Gigabyte is targeting the BRIX Pro towards professional consumers with compute-intensive workloads. For general office use (including web browsing and light word processing work), systems such as the Core i5-based NUC we reviewed last week are more than enough. In order to bring out scenarios where the extra grunt provided by the Pro unit becomes necessary, we are presenting some real world benchmarks below. These are tasks carried out by workers where time in money, and the premium paid upfront for the better configuration is trivial compared to the time saved.
 
WinRAR Benchmark
 
We present two benchmarks using WinRAR. The first one involves decompressing a 4.36 GB split archive and recording the time taken to complete the process. This is a test of the CPU power as well as the storage subsystem.

WinRAR Benchmarking

The graph below presents the internal WinRAR benchmark numbers. In this benchmark, the program takes compresses / decompresses random data in the RAM. This is a test of the CPU power as well as the DRAM capabilities.

WinRAR Internal Benchmark

TrueCrypt Benchmark
 
As businesses (and even home consumers) become more security conscious, the importance of encryption can't be overstated. CPUs supporting the AES-NI instruction for accelerating the encryption and decryption processes have, till now, been the higher end SKUs. However, with Bay Trail, even the lowly Atom series has gained support for AES-NI. Both the i5-4250U and the i7-4770R have AES-NI instructions support. The TrueCrypt internal benchmark provides some interesting cryptography-related numbers to ponder. In the graph below, we can get an idea of how fast a TrueCrypt volume would behave in the two different systems.

TrueCrypt Benchmarking

Agisoft PhotoScan
 
Agisoft PhotoScan is a commercial program that converts 2D images into 3D point maps, meshes and textures. The program designers sent us a command line version in order to evaluate the efficiency of various systems that go under our review scanner. The command line version has two benchmark modes, one using the CPU and the other using both the CPU and GPU (via OpenCL). The benchmark takes around 50 photographs and does four stages of computation:
 
Stage 1: Align Photographs
Stage 2: Build Point Cloud (capable of OpenCL acceleration)
Stage 3: Build Mesh
Stage 4: Build Textures
 
We record the time taken for each stage. Since various elements of the software are single threaded, others multithreaded, and some use GPUs, it is interesting to record the effects of CPU generations, speeds, number of cores, DRAM parameters and the GPU using this software.

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 1

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 2

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 3

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 4

The second stage also reports the throughput rate of the CPU and GPU in million points per second. For the BRIX Pro, in the CPU only mode, we had a rate of 124.99 mp/s. Using OpenCL acceleration, the CPU and GPU had rates of 69.5 mp/s and 98.32 mp/s respectively. The corresponding numbers for the NUC were 68.36 mp/s, 20.39 mp/s and 78.59 mp/s.
 
Essentially a prosumer real-world test, we hope to put more of our systems under this benchmark in the future. Ian already has a large number of custom-built systems for which he will present benchmarks in his motherboard reviews.
 
Synthetic Benchmarks Thermal Performance and Power Consumption
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  • 8steve8 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    +1
    if it can be replaced by a better cooler even if it increases size, i'd like to know . there is simply no other way to get iris pro.. (besides macbook pro 15 and imac 21.5).. but those are not the higher end 65W ones...
    Reply
  • japtor - Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - link

    The iMac uses the 65W i5-4570R actually. Reply
  • 8steve8 - Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - link

    you're right... so i guess there is one other way on planet earth to get these 65W iris pro parts... but a 21.5" screen is attached... i hope apple makes an imac mini iris pro.

    Also it's such an epic fail gigabyte fumbled the fan/noise situation on this... anyone have a photo of what the cooling solution is? or any photos of the cpu area?
    Reply
  • JohnHardkiss - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    (1st post here)
    I am suprised it isn't mentioned here that Gigabyte is planning to release BRIXs with mobile dGPUs as well. This is interesting and I hope Anandtech will cover this as well and compare their performance with the 4770r. Obviously, having dGPU in a BRIX format defies the need for 4770R somewhat. the combo-setups will be 1) AMD A8 APU + Radeon HD 8890M, 2) Intel CPU + Radeon HD 8890M, 3) Intel CPU + Nvidia GTX 880M. You can even see the stickers Gigabyte put on their BRIX models showcased at the CES in your own gallery here: http://anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/3311#8 .

    A request for the full review is also to please have some clear pictures of the BRIX stripped down. I mean, how is the cpu connected to the heatsink and how is the fan exactly positioned? I can imagine myself building a simple, sleightly larger case with some Vesa compatible holes drilled in it to fix the Brix Pro in. This way one could hopefully exchange the stock fan with some quiet 140mm fan and not have to live with the probably insane amount of stocknoise. (And, i could glue the psu inside this larger case as well ;) - Gigabyte, take note of this idea!)

    I would also like to suggest to look at how the dimensions of the Gigabyte Pro motherboard relate to the NUC dimensions. Is it 1:1 as far as size goes? Or 1:1 as far as formfactor goes: are the screwholes dimensioned the same?

    Lastly, I would like to suggest this: In a lot of the practical gaming tests that are done with iGPUs, I don't see 1080p resolutions being tested. Today this is becoming outdated, since not only the 4770R in this BRIX Pro unit, but also the Kaveri a10-7850k (as well as the 65W(!) rated a10-7800 which I believe shares the same iGPU but is clocked a bit lower cpu wise) are capable of gaming at these resolutions. I mean, see this for what we have coming our way: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axyHkKn_e80 pretty insane.
    So, please Anandtech, start incorporating 1080p gaming in your benchmarks. A game like cs:go on 1080p would be awesome. I am planning to use either the new kaveri or this 4770r for this game but I'm not sure it will handle it.

    A rather long first post, but you can understand hopefully that I try to bring some free thoughts to this table. I hope you incorporate these in your review Anandtech!
    Reply
  • rhx123 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Wow, didn't know about the 880M one.
    It looks smaller than this one though, and the TDP of the 880M will probably be arround 100W alone, doesnt really seem to add up to me.
    Reply
  • fluxtatic - Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - link

    I'll second the call for 1080p benchmarks. 1440p benchmarks are fine, but the latest Steam Hardware Survey has 1440p at less than 1% still. 1080p has 32%. Next down is 1366x768 at 23%.

    So, yes, I can get an idea more or less what I can expect at 1080p from 1440p benchmarks, but the picture is less than perfect - 1440p is pushing half again as many pixels as 1080p.
    Reply
  • amb9800 - Sunday, January 19, 2014 - link

    Very interesting- hadn't seen the dGPU BRIX models. Wonder if they'll ever actually make it to market though- Gigabyte has a pretty poor track record showing things that end up either too late to be relevant, or never. Also wonder how the cooling would work in that footprint, given the GTX 880M would almost double the TDP. Reply
  • jasonelmore - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    thanks for the review, i would have like to seen at least 2 or 3 gaming benchmarks (non-synthetics).

    Battlefield 4
    Metro LL
    any Valve game
    Reply
  • JohnHardkiss - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    another reason to test cs:go is that it is a steam-released game (by Valve). Seeing how the BRIX Pro is presented at the CES as a steambox as well, testing itt would make sense.
    I also would like to +1 the suggestion of JasonElmore above to benchmark Battlefield 4 since it is already benchmarked in the youtube video I linked to in my previous post. a clear comparison could be drawn this way.
    Reply
  • patterson32 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Please test Linux on this. Use whatever distro you feel is good. Reply

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