TweakTown
Tech content trusted by users in North America and around the world
5,908 Reviews & Articles | 38,051 News Posts

Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11-U Next-Generation ION Nettop - General Hands-On Usage and Performance

Today we assemble and test the Zotac ZBOX not-quite-a-barebones mini-PC and see how it performs and how it works.

| SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Sep 6, 2010 10:28 am
TweakTown Rating: 82%      Manufacturer: Zotac USA

General Hands-On Usage

 

Here's a CPU-Z screenshot showing some detailed specs of what's running under the ZBOX's hood:

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3497_88.png

 

Boot Time

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3497_98.png

 

Once the basic software install had completed, we restarted the machine to get a boot time. The ZBOX reached the Windows 7 desktop in 72 seconds.

 

Obviously, since we did the OS install ourselves, the desktop contained only the standard Windows 7 icons.

 

Overall, the ZBOX performs quite admirably with everyday computing tasks. Though we certainly didn't experience (nor expect) the blazing fast responsiveness we've seen on solid-state drive-equipped desktops lately, the general computing experience was on par with what one might expect from a modern laptop. We experienced no crashes or hangs of any kind during the review of the ZBOX.

 

Power Consumption

 

The ZBOX draws an incredibly low 21 watts at idle, bumping up to only 28 watts under load. While one of the least-demanding systems we've tested in terms of power consumption, there are some tradeoffs in terms of performance, as we will see below.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3497_96.png

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3497_97.png

 

Audio Performance

 

We ran the system through the standard media encoding test regime here at TweakTown, which includes music and video transcoding.

 

All systems are tested "as is", which means operating systems and drivers can and do vary and some come pre-installed with applications that may or may not affect performance.

 

Any anti-virus or security applications are disabled and uninstalled before any testing is started, as they can affect test numbers.

 

For the iTunes encoding test we took the White Stripes - Under Great White Northern Lights album in MP3 format and encode it to AAC format using iTunes and time the results with a stopwatch.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3497_90.png

 

The ZBOX performed this task in 442 seconds. This is one of the longer times we've seen a machine take to do this task, but with a low-voltage processor and a 5,400RPM HDD, we can't say we're surprised.

 

Video Performance

 

For the movie-encoding test, we took the Microsoft Magic of Flight VC-1 WMV (1080p HD) video with six-channel audio and transcode it to XviD (1080p HD) with LAME MP3 two-channel audio and an MP4 container using MediaCoder 0.7.3.4616 32-bit edition.

 

TweakTown image content/3/4/3497_91.png

 

The ZBOX took 862 seconds to complete this task-again, one of the slower times we've noted on recent machines.

 

The types of chips that operate well in low-voltage applications tend to perform rather poorly in CPU-intensive tasks such as media encoding and transcoding. This is just a tradeoff one must keep in mind when considering a low-voltage machine.

 

Related Tags

Further Reading: Read and find more Computer Systems content at our Computer Systems reviews, guides and articles index page.

Do you get our RSS feed? Get It!

Post a Comment about this content

Latest Tech News Posts

View More News Posts

TweakTown Web Poll

Question: Facebook's acquisition of Oculus VR will...

Improve Oculus Rift Development

Hamper Oculus Rift Development

Completely destroy Oculus Rift Development

Let's wait and see, I'm not sure

or View the Results

View More Polls

Forum Activity

View More Forum Posts

Press Releases

View More Press Releases