What’s the Zotac MEK1?
There aren’t many corporations with as a lot revel in as Zotac on the subject of small-form-factor PCs. The company has been development outstanding techniques for years, so we have been excited when the Zotac MEK1 arrived on our take a look at bench.
This mini-ITX rig is somewhat better than lots of Zotac’s earlier techniques, nevertheless it’s additionally way more tough. That’s since the 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 surely seems the section 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 noticed everywhere the gadget. Zotac says that the design is encouraged by way of robots and ‘mechanical anatomy’, and we will be able to surely consider it.
By the use of Zotac’s Spectra tool, the ones RGB LEDs will also be adjusted to show other colors and lighting fixtures modes, and the remainder of the outside provides cast versatility. A door on the entrance of the gadget hides the ability 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 – to hand for slotting the MEK1 underneath a TV – or it comes with a few ft so can sit down vertically, too. It’s strudy with the ones ft connected, and construct high quality is excellent right through. The aspect panels are plastic, however they’re cast, and reinforced by way of a powerful steel skeleton underneath.
Zotac’s gadget weighs eight.9kg, so it’s moderately simple to position inside of a robust backpack and elevate round. It’s 418mm tall and simply 118mm vast, so it’s way more compact than maximum gaming techniques. In truth, it’s infrequently larger than some consoles. Even if its ft are added, it’s slightly measures greater than 200mm throughout.
Then again, development a powerful, compact gadget all the time comes to a point of compromise – and Zotac has obviously opted to design the MEK1’s internals round serve as and no longer variety. The processor sits underneath a undeniable, low-profile heatsink, and there’s a modest energy provide to the aspect. Colored cables path via nearly each and every 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 aspect an extension cable is used to glue the full-size graphics card to the board’s unmarried PCI Specific slot. The board itself is a elementary Zotac style, lacking extras or high-end gaming options, however that is infrequently a wonder in a gadget that isn’t in point of fact designed for tinkering.
There’s numerous steel and cabling at the inside of, which makes it difficult to get to the graphics card, onerous 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 turn out difficult.
The Zotac MEK1 is diminutive and durable, nevertheless it loses out on many options when compared with a full-sized desktop. The ones rigs can have full-size motherboards that includes a better selection of slots and sockets, higher cooling and more room for long run 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 gadget.
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Zotac MEK1 – Efficiency
The Zotac MEK1 could also be smaller than maximum techniques, nevertheless it has numerous graphics energy. A full-size GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is incorporated within the MEK1, this means that you get the total desktop allocation of 2432 flow 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 pace of 1607MHz, this means that that the cardboard can spice up at 1800MHz and past. The loss of overclocking isn’t a surprise – thermal pressures might be get up in a small gadget with none useless overclocking.
The Zotac’s GTX 1070 Ti will deal with any present sport on a 1080p show. It zipped via Upward thrust of the Tomb Raider and Center-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 operating at its hardest settings at 1440p the Zotac averaged 79fps, and it hit 95fps in Shadow of Mordor. Deus Ex is a more difficult take a look at, and it controlled a ranking of 53fps with the sport at Very Prime settings. It performed different peak titles at this solution, too: it ran Witcher three at 63fps and Fallout four at 59fps.
The GTX 1070 Ti could be with reference to the GTX 1080 on paper, however the chip can’t rather deal with 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 must tweak settings to get clean playback at 4K. In other places, despite the fact that, the tiny Zotac could be very spectacular: it’ll run anything else at lesser resolutions, and will deal with VR headsets too.
The entire-size graphics card is paired with an Intel Core i7 processor. Then again, the Zotac MEK1’s smaller length signifies that the chip incorporated right here isn’t as muscular because the portions discovered inside of some rival techniques.
The Core i7-7700 is a Kaby Lake section, this means that it has 4 Hyper-Threaded cores slightly than the six cores which might be the norm within the Espresso Lake vary. And the i7-7700 doesn’t have the Okay suffix, this means that it’s somewhat slower than a few of Intel’s extra widespread chips; it runs at three.6GHz and has a Turbo top of four.2GHz, whilst the i7-7700Okay begins at four.2GHz and rises to four.5GHz.
Nonetheless, the i7-7700 stays simply speedy sufficient for gaming and programs, and it’s reinforced right here by way of 16GB of reminiscence clocked to an affordable 2400MHz.
The Core i7 chip returned single- and multi-threaded ratings of 4611 and 14,765 within the Geekbench exams. The previous determine is just a few hundred issues at 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 at the back of a Core i7-7700Okay and an eight-core Ryzen section.
The i7-7700’s lesser software efficiency received’t have an effect on on video games, however it would turn out problematic if you wish to use this gadget for streaming, high-end picture paintings, or video advent. If that’s the case, a gadget 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 motive the Zotac to really feel gradual – however a couple of different drives are surely sooner.
There’s numerous inside of this compact gadget then; however, the MEK1 carried out neatly in thermal exams. The processor and GPU top temperatures 86°C and 81°C are high-quality, and the fanatics churned out just a low, quiet rumble all over our maximum tough benchmarks and rigidity exams.
It’s simple to counter the noise with some respectable audio system or by means of a headset, and we’re inspired that the Zotac is often quieter than many full-size gaming machines. There have been no throttling problems, both, with the GPU ceaselessly operating at 1800MHz all over intense gaming periods.
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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 deal with anything else in need of 4K – together with VR headsets.
The Core i7 processor is ok, there’s numerous 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 difficult to get inside of this gadget, and there’s no room to develop – problems that you simply wouldn’t stumble upon on a full-size ATX tower. A tower gadget would most probably be somewhat inexpensive, too.
In case you’re looking for a compact gadget for a cramped room or for LAN events, alternatively, the Zotac MEK1 is a superb 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, nevertheless it stays a very good possibility if you wish to have a small, tough gaming gadget.