Some time ago, Intel introduced the first processors Airmont, successors of the Silver Mont-generation. The latter are known as Bay Trail. The successor is called the desktop Cherry Trail, but for the mobile variant named Braswell was coined. How do you call them, these CPUs are very interesting because of their extensive video capabilities including a built-in H.265 decoder, combined with a low price. The first Cherry Trail processors should still appear in our lab, but we came Braswell already a couple of times. This time at a barebone Gigabyte Brix BACE-3150.
Gigabyte is already a veteran in the field of mini-PCs based on Intel NUC form factor. It offers models in all price ranges, depending on the integrated processor. The model we are discussing today at the lower end of the spectrum, with a Celeron N3150 SoC and a price around 145 euros. Gigabyte also has an even lower gepositoneerd model on the basis of a Celeron N3000.
Gigabyte Brix BACE-3000
The BACE-3150 is on the outside a more distinct appearance. For an entry-level model is surprisingly high, six centimeters. That is one centimeter higher than the recently reviewed BXCEH-3205, a model with Broadwell Celeron aboard. The box where it was in, so we felt just a little tighter in appearance. Anyhow, we understand the naming by Gigabyte is now no more. The BXCE-3205 has no room for an internal 2.5 “disk or drive, the BXCEH has though – but the BACE-3150, as we shall see, is that too – so you would expect a name like BACEH or BACH . The power button of the BACE-3150 feels somewhat spongy, there is no clear click.
Anyway. On the outside we see a side two USB 3.0 ports and a micro SD memory card reader. The usefulness of the latter eludes us somewhat – lack of space is obviously not the rationale. There do exist adapters to stop micro-SD cards into standard SD card readers, conversely they do not exist. Or: why Gigabyte? We shift our gaze to the side, we see that a VGA port and audio inputs and outputs. The latter seem to us superior to the Front or rear if necessary, the first certainly would have to sit behind. In short, there seems to be a somewhat arbitrary port distribution. Not incidentally, unique to these devices, but not a design that we applaud.
Gigabyte Brix BACE-3000
Looking at the back, we see that the power jack, an HDMI output, Ethernet and two USB 3.0 ports. This allows the devices are similar to Intel’s own Braswell NUC, the prosaically named BOXNUC5CPYH. This, however, has a normal SD card reader (on the side) and an optical digital audio output on the rear, with a combined audio in / output priority. On average, these Intel NUC will cost a bit more, about 150 euros with a lowest price of 135 euros in our price comparison. For both the Intel Gigabyte Brix if it is true that they will not be able to send out ultra HD resolutions with a frequency higher than 24Hz. That’s what it can do less than the ASRock Beebox via DisplayPort 1.2, which is already limited to 30Hz.
Gigabyte Brix BACE-3150 is undeniably not expensive: you have it all for less than 140 euros on average and the price is 145 euros at time of writing. That’s slightly cheaper than the ASRock Beebox, although it was well supplied with an IR remote control. Gigabyte provides a VESA bracket along.