Gigabyte BRIX Pro (GB-BXi7-4770R)
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.