• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

ZOTAC ZBOX CI540 nano Production Flaw Unearthed?

btarunr

Editor & Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
43,084 (8.00/day)
Location
Hyderabad, India
System Name RBMK-1000
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix B450-E Gaming
Cooling DeepCool Gammax L240 V2
Memory 2x 8GB G.Skill Sniper X
Video Card(s) Palit GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER GameRock
Storage Western Digital Black NVMe 512GB
Display(s) BenQ 1440p 60 Hz 27-inch
Case Corsair Carbide 100R
Audio Device(s) ASUS SupremeFX S1220A
Power Supply Cooler Master MWE Gold 650W
Mouse ASUS ROG Strix Impact
Keyboard Gamdias Hermes E2
Software Windows 11 Pro
French tech publication 01net noticed something odd about the ZBOX CI540 from ZOTAC it was reviewing. Even for a fan-less compact desktop, its Core i5-4210Y dual-core chip was idling around 80°C. The reviewer then opened it up to find that ZOTAC left the protective plastic film on the thermal pad which conducts heat from the CPU to the body intact. Temperatures dropped with that film peeled. The kicker? Reaching for that thermal pad voids your product warranty.

Even if the ZBOX CI540 is a barebones unit, in which you drop in your own 2.5-inch HDD/SSD and SO-DIMM memory, requiring you to unscrew its body; the storage and memory compartments are located on the reverse side of the motherboard. You're not supposed to unscrew the motherboard to reveal its obverse (front) side, as there's nothing for you to "upgrade" there. The CPU is in the BGA (ball-grid array) package, and hardwired to the motherboard. The screws that let you reveal the front side are capped with warranty seals. We're not sure if it's a one-off bad piece 01net got, or an entire batch hit by one lazy hand on the production line.





Update Jun 24: We received following statement from ZOTAC:
ZOTAC has found the plastic film to be isolated to preproduction units. These preproduction units were only used for press sampling and are not representative of final units shipping to retail. However, the plastic film has very little impact on the cooling capabilities of our passive ZBOX C-series nano chassis since the cooling fins that are responsible for the majority of the heat dissipation duties is below the thermal pad. The thermal pad is only used to transfer heat to the secondary heat dissipation plate integrated into the chassis for added cooling capabilities.

Nevertheless, the temperatures observed while testing under load with the erroneous plastic film still in place is still within the thermal guidelines of Intel's 100°C maximum T Junction and does not cause instability. Temperatures observed by users can vary greatly depending on room temperature and system placement since the ZBOX CI540 nano is passive cooled. We apologize for the error but assure our mass production units are not affected.

View at TechPowerUp Main Site
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
1,585 (0.40/day)
Location
Kaunas, Lithuania
System Name my box
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
Motherboard ASRock Taichi x470 Ultimate
Cooling NZXT Kraken x72
Memory 2×16GiB @ 3200MHz, some Corsair RGB led meme crap
Video Card(s) AMD [ASUS ROG STRIX] Radeon RX Vega64 [OC Edition]
Storage Samsung 970 Pro && 2× Seagate IronWolf Pro 4TB in Raid 1
Display(s) Asus VG278H + Asus VH226H
Case Fractal Design Define R6 Black TG
Audio Device(s) Using optical S/PDIF output lol
Power Supply Corsair AX1200i
Mouse Razer Naga Epic
Keyboard Keychron Q1
Software Funtoo Linux
Benchmark Scores 217634.24 BogoMIPS
Joined
Mar 26, 2010
Messages
9,607 (2.14/day)
Location
Jakarta, Indonesia
System Name micropage7
Processor Intel Xeon X3470
Motherboard Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. P55A-UD3R (Socket 1156)
Cooling Enermax ETS-T40F
Memory Samsung 8.00GB Dual-Channel DDR3
Video Card(s) NVIDIA Quadro FX 1800
Storage V-GEN03AS18EU120GB, Seagate 2 x 1TB and Seagate 4TB
Display(s) Samsung 21 inch LCD Wide Screen
Case Icute Super 18
Audio Device(s) Auzentech X-Fi Forte
Power Supply Silverstone 600 Watt
Mouse Logitech G502
Keyboard Sades Excalibur + Taihao keycaps
Software Win 7 64-bit
Benchmark Scores Classified
they are too busy rolling this product worldwide :D:D
and their quality control department must be too tired to look before it out from the factory
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
6,568 (1.13/day)
System Name ICE-QUAD // ICE-CRUNCH
Processor Q6600 // 2x Xeon 5472
Memory 2GB DDR // 8GB FB-DIMM
Video Card(s) HD3850-AGP // FireGL 3400
Display(s) 2 x Samsung 204Ts = 3200x1200
Audio Device(s) Audigy 2
Software Windows Server 2003 R2 as a Workstation now migrated to W10 with regrets.
What a shame that zotac doesnt have TWO network ports... endless possibilities
 

eledore

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
1 (0.00/day)
ZBOX CI323 Nano Bought it last October (2016) today i got sick of the 80c CPU warning emails i been getting for a week.
I have been using it as a pfsense box on the botom of my rack, so airflow is not ideal. But at the top of the rack the temp is 34c. Not to hot.
So i grabbed the the thing from the botom and it was as hot as my emails said it was. I then found your post.
And Guess what. https://goo.gl/1Jvhh1 They should include 'Remove liner' in the manual. so we then will be to blame. Instead now get Overheated Units.
 
Top