Introduction and Setup Impressions

GIGABYTE's BRIX Pro (using an Intel Iris Pro part) has made a big splash in the market, particularly as a Steam machine. Enthused by its success, GIGABYTE has introduced a set of mini-PCs under the BRIX Gaming moniker. The lineup consists of mini-PCs in a form factor similar to the BRIX Pro (which itself had the footprint of an Intel NUC kit). The current flagship in the BRIX Gaming line is the BXi5G-760, a machine featuring a Core i5-4200H Haswell CPU and a NVIDIA GTX 760 discrete GPU. Given the paper specifications of the GTX 760, the machine promises to be a gaming powerhouse in its size class.

Similar to the BRIX Pro, the BXi5G-760 comes barebones. Users have to bring in their own DDR3L SODIMM sticks as well as an mSATA or 2.5" drive for completing the build. We configured the review unit to end up with the following components.

GIGABYTE BXi5G-760 Specifications
Processor Intel Haswell Core i5-4200H
(2C/4T x 2.80 GHz (3.40 GHz Turbo), 22nm, 3MB L2, 47W)
Memory 2 x 4GB DDR3L-1866
Graphics NVIDIA GTX 760 (NVIDIA GTX 870M)
6 GB GDDR5
135 MHz / 941 MHz (Turbo)
Disk Drive(s) ADATA SX300 128 GB mSATA SSD + Spare 2.5" Drive Slot
Networking 1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x1 802.11ac mPCIe
Audio Capable of 5.1/7.1 digital output with HD audio bitstreaming (mini-HDMI / mini-DP 1.2)
Operating System

Retail unit is barebones, but we installed Windows 8.1 Pro x64

Pricing (As configured) $800 (barebones) + $195 (DRAM + mSATA SSD)
Full Specifications GB-BXi5G-760 Specifications

The BXi5G-760 kit doesn't come with any pre-installed OS, but we do have a USB key with Windows drivers. In addition to the main unit, the other components of the package include a 180 W (19.5V @ 9.23A) adapter, a US power cord, a splitter for the single audio jack, screws for installing a 2.5" drive, a mini-DP to DP cable and a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable.

The stand-out aspect of the BXi5G-760 compared to mini-PCs in a similar form factor include the presence of three video outputs (2x mini-HDMI and 1x mini-DP). The gallery below takes us around the hardware in the unit. In particular, the dimensions of the unit are compared to the BRIX Pro. The width turns out to be slightly more in order to accommodate the side fans for cooling the GPU.

We configured our unit with an ADATA SX300 128 GB mSATA SSD as a boot drive and put in two Corsair Vengeance 1866 MHz SODIMMs. All BIOS settings were left at default. The DRAM configured itself to run at 1866 MHz without any user inputs

In the table below, we have an overview of the various systems that we are comparing the BXi5G-760 against. Note that they may not belong to the same market segment. The relevant configuration details of the machines are provided so that readers have an understanding of why some benchmark numbers are skewed for or against the BXi5G-760 when we come to those sections.

Comparative PC Configurations
Aspect GIGABYTE GB-BXi5G-760
CPU Intel Core i5-4200H Intel Core i7-3720QM
GPU NVIDIA GTX 760 Intel HD Graphics 4000
RAM Corsair Vengeance CMSX8GX3M2B1866C10
10-10-10-32 @ 1866 MHz
2x4 GB
Super Talent W1333SB4GH
9-9-9-24 @ 1333 MHz
2x 4GB
Storage ADATA XPG SX300 AX300S3-128GM-C
(128 GB, PCIe Module mSATA 6Gb/s, 25nm, MLC)
Intel® SSD 330 Series
(60 GB, SATA 6Gb/s, 25nm, MLC)
Wi-Fi Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac
(1x1 802.11ac - 433 Mbps)
N/A
Price (in USD, when built) $995 $1300

 

Performance Metrics - I
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  • Madpacket - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    So an entire review on a gaming PC without mentioning how loud this thing gets while gaming? Really? Reply
  • Sm0kes - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    Yeah, kind of odd that the most obvious question is performance vs. thermal limitations was completely missed.

    Check out Linus Tech Tip's video review of the unit. He goes into some detail on the noise (read: not good) and thermal throttling.
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    It should be pretty obvious to come to a conclusion on that without them telling you. Look at power numbers. They even say to look elsewhere if you are looking for better acoustics. Reply
  • wintermute000 - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    Mystified why they don't make these gaming NUCs a little bit bigger. Then they could put bigger, slower fans in there + more airflow. Its not like making this thing an inch wider/longer would bother anyone looking for serious gaming grunt, still would be a relatively small unit. Reply
  • drainplugofideas - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    I totally agree. Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Actually, there's no point. All you need is a mini-ITX motherboard and a GTX760 Mini installed normally, and a Silverstone SFX 450W PSU. Fits PERFECTLY in a 6.7"x6.7"x4.8" box. And it costs wayyy less than this thing, even with an i5-4690 and M.2 SSD 256GB.

    There's no point whatsoever to this whole NUC thing. We already have an SFF standard, it's called mini-ITX. NUC is just more BS to pad Intel's bottom line. If you don't need dedicated graphics, buy mini-ITX with 120W power brick, whole system for under $190.
    Reply
  • johnny_boy - Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - link

    That is the whole point--you need dedicated graphics for gaming on ITX unless you're happy wih something like an AMD A8-7600 at 45W TDP, which is the best iGPU you can get with those thermals. But this brix box smokes a 7600. With dedicated graphics you're looking at a significantly larger case and higher wattage draw even if you go with Maxwell. Reply
  • figus77 - Friday, September 19, 2014 - link

    If you really want play you should no look at any low powered small form factor PC... they simply can't let you play in a decent way... no one in 2014 wants to play at something less than 1920 and they can't do it in 90% of games and you sure had a full hd tv to use with them. With that 900$ you can do a normal gamig machine and an AM1 mini-itx system for TV... both better in their work. Reply
  • Popskalius - Monday, September 22, 2014 - link

    Actually, I have no desire to game at anything higher than 720p... but I've also never gamed at 1080p or higher so take that could mean something. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Friday, October 03, 2014 - link

    Even do water cooling with integrated radiator fins on one side protected by some course stainless steel mess. Sure make it a couple inches wider. It would by more stackable above a HT unit or something .... Reply

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