What’s the Zotac MEK1?
There aren’t many corporations with as a lot revel in as Zotac in relation to small-form-factor PCs. The company has been construction outstanding methods for years, so we had been excited when the Zotac MEK1 arrived on our check bench.
This mini-ITX rig is a little bit better than a lot of Zotac’s earlier methods, nevertheless it’s additionally way more tough. That’s since the MEK1 has been constructed to ship high-end gaming in a package deal sufficiently small to take to LAN events.
Comparable: Very best gaming PCs
Zotac MEK1 – Design and construct
It undoubtedly appears to be like the phase PC. Parallel bands of RGB LEDs run from underneath the bottom, up the entrance of the device and around the roof. The case is slightly angular, with vents observed in every single place the device. Zotac says that the design is encouraged via robots and ‘mechanical anatomy’, and we will undoubtedly consider it.
By means of Zotac’s Spectra instrument, the ones RGB LEDs will also be adjusted to show other colors and lighting fixtures modes, and the remainder of the outside provides forged versatility. A door on the entrance of the device hides the facility button, USB ports and audio jacks, and on the rear there are 4 USB three ports, 5 audio jacks and twin Ethernet. Unfortunately, there’s no USB three.1 Kind-C.
The Zotac can lay on its facet – at hand for slotting the MEK1 underneath a TV – or it comes with a few toes so can take a seat vertically, too. It’s strudy with the ones toes connected, and construct high quality is excellent all the way through. The facet panels are plastic, however they’re forged, and reinforced via a robust steel skeleton underneath.
Zotac’s device weighs eight.9kg, so it’s reasonably simple to place within a robust backpack and raise round. It’s 418mm tall and simply 118mm huge, so it’s way more compact than maximum gaming methods. Actually, it’s hardly ever larger than some consoles. Even if its toes are added, it’s slightly measures greater than 200mm throughout.
On the other hand, construction a robust, compact device at all times comes to some extent of compromise – and Zotac has obviously opted to design the MEK1’s internals round serve as and now not sort. The processor sits underneath a undeniable, low-profile heatsink, and there’s a modest energy provide to the facet. Colored cables path via nearly each hole. A daughterboard sits on the peak of the case and hooks up the lighting fixtures.
The motherboard sits against the ground of the chassis, and at the different facet an extension cable is used to attach the full-size graphics card to the board’s unmarried PCI Categorical slot. The board itself is a fundamental Zotac fashion, lacking extras or high-end gaming options, however that is hardly ever a marvel in a device that isn’t in point of fact designed for tinkering.
There’s a variety of steel and cabling at the within, which makes it difficult to get to the graphics card, arduous disk and reminiscence. The processor will also be reached underneath its petite cooler, however this stays tricky. Repairing or changing any of the MEK1’s parts will end up difficult.
The Zotac MEK1 is diminutive and durable, nevertheless it loses out on many options when put next with a full-sized desktop. The ones rigs could have full-size motherboards that includes a better selection of slots and sockets, higher cooling and more room for long term upgrades. In case you do have the distance and aren’t fussed about travelling, then you could take pleasure in the additional versatility of an ATX device.
Comparable: The Largest Video games for VR Headsets
Zotac MEK1 – Efficiency
The Zotac MEK1 is also smaller than maximum methods, nevertheless it has a variety of graphics energy. A full-size GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is integrated within the MEK1, because of this you get the complete desktop allocation of 2432 circulate processors and 8GB of GDDR5 reminiscence. That isn’t some distance off the GTX 1080, which has 2560 processors and GDDR5X reminiscence.
The GTX 1070 Ti within the Zotac runs at its inventory velocity of 1607MHz, because of this that the cardboard can spice up at 1800MHz and past. The loss of overclocking isn’t a surprise – thermal pressures can be rise up in a small device with none pointless overclocking.
The Zotac’s GTX 1070 Ti will maintain any present recreation on a 1080p show. It zipped via Upward thrust of the Tomb Raider and Heart-earth: Shadow of Mordor with averages of 106fps and 129fps, and it treated Deus Ex: Mankind Divided at 64fps.
It’s a excellent performer at 1440p, too. With Tomb Raider working at its hardest settings at 1440p the Zotac averaged 79fps, and it hit 95fps in Shadow of Mordor. Deus Ex is a harder check, and it controlled a rating of 53fps with the sport at Very Top settings. It performed different peak titles at this answer, too: it ran Witcher three at 63fps and Fallout four at 59fps.
The GTX 1070 Ti could be as regards to the GTX 1080 on paper, however the chip can’t rather maintain 4K gaming in all peak titles. It ran Tomb Raider at 40fps, nevertheless it simplest ran Deus Ex at 28fps and Fallout four at 30fps.
In some video games you’ll need to tweak settings to get clean playback at 4K. Somewhere else, despite the fact that, the tiny Zotac may be very spectacular: it is going to run the rest at lesser resolutions, and will maintain VR headsets too.
The total-size graphics card is paired with an Intel Core i7 processor. On the other hand, the Zotac MEK1’s smaller length signifies that the chip integrated right here isn’t as muscular because the portions discovered within some rival methods.
The Core i7-7700 is a Kaby Lake phase, because of this it has 4 Hyper-Threaded cores slightly than the six cores which are the norm within the Espresso Lake vary. And the i7-7700 doesn’t have the Ok suffix, because of this it’s a little bit slower than a few of Intel’s extra standard chips; it runs at three.6GHz and has a Turbo top of four.2GHz, whilst the i7-7700Ok begins at four.2GHz and rises to four.5GHz.
Nonetheless, the i7-7700 stays simply speedy sufficient for gaming and packages, and it’s reinforced right here via 16GB of reminiscence clocked to an inexpensive 2400MHz.
The Core i7 chip returned single- and multi-threaded ratings of 4611 and 14,765 within the Geekbench checks. The previous determine is only some hundred issues in the back of top-tier Espresso Lake chips, however the multi-threaded benchmark provides simplest about two-thirds of the tempo of a present Espresso Lake i7. It’s additionally about 3000 issues in the back of a Core i7-7700Ok and an eight-core Ryzen phase.
The i7-7700’s lesser software efficiency gained’t have an effect on on video games, however it might end up problematic if you wish to use this device for streaming, high-end photograph paintings, or video advent. If that’s the case, a device with a beefier processor must be a concern.
The SSD, in the meantime, served up learn and write speeds of 2744MB/sec and 1552MB/sec. They’re forged effects and gained’t reason the Zotac to really feel gradual – however a couple of different drives are undoubtedly quicker.
There’s a large number of within this compact device then; nonetheless, the MEK1 carried out neatly in thermal checks. The processor and GPU top temperatures 86°C and 81°C are fantastic, and the enthusiasts churned out just a low, quiet rumble right through our maximum difficult benchmarks and rigidity checks.
It’s simple to counter the noise with some respectable audio system or by the use of a headset, and we’re inspired that the Zotac is regularly quieter than many full-size gaming machines. There have been no throttling problems, both, with the GPU incessantly working at 1800MHz right through intense gaming classes.
Comparable: Our Favorite Gaming Screens
Why purchase the Zotac MEK1?
The Zotac MEK1 isn’t as small as one of the most corporate’s earlier machines, however that implies there’s more space to cram in some high-end gaming energy. The GTX 1070 Ti is a potent card that can maintain the rest in need of 4K – together with VR headsets.
The Core i7 processor is ok, there’s a variety of reminiscence, and the garage is fast. And, impressively, the Zotac handles the most recent video games with out making an excessive amount of noise or generating an excessive amount of warmth.
There are inevitable downsides. It’s difficult to get within this device, and there’s no room to develop – problems that you simply wouldn’t come across on a full-size ATX tower. A tower device would most likely be a little bit less expensive, too.
In case you’re in search of a compact device for a cramped room or for LAN events, alternatively, the Zotac MEK1 is a wonderful choice.
The Zotac MEK1 deploys a GTX 1070 Ti graphics card to ship sufficient energy for the majority gaming duties. It loses issues for versatility, nevertheless it stays a very good choice if you wish to have a small, tough gaming device.