GIGABYTE BXPi3-4010 PC & Projector
When Intel first released the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) it was intriguing to me to see where PC computing was going, it was getting smaller and smaller. Personally I wasn't convinced about the next wave of computing, I've always been one who's looking for more power, more speed and just more. Just recently I was given GIGABYTE's take on the NUC, or at least one of their takes. The GIGABYTE Brix Mini-PC from GIGABYTE has several different versions each with different specifications:
- GB-BXPi3-4010 - $599.99
- GB-BXi3-4010 - $299.99
- GB-BXi5-4200 - $389.99
- GB-BXi7-4500 - $509.99
- GB-XM14-1037 - $169.99
- GB-XM12-3227 - $329.42
- GB-XM11-3337 - $416.34
- GB-XM1-3537 - $524.92
The defining difference between each of these units is the processor, well with the exception of the GB-BXPi3-4010. The GB-BXPi3-4010 has a feature quite unlike the others, a built-in WVGA projector that is capable of a 864 x 480 screen resolution! Each of these units is a barebones system, so keep that in mind. You will have to add a mSATA drive and memory to the GIGABYTE Brix of your choice.
The GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 projector is rated for a screen size ranging from 7" to 85", not bad for an ultra compact PC and Projector in one! The chassis isn't only attractive, it's also functional. The aluminum construction of the Brix adds durability as well as heat dissipation.
|GIGABYTE BXPi3-4010 PC & Projector Specifications|
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Now that you've memorized the specifications for the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 (there will be a test later) we can move on the packaging, inside and outside, and the build. Once that's all complete we will look at the performance of the unit, head on to the next page and we can get started!
GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 Retail Packaging & Bundle
The packaging for the GIGABYTE BRIX BXPi3-4010 Projector is left pretty simple on the front. There's a picture of the unit, name and company logo, Intel logo, and a mention of the wireless module being included.
Flipping the BRIX Projector packaging over GIGABYTE gave us an overview of the BRIX projector. We will look at all of this on the next page or so but at first glance we can tell that this is a full featured system in a box, everything we need except a keyboard and mouse!
As we start opening up the package for the GIGABYTE BRIX projector and everything is well protected within the package
Removing the projector and first layer of cardboard we stumble onto the BRIX drivers disc.
Underneath the driver disc is a pair of compartments that include the accessory bundle. Since the BRIX projector is a complete unit, there isn't much that's needed. The only accessories that are included are the 65W power brick by FSP Group, power cable and a tripod to mount the unit to.
GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 PC & Projector External Features & Thoughts
The top of the GIGABYTE Brix is a slick looking polished black finish, with the only feature the power button and the GIGABYTE logo.
The back of the GIGABYTE Brix is the most feature filled side as it features most of the connectivity. Along the top edge of the Brix BXPi3-4010 PC & Projector there is a mini HDMI in which allows the projector to work as a stand alone unit and the power button for the projector. Along the bottom edge is the plug for the AC adapter, HDMI 1.4a out, mini-DisplayPort version 1.2a, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, and a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports. The maximum resolution supported by the GB-BXPi3-4010 is 4096 x 2304 @24Hz on the HDMI 1.4a output and 3200 x 2000 @60Hz on the DisplayPort 1.2a output.
Between the I/O ports there are also some ventilation holes for the system to breathe.
Rotating the GIGABYTE BXPi3-4010 around to show that there are some ventilation holes in the chassis and where the focus knob is located for the projector.
The front of the Brix features a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, headphone jack that also doubles as an optical SPDIF out jack, and the lens for the projector.
Swinging the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 around one last time, the logos for SRS, Dolby, and DLP. Surrounding the logos is additional ventilation for the unit to breathe.
Flipping the BXPi3-4010 over there are four rubber feet and a threaded hole for the included stand.
Inside the GIGABYTE Brix PC & Projector
Pulling apart the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 was as easy as removing the four screw in the feet of the unit. That's really as far as you'll ever need to go as all the needed parts can be installed from here. On the left we can see the pair of low profile SODIMM slots, an on the right we can see the mSATA port. Under the mSATA port is the half-size mini PCIe slot that is currently populated by the GIGABYTE WiFi+BT card. The WiFi+BT card supports IEEE802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.
Removing the tiny motherboard from the Brix we can see the projector PCB and projector itself still within the housing.
Installing the hardware in the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 was easy to do. The Kingston HyperX PnP SO-DIMMS snapped into place without any issues and the Intel SSD 530 Series 180GB drive installed and was recognized without a problem. Now we can close the Brix back up and see how she performs!
With all of our parts installed and Windows 8 installed we were able to run the epic Windows Experience Index and see how the system rates. The GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 was right on par with what I expected to see. The overall score is determined by the lowest sub-score, in the case of the Brix BXPi3-4010 it is the graphics which squeezed out a score of 5.9. The Intel Core i3-4010U was the next lowest score hitting 6.4. From there the scores continue to climb, if the Windows Experience Index counts for anything the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 looks like it'll be a solid system.
The GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 uses an Intel Core i3-4010U dual core four thread processor. What makes the i3-4010U ideal for a ultra small form factor like the Brix is the low TDP, only 15 Watts with a clock speed of 1.7GHz!
The latest iteration of GPUz, 0.7.5 doesn't show the iGPU clock speed accurately. Our Intel HD 4400 graphics are currently running at 1000MHz, not the 200MHz being shown here.
GIGABYTE BRIX Ultra Small Form Factor PC & Projector General Performance
I'm not surprised that the GIGABYTE Brix didn't exactly break any records in the latest iteration of Futuremark 3DMark. It's not meant to, but it certainly held it's own scoring a respectable score of 39491 in the Ice Storm benchmark and a score of 3877 in Cloud Gate.
In PCMark 8 the GIGABYTE Brix scored 2391 overall with a casual gaming score of 22.2 frames per second. I wouldn't rely on the Brix to rock the latest games like Battlefield 4, but it'll play a few games with the eye candy turned off when you need your fix.
The GIGABYTE Brix uSFF PC was able to hit 18970MB/s read speed and 19615MB/s write speed in the AIDA64 memory benchmark.
The GIGABYTE Brix and our Kingston HyperX memory were able to hit an aggregate memory bandwidth performance of 17.76GB/s in SiSoftware Sandra 2014.
In the Sandra Arithmetic benchmark the GIGABYTE Brix hit an aggregate native performance of 26.15 GOPS.
The Processor Multi-Media test in Sandra showed an aggregate Multi-Media Native Performance of 74.25MPix/s.
The Sandra processor Cryptographic bandwidth of 1.9GB/s.
The benchmark within the TrueCrypt software showed the GIGABYTE Brix uSFF PC had a AES mean score of 1.0GB/s.
Giving the latest version of CrystalDiskMark 3.0.3 a quick run I found that there was plenty of speed when it's coupled with the Intel SSD 530 Series that came out a few months ago. The Sequential read was cruising along at 420.8MB/s while the sequential write was hitting 251.2MB/s. Looking at the 4K random speeds the read hit 19.39MB/s and the write hit 20.45MB/s. Overall the Intel SSD 530 180GB mSATA drive and the GIGABYTE Brix is a great team.
Curious about the network performance of the GIGABYTE BXPi3-4010 I fired up LAN Speed Test. Using the office desktop as our server via a Gigabit wired connection through our ASUS RT-AC660 router I ran tests on both the wired and WiFi. The first test above is the wired connection running 50 100MB packets. The average write/upload speed was solid at 875.054Mbps while the average reading/download was a hair faster at 879.514Mbps.
This test we still ran 50 packets though we reduced the size to 1Mb. We picked up a little bit of speed with the smaller packets. The writing/upload speed jumped ~2.5Mbps to 877.504Mbs and the average reading/download speed jumped to 884.171Mbps.
Firing up the GIGABYTE WiFi module within the BXPi3-4010 the average writing/upload hit 45.025Mbps while the reading/download hit 45.984Mbps.
Dropping the packet size down to 1Mb we were able to pick up a little bit of speed on the upload, increasing to 49.804Mbps, though our download dropped a hair to 44.578Mbps.
The Intel Core i3-4010U processor isn't meant for raw power, but it's able to get the job done well enough in the GIGABYTE Brix PC & Projector. In Cinebench R15 the Brix was able to hit 172cb across all cores and 68cb across a single core which isn't to shabby from a dual core/four thread processor.
GIGABYTE BXPi3-4010: The Projector
The pictures aren't going to do the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 projector justice, low light photography isn't my strong suit and my camera isn't designed for this type of image capturing. With that being said, I was thoroughly impressed with the projector and the quality of the images. The above screen shot from the Brix projector was caught while I was running the benchmarks, it's projected against the white wall in my office and it looked great.
This image of the Legit Reviews home page was taken with the lights on and the projector nine feet away from the wall. Overall it was still real easy to read and everything was real clear. With the Brix nine feet away the screen measured from corner to corner was 77".
With the lights turned off the screen was easier to photograph but really didn't improve the screen quality to much for me.
I pulled the GIGABYTE Brix back to the limits of my office which is just over 12' wall to wall, the display was still real easy to read and was still plenty clear. Measuring corner to corner we had a viewing area of 99".
This is probably one of my favorite aspects about the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 PC & Projector, the uber low power consumption. Sitting idle the Brix was pulling only 11 Watts at the wall when using a monitor and if the projector was on, it was still only pulling 19 Watts at the wall. Loading up the Intel Core i3-4010U with the AIDA64 system stability test the unit was still only puling 24 Watts and 32 if we were using the projector.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
When I first saw the Intel 'Haswell' NUC come out, I wasn't what I would call impressed. Perhaps I was among the masses that had been convinced that bigger was better. Don't tell my wife that I'm admitting this, but maybe, just maybe I was wrong! Perhaps bigger isn't necessarily better as I was certainly impressed with the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 today. For a system that measures only 4.24" x 4.5" x 1.93" including the projector I was ecstatic about the performance I was able to get from the Gigabyte Brix BXPi3-4010.
I really only have one gripe about the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 projector and that's the resolution. The BXPi3-4010 has a resolution of only 864x480. The low resolution didn't lend itself to a lot of desktop real estate but I doubt that many will be using the projector as the primary display. Once I plugged in my monitor via a HDMI cable I was able to run the system at 1920x1080 without an issue.
One of the features I like about the Brix BXPi3-4010 is the versatility of the unit. The fact that I can take the unit room to room or meeting to meeting without the need for a screen. I can let my kid fire it up in one room and stream some netflix over the WiFi, while my wife and I enjoy a break from his cartoons and enjoy some evening programming on network TV or stream our own choices on netflix. The next day I can take the Brix BXPi3-4010 to the office and run through a presentation without the need to find a projector. The possibilities are pretty much endless for the BXPi3-4010.
It's been quite awhile since I've had any issues with my GIGABYTE products around the house so I've been fortunate enough that I haven't had to take advantage of their warranty coverage. Though if you should happen to have an issue with the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 PC & Projector, you are covered for a period of three years. Though take note that the external power supply is only covered by a one year warranty.
Legit Bottom Line: It may not have the power I'm used to, but the GIGABYTE Brix BXPi3-4010 has more than enough power to do what it is targeted for. The ultra Small Form Factor, lower power usage, and the latest generation Intel Core i3-4010U processor make the BXPi3-4010 a winner. Couple it with the projector and it makes it all the better!