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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  • mikk - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    No driver version as usual, crap. Reply
  • extide - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    A little disappointing, I mean if you are building an iGPU system, you should be going for the best memory you can. 1866 is hardly much of an upgrade over 1600, you can easily get 2133 for a decent price, and 2400 or more if you want to spend. Reply
  • extide - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Also would love to see some AMD APU benchmarks on here as well,
    And you left in: "(Add note about GT540M if possible)."

    Otherwise pretty good!
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Thanks, I fixed that :) I wasn't sure about getting the benchmark numbers from the Vision 3D 252B since I hadn't even booted that up in a long time. Actually, the whole piece was written up even before I started benchmarking that PC (which is why the references to the 540M probably stand out like a sore thumb!) Reply
  • monstercameron - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Intel apus dont respond quite the same as amd ones...ddr3-1600 is as good as it gets. Reply
  • hojnikb - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Yep, crystalwell can really help Reply
  • ddriver - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Disappointing? The best CPU performance you can get in that factor, in which BTW graphics performance is pretty much irrelevant. Reply
  • NeatOman - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    1866/cas10 im sure was chosen to show what "normal ram" would result in. Also, if it where 2133/cas12 you would only be trading Mhz for Lantancy NOT resulting in any better performance at all. In fact you may even regress in compute heavy situations. Reply
  • Cellar Door - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Absolutely!! I'm also very disappointed in the ram choice of the reviewer - this is 2014 for crying out loud, if you are going to test a $900 system, what's another $30 for a 2400mhz kit - which is what this system should be running. Absolute waste of time... I'm a big fan of this site but its things like this that make me question their integrity. And where is an AMD APU for comparison?!? Reply
  • Wixman666 - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Have you guys all forgotten the absolutely miniscule performance differences, in the big picture, between RAM speeds? The higher speed memory just has higher and higher latency, ultimately producing nearly no net gains, and sometimes resulting in WORSE performance. There is a huge article here somewhere that supports that in the memory section. LATENCY has a massive impact on the performance! Reply

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