Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Zotac ZBOX Magnus EC52070D Home Entertainment Mini PC - Hands-On & Review
Without question, my living room PC is the most important single piece of electronics I own. I do just about everything with it, including all of my work for AVS Forum. From Photoshop to video editing to music production in Ableton live, it's the focus of my creativity. It's also the source of my entertainment, from streaming music to sports to YouTube, that's how I watch what I watch and listen to what I like. And now, with the Zotac ZBOX Magnus EC52070D Home Entertainment Mini PC, I'm getting a taste of what it's like to leap some years forward, from the big and many a bit clunky DIY PC I built and upgraded over time, to a well-engineered, modern mini-PC.
Zotac sent me a "barebones" Magnus EC52070D, meaning it had the RTX 2070 video card built in, but no hard drive or RAM. I'm not messing around, so I maxed the system with 32 GB of Ballistix Sport LT (16GBx2) DDR4 2666 RAM. The C drive is a 256GB SSD salvaged from an Intel NUC, and for good measure I added a Samsung 1TB SSD. These are both QLC drives (quad-level cell) which are super small. There's still room for a regular SSD in the easily-opened, compact chassis.
I'm just getting it going today, but the scoop is that this PC has a 6-core i5-8400T processor running @ 1.70GHz, with a "turbo" speed of 3.3GHz. This plus the RTX 2070 should allow it to outmuscle the GTX 1080 and i5-2500K quad-core CPU in my DIY unit (also 32 GB RAM).
I've got Steam, so games are part of the equation. And I've got Vudu. Moreover, I have two 75" TVs side-by-side (Sony X950G and Samsung Q90) so comparisons are going to be fun.
Another way I'll be using the Zotac is video. Lots of it. I have all these action cams and 360 cams—I'm addicted really—including GoPro Hero7 Black, Osmo Pocket, Insta360 One X, GoPro Fusion and Theta Z1. I want to see if this box handles the heavy render sessions well.
That's all for now. I've been running my living room experience off a PC for 20+ years, not going to stop anytime soon. I'm surprised at how long my last PC lasted so if I were to upgrade it would have to be to something quality. So far I am liking the Zotac.
FWIW, setup was smooth using the provided USB stick that had all the needed drivers on it, that got the rig up and running event-free.
Editor, AVS Forum
Last edited by imagic; 06-02-2019 at 05:21 PM.