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Giada i53 Mini PC Review - Inside the Giada i53 Mini PC

In the realm of Mini PCs, Giada shows that just because it is tiny doesn't mean you have to skimp totally on the horsepower.

| SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Oct 15, 2012 3:28 pm
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: Giada

Inside the Giada i53 Mini PC

 

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Getting the top cover off the i53 was relatively easy, just a pair of screws and a lot of finesse will allow it to come off. Be careful though, the antenna attached to the panel has a very short lead.

 

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Just in front of the enclosed CMOS battery you will see there is an encore low speed USB peripheral controller with the black cable connecting this to the rear I/O USB ports.

 

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The Realtek ALC662 delivers 5.1 channel high definition audio with a sampling rate of up to 96 kHz. If you need to know all of the finer details have a look at Realtek, but I can tell you this is plenty to use for daily use or in the home theater environment.

 

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I removed the cooling from the chips to see what we could find underneath. Here is the Intel i5 3370U CPU with the integrated Intel GMA HD4000. Since there isn't an IHS, the only way to verify it at this point is from the screenshots later in the review.

 

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The second component under the cooling is the also naked Intel HM76 Express chipset that offers SATA III, plenty of USB support for the i53, as well as RST and anti-theft technology.

 

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We also were given the HDD version rather than one with an SSD included. Even though the 5400 RPM Hitachi has been short stroked to improve its performance, this mini PC should really have an SSD over this option. If you need more space, off board storage is cheap enough, and with USB 3.0 you can have pretty fast transfer of images, music, or whatever you need to keep long term.

 

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Getting the motherboard out of this tiny chassis is no easy task, and unless you are out of warranty or want to add extra memory to the i53, I don't recommend going this far. It is really easy to break things if you force your way through.

 

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Removing the single 4GB stick of memory to see what they included, I found a stick of CAS 9 1333MHz Ramaxel memory with Elpida J2108BCSE ICs packed tightly on the PCB.

 

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Also on the back of the motherboard you will find the AzureWave combo card. This is where you get the wireless IEEE 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, which the card is installed into the Mini PCI-e slot.

 

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Near the wireless n and BT card, there is an empty slot that would gladly accept an m-SATA drive here. Of course you can use any device that would fit, but an m-SATA SSD would really improve performance a lot.

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