Workstations are essentially very powerful desktop PCs, and often quite large. These days, though, all but the most demanding design workloads could run just fine on something like Zotac's Zbox Magnus EN1070—except that professional software may not play nice with its GeForce GPU. To alleviate this issue, Zotac now offers the Zbox Q series machines with lots of connectivity and Quadro GPUs in packages smaller than a cereal box. Let's check out the QK7P5000, QK7P3000, and QK5P1000.
Looking at the names, it isn't too hard to guess which graphics processor goes with which mini-PC. The QK5P1000 gets outfitted with a Quadro P1000 chip—a very close cousin of the GeForce GTX 1050, outfitted with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory hooked up to a 128-bit bus. The QK7P3000, predictably, packs a Quadro P3000 with 6 GB of GDDR5 memory on a 192-bit bus—a close cousin of the GeForce GTX 1060. Last but not least, the QK7P5000 gets a Quadro P5000 with 16 GB of GDDR5 memory. Its 2048 shaders mark it down as the professional analog of the mobile GeForce GTX 1070.
The higher-end QK7P3000 and QK7P5000 apparently use a similar chassis and possibly the same motherboard relative to the Zbox Magnus EN1070. As a result, like that machine, they use socketed CPUs—in both cases, the Core i7-7700T. While that CPU's base clock is a somewhat pokey 2.8 GHz, it should turbo itself to 3.8 GHz when the need arises. The QK5P1000 is a significantly-smaller machine and makes do with a dual-core Core i5-7200U. The processor starts out at 2.5 GHz and will turbo to 3.1 GHz.
All three Q-series Zboxes can take a single M.2 drive, a single 2.5" drive, and a pair of DDR4 SO-DIMMs. The QK5P1000's M.2 socket is SATA-only, though. The smaller machine also sacrifices some external connectivity versus its bigger brothers: it only has three USB 3.0 ports, where the other two new machines have two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 connectors, and two USB 3.1 ports (one of which is Type-C). Furthermore, the QK5P1000 has four HDMI 2.0 outputs where the QK7 machines have two HDMI 2.0 connectors and two DisplayPort 1.4 outputs. All three machines have dual Gigabit Ethernet as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.
Mobile workstations have been a thing for a long time, but to our knowledge, these are the first mini-PCs equipped with Quadro GPUs. Unfortunately, Zotac has only just announced the Zbox Q-Series, so we don't yet know when they'll be available or for how much. If you'd like to outfit an office with sub-three-liter workstations, keep an eye out for these.