We always update the BIOS on all the products we get to review to ensure we are running with the latest fixes and options. The Gigabyte Brix Pro runs a Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which replaces the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) firmware interface. When the Gigabyte Brix Pro arrived we found that it was running UEFI version F2 and that the latest build was version F3 (added memory clock frequency adjustment). We went to update the UEFI and were shocked to find that Gigabyte as no built-in UEFI update tool nor a Windows application to update the UEFI. How do you update the UEFI?
You need to create a bootable USB Flash drive and update the UEFI through DOS. This isn’t a big deal and something we’ve been doing for decades, but it is 2014 isn’t it?
This is the main menu of the American Megatrends UEFI that is installed on the Gigabyte Brix Pro. Right off the bat you’ll notice that this UEFI is not full color and there is no support for a mouse. This UEFI has a basic functionality similar to a traditional notebook BIOS. It turns out that the team who built and designed the Gigabyte BRIX Pro is the companies PC ODM team and that market usually has very basic BIOS/UEFI designs. Gigabyte is hoping that they will be able to work on a more feature-rich UEFI with added functionality in the months to come as the BRIX is a crossover product that has received much interest in the market.
Under the Advanced CPU Configuration you get some information about the Intel Core i7-4770R processor and can disable some things like EIST, Turbo mode, and C3/C6 power states. There are no overclocking options available for the Intel Core i7-4770R the Gigabyte Brix Pro due to thermal constraints. We’ll cover this more later.
As of UEFI F3 you can now adjust the DRAM Clock Frequency and this is the only adjustable clock frequency on the system. It is nice to be able to select the clock frequency, but there isn’t a way to adjust any of the memory timings. You are stuck running the factory set SPD timings, which is okay if you aren’t trying to tighten the timings or run 1T command rate.
Here is a hint as to why Gigabyte doesn’t allow any CPU overclocking on this system. The PC Health Status menu showed that our system was running at 77C on the Intel Core i7-4770R processor and the fan was already humming along at just over 2300 RPM. We knew from the second that we fired up this system that it was not going to be a cool running or quiet system!
Let’s take a look at some common benchmarks on the Gigabyte Brix Pro.