An Amazing "Tiny" Computer, Runs Ubuntu, Supports Two Monitors, Sips Power!
Chris Kitze, Amazon
14 August 2013
Summary: First let me say I didn't buy it here on Amazon, but thought enough of this product to share what I've learned with you. I bought the RAM, the solid state drive, the keyboard, mouse and usb hub at Amazon. So far, this is a great computer. I bought about a month ago to run Ubuntu (Linux) and get away from all the malware, spyware, content restrictions and general nannying of the Windows and Mac worlds.
Summary: Right now its a home server, using windows 7 x64 as a host. I have iis, ftp, and rdp running, as well as a few VMs. Very stable. It sits right next to my router and modem. (Make sure you use the high performance power settings in the control panel as this does seem to affect performance in windows 7)
Pros: Extremely Tiny - smaller than the Intel NUC, Very quiet, Fast. It certainly packs a decent punch even though its merely a dual core i7. The minimal and sleek styling is definitely a plus. As noted above - you get the power cord included (Sorry NUC fans) The integrated video is more than fast enough considering it's not a gaming machine. Has an easy time driving a philips 1080p tv.
Cons: Loss of one star because its quite expensive and not a quad core processor. Only 2 USB 3 ports, although that's plenty for me considering I'm only using one to an external backup drive.
Summary: I was mixed on how I wanted to config the box. If max performance is wanted at all times, then disable EIST speedstep in bios. With EIST disabled, I see all cores run at 2594Ghz. Not sure in this config if it would still turbo to the 3.1Ghz rating ondemand. Overall though, it runs hotter this way so you may trade off the fan noise for full fan speed (~6k rpm) vs the autospeed of something around 4K rpm.
Pros: Small, Fast, solid all metal case. My purchase was oriented around this thing being used mainly towards a micro server role including virtual machine hosting and eventually headless or only occasional console needs... I got it with 16GB crucial ram and 240gb Mushkin ssd and all works trouble free. I used old USB 2 external cd/dvd drive to load Fedora 17 Linux x64. All worked flawlessly. I started the built in KVM hypervisor software and created/configured (oddly) some...
Cons: Not much at this time. This I7 based unit is currently the fastest unit I can find. It is dual core as advertised. It's fast but it would seem that for such a little box, they do not have a big cache and only dual core. Am going to monitor the fan for noise and longevity. It seems to get sound on your desktop, you presumably need a hdmi flat panel with speakers or usb speakers. Have not tried the displayport. I'm mixed on why this kind of box is on the expensive side ...
Summary: Brix is actually very small, but powerful enough. It is suitable for home entertainment center for multimedia playback. Also, as a powerful computer to work with office and business applications. It forms an excellent combination with multi-touch screen and Windows 8 Cons: It is used with Intel processor Ivy-Bridge architecture and is integrated graphics processor is not powerful enough to play modern, graphically intensive games.