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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!
  • 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
  • Dirk Broer - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    RAM speeds have a BIG impact on the performance of IGPs, both for Intel and AMD. Speed is even <a href=" important</a> than Latency. Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Except that paying for that "faster" RAM costs you money and yields no tangible benefit beyond 1866. The price/performance sweet spot is 1866.
  • Dirk Broer - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    "you can easily get 2133 for a decent price" You've seen the photograph, with SoDIMMs? Where do you buy 2133 MHz SoDIMMS for a decent price? Reply
  • TwistedKestrel - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    I don't understand how graphics performance is worse if the RAM in the (2) is faster in every way. Even if you didn't use the XMP profile, it should still be faster! Reply
  • TwistedKestrel - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    I meant to say, worse in ANY scenario. The (2) should win out every time, not just some of the time. Reply
  • ganeshts - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    In areas where they are close or (1) wins out, the error is within measurement margin, but in the gaming scenarios where there is a big difference, (2) wins handsomely.

    Some benchmarks are also not dependent on the memory (CPU-bound).
  • Samus - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    It might be worth investigating whether the crystal well gpu can decrease CPU throughput when it is heavily taxed. That would explain why giving crystal well more memory bandwidth slightly decreases CPU performance. Although they are separate parts of the die, they communicate across the same bus and are flip-chip limited. Reply
  • etamin - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    My guess is that the difference is more related to thermals than RAM. Intel iGP's are less dependent on DRAM speeds than AMD's, especially the Crystal Well parts. Outside of the one Tomb Raider benchmark at 1080p, the performance drop isn't significant (at that FPS, it's all kind of irrelevant anyways). Since the max power draw is higher on the 2nd edition, it's probably attributed to a combination of silicon quality and throttling. Reply
  • dylan522p - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Why did you use a 840 Evo. It is inferior to the MX100 which is also cheaper. For the same price you can get a drive with better nand and double the storage. Reply
  • ganeshts - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Well, this piece has been in the works for a couple of months now.. When I built the refreshed config, the Samsung 840EVO was the best value for money.. I see that the MX100 came to market just a couple of weeks back.. Reply
  • dylan522p - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Fair enough. The SSD market moves so fast can't blame you on that. Reply
  • Yorgos - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    It doesn't matter which is inferior when we are talking for a small percentage in performance, actually in those speeds I don't think it makes any difference. What matters is that samsung offers the best silicon in the market and has the least problems with its ssds so most of the builds will prolly have samsung instead of crucial. Reply
  • cubee - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    How much impact will DDR4 have on iGPU performance? Reply
  • schizoide - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Alienware alpha (steam machine) will be out in a couple months for $550, which is less than the barebones Brix Pro, with no RAM or storage. The Alpha is an i3 with 4GB RAM and a "maxwell" (real 750ti-ish) GPU and a 500GB HD. It will actually be capable of 1080p gaming, and costs less. It is quite a lot larger than the brix, but still small compared to any other computer. Oh, and you get an x360 controller and a win8.1 license too. Reply
  • Morawka - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    750ti wont run 1080p but in about 1/3rd popular titles.. A 760 is really needed to run 1080p comfortably with a decent list of settings. Reply
  • Qwertilot - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    The sort of people buying this sort of thing/ a 750ti aren't setting obsessed :) 750ti well ahead of this things performance of course and about the minimum you want to be taken half way seriously as a gaming desktop.

    Interesting to see how close Broadwell K can get though, with the improved/larger GPU stuff and I'd presume a somewhat larger overall power budget to boot.
  • schizoide - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Yeah pretty much this. It won't run 1080p on ultra settings in all titles, but if you turn down the options a bit they will run smoothly. Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    I'm curious in the lower end of the BRIX, especially for a parent computer. The one at $250 with the AMD APU. Seems like a whole lot of compute power for that much money. Reply
  • schizoide - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    The low-end brix/nucs are a lot more interesting, yeah. Either as perfectly fine little desktops, steam streaming clients, or HTPCs. The high-end ones suck, because the GPUs are not comparable to the current console generation. Reply
  • TiGr1982 - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    As a funny fact, this little box (based on Haswell i7) is faster than Core i7-4960X (Ivy Bridge-E) in single-threaded CPU performance (because the latter haxacore is based on older uarch). Reply
  • funtasticguy - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    After some of the initial results with the Brix Pro came out from professional reviewers (which I really wanted to purchase), I decided to go with Asrock VisionX 420D with AMD Radeon R9 M270X.

    I was able to install two 2TB hard drives and a 250GB mSATA drive. I was also able to upgrade the CPU chip from the pre-installed i5-4200M to an i7-4702MQ without much effort or trouble.

    The noise levels are nearly non-existent. Not once has anyone in the household complained about the noise levels. The thermal levels are also superior when compared to the Brix Pro. These are my highest temperatures it recorded under the following scenarios using the i7-4702MQ CPU:

    Surfing: 67C
    1080P Movie: 64C
    Steam Games: 77C
    PSX2 emulator: 80C
    Dolphin emulator: 82C

    The size of the VisionX 420D is similar to the old Dell's Zino. It is very portable. I recently took it with me on a family trip, hooked it up in the hotel room, and we were able to play games and watch movies via XBMC after we retired in the evenings. It was a hit with my boys and wife. No regrets!
  • ganeshts - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Your choice is a wise one (I talked about the VisionX 420D towards the end of the gaming section in the article).

    The two things that the BRIX Pro has got going for it are power efficiency and physical footprint. I will present more details in the dedicated VisionX 420D review (another review that has been in the works for more than a couple of months)
  • schizoide - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    $870 at newegg barebones, add $80 for RAM and $100 for storage and you're looking at a $1200 computer. 270x is a markedly better performer than the 750Ti in the alienware alpha, but you're paying a lot for it. Reply
  • ganeshts - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    I see on Newegg [ ] that the $870 includes 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB HDD., so, price-wise, I think the VisionX 420D wins out (compared to the BRIX Pro). As for the Alienware Alpha, let it hit the market first and then we can decide :) Reply
  • schizoide - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Hey, so it does. I saw barebones and moved on, totally missed that.

    I wonder what makes it barebones if it has all the hardware included?
  • smartypnt4 - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    I assume they're calling it barebones because it ships sans an OS...? This is what happens when the marketing people decide what to name products haha. But it has everything you could want for a computer besides that - halfway decent mobile GPU, pretty good dual-core Haswell part, and supports 802.11ac out of the box.

    The odd thing is that it's not far off what I spent on my last desktop, which is an i5-4670K, AMD R9 290, a 1TB HDD, a run-of-the-mill case and a big (not super great quality) power supply. And my desktop isn't *that* loud... I suppose that thing wins on portability, but goodness. I can't imagine spending $900 on that when I look at what else you could get. But I suppose for taking on trips, etc., it's an excellent little box.
  • Wixman666 - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    The CPU in that is an i5 4200m... you are comparing apples and oranges. The BRIX will be WAY, WAY faster for anything CPU related. Reply
  • vampyren - Monday, March 21, 2016 - link

    I'm sick of my NUC that i thought would work very well as Plex server. On paper it should be able to handle it with ease but in reality it suffer from low CPU speed. I got NUC D54250WYK. I come to realize that the CPU's with U are lousy, in my case i5-4250U. It should work well but it does not.
    I'm looking at this due to the powerful CPU, also considering the newer one with I7-5775R. Not sure how much worse it is sound wise compared to my NUC.
  • funtasticguy - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Looking forward to your upcoming review. Reply
  • mikk - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Most likely outdated drivers or different drivers used. Reply
  • 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.).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • ggathagan - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    I suspect that anyone who has an interest in using the BRIX as an HTPC with Linux and XBMC is already aware of that problem, but since this is a review of the BRIX-Pro, as opposed to the Intel iGPU, I wouldn't expect to see that issue covered. Reply
  • mamunoz - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    Am I the only one that thinks the exclusion of Thunderbolt from these boxes seems really odd? I mean it would make the box so incredibly versatile and even allow the use of external GPU's over Thunderbolt for the gaming crowd. Reply
  • LandscapeArchTech - Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - link

    Is there anyway to install a blower fan instead of the HDD, Can you find any spare fan connection in the motherboard. Reply
  • omgyeti - Thursday, July 31, 2014 - link

    Is that review of the VisionX 420D still coming soon? I'm really looking forward to a full write-up dedicated to that thing. Reply
  • vampyren - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    Any chance to review the new model with i7-5775 CPU? Wondering how it compared to this model performance wise but also sound of fan.

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