Gigabyte Brix S GB-BSi5HT-6200 Ultra Compact SFF PC Review

Introducing The Gigabyte Brix S GB-BSi5HT-6200

As longtime enthusiasts, we tend to get most excited for the latest, big, bad, benchmark-busting specimens of PC hardware to hit the lab. However, there’s something about ultra-small form factor devices that’s intriguing as well. The focus on power efficiency and performance-per-watt from virtually all semi-conductor manufacturers over the last few years has enabled some pretty impressive hardware in fairly tiny form factors, and it’s now possible to have a fully-functional – and rather quick – desktop PC that literally fits in the palm of your hand.

Take the Gigabyte Brix S (model number BSi5HT-6200) we’ll be showing you here, for example. This tiny machine is packing a Skylake-based Intel Core i5-6200U processor with Hyperthreading support for four threads, dual DDR4 memory channels, built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, an M.2 slot, SATA support, Thunderbolt, and the list goes on. Yet, the Brix S measures only a few inches squared. There is some assembly and setup required with a system of this type, but when all is said and done, you can end up with solid performance in a minuscule form factor, without breaking the bank.

The Gigabyte Brix S BSi5HT-6200’s list of main features and specifications are detailed below. Take a look to get an idea of what makes this machine tick and then we’ll dig in further, build her up, and take her for a spin.
Gigabyte Brix S GB-BSi5HT-6200
Specifications & Features
Dimensions 46.8 mm x 112.6 mm x 119.4 mm (1.84" x 4.43" x 4.7")
Motherboard Size 105 x 110 mm
CPU Intel Core i5-6200U, 2.3GHz / 2.8GHz
Memory 2 x SO-DIMM DDR4 slots, 2133MHz, Max 32GB
LAN Gigabit LAN (Intel i219V)
Audio Realtek ALC255
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 520
HDMI Resolution (Max.) 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz
Mini DP Resolution (Max.) 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz
Expansion Slots 1 x M.2 slot (2280_storage), 1 x PCIe M.2 NGFF 2230 slot occupied by WiFi+BT card
Front I/O 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x head phone Jack, 1 x Mic phone Jack
Rear I/O 1 x HDMI (2.0), 1 x Mini DisplayPort (1.2), 1 x USB3.1 type C, 1 x RJ45, 1 x Kensington lock
Side I/O 2 x USB3.0, SD card solt
Power Supply Input: AC 100-240V, Output: DC 19V (4.74A)
VESA Bracket included, Supports 75 x 75 and 100 x 100 mm
Wifi Card Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
USB3.1 Intel Thunderbolt ready
Storage Supports 2.5” HDD/SSD, 7.0/9.5 mm thick (1 x 6 Gbps SATA 3)
Support OS Windows 7 32/64bit, Windows 8 64bit, Windows 10 64bit
Environment System Environment Operating Temperature: 0°C to +35°C
System Storage Temperature: -20°C to +60°C
PricingBarebones $389, other configs available

The Gigabyte Brix S BSi5HT-6200 is only 1.84" x 4.43" x 4.7"; and features a clean, streamlined chassis that’s outfitted with various ports and venting, but lacks any real stylized elements. Inside that chassis resides the aforementioned Core i5-6200U dual-core / quad-thread processor, with base and boost clocks speeds of 2.3GHz and 2.8GHz. The system supports up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM (at up to 2133MHz), and it can accommodate both M.2 and SATA storage solutions simultaneously, and there’s a mini-PCIe slot inside too, but it’s filled with and Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165. The system is also Thunderbolt ready, and has built-in Gigabit Ethernet and Realtek ALC255 audio. What you sacrifice with a system like this is any sort of internal expansion – there are no internal slots, ports, or headers, over and above what’s mentioned here. Which is one of the ways manufacturers are able to shrink down form factors. You could connect plenty of external devices to the Brix S BSi5HT-6200, however, thanks to its USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt ports.
brix bundle
Included with the Brix S BSi5HT-6200, is an external 19v / 4.74A power brick, a drive disc, a basic lit pack, a VESA mount, and a couple of packets of screws – one for said VESA mount, and one for mounting an internal 2.5” drive. What is not included with this particle model Brix S system, is system memory, storage or an OS.

brix open 1
Because the Brix S BSi5HT-6200 is a barebones system, buyers will have to supply their own memory, storage, and operating system. This may be an inconvenience for some but for those folks, fully assembled Brix systems are also available. However, we like these barebones systems because they offer additional flexibility to users to choose their own components and configurations. 
brix open 2
When you pop the system open, the motherboard and empty slots are front and center. The plate on the bottom of the system is held in place with 4 screws. Disengage those screws and the bottom pops off. The bottom plate is essentially a 2.5" drive tray that'll work with any standard SATA drive. There is a single, thin cable for the SATA power and data connections, and the memory and M.2 slots are accessible once the tray is removed. We should note that you can use the M.2 slot and SATA simultaneously if you need a more robust storage configuration.

For our system, we looked to Kingston for an M.2 Predator SSD and a 16GB dual-channel DDR4 SO-DIMM memory kit. The Kingston HyperX Impact DDR4 dual-channel kit you see here runs at 2133MHz (CL13) and requires only 1.2v. The Kingston Hyper X Predator SSD has been a very popular M.2-based PCIe drive that features a Marvell controller and transfer speeds up to 1.4GB/s.
brix setup
Installing the RAM and M.2 SSD requires nothing more than removing the bottom panel from the system, and popping the RAM and SSD into their respective slots. There's also a small retention screw necessary to hold the M.2 gumstick in place.

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