Like a record, baby
The front of the EN1070 hosts the usual headphone and microphone jacks, flanked by a USB 3.1 port on either side. The left-side port is a standard USB Type-A, but the right-side port is a Type-C connection. Unfortunately your reviewer doesn't own any USB 3.1 devices, but I can at least confirm that both ports work correctly in 3.0 mode. An SD card slot serves as sort of a modern-day floppy drive, and I used it to install Windows 10 Pro on our test machine purely for the novelty of doing so.
One thing that isn't completely clear from the pictures is that all four sides of the EN1070 are aluminum, save for the plastic insert in the front. The top and bottom portions of the casing are plastic, but the rest of the external casing comes apart in four aluminum pieces. The first time I took it apart, I accidentally disassembled the entire case. Getting it back together more or less requires a clamp (or an extra pair of hands) to hold the parts together while you screw them down. Let that serve as a warning to anyone who takes one of these apart.
Around the backside, we have a whole bunch of paired ports. USB 2.0, USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.3, and gigabit Ethernet all get two jacks each. Both of the Ethernet connections are powered by Realtek chips, and all four display connections are hooked up to the GTX 1070. You can use all four simultaneously, although I did have a brief issue getting the fourth display connected to the second HDMI 2.0 port. After a reboot all was well, so it was probably a janky connection or similar transient issue.
Also on the back of the EN1070 are the antenna connection for the Wi-Fi connection and the barrel plug for the power adapter. The 180W power adapter that Zotac includes is a wide-and-flat laptop-style brick with a normal-sized AC plug. I don't normally use Wi-Fi aside from my smartphone, but for completeness' sake I did test it briefly. Pulling files from my buddy's high-performance NAS I was able to manage upwards of 25 MB/sec. Considering I was connected to an access point at the far end of his home in a home filled with electronics (during a LAN party), I felt like this was a pretty decent showing for the little five-decibel antenna on the Zotac.
Zotac sells the machines pre-configured, or as a bare-bones system without RAM or storage (as we received.) Folks who purchase the barebones machine will have to open it up to add their RAM and storage devices. Fortunately, like most other Zboxes I've seen, all that's required to open up the Magnus EN1070 is the removal of two thumbscrews and a tiny bit of lateral force. The bottom cover slides free, and you're greeted with the bottom of the motherboard.
In the picture above you can see the paired SO-DIMM slots on the left side, the 2.5" SATA bay on the right side, and the M.2 socket right in the middle. Off to the right behind the SATA bay is the M.2-2230 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapter. The EN1070 impressed me with its intuitive internal layout. This is as far as any user should have to go to get their unit up and running.
This clean design even extends to the top of the board. Simply remove five screws, disconnect the front panel cable, and then the motherboard lifts right out of the chassis. You do have to be careful not to damage the Wi-Fi antenna that's attached to the outer casing, though. On the top side of the motherboard we can see a small daughtercard for the ASMedia USB 3.1 controller and two huge centrifugal fans that cool solid copper heatsinks. It's no secret why this machine is so heavy.
Looking at the top of the motherboard also confirmed one of my suspicions about this machine: it uses a socketed CPU. Checking Intel ARK, the Core i5-6400T is a socketed CPU, but it seemed strange to me that Zotac would utilize some of the precious space inside the EN1070 for a CPU socket and the supporting hardware, such as the retention bracket. I suppose this choice could have a number of advantages for Zotac, the foremost being that the company can use the same motherboard for various system configurations.
Now that we've seen the EN1070's guts, let's see how it performs.
|Intel's Core X-series CPUs and X299 platform revealed||11|
|Computex 2017: Asus reveals a ton of new ZenBooks and Vivobooks||13|
|NTFS filesystem bug could crash Windows 7, 8, and 8.1||38|
|Aerocool starts Project 7 with a flurry of case and cooling gear||6|
|Enermax NeoChanger is both a pump and a reservoir||13|
|Acer sprinkles the Iconia Tab 10 with quantum dots||10|
|Deals of the week: lots of motherboards and a cheap GTX 1080||20|
|MSI Vortex G25VR, Infinite-A, and Pro 20EX PCs fill all niches||2|
|Nvidia unveils the GeForce GTX Battlebox certification program||33|