What’s the Zotac MEK1?
There aren’t many firms with as a lot revel in as Zotac with regards to small-form-factor PCs. The company has been construction remarkable programs for years, so we had been excited when the Zotac MEK1 arrived on our check bench.
This mini-ITX rig is a bit higher than lots of Zotac’s earlier programs, however it’s additionally way more tough. That’s for the reason that MEK1 has been constructed to ship high-end gaming in a bundle sufficiently small to take to LAN events.
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Zotac MEK1 – Design and construct
It indubitably appears to be like the phase PC. Parallel bands of RGB LEDs run from underneath the bottom, up the entrance of the gadget and around the roof. The case is slightly angular, with vents observed far and wide the gadget. Zotac says that the design is encouraged by means of robots and ‘mechanical anatomy’, and we will indubitably imagine it.
By means of Zotac’s Spectra tool, the ones RGB LEDs can also be adjusted to show other colors and lights modes, and the remainder of the outside gives cast versatility. A door on the entrance of the gadget 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 aspect – at hand for slotting the MEK1 underneath a TV – or it comes with a few toes so can sit down vertically, too. It’s strudy with the ones toes connected, and construct high quality is just right all through. The aspect panels are plastic, however they’re cast, and reinforced by means of a powerful steel skeleton underneath.
Zotac’s gadget weighs eight.9kg, so it’s moderately simple to place inside of a robust backpack and lift round. It’s 418mm tall and simply 118mm huge, so it’s way more compact than maximum gaming programs. In truth, it’s hardly ever larger than some consoles. Even if its toes are added, it’s slightly measures greater than 200mm throughout.
Alternatively, construction a powerful, compact machine at all times comes to some extent of compromise – and Zotac has obviously opted to design the MEK1’s internals round serve as and no longer sort. The processor sits underneath a undeniable, low-profile heatsink, and there’s a modest energy provide to the aspect. Colored cables path via virtually each hole. A daughterboard sits on the peak of the case and hooks up the lights.
The motherboard sits in opposition to the ground of the chassis, and at the different aspect 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 style, lacking extras or high-end gaming options, however that is hardly ever a wonder in a machine that isn’t actually designed for tinkering.
There’s quite a few steel and cabling at the inside of, which makes it tough to get to the graphics card, laborious disk and reminiscence. The processor can also be reached underneath its petite cooler, however this stays tough. Repairing or changing any of the MEK1’s elements will end up tough.
The Zotac MEK1 is diminutive and durable, however it loses out on many options in comparison with a full-sized desktop. The ones rigs may have full-size motherboards that includes a better selection of slots and sockets, higher cooling and more room for long term upgrades. If you happen to do have the distance and aren’t fussed about travelling, then you might have the benefit of the additional versatility of an ATX gadget.
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Zotac MEK1 – Efficiency
The Zotac MEK1 could also be smaller than maximum programs, however it has quite a few graphics energy. A full-size GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is incorporated within the MEK1, because of this you get the total desktop allocation of 2432 move processors and 8GB of GDDR5 reminiscence. That isn’t a long way 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 will likely be rise up in a small machine with none useless overclocking.
The Zotac’s GTX 1070 Ti will take care of any present sport 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 just right 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 Prime 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 just about the GTX 1080 on paper, however the chip can’t reasonably take care of 4K gaming in all peak titles. It ran Tomb Raider at 40fps, however it handiest 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. In other places, despite the fact that, the tiny Zotac may be very spectacular: it is going to run anything else at lesser resolutions, and will take care of VR headsets too.
The entire-size graphics card is paired with an Intel Core i7 processor. Alternatively, the Zotac MEK1’s smaller length implies that the chip incorporated right here isn’t as muscular because the portions discovered inside of some rival programs.
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 Okay suffix, because of this it’s a bit slower than a few of Intel’s extra fashionable chips; it runs at three.6GHz and has a Turbo height of four.2GHz, whilst the i7-7700Okay begins at four.2GHz and rises to four.5GHz.
Nonetheless, the i7-7700 stays simply rapid sufficient for gaming and packages, and it’s reinforced right here by means of 16GB of reminiscence clocked to an affordable 2400MHz.
The Core i7 chip returned single- and multi-threaded rankings of 4611 and 14,765 within the Geekbench assessments. The previous determine is just a few hundred issues in the back of top-tier Espresso Lake chips, however the multi-threaded benchmark gives handiest about two-thirds of the tempo of a present Espresso Lake i7. It’s additionally about 3000 issues in the back of a Core i7-7700Okay and an eight-core Ryzen phase.
The i7-7700’s lesser utility efficiency received’t have an effect on on video games, however it might end up problematic if you wish to use this gadget for streaming, high-end photograph paintings, or video advent. If that’s the case, a machine 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 cast effects and received’t reason the Zotac to really feel gradual – however a couple of different drives are indubitably quicker.
There’s numerous inside of this compact machine then; however, the MEK1 carried out neatly in thermal assessments. The processor and GPU height temperatures 86°C and 81°C are nice, and the enthusiasts churned out just a low, quiet rumble throughout our maximum difficult benchmarks and pressure assessments.
It’s simple to counter the noise with some first rate 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 steadily working at 1800MHz throughout intense gaming classes.
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Why purchase the Zotac MEK1?
The Zotac MEK1 isn’t as small as one of the corporate’s earlier machines, however that suggests there’s extra space to cram in some high-end gaming energy. The GTX 1070 Ti is a potent card that can take care of anything else in need of 4K – together with VR headsets.
The Core i7 processor is ok, there’s quite a few reminiscence, and the garage is speedy. 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 tough to get inside of this gadget, and there’s no room to develop – problems that you simply wouldn’t come across on a full-size ATX tower. A tower gadget would most probably be a bit less expensive, too.
If you happen to’re in search of a compact machine for a cramped room or for LAN events, then again, the Zotac MEK1 is a wonderful possibility.
The Zotac MEK1 deploys a GTX 1070 Ti graphics card to ship sufficient energy for the majority gaming duties. It loses issues for versatility, however it stays a very good possibility if you want a small, tough gaming machine.