Gigabyte Brix Fanless Atom GB-BXBT-2807 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-23-2014, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Gigabyte Brix Fanless Atom GB-BXBT-2807

Finally fulfilled my dream of a perfect (YMMV) 24x365 server. The Gigabyte Brix is fanless, dead silent, very low powered, cool running, headless compatible, cheap. Compatible with Windows 7, 8.x, Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17, OpenELEC. Although only a Celeron processor, as a testament to its speed, it flawlessly serves up Blu-Ray ISOs from my DAS. Its speed on Linux is very good and pretty darn sufficient on Windows. Makes a good Windows desktop too. Only issue is it makes you want to buy lots of them.

Former Top 1000 Amazon reviewer bemoaning the loss of objective user reviews. Amazon, stop your complacency!

Last edited by BobSalita; 06-24-2014 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Correction: The Intel N2807 is a Celeron, not an Atom
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-23-2014, 04:21 AM
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I am currently searching for a low (near non) footprint device that will play music only...

Been looking at the Brix as well and comparing with the Intel NUC...

To be honest, I have a hard time making up my mind...

I want at least an i3 processor, and I intend to install Linux + JRiver for audio only...

Audio files are in ALAC, DSD, FLAC, WMA lossless, MP3 and M4a,

I am moving audio away from the main HTPC and want to re-use my good old Sherwood amplifier...
HDMI not needed as it is not supported on the Sherwood, but optical is a must...

I am on my third Pioneer AVR and still unable to get the same audio quality for 2 channel audio as I used to have with the Sherwood,
These digital AVRs don't seem to be doing it as good as the analog amplifiers...

Any suggestions / recommendations seriously welcome...

Thanks
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-23-2014, 06:19 AM
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I've looked at both the NUC and the Brix models and the comparable Brix models tend to be a bit pricier than the NUCs. For serving up audio only you could easily use one of the new 2820 Celeron NUCs. The 2820 has some issues with high bitrate source data, but the latest models with the 2830 is supposed to have a lot of the bugs worked out of it. I'd personally go with an i3 as I don't like buying stuff that's marginal when it comes to HD performance. I'd rather spend a few extra bucks for something that I know will handle all material rather than go with a budget setup that works with most material, but may still have issues with some video files.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-23-2014, 12:41 PM
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i3 is the minimum for me...

I hate meeting the needs of the moment with no room for extras that might come in the future...

I am a bit hesitant when I see the price of an acceptable i3 NUC + the price of a 120G SSD and 8GB RAM...

What makes it more difficult for me is that I have quite a bit of old hardware lying around that I could assemble to get what I want...

Two core2quad CPUs, two ASUS Intel 775 mobos, 16GB DDR3 RAM spare 120GB SSD, 300W modular power supply, an E-MU 0404 PCI sound card, Intel 100/1000 NIC...etc... all well kept, no dust and still in original packaging...

The size of the NUC + power consumption makes it very difficult going back to old hardware, but the cost...damn it...

Anyone with opinion that can help?

What would you do if you were in my shoes?
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-23-2014, 03:00 PM
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A quad-core LGA775, RAM, SSD and PSU you already plus a new modern GPU and HTPC case would make a very nice mostly already paid for HTPC.

 

 

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post #6 of 14 Old 06-24-2014, 12:58 AM
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So you mean I should just go ahead and use what I have already...

I think have at least 5 spare GPUs I can choose from... ... Nvidia GT430 silent, NvidiaGT620 silent, MSI HD7700 silent, MSI GTX570 and GTX560...

All of these were from the days when I used to run Windows on my HTPCs... Lord knows how much money I dumped into this hobby...

I guess I will just take the GT430 since this will be a headless music player... all will be controlled from my iPad / iPhone...

It will be a fun weekend... Debian Linux + JRiver on E-MU PCI 0404 using ALSA... all analog out to an analog amplifier... good old days of analog music coming back... heh heh heh...
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-24-2014, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balky View Post
i3 is the minimum for me...

I hate meeting the needs of the moment with no room for extras that might come in the future...

I am a bit hesitant when I see the price of an acceptable i3 NUC + the price of a 120G SSD and 8GB RAM...
We're on the same page regarding the i3. 8GB of RAM is probably overkill unless you're running extenders with Media Center. You can find 120 GB mSATA drives on ebay for about $60. I just picked up three 120GB Micron drives at that price from different vendors. You can also find some of the 1st generation i3 NUCs for under $200 if you look around. I just bought a DC3217BY i3 for $170 on ebay plus shipping. I found an Apple Thunderbolt to gigabit ethernet adapter on Rakutan (aka Buy.com) for only $15.99 with free shipping. I had another identical NUC with two 4GB SODIMMS so I confiscated one for the new NUC since they really didn't need more than 4GB each.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-28-2014, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSalita View Post
Finally fulfilled my dream of a perfect (YMMV) 24x365 server. The Gigabyte Brix is fanless, dead silent, very low powered, cool running, headless compatible, cheap.
....
Only issue is it makes you want to buy lots of them.
Hi, could I ask some details on your setup? My 2807 brix is running win 8.1 anything but cool. If you see reasonable temperatures on yours, I might have faulty hardware.

Basically my board temperature sensor climbs near 80 C very steadily. This happens in 30...60 minutes with very light web browsing and Foobar2k playing. I got a WD black2 as my hdd/sdd and OS is Win 8.1. I also loaded all drivers from gigabyte before using the system enough to notice the issue.

The glass top is more than comfortably hot, and any usb connectors that I remove are too hot to touch. My WD black2 SSD temperatures seem to be climbing close to 60 C, but I believe this heat is coming entirely from the mobo.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-29-2014, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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@silent_hifi , your post as led me to do some measurements and I don't like what I found.

I took CPU temperature readings of my Gigabyte Brix N2807 using HWiNFO64 v4.40-2240 metering software. It shows CPU idle at 77C, or 82C with VNC running. The CPUs gets to be 84C to 90C under load. Temperatures of the SSD were between 58C and 68C. If I put a simple plastic box on top of the unit, the CPU temperatures went as high as 100C (just below the CPU maximum operating temperature) with the SSD as high as 73C. The SSD temperature exceeded its maximum rated operating temperature.

I used an infrared temperature gun and found that parts of the outside box got as hot as 54C. INn particular, the VGA connector was a hot spot. That temperature is well above the scalding range. I never got scaled because as soon as you touch the hottest spots, they cool off nearly instantly. However, these temps could be a problem for children or if the unit is covered on some side.

My conclusion is that the unit can cook its components unless it is exposed to air on all sides -- as stated in the manual. If you can't control the operating environment, don't buy it. Furthermore, the temperatures on the outside of the box posses some risk even when exposed to air on all sides. I'm thinking that this is not just an issue with the Brix but with any NUC-like system without a fan. Perhaps my dream of having a fanless system is ill-advised with today's technology.

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post #10 of 14 Old 07-21-2014, 03:19 AM
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Same here

I have several Brix N2807 Fanless here and they all get close to 95 degres on load ( fullhd mkv playing with the graphic card) which is really not acceptable at all .

it will for sure fry the unit in a few month.
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-15-2014, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balky View Post
I am currently searching for a low (near non) footprint device that will play music only...

Been looking at the Brix as well and comparing with the Intel NUC...

To be honest, I have a hard time making up my mind...

I want at least an i3 processor, and I intend to install Linux + JRiver for audio only...

Audio files are in ALAC, DSD, FLAC, WMA lossless, MP3 and M4a,

I am moving audio away from the main HTPC and want to re-use my good old Sherwood amplifier...
HDMI not needed as it is not supported on the Sherwood, but optical is a must...

I am on my third Pioneer AVR and still unable to get the same audio quality for 2 channel audio as I used to have with the Sherwood,
These digital AVRs don't seem to be doing it as good as the analog amplifiers...

Any suggestions / recommendations seriously welcome...

Thanks
I use Raspberry Pi for playing music. My formats are similar
FLAC, WV, APE, ALAC, DFF, DSF, SACD/ISO
There is problem with playback of DSD sampled over 2.8Mhz or using DST compression. So I am going to migrate to something more powerful, because most SACD currently compressed using DST. So it is why Brix looks good for me. I tested my music application with Celeron and it plays fine all formats and sampling up to 102,000 or 5.6Mhz for DSD. I also run Linux however use music-barrel as a player. I heard that Brix has WiFi problem with Linux, so I still didn't decide about it.

Proudly listen to 24/192 vinyl rips directly on my Nexus phone using
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-15-2014, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balky View Post
I am currently searching for a low (near non) footprint device that will play music only...

Been looking at the Brix as well and comparing with the Intel NUC...

To be honest, I have a hard time making up my mind...

I want at least an i3 processor, and I intend to install Linux + JRiver for audio only...

Audio files are in ALAC, DSD, FLAC, WMA lossless, MP3 and M4a,

I am moving audio away from the main HTPC and want to re-use my good old Sherwood amplifier...
HDMI not needed as it is not supported on the Sherwood, but optical is a must...

I am on my third Pioneer AVR and still unable to get the same audio quality for 2 channel audio as I used to have with the Sherwood,
These digital AVRs don't seem to be doing it as good as the analog amplifiers...

Any suggestions / recommendations seriously welcome...

Thanks


Here is my setup. The only problem that I've run into with BRIX is with the bluetooth, Working on trying to find some fixes but bluetooth seems unstable. Otherwise it's a lot faster than I had imagined. It is on and in windows before I can turn my receiver and tv on usually (setup to bybass login screen of course). Handles 30gb mkvs with ease from a WHS within XBMC. I was use to wdtv, this setup is certainly an upgrade for me.

Gigabyte Brix - 1.4 ghz celeron (GB-BXCEH-2955)
64 Gb mydigital ssd (for OS, still not sure if I want w7 or w8.1?)
2 x 4gb corsair vengeance ddr3L
2tb seagate backup slim drive (took it apart to use the 9.5mm 2tb drive)
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-22-2014, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekimia View Post
I have several Brix N2807 Fanless here and they all get close to 95 degres on load ( fullhd mkv playing with the graphic card) which is really not acceptable at all .

it will for sure fry the unit in a few month.
Does that mean I should not buy one?
How Gigabyte can deliver something that runs so hot?
Is it a deal breaker or not?
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-17-2014, 11:36 AM
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I am also curious about the heat issue. Is the thing reliable enough to act as a "cable box?" By that, I mean continuous usage, daily, while remaining powered on 24x7.

It seems powerful enough to handle 1080p h.264, but one question on that topic is, how well does it handle this in WMC?

For example, I have an HTPC that is already "good enough" for all of this, smoothly. It's got a Hauppauge 2250 (which I would sort of miss by having this little thing, but I have a decent ATSC USB tuner that'd do for now, and may eventually get an HD Homerun Prime), and also plays occasional h.264 video via network, all via Windows Media Center. Currently using "Sharks" codecs, if that matters.

Couple downsides to my current setup. One being size/heat from the thing (it's all in an old tower, so it's also not that great looking in a living room setup), the other being the mobo is old and is showing some slightly bulging capacitors, which means that someday, it'll start flaking out on me. For now, it seems to chug along just fine, but who knows when it'll decide to go bonkers. Could be weeks, could be months.

Just wondering if the thing can do all this, without needing to use WMP-HC or some other software. I rather like having my current HTPC controllable solely with remote (will re-use a USB IR sensor for a new rig if needed).

I really want to move to something smaller soon, but I am in no huge hurry. This looks like a great price/performance spot, but I am concerned about a) reliability b) performance with Windows Media Center.
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