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I wonder if any "ZOTAC Zbox mini PC" will be enough for Blender or DX9/DX10 game programming tasks? Is the new CryEngine 3 Sandbox editor will be enough ION2 Nvidia graphics processor?

Whether the computer is enough for the same task? : ZOTAC ZBOX HD-ND22? It has an Intel Celeron SU2300 (dual-core) (1.2 GHz) processor.

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"This question is unlikely to ever help any future visitors; it is only relevant to [...] an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet." –  RedGrittyBrick Aug 26 '11 at 9:31
    
Lack of clarity about the speed of the PC, because the Celeron SU2300 (dual-core) (1.2 GHz) processor is faster than a 1.46GHz Intel T2310 dual-core Acer Aspire 5720Z. –  Saulius Aug 26 '11 at 9:40
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closed as too localized by RedGrittyBrick, Journeyman Geek, Nifle, techie007, nhinkle Aug 27 '11 at 6:53

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2 Answers

You may well be able to program DX9 or DX10 games on that machine, but you would not get any kind of ground breaking performance out of it.

Chances are you'd be able to see the results of what you're doing but I not would expect anything fantastic, I would expect it to be a bit slow with Blender and in DirectX I would expect low frames per second.

If you truly are intending to do Blender work or game programming, I would recommend getting a proper desktop PC, even a halfway modern laptop would be better.

To me mini-PCs are only really likely to shine at being small "sit beside your tv" type web browser devices. It looks like Nvidia ION can handle HD video.

According to the Nvidia page the ION should be able to handle playing games at a usable speed, but I'd be sceptical about using it for game development.

-=EDIT=-

From your comment I take it you are set on getting this machine and simply want to know if the machine is capable of doing the work.

Quite simply, yes, that machine is capable of doing the work you want so long as you do not expect it to be the same kind of smooth performance you would get from a machine with a decent processor and graphics card.

Make sure you have (at minimum) the recommended 2GB of RAM, otherwise I would expect the performance to be nearly unusable.

There is a big difference between a computer being usable for a job, and it being good for that same job.

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AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ is similar to Intel celeron SU2300 (dual-core) (1.2GHz) cpubenchmark.net/… Blender above minimum system requirements is 2GHz –  Saulius Aug 26 '11 at 10:05
    
it supports 8GB of RAM DDR3. –  Saulius Aug 26 '11 at 11:47
    
Yes it is not a fast PC, and it is slower for Blender system requirements. I think it will be not enough for Cryengine 3 but enough for Half-Life2 "Source SDK". –  Saulius Aug 26 '11 at 12:25
    
Halflife 2 (and the SDK) I would expect to run well enough. It's old enough that the limited number of shader units on the ION (16) will not make too much of a difference, and I remember playing it on a 2GHz single core so an up to date dual core might be fine for it. Please understand our concerns though, your ability to upgrade will be limited and this machine may be quite limited if your requirements change. Other than that though, it would probably do well enough for what you are asking to do. –  Mokubai Aug 26 '11 at 12:44
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If you want to render and develop games, you usually need to upgrade your system regularly and you do not want to always wait until the next day to see the results.

This means compressing the developer machine into Mini-ITX form factor, especially without discrete graphics card, will make you regret that decision continuously, unless your pockets are very deep.

By using standard ATX components you often get the same horsepower and temperatures at 50-70% the price and at lower noise levels. So, I would look at compact microATX cases and use them. Like I used here.

Mini-ITX is nice for use where you do not need the ultimate horsepower and can afford to lag behind latest technology a bit and have deep pockets. For developer machine.. not so.

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things changed, if I get it I will use this system for H.264 playback (DVB-T TV tuner) and web browsing. –  Saulius Aug 26 '11 at 20:03
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