Zotac CI660, CI640, and CI620 nano PCs up the fanless ante

Zotac demoed its sharp-looking CI660 nano, CI640 nano, and CI620 nano fanless PCs back at Computex, and those systems are getting an official release now. The CI nano family has a fanless chassis that Zotac claims is capable of keeping Intel CPUs with TDPs as high as 25 W in check.

The top-end CI660 nano includes a Core i7-8550U CPU from the Kaby Lake-R family. That chip has a 1.8-GHz base clock and a 4-GHz maxium Turbo speed. As a barebones, the CI660 nano can take in as much as 32 GB of DDR4-2133 or DDR4-2400 in SO-DIMM form. Storage space will need to come by way of a 2.5″ SATA device, as Zotac didn't include any M.2 slots in this chassis.

The sting of the 2.5″-only restriction is mollified a bit by the fact that Zotac implemented an HDMI 2.0 connector on this system, meaning it can drive 4K displays at up to 60 Hz. This fanless wonder can also hook up to two Gigabit Ethernet lines, four USB 3.0 devices from the back panel, and DisplayPort 1.2-compatible monitors. Zotac also includes built-in Wireless-AC and Bluetooth 4.2 radios on this chassis. The front panel gets two “USB 3.1” Type-C connectors and another USB 3.0 Type-A port, plus headphone and microphone jacks and an SD card reader.

The CI640 nano is identical in specification to the CI660, save for its Core i5-8250U CPU. The CI620 nano drops down to a dual-core Core i3-8130U. Zotac will offer these systems as barebones models without storage or memory, as well as Plus configurations with storage and memory pre-installed. The company didn't discuss pricing or availability, but these systems look quite compelling for fanless PCs.

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    • Takeshi7
    • 1 year ago

    I’m still waiting for them to release the PI336 that they showed off at Computex. I’m starting to lose my faith.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 1 year ago

    I know these fanless designs are meant for industrial applications a lot of the time, but a fan-free Internet PC is just so tempting. Even if the Core i7-8550 never hits 4GHz, it’s still plenty fast for a typical Chrome/Office style of PC.

      • Airmantharp
      • 1 year ago

      I just picked up a fanless minipc to use as a network appliance- in my case, a passive (bridged) IDS/IPS/QoS box (think pfSense)- and I could see one of these being a high-end upgrade for such, especially if someone wanted to say run the appliance software on top of ESXi (or other hypervisor or even just Linux/BSD, or even Windows…) while also running other long-endurance applications like say pihole.

      And that 4k60 output means that one could set up a cheap 4k display to display [i<][b<]all the stats![/b<][/i<]

        • moose17145
        • 1 year ago

        I was actually thinking that one of these would be a GREAT pfSense/OPNSense box. I suspect that i7 box will be over 600 bucks though. Intel’s website recommends cutomer pricing be set at over $400.00 for just the CPU.

        That being said… the i7 box with 16 or 32GB of ram + 120(ish) GB SSD sounds like a GREAT little pfSense/OPNSense home appliance.

          • fredsnotdead
          • 1 year ago

          The i5 has nearly the same specs at <$300.

      • gerryg
      • 1 year ago

      True true, and maybe if they use a Ryzen/Vega version you can do some light gaming, too.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 1 year ago

        I would find that a more appealing option to be sure.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 1 year ago

        A Ryzen 7 2500U with IGP would be really interesting. The Ryzen 5 2400G (desktop version with higher clocks) is sufficient for Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 at relatively moderate settings and 1080p

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