The presence of the Core i7-4770R in such a small form factor / chassis left us worried initially. We were wondering whether the unit would be able to properly cool down a 65W TDP processor within those constraints. Due to the size of the system, the fan had to be pretty small and rotate at high speeds for effective cooling. With a maximum speed of 4090 rpm, the sound from the unit was similar to what one would expect in a mini-server room (matching the noise from the Netgear GSM 7352S that we have running in our NAS testbed). While running various benchmarks, the speed topped out around 3900 rpm.
 
To stress the unit to the maximum, we unleashed our Prime 95 + FurMark stress test and recorded the following numbers.

Idle Power Consumption

Load Power Consumption

At the outset, the idle numbers are impressive for a system with a 65W TDP desktop processor. Note that this is not a ULV CPU like what we had in the Intel NUC. The load numbers indicate a maximum power consumption of approximately 88W. I did see the instantaneous power consumption shoot up to 92 - 93W initially and attributed this to the Core i7-4770R's turbo mode (where the CPU clock can go up to as high as 3.9 GHz compared to the nominal 3.2 GHz). A look at the temperatures and HWiNFO throttling information, however, confirmed what we had feared.
 
 
The unit does seem to throttle under full load of both the CPU and GPU (an unrealistic workload, admittedly, but one which some of the other systems we have evaluated have passed with flying colours). Now, the results that we obtained for the four passes of our x264 benchmark run were pretty consistent. It might turn out that normal workloads don't trigger the throttling and it is something we hope to evaluate further down the road.
 
Real World Benchmarks Coming Up....
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  • laif - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    This please. Also, please specify the kernel and graphics stack versions. Thank you. Reply
  • patterson32 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Please add LZMA2 compression/decompression tests to your benchmarks. Maybe use Pixz ( https://github.com/vasi/pixz ) for both parallel compression and decompression. I tar.xz often so this would be useful for me. I don't remember the last time I used RAR. Reply
  • Subyman - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Strange they would call it the BRIX. Reply
  • JDG1980 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    The fan noise is extremely disappointing, since it pretty much rules out using the Brix Pro as a HTPC. I had hoped, especially given the price point, that this system would be fanless. Reply
  • DIYEyal - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    a 65W TDP part in that size to be fanless?! I don't think so.. I bet you can swap the fan to some aftermarket fan, like a noctua for example (not sure if it's possible without a modding).
    Also, gigabyte are the first to use the 4770R and the 4570R, but I bet other OEMs go on board..
    Reply
  • JDG1980 - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    65W fanless in a small case is doable if you design the entire case as a heat sink, with heat pipes attached to the CPU core. This has been done before. Reply
  • Qwertilot - Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - link

    There's a smallish streamcon one for ~100 pounds even. I'd rather that (and being able to use standard SSD's) than truly tiny and noisy, but I guess it wouldn't fit the theme :)

    Although this chip does seem like it might be pushing the limits of what works. Give it a couple more generations of intel ramping up power efficiency and we might really be talking.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Does this system have a regular Gigabyte BIOS/UEFI with options? If so try to lower the iGPU voltage: about -0.1 V should be possible at ~1.25 GHz from what I've seen from Ivy. The CPU could probably also take some tweaking. This should help noise and drive performance up. I'd be curious how far this could push such a thermally & power constrained system. Reply
  • Acarney - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    I REALLY hope we get a detailed gaming test with this running the fastest ram possible. I thought a decent sized issue with the previous Iris Pro test was that the CPU was a good bit slower then all the recent desktop graphic card reviews AND that the TDP limit of the mobile chip might have been limiting Iris Pro some... Also very curious for a proper HTPC review of this, especially the hardest we can push MadVR with it... Yes people are moaning about fan noise but it's NOT impossible to cool a 65w TDP chip via passive means & I'm sure HDPlex or someone else will retrofit their case to accept the guts of a Brix Pro for passive cooling... Then that chip is a monster! Reply
  • edbless - Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - link

    Intel has made this difficult for system builders.
    In reality the i7 4850HQ may be a better CPU option.
    It is still Iris 5200, it is 47W, same form factor/mounting, and it does not cost much more.

    I agree with many of the comments, if this is noisy it looses almost all value. It must in unobtrusive in all aspects, size and volume in order to fit in to most environments.
    Reply

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