Over the last couple of years, the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) has emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market. Intel kickstarted the category with their Sandy Bridge NUC kits in early 2013. Recognizing the popularity of this segment, other vendors also began to promote similar products. GIGABYTE targets this market segment with an extensive lineup of products under the BRIX brand. We recently looked at the high-end Haswell BRIX, the GB-BXi7-4500. The focus of this review is on the opposite side of the spectrum – they Bay Trail-D Celeron J1900-based GB-BXBT-1900. As a note, due to GIGABYTE’s regional marketing policies, this model is currently not being sold in the North American market, but targets price conscious buyers everywhere else.
Similar to other BRIX units, the BXBT-1900 comes barebones. An important point to note is that, unlike the higher-end BRIX units, the BXBT-1900 doesn’t support mSATA drives. The support for 2.5" drives makes the z-height a bit more than the BRIX s (pure mSATA) models that we have looked at before. The dimensions (56.1 mm x 107.6 mm x 114.4 mm) otherwise conform to the smallest possible BRIX units (29.9 mm x 107.6 mm x 114.4 mm). Another point of difference is the presence of only one SO-DIMM DDR3L slot rated for operation at 1333 MHz (compared to the dual 1600 MHz-capable slots in the Haswell-based units). We configured the review unit to end up with the following components:
Retail unit is barebones, but we installed Windows 8.1 Pro x64
The BXBT-1900 kit doesn’t come with any pre-installed OS, but does come with a driver CD. In the higher-end kits, GIGABYTE has moved to USB keys for the drivers. In any case, we ended up installing the latest drivers downloaded off GIGABYTE’s product support page. In addition to the main unit, the other components of the package include a 30 W (12V @ 2.5A) adapter, a US power cord, a VESA mount (along with the necessary screws), a driver CD and a quick-start guide.
The gallery below takes us around the hardware in the unit.
In order to complete our build, we opted for a 2.5" Samsung SSD 840 EVO (with the read performance bug recently fixed) and a single Crucial CT51264BF160B (Micron 8KTF51264HZ-1G6J1) 4 GB SO-DIMM.
In the table below, we have an overview of the various systems that we are comparing the BXBT-1900 against. Note that they may not belong to the same market segment. The relevant configuration details of the machines are provided so that readers have an understanding of why some benchmark numbers are skewed for or against the BXBT-1900 when we come to those sections.