Since Intel came out with the NUC a few years ago, other manufacturers have been releasing their version of the NUC. Gigabyte has a wide range of NUC clones that allows the user to choose the one that fits their needs. The BRIX s GB-BXi5H-5200 is one of the most recent versions that is based on the 5th generation Intel i5 processor. Using lower powered components, you can build a tiny desktop that should meet the needs of the average home user and many business users. With the included VESA mounting bracket, you can attach the tiny BRIX s to the back of a monitor to have it out of the way; the GB-BXi5H-5200 measures 1.33 in x 4.24 in x 4.5 in so it can be pretty unobtrusive in any environment. If noise is a concern, under a full load the unit was fairly quiet at just under 50dBA.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is a user configurable barebones kit. You will need to purchase the memory, storage and operating system in order to get the Gigabyte BRIX s up and running. The way we configured the GB-BXi5H-5200 for testing, it would cost:
Of course you can choose other components to increase or decrease the cost as you see fit. That’s the beauty of a barebones kit, choose the components that meet your individual needs. Installing the desired components is extremely simple, anybody that can use a screwdriver should be able to figure out how to install the memory, and storage.
In my opinion, the biggest downside to the Gigabyte BRIX s, model GB-BXi5H-5200, is the included wireless card. Gigabyte is using the Intel AC 3160, which is a decent wireless card. However there are newer models that are available that provide better performance, such as the Intel AC 7265. Thankfully the wireless card can easily be upgraded, and the newer Intel AC 7265 can be purchased online for around $24.99 plus shipping.
Gigabyte has you covered regardless of your needs. If you want a more powerful processor, they have BRIX models with Intel i7 processors. If you want more gaming power, the BRIX Gaming with a discrete graphics card would be for you. The BRIX s GB-BXi5H-5200 is the middle of the line model, that is powerful enough for the average home or business user. It would make a great mini desktop for a home theater system or for people with tight living space.
Legit Bottom Line: The Gigabyte BRIX s has a lot to offer for those that wants a powerful and stable mini system. The option to use either a mSATA or 2.5in hard drive allows for the user to choose their individual components to meet their storage needs.