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Computers

Zotac's water-cooled mini PC is ready for VR and surprisingly affordable

Squeezing this many goodies into a small PC can be tricky, but the Magnus EN980 pulls it off.

zotacmagnusen980.jpg

Small but mighty and VR ready.

Aloysius Low/CNET

I've always thought that you really needed a tower chassis to really get the most out of a PC. Having more space usually means better airflow, after all. And it leaves you room for components, such as an extra graphics card, that can boost its performance.

The Magnus EN980, Zotac's liquid-cooled mini PC, quite easily proves me wrong. Zotac announced it a few months back, but it's making its debut here at Computex in Taipei.

This powerful computer may not be big, but it packs a desktop-class quad-core 2.7GHz Intel Core i5-6400 processor and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980 graphics card. Other specs also include 16GB of RAM and a 240GB SSD. That should be enough for most people, though I'd prefer if there's was room for an additional hard disk drive.

Key specs

  • Small PC
  • Uses two 180W power supply units due to limited space
  • Liquid cooling helps keep component temperatures down
  • Available from the end of June

The Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 and Intel Core i5 processor mean it's more than powerful enough to meet the minimum requirements for VR. So you'll be able to use this with the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift.

Zotac says it plans to ship by end June with a starting price of $1,000 (which converts to about £685 or AU$1,380). That seems like a bargain to me. You could probably get the same specs for less with a tower PC, but they won't fit as nicely into a small compact package.

Check out the rest of CNET's Computex 2016 coverage.

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Here's what it looks like without the Zotac chassis.

Aloysius Low/CNET

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