Recap

Earlier this year, we had our first look at the GIGABYTE BRIX Pro, along with a note about further benchmarks to follow. It was our first look at the Intel Core i7-4770R, a Crystal Well part with 128 MB of eDRAM built into the package. The part was aimed squarely at making integrated graphics competetive with low-end discrete GPUs. As a direct result of this, PC manufacturers could make compact gaming units. The BRIX Pro was even distributed at the Steam Developers Conference as a Steam Machine.

In our second look at the BRIX Pro, we changed the memory and storage subsystem to better reflect the expected use case. The table below provides the components utilized for the build along with pricing information.

Gigabyte GB-BXi7-4770R (2) Build Components
  Component Price
Chassis / CPU / Motherboard / PSU GB-BXi7-4770R $649
Memory Corsair Vengeance CMSX8GX3M2B1866C10 2x4 GB Kit $95
SSD Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120 GB $90

Total   $834

Readers may remember that the first part of our BRIX Pro review used Crucial DRAM modules and an Intel mSATA drive. Gamers usually go for higher memory speeds and SATA-based 2.5" drives are usually much cheaper compared to mSATA drives for the same capacity. The Corsair memory modules are rated for 1866 MHz (compared to Crucial's 1600 MHz) and, while the capacity of the 840 EVO (120 GB) is lower than that of the Intel mSATA drive (180 GB) used earlier, it is fine for applications where games and other heavy content are stored on an external drive.

Benchmark numbers change with the new configuration and so we reran our evaluation suite. The first two sections will deal with the updated benchmark numbers. Following this, we have a section presenting our gaming benchmarks. Recently, we have started evaluating the wireless networking and storage subsystem for mini PCs and results for the BRIX Pro are presented in a separate section. We touch briefly upon the HTPC aspects before discussing the thermal aspects.  However, prior to all that, we have a table presenting the details of various systems that are compared against the BRIX Pro in this review.

Comparative PC Configurations
Aspect GIGABYTE GB-BXi7-4770R (2)
CPU Intel Core i7-4770R Intel Core i7-3720QM
GPU Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 Intel HD Graphisc 4000
RAM Corsair Vengeance CMSX8GX3M2B1866C10
10-10-10-32 @ 1866 MHz
2x4 GB
Super Talent W1333SB4GH
9-9-9-24 @ 1333 MHz
2x 4GB
Storage Samsung SSD 840 EVO
(120 GB, 2.5in SATA 6Gb/s, 19nm, TLC)
Intel® SSD 330 Series
(60 GB, SATA 6Gb/s, 25nm, MLC)
Wi-Fi Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac
(1x1 802.11ac - 433 Mbps)
N/A
Price (in USD, when built) $829 $1300

 

Performance Metrics - I
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  • basroil - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Lets put some kinect fusion data in there, this computer is basically begging to be put on a robot! Reply
  • TomWomack - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Do you know of any company planning to release an i7/4770R on a board which can be put into a reasonably-cooled box, rather than in a size-optimised cooling-constrained one? Reply
  • Qwertilot - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    No idea. It does sound a bit like Broadwell K should basically do that when it rolls around though.
    (While presumably performing better too.).
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Would really be interested in putting some AMD based solutions next to that, for sure on the very high price of that box.

    Secondly you clearly see that high res is impossible to play on iris due to the low eDRAM size. so you can say that AMD APU parts really need high speed memory, but you know that the iris pro will never make it for high res even with better memory. so it fails in delivering future.
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    if you combine a few reviews and look at the Kaveri launch then the 4770R with edram intel part delivers the gpu performance of the same A8-7600 at the same 65W package but probably 3x more expensive... so you don't need to buy this box for gaming, you are better of with the AMD part. Reply
  • JBVertexx - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Would like to have seen benchmarks vs. an A10-7850k based build. Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Considering you can make a good gaming rig with a AMD R7 265 for $500 it makes no sense at all to buy a system with an Intel IGP for anything more than $500. Yes, with the Brix platform you get something nicely compact, which is why it's worth the SAME as a good gaming rig that's larger. But it's certainly not worth MORE! Reply
  • isa - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    First, I LOVE the comparative PC config table with pulldown selection - very effective and efficient comparison method.

    Second, I think mini-ITX PCs look really, really interesting with a Broadwell CPU (fewer heat issues) and m.2 pcie x4 slot (smaller, better air flow, better overall perf). If the writer has any influence with makers of such PCs and you agree, it would be great if such PCs retained the 2.5in drive slot when m.2 is added. Such a PC gets pretty close to ideal for many uses.

    Lastly, I agree (if I understood it correctly) that increasing the case height is just fine if needed - keep the footprint the same but going higher would work well in anything I need.
    Reply
  • isa - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Ooops: I screwed up: these PCs aren;t mini-ITX, since these motherboards are about 4"x4", and mini-ITX is about 6.7"x6.7". But I can't find anything on what to call this motherboard form factor other than "NUC-like". Anyone have a better term for these motherboard form factors? Reply
  • Redstorm - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    No mention of the broken de-interlacing on the iGPU under linux. Intels devs cant even get it working in the driver. If you want to use one as a HTPC under linux and XBMC your stuck with software de-interlacing as the iGPU is borked. Reply

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