Zotac ZBOX CI660 Nano Mini PC review

Testing & Performance

General Performance Testing

All benchmarks are run using stock settings in its ‘out of the box’ configuration. Our unit is equipped with the Intel Core i7-8550U SOC sporting 4 cores and 8 threads as well as 250GB of SATA 6Gbps storage and 8GB of Patriot Signature Line memory.

PCMark 10

PCMark 10 is the complete benchmark for the modern office. It is the ideal test for organizations that are evaluating PCs for a workforce with a range of performance needs. The tests in this benchmark cover a wide range of activities from everyday productivity tasks to demanding work with digital media content.
PCMark 10 uses a modular approach to build relevant benchmark tests around common end-user scenarios. A Test Group is a collection of workloads that share a common theme or purpose. There are four test groups in PCMark 10, we use three of them.
Essentials: covers the common, everyday ways that people use a PC. The workloads include Web Browsing, Video Conferencing, and App Start-up time.
 Productivity: measures system performance with everyday office applications. This test group includes the Spreadsheets and Writing workloads.
Digital Content Creation: This test group’s workload reflects the demands of working with digital content and media. The tests include Photo Editing, Video Editing, and Rendering and Visualization.

This test is pretty telling right out of the gate. We are seeing performance out of the CI660 Nano above a lower end full-size desktop and coming reasonable close to a midrange full sized system.


Super PI Modded 1.5

“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environments such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

This test is entirely dependent on that single core boost speed of up to 4GHz and that shows with a respectable 32M time in the upper 8-minute range.



“CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and much more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”

Cinebench is all about threads and again the CI660 Nano shows its miniscule might here with a score of over 700 points. This is similar to what full-sized 95W CPU’s were hitting on desktops until recently when core counts doubled almost overnight.


Memory Performance Testing

AIDA64 Engineer Edition

“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and NVIDIA graphics processors.”

Our Patriot Signature series memory runs at its full 2400MHz rated speed which is also the maximum speed supported and in dual-channel mode. This gives us an average of around 31GB/s on reads and writes and over 27.5GB/s copy functions at a very respectable 57.8ns latency.


Storage Testing – Samsung 850 EVO 256GB

ATTO Disk Benchmark

“As the industry’s leading provider of high-performance storage & network connectivity products, ATTO has created a widely-accepted Disk Benchmark freeware utility to help measure storage system performance. As one of the top tools utilized in the industry, Disk Benchmark identifies performance in hard drives, solid state drives, RAID arrays as well as connections to storage. Top drive manufacturers, like Hitachi, build and test every drive using the ATTO Disk Benchmark”

Our Samsung 850 Evo SATA 6Gbps drive is able to reach its full potential inside the ZBox CI660 Nano.


CrystalDiskMark 3.0

“CrystalDiskMark is designed to quickly test the performance of your hard drives. Currently, the program allows measuring seZ2uential and random read/write speeds.”

CrystalDiskMark shows the same sequential read and write speeds that are very close to the rated specs of the drive.



The AS SSD benchmark determines the performance of Solid State Drives (SSD). The tool contains six synthetic and three copy tests. The synthetic tests determine the sequential and random read and write performance of the SSD. These tests are performed without using the operating system cache. In the sequential test, the program measures how long it takes to read and write a 1 GB file. In the 4K test, read and write performance is determined for randomly selected 4K blocks. The 4K-64 Third test is equivalent to the 4K procedure, except that the read and write operations are distributed to 64 threads. This test should show differences between the IDE operating mode where NCQ is not supported and the AHCI mode for SSDs with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). The additional compression test can measure the performance of the SSD as a function of the compressibility of the data. This is especially important for the controllers that are used to increase the performance and life of the cell compression.

AS SSD gives us a score of around 1050 points, pretty much spot on with what we expect to see with this SSD.


Game Testing

3DMark – Fire Strike

“Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today”

While this machine is not designed or intended to be a gaming powerhouse, the Intel I7-8550U CPU does have quite a bit of muscle and lands in the gaming PC range of CPU based Physics here.


3DMark – Cloud Gate

“Cloud Gate is a new test that is designed for Windows notebooks and typical home PCs. Cloud Gate includes two graphics tests and a physics test. Cloud Gate uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 10 making it suitable for testing DirectX 10 compatible hardware. Cloud Gate is only available in the Windows editions of 3DMark at this time.”

If we dial back to something a little lighter weight, the ZBox CI660 Nano actually pulls a great score and the benchmark is enjoyable to watch rather than a slide-show.


4K Media Testing
We used a few free samples from 4Ksamples.com since they provide a good selection of 4K/UHD content for anyone to download and some 4K YouTube content for streaming media through Google Chrome.

Honey Bees 24FPS in 4K (Ultra HD) – MP4 – H264 – 4096*2304 – 24FPS – 22,320 kbps total bitrate

H.264 based content is among the most popular Codec in use and CI660 Nano barely even bats an eye playing a 4K sample. <1% CPU usage accompanies around 10-15% GPU usage for this level of decoding.


SES Astra UHD Test 2 – MKV – HEVC/H265 – 3840*2160 – 25FPS – 19,101kbps total bitrate

If we step up to the more recent HEVC Codec we see the CPU and GPU tag-team the playback with a modest 15-20% load on each.


4K Chimei Inn 60mbps – MP4 – AVC – 3840*2160 – 29.97FPS – 60,000 kbps

Next, we’ll move to a MPEG 4 based high bitrate Sample. This is again entirely handled by the GPU without breaking a sweat. We see around 1% average CPU load and about 15-20% on the GPU.


Sony 4K Demo: Another World posted by Quang Nguyen.

Our final media test is a 4K sample on YouTube played via Google’s Chrome browser. Here we see 30-45% CPU load and under 5% GPU load.


Power Consumption:

These tests were conducted with the above configuration with standard generic USB keyboard and mouse connected, as well as running wired Ethernet. Power is measured as consumption from the wall.

Idle: 11.6W
Media playback: 36.8W

Cinebench – 100% CPU: 74.7W
Unigine Heaven – 100% GPU:42.3W

Torture test, 100% CPU + 100% GPU: 66.7W


Interestingly, we see the total power consumption drop with everything under full load. We may be running into a power limit here, or possibly thermal.

Thermal Testing:

After looping a stress test, we see the temps even out just under the 80C. you can feel the heat radiating out from the heatsinks along the sides, but the unit itself doesn’t get uncomfortably hot.

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