September 14, 2017 // 11:14 a.m.
Zotac has announced the impending launch of new compact gaming platforms featuring Intel Kaby Lake or AMD Ryzen processors and desktop-sized graphics cards capable, the company claims, of driving virtual reality gaming.
Based on the company's existing Magnus family of compact PCs, the Magnus EK range includes choices of Intel Kaby Lake seventh-generation Core processors paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 graphics card. Buyers, the company has confirmed, will be given the option of a barebones system to which storage and memory can be added and a Plus model which includes 8GB of DDR4 SODIMM RAM expandable to 32GB, and a 120GB Intel Optane caching SSD linked to a 1TB 2.5" hard drive. A final model, the Windows Edition, takes the hardware of the Plus variant and pre-installs Windows 10.
As well as the Magnus EK range, Zotac has announced the Magnus ER. Based on the same chassis as the Magnus EK, the Magnus ER family drops the Intel hardware in favour of a range of AMD Ryzen processor options. As before, barebones, Plus, and Windows Edition variants will be available, though naturally without the Intel-exclusive Optane caching module.
To prove it's serious about being able to drive a virtual reality headset from the compact chassis, Zotac has announced VR Ready certification and plans to release bundles which will pack an HTC Vive headset and controller set with the top-end Magnus models in selected regions. The company has not yet, however, announced UK pricing and availability.