Desktops are evolving, getting smaller and less intrusive. Zotac is a company that's been at the forefront of this evolution by offering up a constantly expanding line of small form factor (SFF) mini PCs that have grown more powerful with each new generation. The compromise between raw performance and power efficiency lessens with each advance AMD and Intel make to their respective processor technologies.
In this vein, Zotac sent us its ZBOX ID89 Plus. This little system hardly takes up any space, yet it packs an Intel Core i5 3470T dual-core processor clocked at 2.9GHz (3.6GHz Turbo), 4GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, half a terabyte of HDD-based storage, and a plethora of complementary parts and features such as built-in Wi-Fi, dual Gigabit LAN ports, HDMI output, and more. If you'd rather configure the CPU, RAM, and storage on your own, you can opt for the non-Plus version.
At 13.19 inches by 10.43 inches by 3.74 inches, the ZBOX ID89 Plus isn't quite as small as Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC), though it is tiny enough to tuck out of sight in a nook or cranny in your home theater setup, or mounted behind a VESA monitor (all the hardware is included). Figuring out where to put it is the easy part; what to do with a mini PC is another story.
Any major computer upgrade generally requires a full software reinstall too. No so if you heed the advice in the guide to Upgrading a Motherboard without Reinstalling. PCSTATS Tips