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AMD Polaris Makes Its Debut In Zotac's ZBox Magnus ERX480 Mini PC

Zotac announced that its ZBox-series Magnus mini PC would now be offered in a Team Red variant with an AMD Radeon RX480 graphics module under the hood.

The new ZBox Magnus ERX480 is a VR-ready, barebones mini PC featuring an air-cooled Intel Core i5-6400T processor and the aforementioned Radeon RX480 MXM graphics module, which sports 2,304 shader cores and 4GB of GDDR5 on a 256-bit memory bus. Two DDR4-SODIMM memory slots can be occupied with up to 32GB of RAM, and you can use an M.2 SATA SSD or 2.5-inch drive (SSD or HDD) for storage.

The tiny chassis also sports two USB 3.1 ports (one Type-A, one Type-C) along with two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports. The USB Type-C port is capable of 10Gbps data rates, but it doesn’t support video output or Thunderbolt 3. Two HDMI 2.0 and two DisplayPort 1.3 interfaces can be used for video output, and dual Gigabit LAN or an 802.11ac WiFi module will get you online.

The inclusion of AMD’s RX480 signifies the Red Team’s first venture into the VR-ready mobile/mini PC market, a segment that until now has been dominated by Nvidia. Consumers are the real winners in this competition, as they now have multiple VR-ready GPU options at lower price points.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but Zotac said the new ZBox Magnus ERX480 should be arriving sometime this month.

ProductZotac ZBox Magnus ERX480
ProcessorIntel Core i5-6400T
Memory CapacityUp to 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-2133 SODIMM
GraphicsAMD Radeon RX480 4GB GDDR5
Storage Capacity- M.2 SSD (SATA ONLY)- 2.5-inch Drive (SSD or HDD)
Networking- Dual Gigabit LAN- 802.11ac Wifi w/Bluetooth
Ports- USB 3.1 (Type-C, Gen2)- USB 3.1 (Type-A)- USB 3.0 x2- USB 2.0 x2- HDMI 2.0 x2- DisplayPort 1.3 x2- Mic-In/Headphone-Out
Dimensions8.27 x 7.99 x 2.45 inches
  • tommyjr98
    I wonder how much it will cost and if that processor will bottleneck the system...any thoughts?
    Reply
  • kewlguy239
    Well, the i5-6400T is a VR-ready CPU, in that it meets the minimum requirement for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The clock rate isn't particularly high, but I don't see it producing a "bottleneck" of sorts, unless you are running CPU-intensive games and/or CAD applications. Even then, for gaming, the difference minute. Stepping up the CPU in this device would undoubtedly increase the price and thermal load, and Zotac does offer slightly larger mini PCs with such components. However, I feel the i5-6400T is a perfect match to the RX480. Both of these components meet the minimum requirement for VR, and it should also keep the price down, when compared to similar Nvidia-based mini PCs. Time will tell.
    Reply
  • Nolonar
    The i5 6400T is a modern 2.2 GHz quadcore. That CPU most likely won't be a bottleneck for the next 5 years at least.
    Reply
  • Nintendork
    A 125w Raven Ridge custom APU would do wonders for this niche market.
    Reply
  • Nintendork
    I will probably be a bit of a bottleneck because of the low frequancy. At 3Ghz+ on all cores while gaming would be much better.
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    This is a really cool box. Hope to see a full review of it soon. I am waiting for the day when an enthusiast can build a box this size and this powerful with 100% standard components.

    Too bad about the lack of support for NVMe drives and also not offering other CPUs like the i5-6600T and i7-6700T.
    Reply
  • LeeRains
    I was looking at this thinking it might be a decent portable video editor, given it actually has a solid GPU in it, but the SATA cap on the M.2 drive (?) and the relatively weak CPU kind of kill that idea.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    An option to pay a little extra for a 6500T would have been great. I know this is a very mini PC that's trying to stay within a budget, but the jump between the 6400T and the 6500T is quite large for a small dollar amount - larger than the jump from a 6500T to a 6600T, dollar for dollar. I'm not saying it should be crammed into the base model, but hopefully they'll offer upscale models with the 480, at a small price premium.
    Reply
  • Onight
    There is indeed a bottleneck, at least on the Magnus EN1070 model.
    http://blog.livedoor.jp/wisteriear/archives/1061669565.html
    The author changed the CPU from 6400T to 6700T and gained 10-20% gaming performance with minimum thermal change. Also he advised against using NVMe in such a SFF, the temp of 950pro along can toast the box.
    Reply
  • Prof_Electric
    The i5-6400 is only (best metric) 22% better performing than the i5-6400T while the "T" variant is nearly 50% more power efficient. Some of the best gaming rigs built today use the i5-6400 and do not peg this processor so I don't see the i5-6400T being the bottleneck. The graphics card will be the limiting factor and AMD's best offerings right now are a little more than a generation behind in performance vs NVIDIA. I expect this machine to fit the low power/low budget/small space niche. It would be a killer HTPC--in fact, overkill, and I think a great box for a steam machine or similar device for the casual gamer who prefers PC gaming regardless of motive.
    Reply