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  • tipoo - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    Do any exist in this form factor, or are the joints proprietary? For something like this a large passively cooled heatsink would be nice. Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I don't think there's room for anything much larger. You've only got 1/4" minus the thickness of the baseplate in additional vertical space. You don't have room to expand sideways either, the area oposite to the USB/Ethernet/etc connectors is taken up by the daughterboard with the audio/Sd/eSata headers. Reply
  • gamoniac - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I have a slightly larger ZBox Nano AD10 with E350. This thing runs hot. I don't passively cooled heat sink would work. Just today, mine shut down again while my wife was using it just for web surfing; this is a long running issue since I had this unit. The small form factor was cute at first but the problem became annoying when it does not do what you bought it for.

    While it's good to push for smaller form factor, it is even more important that Zotac makes sure that they put out a product that works. On that note, does anyone want to buy a fairly new ZBox Nano AD10 with E350? :(
  • gamoniac - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    PS: My GPU temp is high as Ganesh's screenshots show in this article. CPU is hot too during normal usage. I even threw in an SSD but that didn't seem to help keeping the temperature down much, so I swapped the SSD out to use somewhere else worthwhile. Reply
  • Matias - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I agree, I also have an AD10 and it runs waaay to hot! Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    For the same price you could build a Pentium G620, Intel Z68 mATX, 4GB DDR3, 128GB Intel SSD, in a SilverStone ML03B chassis that'll fit in beautifully with any receiver, dvd player or other media equipment.

    It'd be vastly superior in every way. Ridiculously faster, more expandable, quieter, cooler, lower power consumtion (when used with 80+ Bronze PSU) and unfortunately for Zotac, infinitely more reliable.

    ZBox Nano's are notorious for overheating, and other than putting them in front of an air conditioner, there is no real way to fix it with such a design. The reviews on Newegg and Amazon have a number of people discussing the shortcomings of this unit with few people saying they'd buy one again.

    As usual, DIY trumps all. When a company finds an economical+superior alternative, then its worth AT reviewing it.
  • Matias - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    This DIY setup is like 5 times larger than the Zotacs, keep that in mind. I also build DIY desktops, but for HTPC the small form factor of the Zotac is still unrivaled. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    The Silverstone case Samus suggested is actually 65 times larger (by volume). It's smallest dimension is the same size as the Zotac's largest... Reply
  • cjs150 - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    the problem is that the design is not optimised for fanless operation. What is needed is an after market case which would be a heavy duty heatsink (Hfx, Streacom do these but for full sized mini-itx form). It looks as though even the E-450 just does not have enough power to do the obvious job (as an HTPC) correctly.

    At the moment the better option is to wait for Trinity ULV or bite bullet and go for a proper mini-ITX board.

    Maybe if Intel actually did some proper design of an IGP and fixed the frame rate refresh option that would be best - an i3 but with an AMD IGP is the perfect combination
  • Zink - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    That mobo sure is cute. Even if it isn't that useful, someone needs to keep pushing new form factors. Reply
  • apexjr - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    Can I attach a disk shelf to this thing via eSata port multiplier? Reply
  • TerdFerguson - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    The sweet spot, IMHO, was the ATOM/ION net-top, which at least one vendor managed to bring in under the $200 mark. Sadly, they were only available for an awfully brief time and haven't seen fitting replacements. Everything since has offered half the performance for twice the price. Reply
  • Kakumei - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I believe you are mistaken. While there are/were completed dual-core ATOM/ION nettops, by the vendor hitting under the $200 mark I believe you mean the single-core Atom 230-contained Acer Revo 1600's that were priced at $199.99. The Atom 330 models were priced $100 more ($299.99). The ION2 came with a very slightly more powerful D510, but it wasn't worth writing home about. Either way, the CPU performance certainly wasn't twice as good, let alone as good, as the AMD E-350/E-450. The Graphic performance is superior to ION and ION2 systems as well... (Read an anandtech review).

    That said, ION nettops were really the only game in town for the form factor at the time. I have a Revo 1600 in my house, though now I end up using my C-60 netbook at friend's quite often. Seeing the further reduction in form factor from this Nano XS AD11 box is exciting. Crossing my fingers that the next gen is as great a leap.
  • Matias - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    ATOM+ION was slower than Brazos, I had it before. Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    Should have waited for Trinity Reply
  • redisnidma - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I guess what the results would have been if an Atom processor was used instead, because according to Ganesh, if the Zacate APU performed bad, then Atom would have been total crap... :/ Reply
  • TerdFerguson - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    The better Atom machines had NVidia ION chipsets w/ video support. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    Yes, it would have been real bad! I have never been a big fan of Atom-based PCs.. but, given the available feature set, I am sure there is a market somewhere for the capabilities.. Whether the target market is happy with the purchase of the PC after extended use is a different story altogether. Reply
  • jabber - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    I rolled out about a dozen Asrock Ion Atom boxes for business/office use a couple of years ago.

    They are all still trucking along fine and the users still love them.

    We had just one user who is a bit of a social media guru who really pushes his hard (well 20+ browser tabs open etc.) so we recently upped to a (slightly better) 7200rpm HDD and 4GB of ram. We also OC'd his box to 1.8GHz (every little helps) and he is still happy too.
  • 457R4LDR34DKN07 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    does the remote have mouse cursor control? Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    Nope, it is a standard MCE IR remote, similar to what was bundled with the Vision 3D and the CoreHT 252B.

    You will need a separate keyboard / mouse if you wish to do even basic browsing or navigation outside of a 10-ft UI (like XBMC)
  • ectoplasmosis - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    The photography in this article is truly shocking. Reply
  • Matias - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I also noted the very poor pictures! What the hell?? Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I apologize for the poor pictures. We were running late for the NDA lift [ in fact, we missed it by a good 9 hours :( ], and had to make do with whatever I could snap in a hurry yesterday evening. Reply
  • adityanag - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    Ah I just posted a comment to this.. Well, nevermind what I said previously, these things happen :) Reply
  • einstein4pres - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    They appear to be taken with a Nikon P&S. I was curious, so I checked the exif info on the shot of the box that has an incredible amount of barrel distortion.

    I suggest taking the shot in the middle of your zoom range, which should help eliminate the barrel distortion, and increasing the F number (from f2.8 to ~ f8) to increase the depth of field (amount of stuff in focus). You probably need more ambient light, a flash, or a tripod to make this work.
  • freedom4556 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    Test HD Netflix performance in your HTPC reviews, hell, throw in Hulu Plus and HD Youtube and any other major streaming you can think of. Reason I say this is I have an E-350 based HTPC and Silverlight (Microsoft's technology that powers Netflix) doesn't properly provide hardware acceleration to HD streams coming from Netflix. This results in an unplayable single-digit FPS on my Windows 7 HTPC. Youtube works fine, Adobe's got it figured out, and on the latest drivers too. Don't have Hulu, but still FIX IT MICROSOFT. Grrrr... Reply
  • Musafir_86 - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    -Did you check that you really have Silverlight 5 installed? Windows Update only pushes Silverlight 4 as far as I could see, so you need to download and upgrade manually. Also, AFAIK, only in version 5 it have proper hardware acceleration support.

  • Kakumei - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    microsoft removed true gpu acceleration from their to-do list for silverlight 5.
    You cannot watch netflix hd on netbook cpus, sorry.
  • Matias - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    I agree, cant see HD videos on Netflix using the AD10 because of lame Silverlight... Reply
  • dealcorn - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    The form factor has appeal and will increase sales because it is cute. However, the relevant, missing comparative data point should be Intel's dn2800mt which provides a lower cost, more efficient alternative to the Atom Ion boards of old. Reply
  • markq - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    This machine is directly comparable to an atom based nettop. Why were the performance numbers not compared to an atom machine? My wife curently has an atom based unit and I would like to be able to determine if this is a suitable replacement for it. Reply
  • Matias - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    I had an ID11 before the AD10, and the E350 is way better than the 510+ION for video playback, and CPU is a little faster. There are other reviews that compare them. Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    Because that would make Brazos look good. ;) Reply
  • msroadkill612 - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    not my cup of tea - always a big price for such excessive miniaturisation

    am interested in brazos tho

    a review of a brazos mini itx board would be interesting to see what problems go away - the review judges the barazos package based on a sample of one

    no mention of memory used - i hear 1600~ ram helps heaps on llanos anyway - cos it is used by the gpu also

    not surprised by fan noise in such a small package

    in short - we should reserve our judgement & hunt up other brazos reviews

    some of the flaws dont sound right - the dropped frames e.g

    power numbers v impressive

    Idle 14.1 W
    Prime95 + Furmark (Full loading) 31.4 W
    1080p24 MKV Playback using DXVA 24.4 W

    as a thin client on a cloud - a lot for the boss to like - a big cost can be aircon w/ all those hot overpowered PCs pumping heat into the office in summer

    imagine 40nm brazos at 32nm (now running smoothly for amd) or 28 nm, (next node for their now 40nm gpuS) tweaked a bit
  • Tralalak - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    W will waiting to ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD-series with VIA QuadCore procesor and all-in-one chipset VIA VX11 MSP with DirectX11 VIA Chrome 645 IGP. Reply
  • R3MF - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    i like, i really do, but i will put cash on the table when Zotac show me a model sporting an AMD Trinity Fusion APU........... Reply
  • adityanag - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    The pictures are pretty poor (not the internal ones in the gallery, those are OK). It looks like you took them with a phone. I'm not suggesting that you need to get a $5000 camera, but at least something that is in focus?

    Not trying to be too negative or anything, rather liked the review, and that's why I wish the pictures were better.
  • adityanag - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    I saw another comment that explained why the pictures were poor, so I take it back.. a little... even pictures shot in a hurry should be focused! Reply
  • NerdMan - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link


    A 1st rate site should definitely have quality photos, no matter how quickly the review is done!

    I loved AnandTech back in its heyday, but it's fast becoming a 2nd rate review site.
  • NerdMan - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    I mean, the picture quality in general has been lackluster.

    This is poor as well:
  • GullLars - Friday, April 13, 2012 - link

    Like stated in the article, i too find including drivers on a CD on a system without an optical drive is a major FAIL.
    A quick google search found 4GB mini/micro/pico size usb drives cost $5-6, that should be enough for drivers with good margin, and compared to the total cost of the system at $360 is under 2%.

    I have one major critizism for the system though, they only populate one RAM channel. The integrated GPU on Bobcat and Llano like memory bandwidth, so the couple of $ needed for an extra memory slot and DIMM would IMHO be an obvious better sollution.
  • ProDigit - Sunday, April 22, 2012 - link

    Some devices need a high resolution.
    I would like to have known if this device is capable of outputting to 640x480 or an 800x480 output.?
    It is needed for entry LED projectors.

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