Gigabyte BRIX Pro And Intel Iris Pro Graphics Review

Article Index

Performance Analysis and Conclusion

A Note On Power Consumption and Acoustics:

In terms of performance, we can't help but be impressed with what Intel has been able to achieve with their latest fully integrated processor architecture, especially with respect to graphics and multimedia performance.  No longer can we poke at Intel for weak integrated graphics performance.  In fact, the Crystal Well-based Core i7-4770R powering the BRIX Pro out-paced every reference system we pitted it against, in all gaming tests and almost every CPU-centric test. Without question, it left AMD's integrated APU line-up with their latest GCN-based Radeon R7 GPU in the rear view on more than one occasion.  It's impressive, actually and if Intel can maintain good driver support, the prospects for their upcoming Broadwell CPU are encouraging.


Gigabyte BRIX Pro and Iris Pro Graphics - Got Game

The Gigabyte BRIX Pro is kind of a mixed bag, unfortunately.  While it's highly integrated design and petite, sleek styling offer a really nice combination of performance and features in a tiny form factor, it's hard to get completely comfortable with a system that emits the kind of noise this little fella puts out under duress.  Further, the thermal solution inside the BRIX Pro, at least as it exists currently, just doesn't appear to be up to the task of cooling one of Intel's most powerful integrated processors and its highest-end GPU core.

In reality, the Core i7-4770R that powers this machine really needs to occupy a larger footprint, like a more standard-sized HTPC, maybe an all-in-one system or a small-form factor desktop with a micro-ATX or mini-ITX sized motherboard.  Cramming this much horsepower inside something the size of the BRIX Pro is a challenge to be sure.

Regardless, if you can overlook the occasional whine that emits from this system when it's under heavier loads, the Gigabyte BRIX Pro delivers exceptional performance and a nice assortment of IO options for a multitude of potential applications in the home or office. As a Steam Machine for gaming, it could get the job done nicely.  The BRIX Pro can even drive 4K displays for some Ultra HD resolution content creation or video playback, though gaming at that resolution would probably not be an option. 

The Gigabyte BRIX Pro is a powerful cube of the latest in CPU and Graphics technology that Intel has to offer in its integrated desktop line-up.  The product is currently retailing for $449 to $599, depending on which CPU model you choose (either the Core i7-4770R or Core i5-4570R). If you're considering the BRIX Pro, it may be your best bet to opt for the slightly lower-end model, the BXi5-4570R for a little less money, since it also sports Intel's Iris Pro 5200 Graphics core but a slightly lower speed CPU core and perhaps a bit more thermal headroom.

 

  • Great performance for such a tiny machine
  • Stylish, subdued design
  • Good servicability
  • Very noisy under load
  • Pushing the limits of its thermal solution


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