Gigabyte Brix Pro Review – GB-BXi7-4770R

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Inside the Gigabyte Brix Pro

To take the Gigabyte Brix Pro apart you first need to remove the bottom cover that is held on by four Philips screws.  Once you remove the bottom plate you can quickly and very easily install a 2.5″ hard drive or SSD of your choice along with the DDR3L memory kit and mSATA SSD. You can use either a 2.5″ notebook drive or mSATA for the boot drive.

Gigabyte Brix Pro Drive Tray

The image above shows how the 2.5″ drive tray is built into the bottom cover of the Brix Pro. Gigabyte includes a custom SATA data and power cable for the 2.5″ drive with the Brix Pro, so no additional cable is needed. We checked and the cable uses the SATA III (6Gbps) interface. What is the maximum z-height drive that you can fit? Gigabyte officially supports 7mm and 9.5mm thick drives.



The Gigabyte Brix Pro comes with just the 802.11ac wireless installed, so all you need to do it pop in the DDR3L (1.35 Low Voltage) memory kit of your choice and storage drive and you should be ready to install the OS of your choice. Since many want to see ‘inside’ the Brix Pro we are going to continue to do a full tear down before we add in the memory and mSATA SSD that we’ll be using.


Gigabyte went with an AzureWave AW-CB161H mini PCIe card to handle the 802.11ac WiFi+Bluetooth 4.0 wireless duties. This card also shows that it is Realtek Model RTL8821AE. Gigabyte went heavy with Realtek controllers on the Brix Pro as the Gigabit LAN, audio and wireless are all handled by Realtek.

  • Audio: Realtek ALC296
  • 802.11ac Wireless: Realtek RTL8821AE
  • Gigabit Wired LAN: Realtek TRL8111G


Our Gigabyte Brix Pro uses the Gigabyte M4HM87P revision 1.0 motherboard and the layout and design looks familiar as it is very similar to what Intel has done with their NUC series. Two Philips screws hold the motherboard down, so let’s take those off and remove this board.

Gigabyte Brix Pro Case

With the Gigabyte M4HM87P motherboard removed from the system we can see how Gigabyte ran the dual antennas in the enclosure. We were half expecting to see three antenna solution inside, but those have yet to take off since companies like Intel don’t offer a three antenna solution just yet. Not much else can be said about the case, so let’s look back at the motherboard.


Here is a look at the rear I/O panel of the Gigabyte Brix Pro and under that you can see a thin copper heatsink for the Intel Core i7-4770R processor and then the large exhaust opening from the blower style fan.


The large blower fan sucks air through the small fins on the cooper heatsink and exhausts the hot air directly out of the case. Having an outside thermal exhaust system is needed for a system like this.


Notice that Gigabyte had to shape the heatsink around the three phase power solution on the motherboard in order to maximize the heatink surface area in order to dissipate as much heat as possible.


Spinning the motherboard around to the other side you can see just how many cooling fins there are. The last four rows on the left side end short to leave enough clearance for the power button of the chassis to work. The system battery is tucked tightly between the PCB and heatsink as you can see above. Gigabyte went with the EverFlow BB7515BU DC12V 0.80A fan on the Brix Pro. This 75x75x15mm  centrifugal blower fan is often referred to as a turbo fan and is common in servers. We couldn’t find any CFM ratings, but this fan pushes major air and is pretty loud.


We went with the Intel 525 Series 240GB ‘Lincoln Crest’ mSATA SSD. The part number on this SATA III SSD is SSDMCEAC240B3 and it can be picked up for $264.99 plus shipping. This drive is rated to have up to 550MB/s sequential read and 520MB/s write speeds along with up to 50,000 IOPS when it comes to 4K Random Read and 80,000 IOPS on 4K Random Write operations. It is also backed by a 5-year warranty.


The fastest memory that the Gigabyte Brix Pro supports is 2133MHz and we wanted to have the best performance possible. We went with a G.SKILL RIPJAWS 8GB DDR3L 2133MHz CL11 SO-DIMM memory kit. This kit is sold under part number F3-2133C11D-8GRSL with a lifetime warranty for $89.99 shipped. This price makes it the lowest cost 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz DDR3L memory option on the market right now.


Here is a quick look inside the Gigabyte Brix Pro with all our hardware installed. The build turned out great and should take just a few minutes if you just need to install the memory modules and mSATA SSD. Assembling one of these systems is very easy. We installed Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit and here is a quick look at HWiNFO64:

Gigabyte Brix Pro HwInfo


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  • Dark Crow

    I was finding a review for this, great one

  • Kevin Hess

    complete junk

    • Todd Oxenford

      “Complete junk.”

      I think not! I use this as my Plex Media Server and it does a fine job transcoding multiple streams at once with no issues.

      • vampyren

        Good to hear 😀
        I have a NUC with i5-4250U and it sucks, cant even play the movies locally with Plex. So i was looking at this. Nice to hear your happy with it. Sure its expensive but i watch movies allot and love Plex for keeping a nice library 😀

        • Todd Oxenford

          I think you really need an i7 for transcoding. As I said, I have multiple streams running locally and remotely and have no issues..although, it does get loud, so I put the everything inside a cabinet and am using a Logitech Harmony Hub, controlling everything with an old iPad.

          It’s worth the upgrade. I also bought one for my son who needed an new PC, and he mounted it on the back of his LED TV.

  • Simon

    Hey Legitreviews/Nathan. Thanks for a good review! 🙂
    This review was very interresting to read but it would have been even better if you could have demonstrated game performance with different RAM speeds, and also if you could have shown more reference systems and a few more games because right now its a bit hard to evaluate how much better this performs compared to say a desktop Intel HD 4600, or where it would place compared to a GTX650/750.
    Btw, I really agree with you they should have made it one/half inch taller for better cooling. I actually would have preffered a overdimensioned cooler by big margin rather than this underdimensioned one that encourages ppl to underclock their new system.

    PS. Maybe the reason the TDP went skyhigh was because the memory was much faster than i7-4570R’s max specced RAM-speed (=1600mhz). Anyway still a really interresting aspect of this Brix Pro and before reading this review I didnt knew it would accept that kind of “OC”. I hope gaming-performance scales linearly with RAM speed.

  • Alexander Reusch


    what is this good for?

    Kind regards

  • Felipe

    Is it possible to have both SSD and a 2.5 HDD at the same time?

    • Simon

      Yes, mSATA + 2.5″ SATA HDD (9mm)

  • Sin Sentido Comun

    WOuld be nice to test audio software, I am very interested but noise can an issue, at the same time audio apps doesn’t consume much video power (or not one at all) so it might not push the GPU too much,

    • Todd Oxenford

      I run Foobar for some ripped SACD’s and it works and sounds great going through Dolby Digital 5.1.

  • KvinlonWeldon

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  • basroil

    Any chance you have a Kinect for Windows sensor and are willing to try out the system compared to something like a GTX 680? If that thing can get solid 30fps in 3d mapping mode, it will be THE robotics controller platform everyone is using.

    • legitreviews

      I do not have the Kinect for windows sensor and I know that has different features than the normal Xbox 360 Connect that are all over. Anyway to use the Xbox version?

      • basroil

        There’s nothing technically stopping you if you have the USB adapter, though the results might get wonky. Kinect Fusion doesn’t inherently use any of the Kinect for Windows features unless you enable them, so as long as you don’t try texture mapping or near mode it should work. Just remember to up the resolution (voxel density) until you hit just under 2gb vram use.

        • Peter

          Did you have the time to try Brix with the kinect sensor?

        • basroil

          Still no budget for brix, perhaps in another 6mo (though 960m version would be out by then)

  • Internet

    Why do you mention BIOS repeatedly in the review? This is a UEFI implemntation, not a BIOS. But you call it “UEFI BIOS” to really get things wrong. Why?

    • Internet

      Perhaps you can merge this in with the previous note?

      Watts dissipated in use isn’t “TDP” – TDP is Thermal Design Power. You can’t “hit a TDP of 85w” during use; the design power is still 65W. You are instead generating 85w in the form of heat, but not generating a “TDP.”

      I won’t go in depth about the editorial problems with this piece… nearly every page has some flaw, including missing half of a paragraph on page 3.

      Also: Your KeyShot 4.3 is unregistered, and not for commerical use. But the purpose of these reviews is ad revenue, isn’t it?

      I don’t really get what’s legit about repeated misuse of terminology.
      This article is quite poorly written and I do not believe the author possesses
      the knowledge necessary to write about these topics.