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ZOTAC ZBOX ID88 Intel Core i3 3220T Barebone Mini PC (Refurb) $70 +FS $69.99

$69.99
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LINK [zotac.com]. $69.99 [ May go in and out of stock, day to day ]
More offerings [zotac.com].

For reference, this was ~$300 in 2015. Specs seem good for the money and the Intel Core i3 3220T 2.8GHz Dual-Core CPU still holds its own with today's equivalents. Good for people with a spare SATA SSD and SODIMMs.

Amazon link [amazon.com] for photos.
CNET link [cnet.com] for specs.

Specs:
  • CPU:Intel Core i3 3220T
  • Chipset: H61 Express
  • RAM: DDR3 SODIMM (max 16GB)
  • Gb Wired Network x2
  • Wireless: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Intel HD Graphics 2500
  • HDMI 1.4a
  • 2x USB 3.0 (1 on top, 1 front) and 2x USB 2.0 (on back panel)
  • 8 channel audio. Optical out.
  • 2.5" drive bay SATA 3.0 Gb/s
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$69.99

13 Comments

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#2
Checkout is not working...

"Maintenance in progress and order processing facility is temporarily disabled. Please try again later."
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#3
I almost posted about this about four months ago when I picked one up (I grabbed an i5 version for just a little more at that point), but after I received it, I decided against sharing it. It's a good deal, no doubt, but just some details of my experience and why I wouldn't buy another one:
-Refurbished? OK, maybe, but I'm calling it used. The outer case had scratches all over it and when I opened it up to put in memory / ssd, it was dirty inside.
-Missing parts. Part of the reason I ordered one is that I already have one of these Zbox machines from this exact same era (it's an i7 version, but same exact motherboard / case / everything) and it's been a great machine. But because I have one, I know what wasn't in the box: the stand so you can orient it standing upright if you'd prefer, and the remote control. It also didn't come with wifi or bluetooth antennas.
-Again, refurb? Mine will not shut down. It restarts just fine, but if you shut it down in Windows, it never fully shuts down and runs until you hold the power button down. I don't care as I run mine 24/7, but it's clearly not working right. And yes, it's still doing it after a BIOS flash.
-One other irritating detail that doesn't bother me so much, because of how I'm using it, but my i7 Zbox runs just fine without issues, while the refurb i5 one I bought runs ridiculously hot. It idles in the mid 50s (i7 idles in upper 30s in the same room), and if you put the processor to work, look out. This is after I cleaned up the heat sink and replaced the thermal paste with Noctua NH1.

So, in sum, if any technician even looked at this thing while "refurbishing" it I'd be surprised. I fiddled around with it so much to try and get it working correctly that I suspect I couldn't have sent it back anyhow, but for how I'm using it it doesn't matter anyway. On the plus side, the shipping was free and they didn't charge me any tax! I'm sure it's just a luck of the draw thing, so I'm really not trying to scare anyone off of it, but do be aware that it might not be as great a deal as it seems.
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#4
How is this for MAME box?
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#5
Dell OptiPlex 7010 i5 SFF > Better build quality, much more powerful, easy upgrade.
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Last edited by thund3rcat June 27, 2020 at 01:33 PM.
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#6
These have dual LAN and make good VM firewall and NAS boxes, virtualize pfsense, freenas and a couple of piholes all on the same machine and only 35w TDP.
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#7
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Last edited by jehoey June 27, 2020 at 03:39 PM.
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#8
Quote from abcs
:
I almost posted about this about four months ago when I picked one up (I grabbed an i5 version for just a little more at that point), but after I received it, I decided against sharing it. It's a good deal, no doubt, but just some details of my experience and why I wouldn't buy another one:
Thanks for sharing - good information. I guess the bottom line is that these refurbs are a bit of a crap shoot and if you take the gamble be sure to test them before your return options disappear (30 days). As to other points you made, this page [zotac.com] has a section on refurbs sales that says "Refurbished products sold by ZOTAC USA may or may not include the original packaging material, retail box, and/or accessories, and may have small scratches, small dents, or noticeable use". They do however claim that "The refurbished products are Factory Recertified to meet the performance and reliability of a new product of the same model". We shall see!

BTW which i5 did you get and how much did you pay exactly?
Quote from jehoey
:
there are better deals if you have time

https://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-CHR...k&LH_BIN=1
Perhaps but it depends on what interfaces you need and how you might upgrade it. And BTW that i7 benchmarks only marginally higher [userbenchmark.com] than the i3 in the Zotac even though it's two models and one generation ahead. Way to go, Intel!
Quote from thund3rcat
:
Dell OptiPlex 7010 i5 SFF > Better build quality, much more powerful, easy upgrade.
Again, it depends on what you need. You could make the same argument for a full ATX tower.
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Last edited by MadPup June 27, 2020 at 05:11 PM.

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#9
Quote from MadPup
:
Thanks for sharing - good information. I guess the bottom line is that these refurbs are a bit of a crap shoot and if you take the gamble be sure to test them before your return options disappear.

BTW which i5 did you get and how much did you pay exactly?
Yeah, I hope everyone else has better luck than I did, but, again, the ways in which mine wasn't up to snuff have no bearing on my use case, so I'm not complaining. My plan was to use it as a pfsense box, and I may still do that one day, but for now it's a torrenting machine. I had a 3570K sitting around that I eventually stuffed in it, so it's quite a bit faster now in terms of multicore, but it does run even hotter when pushed.

I purchased the ID89 Zbox. It had a 3470T in it, so dual core i5, but with turbo - a little faster than the i3. It cost, hold on, let me look it up . . . oops, I paid $64 for it. So yeah, for that price, even with the shortcomings, I had no intention of sending it back!
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#10
Quote from abcs
:
Yeah, I hope everyone else has better luck than I did, but, again, the ways in which mine wasn't up to snuff have no bearing on my use case, so I'm not complaining. My plan was to use it as a pfsense box, and I may still do that one day, but for now it's a torrenting machine. I had a 3570K sitting around that I eventually stuffed in it, so it's quite a bit faster now in terms of multicore, but it does run even hotter when pushed.

I purchased the ID89 Zbox. It had a 3470T in it, so dual core i5, but with turbo - a little faster than the i3. It cost, hold on, let me look it up . . . oops, I paid $64 for it. So yeah, for that price, even with the shortcomings, I had no intention of sending it back!
I received mine today. I haven't tried firing it up yet but it's in good physical condition. As you mentioned earlier, it is missing some bits and pieces compared to when new:
  • Remote control
  • 1 of the 2 wifi/BT antennae
  • IR extender
  • Stand
  • Vesa adapter
  • Hard disk caddy
  • DVI-to-VGA adapter
For me the caddy and vesa adapter are the most irksome omissions because they are not easy to replace. It also seems a bit Tom Petty of Zotac not to provide two antennae. I'm going to have to dig out an old wireless router/adapter from somewhere to get one.
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Last edited by MadPup July 3, 2020 at 07:17 PM.
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#11
My next one will be ryzen. Can't wait.
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#12
Quote from MadPup
:
  • Remote control
  • 1 of the 2 wifi/BT antennae
  • IR extender
  • Stand
  • Vesa adapter
  • Hard disk caddy
  • DVI-to-VGA adapter
For me the caddy and vesa adapter are the most irksome omissions because they are not easy to replace. It also seems a bit Tom Petty of Zotac not to provide two antennae. I'm going to have to dig out an old wireless router/adapter from somewhere to get one.
Did you email them about that? No drive caddy is completely bogus - what do they expect you to do to attach a drive? Zip tie it to the ram? That's not an accessory to my mind, call 'em up and give 'em hell! Again, that's why I didn't say anything about this deal way back in the day - if you'd have ordered one and received it in that kind of shape I'd have felt bad about steering you towards it. I'm sure you'll be able to work something out, but it's a headache no one needs.
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#13
Quote from abcs
:
Did you email them about that? No drive caddy is completely bogus - what do they expect you to do to attach a drive? Zip tie it to the ram? That's not an accessory to my mind, call 'em up and give 'em hell! Again, that's why I didn't say anything about this deal way back in the day - if you'd have ordered one and received it in that kind of shape I'd have felt bad about steering you towards it. I'm sure you'll be able to work something out, but it's a headache no one needs.
Yes, and they have mailed me a caddy with no fuss. Can't complain.
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#14
Quote from MadPup
:
Yes, and they have mailed me a caddy with no fuss. Can't complain.
Oh, that's great news. So even though it says it may lack accessories, they're still taking care of you. I ordered a video card from them a couple of weeks ago and it may or may not have been truly refurbished in any way, but it works great and was less than anything used on ebay, so even with my sketchy experience first experience I've not given up on them.
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