Gigabyte Brix S BXi7H-5500 Broadwell Mini PC Review

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Test Setup, SANDRA and Cinebench

We decided to compare the Gigabyte Brix S BXi7H-5500 to both the Broadwell-based Intel NUC5i5RYK as well as the previous Brix we tested, the Gigabyte BRIX Pro. We also threw in the closest set of desktop reference numbers we had on hand from our recent AMD Kaveri performance review.   It's not exactly apples-to-apples, these are all different platforms after all, but it's close.

HotHardware's Test Systems
HotHardware's Test Systems
System 1: 
AMD A10-6800K 
(4.1GHz - Quad-Core)
AMD A8-6500T 
(3.5GHz - Quad-Core)
AMD A8-7600
(3.8GHz/3.3GHz Quad-Core)

Asus A88X-Pro 
(AMD A88 Chipset) 

2x8GB AMD DDR3-2133
(@1866 with 6700) 

On-Processor Graphics
On-Board Ethernet 
On-board Audio 

Samsung SSD 840 Pro

Windows 8.1 x64
System 2: 
Intel Core i5-4670K
(3.8GHz - Quad-Core) 
Intel Core i3-4330
(3.5GHz - Dual-Core + HT)

Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH 
(Z87 Express Chipset) 

2x8GB AMD DDR3-2133
(@1600 with Haswell)

Intel HD 4600
On-Board Ethernet 
On-board Audio 

Samsung SSD 840 Pro

Windows 8.1 x64 
System 3:
Intel Core i5-5250U
(1.6GHz Dual-Core)

Intel Motherboard

2X4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600

Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200

On-Board Ethernet
On-Board Audio

Intel 530 240GB mSATA SSD


Windows 8.1 X64 

SiSoftware SANDRA 2014
Synthetic Benchmarks
We started our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth, Cache).

arithmeticmm
CPU and Multimedia Tests

memorybandwidthcache
Memory Bandwidth and Cache


While perusing these results keep in mind that at the heart of this tiny beast lies the Broadwell Core i7-5500U, which is a ULV processor, or Ultra Low Voltage chip. These type of CPUs are typically found in ultrabooks due to their ability to consume a teeny, tiny bit of power, so even though this machine has a "desktop" form factor, it's using mobile parts. This particular chip sucks down just 15w, which is extremely low for a desktop machine. Given its conservative design and specs, it's not going to be breaking any records here. That said, this particular version of Broadwell is a tad bit faster than the one we tested in Intel's NUC, beating it in both processor multi-media tests and processor arithmetic.


Cinebench R15
3D Rendering Content Creation Performance
Cinebench R11.5 is a 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput.

cinebenchrender2

cinebenchopengl3

The Brix S's low voltage CPU puts up some middling numbers when it comes down to sheer number-crunching ability, but keep in mind this is a 15w part, so let's be realistic here. In the OpenGL test we also see it being outgunned by the Iris Pro graphics of its predecessor, but that it is quite a bit faster than the older HD 4600. All in all this chip lands directly in the middle of the pack, as expected. 
Tags:  SFF, Gigabyte, Broadwell, brix

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