• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC (Braswell)

cadaveca

My name is Dave
Staff member
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
16,600 (3.83/day)
Likes
11,004
Location
Parkland County, Alberta
#1
What sort of hardware can you get for a few more dollars than the cost of a retail copy of Windows 8.1? ECS has the answer with the ECS LIVA X2. Based on Intel's NUC platform featuring a Braswell SoC, the ECS LIVA X2 is a full PC that includes a full version of Windows 8.1. Hardware for pennies? Yes, please!

Show full review
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
4,077 (1.06/day)
Likes
1,137
Location
Geneva, FL, USA
Processor Intel i5-6600
Motherboard ASRock H170M-ITX
Cooling Cooler Master Geminii S524
Memory G.Skill DDR4-2133 16GB (8GB x 2)
Video Card(s) Gigabyte R9-380X 4GB
Storage Samsung 950 EVO 250GB (mSATA)
Display(s) LG 29UM69G-B 2560x1080 IPS
Case Lian Li PC-Q25
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC892
Power Supply Seasonic SS-460FL2
Mouse Logitech G700s
Keyboard Logitech G110
Software Windows 10 Pro
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
1,630 (0.82/day)
Likes
658
Location
Jacksonhole Florida
System Name DEVIL'S ABYSS
Processor i7-4790K@4.6 GHz
Motherboard Asus Z97-Deluxe
Cooling Corsair H110 (2 x 140mm)(3 x 140mm case fans)
Memory 16GB Adata XPG V2 2400MHz
Video Card(s) EVGA 780 Ti Classified
Storage Intel 750 Series 400GB (AIC), Plextor M6e 256GB (M.2), 13 TB storage
Display(s) Crossover 27QW (27"@ 2560x1440)
Case Corsair Obsidian 750D Airflow
Audio Device(s) Realtek ALC1150
Power Supply Cooler Master V1000
Mouse Ttsports Talon Blu
Keyboard Logitech G510
Software Windows 10 Pro x64 version 1709
Benchmark Scores Passmark CPU score = 13080
#3
Too bad they used the slowest Braswell SOC (Celeron N3050), the Pentium N3700 clocks higher, has 4 cores instead of 2, and has better graphics (16 EU instead of 12, higher clock speed). Not sure this LIVA X2 is worth $200 - you can build an mITX system with the N3700, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD, ATX PSU, and a decent small case for around $300 (but you must supply the O.S.). That's cheap for a quad core 14nm system that will run everything except high-end games, with a system power draw of 40-50 watts, and is easy to build (and upgrade). I'm building one soon, just so I don't have to run my high-powered gaming rig to play music or surf the net...
 

cadaveca

My name is Dave
Staff member
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
16,600 (3.83/day)
Likes
11,004
Location
Parkland County, Alberta
#4
Too bad they used the slowest Braswell SOC (Celeron N3050), the Pentium N3700 clocks higher, has 4 cores instead of 2, and has better graphics (16 EU instead of 12, higher clock speed). Not sure this LIVA X2 is worth $200 - you can build an mITX system with the N3700, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD, ATX PSU, and a decent small case for around $300 (but you must supply the O.S.). That's cheap for a quad core 14nm system that will run everything except high-end games, with a system power draw of 40-50 watts, and is easy to build (and upgrade). I'm building one soon, just so I don't have to run my high-powered gaming rig to play music or surf the net...
sure, there is better, yet as you said, the cost is more than double.

You can spend $150 on retail Windows, or spend $170, and get that copy of Windows and hardware to run that Windows. $20 overall hardware cost is pretty decent in my books. You want to spend $220+ on hardware... that's fine. These boxes are not for everyone, as I said in my conclusion.

(I do understand that Windows doesn't account for $150 of the cost of this unit, but as a consumer, those are your options).
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2010
Messages
3,864 (1.46/day)
Likes
2,241
Location
Rīga, Latvia
System Name HELLSTAR
Processor Intel 5820K @ 4.6GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-UD3
Cooling Custom Loop. 360+240 rads.
Memory 4x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200MHz 15-17-17-35
Video Card(s) ASUS 1080 Ti FE + water block
Storage Optane 900P + Samsung 950Pro 256GB NVMe + 750 EVO 500GB
Display(s) Philips PHL BDM3270
Case Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Tempered Glass
Audio Device(s) Sound Blaster ZxR
Power Supply Fractal Design Newton R3 1000W
Mouse Razer Basilisk
Keyboard Razer Deathstalker
Software Windows 10 insider
#5
I saw the heatsink... And got a flashback about Bioshock...

Well it has to be it :D
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
24,553 (5.49/day)
Likes
10,742
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 8700K@4.8GHz(Quick and dirty)
Motherboard AsRock Z370 Taichi
Cooling Corsair H110i GTX
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) PNY XLR8 GTX1060 6GB
Storage 480GB Crucial MX200 + 2TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive with 128GB OCZ Synapse SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Fractal Design Define S
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply Corsair HX850
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#6
sure, there is better, yet as you said, the cost is more than double.

You can spend $150 on retail Windows, or spend $170, and get that copy of Windows and hardware to run that Windows. $20 overall hardware cost is pretty decent in my books. You want to spend $220+ on hardware... that's fine. These boxes are not for everyone, as I said in my conclusion.

(I do understand that Windows doesn't account for $150 of the cost of this unit, but as a consumer, those are your options).
It $100 for Windows, not $150. But, yeah, you aren't going to get much cheaper, and that is the point of this computer.
 

cadaveca

My name is Dave
Staff member
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
16,600 (3.83/day)
Likes
11,004
Location
Parkland County, Alberta
#7
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Messages
51 (0.06/day)
Likes
12
Processor i5-6600K
Motherboard Gigabyte Z710-HD3
Cooling H60
Memory 32 GB DDR4-2133
Video Card(s) EVGA 980 Ti
Storage BX100 1 TB
Display(s) Acer S277HK
Case Fractal Design R5
Power Supply EVGA 750W B2
Mouse Logitech G400s
Keyboard MS Sidewinder X4
#8
Maybe in the US, but keep in mind I am in Canada, and we get dinged hard on hardware currently. I was thinking about Windows 8.1 Pro, locally it's nearly $200, so I "guessed" @ $150.
Why go for the pro edition though? What exactly is in Win 10 Pro that you'd want for a $300 machine?

I'm not in the target market for this, but I admit it's pretty hard to put together a build that costs less than this thing and still outperforms it. The closest I got as an AM1 build that has a 60 GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM with the Athlon 5350, but that still went a bit above $200.

Also, this thing needs more RAM. Even if you're not doing anything heavy, 4 GB can be tight if you have enough tabs open.
 

cadaveca

My name is Dave
Staff member
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
16,600 (3.83/day)
Likes
11,004
Location
Parkland County, Alberta
#9
Why go for the pro edition though? What exactly is in Win 10 Pro that you'd want for a $300 machine?

I'm not in the target market for this, but I admit it's pretty hard to put together a build that costs less than this thing and still outperforms it. The closest I got as an AM1 build that has a 60 GB SSD and 4 GB of RAM with the Athlon 5350, but that still went a bit above $200.

Also, this thing needs more RAM. Even if you're not doing anything heavy, 4 GB can be tight if you have enough tabs open.
I was merely explaining my thought process. I have Windows 10 Pro, so that's what stuck in my head.

There is another LIVA X2 unit, with 4 GB of ram, and a large drive (64 GB), but it does cost a bit more(~$250 IIRC).
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
Messages
421 (0.36/day)
Likes
72
#10
I would rather take a barebone miniPC like a NUC or ASRock Beebox which would cost a little more but I would get better extensibility which could come in handy in the future and SD card slot should really be on this device.

I feel like barebone miniPCs already have limitations compared to PCs and this device has even more limitations.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
24,553 (5.49/day)
Likes
10,742
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 8700K@4.8GHz(Quick and dirty)
Motherboard AsRock Z370 Taichi
Cooling Corsair H110i GTX
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) PNY XLR8 GTX1060 6GB
Storage 480GB Crucial MX200 + 2TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive with 128GB OCZ Synapse SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Fractal Design Define S
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply Corsair HX850
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#11
Maybe in the US, but keep in mind I am in Canada, and we get dinged hard on hardware currently. I was thinking about Windows 8.1 Pro, locally it's nearly $200, so I "guessed" @ $150.





http://www.memoryexpress.com/Category/OperatingSystems
Yeah, but this machine comes with Windows 8.1 "Home" so we should be comparing Windows 8.1 "Home" prices. As close to apples to apples as possible.

Either way though, I'm on your side. Even at $100 for the OS, that only leaves $100 for hardware, and this is a pretty good deal on hardware for $100. You aren't going to get a full new PC for $100, especially not one in this small of a form factor.
 

cadaveca

My name is Dave
Staff member
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
Messages
16,600 (3.83/day)
Likes
11,004
Location
Parkland County, Alberta
#12
Yeah, but this machine comes with Windows 8.1 "Home" so we should be comparing Windows 8.1 "Home" prices. As close to apples to apples as possible.

Either way though, I'm on your side. Even at $100 for the OS, that only leaves $100 for hardware, and this is a pretty good deal on hardware for $100. You aren't going to get a full new PC for $100, especially not one in this small of a form factor.
Yeah, you're right.

I would rather take a barebone miniPC like a NUC or ASRock Beebox which would cost a little more but I would get better extensibility which could come in handy in the future and SD card slot should really be on this device.

I feel like barebone miniPCs already have limitations compared to PCs and this device has even more limitations.
If you want more out of a NUC device (this is a NUC-based device, BTW), there are options, but they do cost more. This device, to me, exemplifies what NUC is really all about, and to further that idea, Intel has a very similarly-spec'd device as well.

The BeeBox wins for overall performance for sure... That nifty dual-channel ram really does make 4K playback possible, but a BeeBox costs significantly more (more than double) since the barebones Beebox (no ram, no drives, no OS) is priced within a few dollars of the LIVA X(squared). Anyway, since there are many options for such devices, I can only celebrate that every user has something that can meet their needs with an affordable price tag.