A few years ago, GIGABYTE launched a new type of product into the market, a small form factor PC called BRIX. GIGABYTE teamed up with Intel to design and produce a desktop PC that you can hold in the palm of your hand. To achieve such a small design, you need an extremely integrated system-on-chip (SOC) because a separate CPU and chipset would require too much PCB space. Well, Intel's Broadwell micro-architecture is perfect for this scenario.
The BRIX s BXi7H-5500 is smaller than a brick, and much more interesting. The BXi7H-5500 carries some of the latest technologies, like Wireless AC and NFC, and also provides a strong backbone for storage and connectivity. Today, I will venture into GIGABYTE's latest iteration of their BRIX product line by taking a look at the BXi7H-5500.
GIGABYTE is utilizing Intel's i7 5500u 5th generation Core I processor, which features two cores, four threads, and a 3.0GHz turbo clock - all at only 15W TDP. The i7 5500u supports 16GB of DDR3L at 1600MHz, and it uses Intel's HD5500 video card, which has two graphics cores. GIGABYTE has also added a NIC, provided support for mSATA, and even provided the option to mount a 2.5 inch SSD or HDD for much larger storage. There is also a wireless AC card in a smaller M.2 slot that supports Bluetooth 4.0. An NFC controller is also present, as are four USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort, and a HDMI port that supports 4K.
The GIGABYTE BRIX BXi7H-5500 should retail for around $510, making it just $10 more expensive than the version without the taller lid supporting the 2.5-inch drive. It also makes it $100 more expensive than the Intel NUC5i5RYK. For that extra $100, you get a much faster CPU and more storage options.
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