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GIGABYTE BRIX BXi7H-5500 Ultra Compact Mini PC Review

By: Steven Bassiri | SFF PCs in Computer Systems | Posted: Mar 30, 2015 2:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Final Thoughts

 

GIGABYTE's BRIX BXi7H-5500 is one fast little machine. The extra frequency bins on the CPU make a very big difference in the benchmarks, but also in real-world testing. I could actually tell the difference between the NUC I had tested earlier and the BRIX I just finished testing. There is a slight real-world difference in that the BRIX with the i7 5500u is faster with programs like Photoshop; the response is almost instant. It is also apparent that this BRIX isn't just a HTPC; it is much more than that.

 

This BRIX is a desktop replacement for those who desire speed. The 2.5 inch drive bay with the standard 2.5 inch SATA attachment proves this fact, allowing you to plug in any 2.5 inch drive. This means you can toss in a 1TB HDD or SSD. This BRIX has dual storage options with the mSATA slot and the SATA connection as well, which makes it very versatile. I also liked that it had normal HDMI, and not mini-HDMI, which required me to go out and buy a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable.

 

gigabyte-brix-bxi7h-5500-ultra-compact-mini-pc-review_07

 

The cost of the BRIX BXi7H-5500 is a bit on the high side; although the MSRP is still unknown, it is expected to be over $500 USD. While the cost is expected to be high, you will get a lot of versatility when it comes to storage. I also liked the NFC tag system. I had not really used an NFC tag system before, and I have to say it is the perfect technology for lazy people. If you don't feel like typing out Netflix.com, you can program a NFC tag to do it for you. I can buy many tags and program them to do a variety of things like unlock the computer or start a program.

 

GIGABTYE has done a nice job with this small form factor PC, and while it does have active cooling, it never gets to the point where it's too loud. The i7 5500U CPU provides exceptional performance in a low-power package, leading in almost all of the benchmark tests. If price isn't an issue and size is, then the BXi7H-5500 offers superlative versatility in a package smaller than a real brick, yet with the power to get things done.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance96%
Quality including Design and Build96%
General Features92%
Bundle and Packaging94%
Value for Money90%
Overall TweakTown Rating94%

The Bottom Line: Intel's Core i7 5500U CPU provides exceptional performance in a low power package, leading in almost all benchmark tests. If price isn't an issue, then the BXi7H-5500 offers superlative versatility in a package smaller than a real brick, yet with the power to get things done.

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