Opening the device is very simple and is done through the bottom of the unit. Many M.2 drives get a bit warm, so GIGABYTE has added a long thermal pad attached to the metal base of the unit to help dissipate heat.
There is enough room to install M.2 and memory devices without too much discomfort to the user. After I had removed the PCB, I found GIGABYTE had located the Wi-Fi antennas towards the top of the unit, above the EMI shielding for better signal reception.
Many of the important ICs which could be prone to static are located on the backside of the PCB, where the SoC and its heat sink are located. There are numerous other ports on the device which GIGABYTE included but did not specify in official specifications; I think a few are for embedded display options.
The heat sink is made up of a thick copper base attached to aluminum fins which make direct contact with the SoC. A blower fan is responsible for removing the air through the rear of the device.
Most of the functions of the device are integrated into the SoC. The i7-6500U SoC integrated the CPU die onto the same package as the PCH die. The Intel dual-band Wireless-AC 3165 is a 1x1 adapter (433Mbps) with integrated Bluetooth 4.2. It's fully Windows 10 compatible.
The wired LAN comes from the i219v which is a PHY for the integrated MAC in the SoC. It's the same PHY used on desktop motherboards, and should offer the same performance. The Realtek ALC255 is the audio codec which provides the headphone and microphone jacks at the front of the device.
The board does have a 128Mbit (16MB) ROM for the UEFI. The NCT5532Y is the LPC SuperIO, which provides temperature and voltage monitoring as well as control over the blower fan.
The TPS51363 is a 22v input 8/10A converter that takes the high voltage DC input and lowers the voltage range, so it is of use to onboard voltage regulators.
The ONSemiconductor NCP81206 is a single phase IMVP8 controller which provides control over the voltage regulator for the SoC. I spotted two Fairchild Semiconductor FDPC5018SG integrated high and low-side PowerTrench Power MOSFETs, which are high-efficiency parts that would reduce thermals.
PRICING: You can find the GIGABYTE BRIX Skylake BSi7H-6500 Ultra Compact PC for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The GIGABYTE BRIX Skylake BSi7H-6500 Ultra Compact PC retails for $530 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The GIGABYTE BRIX Skylake BSi7H-6500 Ultra Compact PC retails for £440 at Amazon UK.
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