Giga Brick!

Gi­ga­byte BRIX Pro (GB-BXi7-4770R)

HWM (Malaysia) - - LAB TEST - Text // Bryan chan

The In­tel NUC (Next Unit of Com­put­ing) was first in­tro­duced a cou­ple of years ago. De­signed to be ex­tremely small and com­pact, NUCs could be de­ployed prac­ti­cally any­where. Gi­ga­byte’s BRIX se­ries has al­ways adopted the NUC’s form fac­tor and the lat­est mem­ber of the BRIX fam­ily, the BRIX Pro, is no ex­cep­tion. We find out more about the BRIX Pro in this re­view.

Per­haps the most im­por­tant thing about the BRIX Pro is the fact that it’s a bare­bone PC sys­tem. This means that it’s fit­ted with only a moth­er­board and a pro­ces­sor, so you’ll have to pur­chase your stor­age and RAM separately. Do note that your op­tions are limited to 2.5-inch HDD/SSDs and that your RAM has to be SO-DIMM mod­ules.

The pro­ces­sor that comes in­te­grated with the BRIX Pro is none other than the In­tel Core i7-4770R, one of In­tel’s top desk­top of­fer­ings. This pro­ces­sor is clocked at 3.2GHz and boosts up to 3.9GHz. What’s more in­ter­est­ing though, is that this pro­ces­sor has In­tel’s Iris Pro Graph­ics 5200 iGPU on­board. With this iGPU, you’d be able to push your con­tent to a 4K screen and view 4K me­dia with­out any hic­cups. This iGPU also sup­ports the lat­est PC games, though vis­ual set­tings will def­i­nitely have to be capped.

Aes­thet­i­cally, the BRIX Pro is in­cred­i­bly tiny. This is great, as you’d be able to place it any­where you’d like to. Gi­ga­byte even bun­dled a VESA mount, al­low­ing you to mount the BRIX Pro on a mon­i­tor, turn­ing it into an AIO sys­tem of sorts, es­pe­cially if you have a touch-sen­si­tive screen.

To al­low us to test this sys­tem, our friends at In­tel Malaysia were kind enough to in­stall a 240GB SSD and 8GB worth of RAM. They also pre­loaded Mi­crosoft Win­dows 8.1 OS, com­plete with In­tel’s full suite of soft­ware en­hance­ments, such as In­tel Rapid Start and Rapid Stor­age.

With these com­po­nents in­stalled, all we had to do was in­stall and run our bench­marks. As usual, we ran PCMark 8 and PCMark 7 to de­ter­mine the over­all per­for­mance of this sys­tem and ran 3DMark to de­ter­mine just how good the iGPU is. We’re happy to re­port that in PCMark 8, this sys­tem man­aged to score 3,543, while in PCMark 7, this sys­tem was able to give us a score of 6,663. These scores is sim­i­lar to what you’d come to ex­pect from midrange to high-end PCs, so there’s lit­tle doubt of this lit­tle guy’s per­for­mance.

When it comes to the more graph­ics-in­ten­sive bench­mark, namely 3DMark, there’s no beat­ing about the bush – this sys­tem suf­fers slightly. With a score of 1,438 in Fire Strike, you’d be able to play most of the lat­est games at Low to Medium vis­ual set­tings. In terms of Full HD movies though, this sys­tem won’t even break a sweat.

In sum­mary, we find that the Gi­ga­byte BRIX Pro is a sys­tem that would fit the needs of many. We ab­so­lutely love its com­pact size and find its per­for­mance to be very rea­son­able, es­pe­cially if you’re us­ing it for gen­eral multimedia pur­poses and a lit­tle bit of ca­sual gam­ing.

A score of 3,543 in PCMark 8 is very re­spectable.

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