It seems that size doesn’t matter anymore, at least when it comes to video editing workstations. Having a larger computer may provide you with more processing power, even though technology has evolved to the point where you can get a fast editing PC without sacrificing a significant amount of desk/floor space.
Having a more-than-sufficient editing workstation that’s the size of a small box apparently isn’t fiction nowadays as the next video produced by Dave Lee proves it unambiguously. Check out the ZOTAC MAGNUS EK71080 Mini Workstation alongside all the bells and whistles it brings to the table.
The EK71080 is one of the smallest computer systems out there that balances price and performance, all in a well-constructed and compact black aluminum body. What’s more, the unit comes in two versions: Barebones and Kit.
For $1,500 the base model offers an Intel 7700 HQ processor and a desktop-class NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics card, both of which perform admirably despite relying solely on air-cooling solutions (i.e., the use of fans). The fact that this is the Barebones model means that you are expected to provide your own storage, memory, and operating system.
If you’d like to have all the other components pre-installed, including the OS, you can purchase the Kit version of the system for an extra $300. Not only do you get the same processor and memory as in the base model, but you’ll also have 8GB RAM, a 120GB SSD, a 1TB HDD, and Windows 10 Home right off the bat.
For I/O, the EK71080 is fairly equipped with several USB Type A ports, a USB Type C port, two Ethernet ports, and SD Card reader as well as dual WiFi antennas for wireless connections. No matter which version of the EK71080 you purchase, you will get some high-end components at a price that’s lower than a lot of pre-built, and even custom-built systems. Not to mention you won’t have to do as much work as building your own computer.
Beyond that, the Zotac mini PC is powered using an external adapter which is rather large but seems to be worth it since offloading the power supply to a separate unit decreases the computer’s size and accumulation of heat.
In terms of performance, Lee ran a series of benchmarks to determine the computer’s performance. The showcased results could easily translate into great performance in GPU-accelerated applications such as Premiere Pro CC and DaVinci Resolve.
Overall, the computing power of the Zotac’s mini-workstation is more than enough to tackle multiple source-intensive tasks including 4K video editing and color grading, VR processing, 360-degree videos, and more which is indeed impressive for a computer as small as the E71080. When you push the system to extremes, however, you could come across some thermal throttling issues that might decrease the performance of the computer.
Of course, you can reduce the adverse effect by speeding up the fans, but that will increase the noise emitted from the system. Speaking of fan noise, it was definitely there, even though it wasn’t that distracting according to Lee.
All in all, Zotac has managed to create a reasonably-priced, box-like machine that delivers excellent computing performance that would suit any beginner/experienced editor. So, if you are currently in the market for a portable, yet powerful workstation, the MAGNUS EK71080 might be just the right fit for your workflow.