Zotac ZBOX Magnus EC52070D Home Entertainment Mini PC - Hands-On & Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-18-2019, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Zotac ZBOX Magnus EC52070D Home Entertainment Mini PC - Hands-On & Review

UPDATE: Review posted. Click here to read it.


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Last edited by imagic; 08-19-2019 at 06:25 PM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-30-2019, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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A minor update, I've been running the ZBOX continuously since I set it up and hammering it with some hard-core multitasking. Lately, I've been shooting a lot of 360 video using a Insta360 One X and a GoPro Fusion. I've had this PC rendering 5.6K 360 video day and night using half of its six cores; the nice thing is that it can still play back the video smoothly while it's rendering in the background. And it does it in commendable silence with very little heat output.

So far, I have noticed a improved stability as compared to my four-core DIY PC. Between the two computers, there is not an appreciable difference in rendering times, the ZOTAC simply has more headroom to handle multitasking. This makes using the double 4K TV configuration feel responsive.

Now, if you're the sort who likes to build and modify PCs, this box is not going to satisfy. Stick with the DIY, gamer friendly builds. This is a much more low-key device, a better fit I think for a living room or dedicated home theater.

So, the obvious main issue is the restrictions on streaming quality placed upon PCs. Grossly unfair! If it can somehow be worked out that you can stream UHD with HDR from Vudu on a PC, I'd have no use for the various little boxes that attach themselves to my gear like little leeches. I've always felt that Windows provides the most complete home entertainment experience, given all the things you can do with it. The unnecessarily draconian copy protection schemes that prevent it from truly being the centerpiece of a dedicated high fidelity home entertainment system need to be challenged.

Experiencing what a well-designed PC can offer in 2019 has me lamenting the current situation.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-20-2019, 09:38 AM
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Mark, so streaming UHD is a no-go due to DHCP issues.....what about HDR in gaming or streaming HDR from YouTube content?

I'm slow in adapting to the PC side of home entertainment tech, so I'm kind of unsure who benefits most from a PC like this. It doesn't stream Pay-service HDR/HFR 4k or play UHD Blu-Rays easily, so it's of limited use as an HTPC. But it's also not your recommended choice for gaming. So is it more suited for a workstation and not a living room?

I'm not trying to be critical of the device itself; the fact that it didn't crash is monumental in my book. Reliability is the #1 reason why I've stayed away from PCs when it comes to HT.

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post #4 of 12 Old 08-20-2019, 10:40 AM
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It wouldn't take much to make it UHD compatible. Using Emby or Kodi and a high capacity HDD after ripping your UHD discs to MKV's.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-21-2019, 10:05 AM
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You missed an opportunity to test it as a MadVR box. That's what I was looking at it for.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-21-2019, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Niles Crane View Post
You missed an opportunity to test it as a MadVR box. That's what I was looking at it for.
I've never tried madVR just read about it. You are right I did not think of it.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-21-2019, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by annisman View Post
It wouldn't take much to make it UHD compatible. Using Emby or Kodi and a high capacity HDD after ripping your UHD discs to MKV's.
I wish I could do that but U.S. copyright law makes it something I would not write about in a review.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-21-2019, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopianemo View Post
Mark, so streaming UHD is a no-go due to DHCP issues.....what about HDR in gaming or streaming HDR from YouTube content?

I'm slow in adapting to the PC side of home entertainment tech, so I'm kind of unsure who benefits most from a PC like this. It doesn't stream Pay-service HDR/HFR 4k or play UHD Blu-Rays easily, so it's of limited use as an HTPC. But it's also not your recommended choice for gaming. So is it more suited for a workstation and not a living room?

I'm not trying to be critical of the device itself; the fact that it didn't crash is monumental in my book. Reliability is the #1 reason why I've stayed away from PCs when it comes to HT.
You can experience 4K and HDR with gaming and YouTube on this PC.

It is a nice PC for an AV rack, is what I tried to convey. Quiet, compact, very capable. But hey, it's built around that video card, a gamer would want to be able to upgrade video cards, I think.

The reason it's good for the living room is it's small, quit, and efficient. For a PC with an RTX 2070 in it. Now that it's gone I'm using an i5 NUC with the same system drive and memory I used in the ZOTAC.

I could easily see buying it as a compact desktop workstation, of course. That's the natural application for something like this.

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Last edited by imagic; 08-22-2019 at 09:54 AM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-21-2019, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I wish I could do that but U.S. copyright law makes it something I would not write about in a review.
I thought the right to finally backup one's own content was awarded? Am I mistaken?

As far as madvr it has an RTX 2070, so performance should be that of any PC with a 2070, pretty darn good.

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post #10 of 12 Old 08-21-2019, 11:22 PM
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It still requires decrypting the video, which is technically still illegal. You can make a backup, but not crack the encryption.
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-22-2019, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
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It still requires decrypting the video, which is technically still illegal. You can make a backup, but not crack the encryption.


Ah yeah that makes sense.
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post #12 of 12 Old 10-21-2019, 07:43 AM
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Hi, thx for your review... can you please tell me if the ZBOX Magnus EC52070D's power adapter is dual voltage (110/220)? Thanks! I need 220VAC and Amazon doesn't say what the voltage requirements are...

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