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::>Multimedia > 2015 > 01 > GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BXA8G-8890

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06-01-2015


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Mini-PC GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890: review and testing

Well known GIGABYTE continues to please its fans not only the latest motherboards and graphics cards, but also by original products such as mini- computers of series GIGABYTE BRIX. In this review we will talk about the version GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890 based on the processor AMD A8-5557M with integrated graphics core AMD Radeon HD 8550G. And due to the fact that this computer belongs to the games lineup GIGABYTE GAMING, of course it includes a discrete graphics card. In this case we are talking about the AMD Radeon R9 M275X with two gigabytes of graphics memory GDDR5.

 

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Do note that the GIGABYTE also has a productive model GIGABYTE GB-BXi5G-760, built on a bunch of solutions from Intel and NVIDIA. But now let’s proceed directly to the review of GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890, and try to find out what performance is suitable such a compact gaming solution.

The specs:

Producer

GIGABYTE

Model

GB-BXA8G-8890

CPU

AMD A8-5557M (4 x 2,1 – 3,1 GHz)

Chipset

AMD A76M (Bolton M3)

Memory support

2 x DDR3L SO-DIMM-slots 1600 / 1333 MHz with support of memory up to 16 GB

Graphics adapter

AMD Radeon R9 M275X (mobile graphics card)

AMD Radeon HD 8550G (integrated graphics card)

Disk subsystem

1 х mSATA

1 х SATA 6 Gb/s

Drive compartments

1 х 2,5" (internal with support of devices with thickness pf 7.0 and 9.5 mm)

Optical drive

-

Card-reader

-

Expansions slots

1 х mini-PCIe (module Wi-Fi/Bluetooth)

Interfaces

4 x USB 3.0

1 х headphones socket

1 х HDMI

1 х Mini DisplayPort

1 x RJ45 (LAN)

1 x power socket

1 х lockк Kensington

Multimedia

Speakers

-

Audio codec

Realtek ALC269

Communication

Networl adapter

10/100/1000 Mb/s (Realtek RTL8111G)

Wi-Fi/Bluetooth

mini-PCIe Wi-Fi/Bluetooth-module

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 4.0

PSU

Output parameters: 19 V DC at 7,1 А, 135 W

Input parameters: 100~240 V AC at 50/60 Hz

Other

Wall fixation with the help of complete mount VESA 75/100 mm

Motherboard dimensions

100 х 105 mm

Graphics card dimensions

94 х 107 mm

Case dimensions

59,6 x 128 x 115,4 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE

Product page

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Hardware platform

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

As we mentioned above, this model is quad-core processor AMD A8-5557M from the family AMD Richland. It is based on 32nm microarchitecture AMD Piledriver. The base frequency is 2100 MHz, and due to the support for AMD Turbo Core 3.0 it can be dynamically accelerated up to 3100 MHz. Thus a TDP does not exceed 35 W, which is especially important in tight enclosed space.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Also there is power saving mode with operating frequency of 1400 MHz. Note that in the utility CPU-Z the CPU voltage is displayed incorrectly.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The integrated memory controller supports modules DDR3L with frequency of 1333 MHz and 1600 MHz, and a voltage of 1.35 V. Their operation in dual channel mode is available. The maximum capacity of memory is 16 GB.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Preset processor AMD A8-5557M is equipped sufficiently productive graphics core AMD Radeon HD 8550G. It consists of 256 unified shader pipelines, 32 texture units and 8 ROP units, and has the support of instructions OpenCL and DirectCompute 5.0. Basic GPU frequency is 554 MHz. Under high load it can be dynamically accelerated up to 720 MHz, and in the idle mode its speed decreases to 250 MHz.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Individual advantage of tested model is the presence of a discrete graphics card AMD Radeon R9 M275X, graphics core which consists of 640 unified shader pipelines, 40 texture units and 16 ROP units (in this case the indices of GPU-Z are different from the official specification). Basic GPU frequency is 925 MHz. Video memory with total capacity of 2GB operates at effective frequency of 4500 MHz. The data exchange between the graphics processor and memory is realized through a 128-bit bus, which is capable of passing 72.0 GB of information per second.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

A model GIGABYTE M1M3XBP-00 based on the chipset AMD A76M is applied as the motherboard.

Packaging equipment

 

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Mini PC GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890 comes in a rather large cardboard box, decorated in dark colors. The front side of the package contains the image of the device and the name of the manufacturer.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

On the reverse side the manufacturer put the description of the key advantages of new product, as well as the front and back image of interface panels. Here is listed a delivery set, as well as a list of necessary additions for the full operation of the system. Since GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890 comes as a barebone-system, then you will need additional memory modules, storage and operating system (supported versions of Windows 7 and next).

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Inside the box the computer is securely fixed using cardboard material, foam gaskets and antistatic package, which should prevent it against damage during transportation.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Supplied set of GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890 includes:

  • mount VESA;
  • the power cord;
  • power supply;
  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • User's Guide.

The presence of a VESA mount significantly improves the usability of the computer because it allows you to innately it not only on the desktop, but also on the back of the monitor or on the wall.

Design

 

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The tested model is implemented in a compact rectangular board, painted in black and red colors. Its dimensions are 59,6 x 128 x 115,4 mm. External elements are made of plastic, while the inside is an aluminum base for mounting all the components. Note that the red inserts and top panel are easily soiled. 

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The bottom cover is attached with four screws. Also, there is a label with technical data. Also important are parameters of the external power supply unit: its capacity should be at least 135 W at a voltage of 19 V and a current of 7.1 A. The two small holes on the sides are designed for fixing the VESA-compatible complete fastening.

Pay attention to the four small rubber legs that improve grip and remove possible vibrations.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The top panel has the only button that is responsible for activation of the system. It has a LED-backlit of blue color that lights up after turning on the PC.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The front and the back sides are designed for different interfaces. On the front panel there are two USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack. But you won’t connect the microphone, since this connector is not combined.

Other connectors are concentrated on the rear panel. There are: power connector, lock Kensington, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, network interface RJ45 port and two USB 3.0 ports. Also here is a ventilation grille.

 

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The side faces of the body have with ventilation holes that provide better air circulation.

Internal layout

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

A compartment for a 2.5-inch HDD- and SSD-drive is on the reverse side of the bottom cover. Devices with thickness of 7.0 and 9.5 mm are compatible.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

When you look inside the body the first attention is given to two slots for RAM SO-DIMM, pre-wireless interface module Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac and Bluetooth 4.0, as well as free mSATA slot for installing solid drive. Cable SATA required for a 2.5-inch drive is connected to a small connector near the RAM slots.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

On the back side of the motherboard is set sufficiently large copper heatsink with fins, which serves to cool the processor and chipset.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The motherboard is made on a dark blue textolite. Its size is only slightly smaller than the computer case (100 x 105 mm). As you can see, the power of the processor is carried by a two-phase scheme for cores and additional nodes. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller Intersil 62,771.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Gigabit LAN-controller Realtek RTL8111G is applied to support network connections.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The audio subsystem of considered motherboard is based on the audio codec Realtek ALC269.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

After removing the motherboard from the case, you can find a graphics subsystem GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890 configured as a separate printed circuit board with its own cooling system.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

As we can see, a massive copper heatsink is used for cooling the GPU and video memory chips. Its fins provide the air flow generated by two preset fans. 

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Three copper heatpipes are soldered inside the radiator for more efficient heat transfer.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Directly with the graphics core and video memory chips radiator in contact with special thermal interfaces.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Two gigabytes of graphics memory GDDR5 model AMD Radeon R9 M275X are picked with the help of eight chips Samsung K4G20325FD-FC04 with capacity of 256 MB each. They operate on effective frequency of 4500 MHz.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The power subsystem is implemented on a digital PWM controller NCP3218G manufactured by ON Semiconductor.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

The monitoring function is assigned to the chip Nuvoton NCT7904D.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

At the bottom of the housing on the inside, are antennas of wireless interfaces, so you should not place the mini-computer near sources of interference.

GIGABYTE GB-BXA8G-8890

Two 50 mm fans Delta Electronics AUC0512DB are used for cooling of the componets. Rated voltage is 12, and the current 0.27 A, which results in a power of 3.24 W. They are based on the bearing «Superflo Bearings» with the stated lifetime of 30 000 hours. The maximum speed of rotation is 7400 rpm, and the generated noise reaches 42.5 dB.


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