Gigabyte BRIX i7-4500 Barebones Mini-PC Review (w/ G.Skill Ripjaws 1600MHz 16GB)

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With modern computer components continuing the trend of shrinking in size while also increasing in performance, the small form-factor (SFF) market is big business. Taking size reductions to the extreme, can Gigabyte’s BRIX prove its worth to downsizing system builders?

Housed in a chassis measuring 10.5cm by 11cm, the biggest selling point for Gigabyte’s BRIX barebones mini-PC is clearly its size. Having the ability to mount your computer to the back of a monitor frees up desk space and helps to mimic a costly all-in-one alternative. But it’s not just a petite design that the BRIX offers. Utilising a range of powerful and versatile low power CPUs, Gigabyte wants its BRIX to prove itself as a fully-fledged desktop replacement.

Powered by a dual-core, hyper-threading Core i7-4500U CPU which utilises a nominal clock speed of 1.8GHz and turbo boosts up to 3.0GHz, the BRIX i7-4500 version has a number of clear usage scenarios. General computing power is supported by the ability to access up to 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory and a 6Gb/s mSATA SSD. 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth provide the wireless connectivity options, while a Gigabit LAN controller extends networking capabilities.

With a solid set of base features and the possibility of squeezing a system comparable to a mid-range laptop into a 10.5cm by 11cm chassis, does Gigabyte’s BRIX i7-4500 show off when it comes to performance and usage testing?

main image1 Gigabyte BRIX i7 4500 Barebones Mini PC Review (w/ G.Skill Ripjaws 1600MHz 16GB)

Features:

  • Compact PC.
  • Dual display outputs.
  • Four USB 3.0 ports.
  • VESA support.
  • WiFi module included.
  • Supports mSATA SSDs.
  • Supports SO-DIMM memory modules.
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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Gigabyte BRIX i7-4500 Barebones Mini-PC Review (w/ G.Skill Ripjaws 1600MHz 16GB), 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
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  • harris

    That is a spectacular looking little system, love it.

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  • Ben

    Its like their version of the Mac Mini, but more powerful and better priced. very impressive. Only thing is its a shame they didn’t ship with slightly more powerful graphics, but nothing much they can do about that in the space I suppose.

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  • Joe

    Ideal for a media centre or office machine. bit expensive though by the time you factor in the SSD etc.

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  • Felix English

    Like the Sapphire EDGE, but a more practical shape for behind a TV or something.

    Worth a look in the new year, when I finally get my new TV. Dont want to use my desktop with the tv to watch my MKVS!

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  • DotFreelance

    @Ben: The Mac mini is a generation old at least, and it’s cheaper. The i5 version @ 2.5ghz dual core is comparable to the Brix ( albeit likely faster. ) If you decide to compare Apple’s i7 instead of the i5, you’d be comparing a quad core chip at a significantly higher clockspeed. For about $80 more, the Mac Mini would outperform the Brix, whether it’s multi core or single core.

    The Mac Mini is right on par with the expected specs of a micro build, except it’s just a bit better for the price … maybe. The Mini is reaching its end of life, where the components in the Mini are not entirely satisfactory ( see: the slow HDD included. )

    Not sure what makes you think otherwise.

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  • chrismar

    is this a latest upgrade…mc.mini gigabyte…..sooo cool…can i have this 1….^_^

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