desktop GTX 1050 (16 vs. 32). Its Fire Strike Graphics score, as an example, is nearly identical to the Sabre 15 but is 11 percent slower than our GTX 1050 desktop reference. Users can still expect overall performance to be very close to a GTX 965M. Note that its meager 2 GB of VRAM will acutely hinder 4K gaming performance when compared to 4 GB GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti offerings.

See our review on the desktop Zotac GTX 1050 for more technical information and bechmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
3840x2160 Fire Strike Ultra Graphics
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6400
3093 Points ∼31% +325%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
2571 Points ∼25% +253%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
1810 Points ∼18% +149%
MSI GL72 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
843 Points ∼8% +16%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
742 Points ∼7% +2%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T
728 Points ∼7%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics
Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop), 4790K
12557 Points ∼49% +85%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ
10851 Points ∼42% +60%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
10811 Points ∼42% +60%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
10564 Points ∼41% +56%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
10538 Points ∼41% +56%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
10210 Points ∼40% +51%
MSI GL72 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
9655 Points ∼38% +43%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
9551 Points ∼37% +41%
Asus N752VX-GC131T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
9499 Points ∼37% +40%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6400
6903 Points ∼27% +2%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T
6773 Points ∼26%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6400
13510 Points ∼33% +123%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
11453 Points ∼28% +89%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ
10349 Points ∼25% +71%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
7866 Points ∼19% +30%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7321 Points ∼18% +21%
Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop), 4790K
6797 Points ∼17% +12%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
6166 Points ∼15% +2%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T
6066 Points ∼15%
MSI GL72 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
4705 Points ∼12% -22%
Asus N752VX-GC131T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
3174 Points ∼8% -48%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
1903 Points ∼5% -69%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
8876 Points ∼51% +28%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ
8762 Points ∼50% +26%
Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop), 4790K
7998 Points ∼46% +15%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
7952 Points ∼45% +15%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
7163 Points ∼41% +3%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T
6938 Points ∼39%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
6707 Points ∼38% -3%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6400
6666 Points ∼38% -4%
MSI GL72 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5861 Points ∼33% -16%
Asus N752VX-GC131T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
3682 Points ∼21% -47%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
2784 Points ∼16% -60%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6400
17811 Points ∼35% +127%
EVGA SC15
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ
15453 Points ∼30% +97%
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ
13279 Points ∼26% +70%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ
9824 Points ∼19% +25%
MSI GP62 7REX-1045US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
9394 Points ∼18% +20%
Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop), 4790K
8571 Points ∼17% +9%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T
7831 Points ∼15%
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
7731 Points ∼15% -1%
MSI GL72 6QF
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5825 Points ∼11% -26%
Asus N752VX-GC131T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
4457 Points ∼9% -43%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
3220 Points ∼6% -59%
3DMark 11 Performance
7550 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
98913 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
14862 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
5259 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
2535 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Real-world performance in games is where we expect it to be for a gaming system powered by the GTX 1050. Frame rates are comparable to the HP Pavilion 15 Power even though the latter is equipped with the faster i7-7700HQ CPU to suggest that most games will be GPU bound rather than CPU bound on the EN51050. Our Zotac GTX 1050 desktop reference card will still outperform our Zotac mini PC by about 10 percent in our tested titles. Performance is still a significant jump from the GTX 960M by about 40 percent in Rise of the Tomb Raider to be a good midway point between the GTX 960M and GTX 970M.

See our GTX 1050 GPU page for more gaming benchmark comparisons.

Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
66.8 fps ∼100% +101%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
42.8 fps ∼64% +29%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN-80WK001KUS
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
38 fps ∼57% +14%
Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
36.9 (min: 34, max: 40) fps ∼55% +11%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
33.3 fps ∼50%
HP Pavilion 15 Power 1GK62AV
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
32.9 fps ∼49% -1%
MSI GE72 965M Ti
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
30.4 (min: 26, max: 33) fps ∼46% -9%
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
24.2 fps ∼36% -27%
Sager NP5852
GeForce MX150, 7700HQ, Western Digital WD Blue PC SSD WDS250G1B0B
19.2 fps ∼29% -42%
BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
EVGA SC15
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
110 fps ∼100% +66%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBN-80WK001KUS
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
74 fps ∼67% +12%
Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop), 4790K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
71.6 (min: 46, max: 124) fps ∼65% +8%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
69.5 fps ∼63% +5%
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
66.2 fps ∼60%
HP Pavilion 15 Power 1GK62AV
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
63.1 fps ∼57% -5%
MSI GE72 965M Ti
GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
55 (min: 9, max: 95) fps ∼50% -17%
HP Pavilion 17 FHD V3A33AV
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, SanDisk Z400s SD8SNAT-128G
45 fps ∼41% -32%
Sager NP5852
GeForce MX150, 7700HQ, Western Digital WD Blue PC SSD WDS250G1B0B
34.9 fps ∼32% -47%
low med. high ultra
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 111.165.441.2fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 106fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 168.366.2fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 106.983.845.3fps
Thief (2014) 115.492.380.343.1fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 128.341.821.6fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 93823231fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 60606055.2fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 42.335.4fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 137.377.340.833.3fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 54.53529.7fps
Overwatch (2016) 290.2122.996.256.6fps
Mafia 3 (2016) 64.937.427.1fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 24297.851.728.5fps
F1 2017 (2017) 124655936fps

Stress Test

We stress the mini PC with unrealistic loads to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. When subjected to Prime95 stress, the CPU will operate at a steady 3.0 to 3.1 GHz or 300 to 400 MHz above its base clock rate. Core temperature remains under 72 C at all times. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously, however, will bump CPU clock rates down to 2.9 GHz and 3.0 GHz with a warmer operating temperature of 76 C. CPU TjMax is 80 C according to HWiNFO and so the temperature buffer is quite narrow when the processors are stressed to their thermal limits. Users can always lift the 80 percent fan speed ceiling if extreme processing loads will be common.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming loads. The CPU and GPU operate at steady clock rates of 3.1 GHz and 1671 MHz, respectively, with core temperatures each in the mid 60 C range. This is relatively cool when compared to gaming notebooks with the same GTX 1050 GPU as core temperatures will normally operate closer to the 80 C mark. The GTX 1050 in the Sabre 15, for example, is steady at 78 C when under the same Witcher 3 loads. GPU clock rate for the EN51050 is actually very slightly slower as well at 1671 MHz compared to 1696 MHz on the Gigabyte notebook.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
0123456789101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445Tooltip
The Witcher 3 high
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 3.0 - 3.1 -- 69 46
FurMark Stress -- 1430 66 64
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.9 - 3.0 1430 76 67
Witcher 3 Stress 3.1 1671 64 67

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling solution consists of two independent ~35 mm fans each atop of the CPU and GPU. The fans are always active no matter the load as is common on gaming systems, but they are noticeably louder on the EN51050. At its quietest state when idling on desktop, we can record a fan noise of 37.6 dB(A) compared to 31.6 dB(A) on the Zenbook UX510 or Intel Skull Canyon NUK. The upper 30 dB(A) range is not unbearably loud, but users hoping for a silent mini PC for even the simplest tasks like browsing, word processing, or streaming may be disappointed. If utilized as an HTPC, however, fan noise will be less noticeable since the unit will generally be placed farther away from the user.

One benefit of the louder fan noise when idling is that the RPM operating range is narrower. When gaming, for example, fan noise increases somewhat marginally to a steady 40.6 dB(A) whereas most gaming notebooks settle in the mid-to-high 40 dB(A) range under similar conditions. The physically thicker fans of the mini PC also lead to lower and ultimately less annoying operating frequencies compared to gaming notebooks where higher-pitched ultra-thin blades are preferred as shown by our Pink Noise graphs below. Thus, the EN51050 can be considered relatively quiet when gaming even though it is quite loud when idling. Extreme loads with Prime95 and FurMark running simultaneously will bump the fans up to 44 dB(A) or even louder if the default 80 percent fan speed ceiling is lifted.

We can observe no noticeable coil whining or electronic noise from our unit during testing.

Zotac Magnus EN51050 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Maximum load)
Zotac Magnus EN51050 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Maximum load)
Zotac Magnus EN980-U
Zotac Magnus EN980-U
Gigabyte Sabre 15
Gigabyte Sabre 15

Noise Level

Idle
37.6 / 37.6 / 37.7 dB(A)
Load
39.3 / 44 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.7 dB(A)
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7500T, Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
GeForce GTX 980, 6400, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Liteonit CV3-8D128
MSI GS43VR 7RE-069US
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 7700HQ, SK Hynix HFS128G39MNC-3510A
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
Noise
4%
-2%
-9%
5%
7%
off / environment *
30.7
29.5
4%
28.2
8%
28
9%
31.6
-3%
29.5
4%
Idle Minimum *
37.6
36.2
4%
33
12%
33
12%
31.6
16%
31.6
16%
Idle Average *
37.6
36.2
4%
33.3
11%
34.5
8%
31.6
16%
32.2
14%
Idle Maximum *
37.7
36.5
3%
34.7
8%
35
7%
33.4
11%
32.3
14%
Load Average *
39.3
36.5
7%
44.5
-13%
54.2
-38%
41.7
-6%
43
-9%
Witcher 3 ultra *
40.6
49.2
-21%
56.7
-40%
Load Maximum *
44
42.9
2%
52.8
-20%
54.2
-23%
44.8
-2%
43.2
2%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are never uncomfortably warm no matter the system load. The very top surface of the mini PC is about 35 C at all times even when subjected to Prime95 and FurMark stress. As a result, core temperatures have less of an influence on surface temperatures especially when compared to notebooks. The two exhaust grilles on the rear and left sides of the unit, however, should not be obstructed and any adjacent items will become very warm from the waste heat. Be sure to stand the mini PC on its one flat side without any ports or grilles if positioning it vertically.

Idling load (top)
Idling load (top)
Prime95+FurMark load (top)
Prime95+FurMark load (top)
Idling load (side)
Idling load (side)
Prime95+FurMark load (side)
Prime95+FurMark load (side)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The 180 W AC adapter provides more juice than the EN51050 can effectively draw
The 180 W AC adapter provides more juice than the EN51050 can effectively draw

The system will draw anywhere from 21 W to 27 W depending on the Power Profile when idling on desktop. Notebook hardware and processors are generally more optimized when under similar low-power states and are subsequently more power efficient as shown by our examples below. When under heavier loads, however, power consumption between the Zotac and Sabre 15 is nearly identical at 77 W for 3DMark06 and 93 W for Witcher 3 despite their hardware differences. Power consumption is about 30 percent higher than the GTX 960M-powered Zenbook UX510, but the Zotac gains a 56 percent faster CPU and 30 percent faster GPU in the process.

Running extreme loads will demand 122 W from an external AC adapter (15 x 7.5 x 3.0 cm) rated for 180 W. This unusually large overhead confirms that the EN51050 chassis is capable of housing faster GPUs or CPUs through the EN51060 and EN51070 SKUs. Unlike the extremely demanding Magnus EN980, the EN51050 does not require a second AC adapter.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 1.38 / 1.82 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 21.1 / 22.1 / 26.6 Watt
Load midlight 77.5 / 121.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050
7500T, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Samsung SSD 960 Pro 512 GB m.2, , x,
Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN980-U
6400, GeForce GTX 980, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, , x, 0
Gigabyte Sabre 15G
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Liteonit CV3-8D128, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
6500U, GeForce GTX 960M, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
6770HQ, Iris Pro Graphics 580, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB, , x, 0
Power Consumption
-88%
31%
49%
36%
Idle Minimum *
21.1
34.9
-65%
8
62%
5
76%
14.8
30%
Idle Average *
22.1
35.9
-62%
10.9
51%
8.9
60%
15.7
29%
Idle Maximum *
26.6
40.4
-52%
11
59%
11.8
56%
15.8
41%
Load Average *
77.5
190.4
-146%
76.7
1%
55
29%
62.7
19%
Load Maximum *
121.7
260.8
-114%
106.4
13%
93
24%
48.5
60%
Witcher 3 ultra *
92.4
94.9
-3%

* ... smaller is better

Pros

+ accessible SODIMM slots, storage drives, and WLAN module; no screwdriver required
+ quieter fan noise than GTX 1050-equipped notebooks when gaming
+ NVMe support; IR receiver; USB Type-C Gen. 2
+ respectable core temperatures when gaming
+ 4x video-out ports via HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.3
+ two-year limited warranty as standard
+ steady CPU Turbo Boost performance
+ LGA1151 and MXM 3 sockets
+ wide variety of ports

Cons

- average CPU performance; slow single-core performance
- direct access to the CPU and GPU will void warranty
- slower performance than a desktop GTX 1050
- louder fan noise during low processing loads
- cannot set minimum fan noise any quieter
- no Thunderbolt 3 or 2x2 WLAN options
- no vertical stand or VESA mounting
- uninspiring chassis design
- SD reader could be faster

Verdict

In review: Zotac ZBox Magnus EN51050. Test model provided by Zotac US
In review: Zotac ZBox Magnus EN51050. Test model provided by Zotac US

From a notebook perspective, the EN51050 runs quieter and cooler when gaming while providing identical graphics performance to mainstream notebooks like the Sabre 15, Odyssey 15, XPS 15, Inspiron 7567, or Pavilion 15 Power. Its IR receiver and wider array of ports make it more approachable for HTPC purposes or multi-monitor setups. Meanwhile, enthusiasts will be ecstatic to know that both the CPU and GPU are replaceable even if the warranty will be voided by doing so. For a mini PC this small, the LGA1151 and MXM 3 sockets are a pleasant surprise.

A few disadvantages hold back the mid-range EN51050 from being an immediate recommendation. Firstly, the $700 USD launch price for a barebones kit is only about $200 less than a full-fledged gaming notebook with the same GTX 1050 graphics but faster Core i7-7700HQ CPU. Thus, users aren't necessarily saving money by going the mini PC route as opposed to a mid-range gaming notebook complete with Windows 10, RAM, storage, keyboard, and display. Secondly, its i5-7500T CPU is a step above the U-class CPUs on the older Magnus EN970/EN760 series but still well below quad-core Core i7 HQ-class CPUs found on those same mid-range gaming notebooks. The new Intel 8th gen. Kaby Lake-R CPUs shipping on the latest Ultrabooks have proven to be faster at less than half the TDP and even the Skull Canyon NUC CPU is faster at just a fraction of the size. Processor performance is instead on par with the dual-core i5-6400 and i5-7300HQ. Lastly, users can expect GPU performance to be closer to the GTX 1050 for notebooks rather than the GTX 1050 for desktops.

We're hoping that future revisions will include more advanced fan controls to reduce minimum fan noise and ship with faster integrated SD readers and WLAN options. A Thunderbolt 3 port would go a long way to boosting its value over gaming notebooks in the same price range.

The gaming EN51050 is a much more balanced mini PC compared to the EN51060 or EN51070 as the Intel T-class CPU pairs better with the mainstream GTX 1050. The system is surprisingly more easily serviceable than larger gaming mini PCs like the Trident 3 or ROG GR8. If quad-core processor performance is not desired, then this Zotac will be sufficient for mainstream gaming needs.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Zotac ZBOX Magnus EN51050 Mini PC Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-09-27 (Update: 2017-09-28)
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.