Zotac ZBOX nano ID65 - Leading the Mini-PC Charge?

Performance Benchmarking

Performance Benchmarking

Test Setup

Here’s the test configuration of Zotac ZBOX nano ID65:-

  • Intel Core i3-3537U (2.0GHz)
  • GeIL 4GB DDR SO-DIMM (single channel)
  • 128GB Samsung SSD 840 Pro
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit / Windows 8 Pro

To evaluate the Zotac ZBOX nano ID65, we will be comparing it closely with the Intel NUC mini-PC as well as the recently reviewed Sapphire Edge VS8. While the ZBOX nano ID65 easily trumps the Intel NUC mini-PC in terms of usability and features, how will it fare in terms of performance given that it only operates in a single-channel memory mode will be of interest to us.Therefore, the list of benchmarks used are as follows:

  • FutureMark PCMark 7
  • 3DMark 11
  • Far Cry 2
  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2

PCMark 7

Overall, the Zotac ZBOX nano ID65 scored about 11% less than the Intel NUC mini-PC. However, the breakdown of the scores paints an interesting picture. On the “Productivity” workload, the ZBOX nano ID65 had the clear upper-hand, but conceded to the Intel NUC mini-PC when it came to the “Creativity”, “Entertainment” and “Computation” workloads, regaining the upper-hand only when it came to “System Storage”. The ZBOX nano ID65 was miles ahead of the Sapphire Edge VS8 and held a convincing lead over the AMD A10-5800K APU.

3DMark 11

As we can see from 3DMark 11, the Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated GPU is clearly no match for AMD’s integrated GPU solutions. Comparing the ZBOX nano ID65 against the HP DV6, both of which have similar Intel integrated GPUs, we noticed a 12% difference in performance in favor of the HP DV6. We did not have results from the Intel NUC mini-PC because it failed to complete this benchmark. 

Far Cry 2

Moving on to real-world gaming benchmarks, on Far Cry 2 we noticed that the ZBOX nano ID65 offered 40% poorer performance as compared to the Intel NUC mini-PC. The difference in performance is pretty drastic and this can be attributed to its single-channel memory implementation because the graphics memory bandwidth is directly dependent on the system's memory subsystem configuration. The ZBOX nano ID65's drawback is also obvious in some of the sub-tests from PC Mark as seen above;

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

On Battlefield Bad Company 2, we saw that the ZBOX nano ID65 once again posted much lower frame rates than the Intel NUC mini-PC, despite the two having the same Intel HD Graphics 4000 integrated GPU. The difference in performance is about 35% and can be attributed again to the ZBOX’s single-channel memory implementation. 

The Good
Generous connectivity options
Small and light
Quiet operation
The Bad
Poor graphics performance
Single-channel memory
Pricey when you consider additional costs of components

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