Friday, March 30th 2018

GIGABYTE Intros Brix S Powered by Pentium Silver J5005 SoC

GIGABYTE today rolled out a variant of its Brix S mini-PC barebone powered by Pentium Silver J5005 SoC (model: GB-BLPD-5005). This chip packs a quad-core "Goldmont Plus" CPU, and faster UHD Graphics 605 iGPU than the one which Celeron J4005 comes with. You add your own DDR4 SO-DIMM memory (up to 8 GB of dual-channel memory over two slots); and storage. Storage options include an M.2-2280 slot with PCIe gen 2.0 x2 wiring, and a 2.5-inch drive bay with SATA 6 Gbps interface (up to 9.5 mm-thick drives supported).

An included Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 card sitting in its own M.2 slot (other than the vacant M.2-2280 slot) provides dual-band 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.2. Wired networking is care of a Realtek RTL8111HS controller, putting out a GbE interface. The Realtek ALC255 HD audio codec puts out stereo audio with around 89 dBA SNR. USB connectivity includes four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two up front, including a type-C port). Display outputs include one each of mini-DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI 2.0a. Measuring 46.8 mm x 112.6 mm x 119.4 mm (HxWxD), it supports VESA mounting. The company didn't reveal pricing.
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3 Comments on GIGABYTE Intros Brix S Powered by Pentium Silver J5005 SoC

Why is there a Wireless-AC 3168 card, when J5005 supposed to have wifi+BT integrated in the chipset?
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Semi-Retired Folder
csgabeWhy is there a Wireless-AC 3168 card, when J5005 supposed to have wifi+BT integrated in the chipset?
It isn't that simple. While the Gemini Lake SoCs have the WiFi controller built into them, they don't have a radio. So the computer manufacturers still have to include a CRF module(Companion RF). These are supposed to give a cheaper alternative to a dedicated WiFi card at the same speeds. The wireless built into Gemini Lake is capable of 1300Mbps on 5GHz and 450Mbps on 2.4GHz. However, you still have to buy and include the Wireless-AC 9560 CRF module to enable that function. From what I've seen the Wireless-AC 9560 is more expensive than just putting in a lower/weaker complete Wireless-AC card. The Wireless-AC 9560 can be had by the OEMs for about $20, but the Wireless-AC 3168 can be had for under $10. Of course the 3168 is pretty much the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Wireless-AC cards, only capable of 1x1@80MHz. Meaning it can only do 433Mbps max. But it allows them to at least market the computer has Wireless-AC, and the normal consumer will see that and no know the difference. There are more expensive complete Wifi cards though that are about the same price as the 9560 that offer the same speeds, so right now it doesn't offer much in that department.

The main benefit of the Wireless-AC 9560 is that it connects directly to the CPU, without using spare PCI-E lanes. But in a small computer like this, where PCI-E lanes aren't really an issue, sticking a cheaper module in it can make sense.
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This is a nice little box. I wish they had revealed the price.
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