Zotac ZBox CI660 Nano uses just one big heat sink to cool a Core i7-8550U CPU
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To say that Zotac is doubling down on its mini PC business would be an understatement. Its show floor at CES 2018 was filled to the brim with at least a dozen different mini PC models spanning low-power credit card-sized solutions to larger gaming mini PCs. After more than half a year later, Zotac is now ready to ship its most power-efficient C series model yet.
As detailed by the press release below, the ZBox CI660 Nano is a passively-cooled mini PC and the very first in its C series family to carry a Core i7 CPU. Because there is no internal fan, however, most will likely assume that the Core i7 CPU would the Core i7-7Y75 as found on the fanless Dell XPS 13 2-in-1. The CI660 Nano is not the case because it actually utilizes Intel's 8th gen Core i7-8550U CPU commonly found on the latest Ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13 9370. The performance benefits are massive between the 4.5 W Intel Y-class and 15 W Intel U-class by as much as 160 percent when jumping from the i7-7Y75 to the i7-8550U.
The secret to the fanless CI660 is its chassis design. The system is almost 5x thicker than the latest MacBook Pro 15 with most of its surface area and volume dedicated to ventilation and aluminum fins, respectively. Even so, the mini PC is still quite small and comparable to an Intel NUC. It would be interesting to see how CPU Turbo Boost can perform on the unit because of its unique cooling solution compared to traditional mini PCs and Ultrabooks.
Check out the official product page below for more information on the ZBox CI660. SKUs with Intel Core i5 and i3 will also be available as the CI640 Nano and CI620 Nano, respectively. Retailers should have the new series in stock soon.