In the lab: Zotac's Zbox Magnus EN1080K


— 9:00 AM on September 8, 2017

I was pretty impressed by Zotac's Zbox Magnus EN1070. Zotac piled a lot of graphics horsepower into a package that barely outsizes a Nintendo Wii. Still, the EN1070 had its limitations. Its low-power Core i5-6400T CPU lacked single-threaded grunt, and its 180W power adapter wasn't really up to the task of letting the mobile GeForce GTX 1070 inside spread its wings. None of that should be a problem for the current-generation Zbox Magnus EN1080K that we have on loan from a friend of the site.


The EN1080K next to a can of Anheuser-Busch emergency water.

I live just outside the city of Beaumont, Texas, and we've just survived the record-breaking rainfall of Hurricane Harvey. The storm slammed into Texas nearly 300 miles south of us, then stumbled back out into the Gulf before flopping down onto Southeast Texas. My home was mostly undamaged, thankfully, but a lot of people weren't so lucky. A machine like the Zbox Magnus would sure be easy to pack up in a hurry when you need to evacuate.

Anyway, this potent and petite PC is powered by a Core i7-7700 CPU. This quad-core chip starts at 3.6 GHz and boosts to 4.2 GHz, a far cry from the 2.2 GHz base and 2.8 GHz boost clocks of the EN1070's CPU. In case the name didn't tip you off, the EN1080K also comes equipped with a GeForce GTX 1080. To drive the dynamic duo of CPU and graphics card, it uses two 180W power adaptors—thus, it has double the power delivery of the EN1070. Finally, to keep everything running cool, the machine has a custom-designed liquid-cooling system. Despite having all that gear inside, the box measures only 8.8" by 8" by 5" (22 cm x 20 cm x 13 cm).

This particular example of the species was specifically selected for a special project owing to its pint-sized proportions and puissant performance. Thanks to our mysterious benefactor for lending us the EN1080K, as well as shortbread chef Colton Westrate for making the connection possible. Look forward to the full review of Zotac's Zbox Magnus EN1080K sometime next week.

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