If buying the Brix please note :- No RAM fitted, despite the implication in the Amazon add. The USB is 2 not 3 as stated in the Amazon add. Special SSD needed, no problem just take note normal ones won't fit. No sound out. Despite trying all sorts I could not get Win 8.1 to interface with the sound card it told me was fitted. I just got drivers not found. After a couple of days trying I got a USB sound adaptor and that works, was only £3.00 and sounds great. I got this to replace an atom based compact PC which could not cope with streaming HD BT Sports and having to convert the VGA output to HDMI. The Brix works really well for that task, just I'm frustrated that it took so much hassle to get it to do the job it was intended for. I build PC's so sorting it out was easy other buyers may find it more difficult.
Excellent, excellent bit of kit. So much faster and more powerful than the plasticy Zotac boxes (previous right was an ND02 which died)
Intel HD graphics, Core-based processor which is genuinely nippy and MSSD hard disk make this fly through XBMC duties. Even plays Civ5 decently enough, so could be a low-powered retro gaming box / emu box or similar.
Building is a cinch - but remember the hard disk is MSSD - not SSD. I made this mistake and had to return an SSD HD and buy an MSSD one.
For those unfamiliar with MSSD the hard disk is teeny tiny - like a postage stamp. Once the kit is right, however, took 5 mins to build and set-up.
Windows or your OS will need to be installed by USB too - this is tiny - like a thick coaster - so no optical ;)
I was looking for a small pc to allow me to stream online through cable. I figured that this would work for me as I'm looking for something to sit behind the tv, and the vesa bracket was appealing. So have I got what I was looking for? Yes and No would be my view. 1 week on from delivery I am now up an running, so I've got myself a relatively quick and discreet unit, but not without some problems... I installed a 64gb plextor SSD drive, and 2x4gb so-dim ram modules, and also picked up an oem copy of windows 8. I went with 8 as it was cheaper than 7 and ubuntu (which works well on this box) wasn't compatible with my cable provider online. Connected up to a TV via hdmi and entered the install process, so far so good (after all the review already on this site says that windows 8 is a breeze - doubt the authenticity). Got to near the end of the reboot cycle and lost all video. Tried a raft of different options, booting from dvd, made an iso and put on bootable usb and still had the same problem. Installed windows 7, no problem here so the hardware was not the issue. Logged the issue with gigabyte tech support 3 times and had one response unrelated to my query and no further contact, and microsoft not interested in helping. Several hours of research highlighted that the Intel HD graphics which are used onboard here are incompatible with windows 8 (it loads the wrong drivers), so what was required was to use the display port in vga (I bought one of these Displayport Cable Kable Adapter MacBook ). Amazingly, it then works.
Loaded the drivers one by one and am now up an running. So I got my pc, slightly expensive for the spec, but does what I'm looking for, and also got a weeklong journey through a myriad of forums and self help sites because the manufacturer here is as useful as a chocolate teapot.
So if you are going to dive in, make sure you've got means to use the display port as it won't boot win8 without it.
This is a "bare bones" PC and you will have to add memory and storage and an operating system before you can use it. By the time you have added these items you will be up around the price of a PC you can buy ready made off the shelf and with Windows installed. We added 4GB of RAM and a 250GB SSD plus you will need a keyboard & mouse and a monitor.
The Celeron installed is capable of streaming video and using as a media centre if that is what you want. The user I got this for wanted a compact office PC for installation in a small space. It will play simple games but is not a gaming machine by any stretch.
Disappointingly there is no way to attach this to the back of the monitor using VESA fittings so it has to sit flat. Secondly, beware that Win8 drivers have issues with the graphics chip installed. I installed an OEM version of Win7 32 bit which works perfectly and the user preferred Win 7 anyway. USB 2 only installed on the one we received so beware if speed is critical. No wifi, you will need a card or wifi dongle. Again not a problem for us as we have hard wired it to a network.
Once you do have it up and running it is fine. Quiet in operation and unobtrusive. Does all office tasks fine.
I mostly use it as my media PC (with XBMC and all) and with latest drivers installed it works really great, very fast and responsive. Much better than Android mini PC (mk808) which I used before. The fan does get a little noisy so it might be an issue, but I keep it further away so it's a no problem for me. Also there are new BIOS updates with a fix for fan noise which I have not tried yet. I've installed 4GB of RAM and 64GB SSD on it, it runs Windows 8 64bit.
Note: currently amazon.co.uk description claims that it (Gigabyte GB-XM14) has USB 3.0 and Intel HD 4000 graphics which is wrong, check out official site for specs.