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

Rating: 8.0.

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?

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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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