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GIGABYTE GB-BXBT-2807 1 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel HD Graphics Integrated by CPU Black Mini-PC Barebone
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Low cost, low power, high performer. Runs Win7 and XBMC perfectly, pumps out video at 1080 without a hitch. Wouldn't recommend high-end gaming on it, but other versions might have even better graphics ... I haven't looked. Haven't needed them for what I want.

Cons: No optical drive. Makes installing the OS a bit tricky.

Other Thoughts: What a phenomenally good purchase this was for me. My ageing full-tower media pc (XBMC) was just getting slower and slower, and burning up $30/month or more in electricity costs. This little Brix devil outperforms the older system, processes video faster, and is totally silent ... all for less than the price of a few cups of coffee a month in electricity.

The lack of an optical drive is only an issue for me, in that I can't play DVD / Blu-Ray right from the machine, but then I rip most of my media before access anyway. I put a 128 Gig SSD in the box and have a 2TB HDD external, and no slowness on access. I'm thinking of getting another one and building my own NAS with a reliable external multi-disk enclosure.

HEADS UP: when installing an OS from a boot USB disk, make sure you set the BIOS correctly to boot from USB. It didn't come setup by default, and there was some tweaking I had to do ... can't remember what ... but use Google to search for it, it wasn't difficult.

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SPARKLE GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) SX560T1024D5MH 1GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Small design (like most 560's), seems to run cool.

Cons: Fan clips shroud, making lots of noise. Non-standard for this card, I believe. Expecting replacement to resolve that issue. Also, crashed the system out of Black Ops and Mirror's Edge (last is not terribly stressful for this card.) Based on reviews of the silicon, and Sparkle in general, I expect I simply received a bad bit of kit. Unfortunate I've got to pay shipping to replace a faulty part ... c'mon, Egg, that's a bit ridiculous.

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BFG Tech GeForce GTX 260 BFGEGTX260896OCE 896MB 448-Bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: More GDDR, more ROPs, more power. This card replaces my 8800GT (which, to be honest, was a fantastic workhorse and an excellent card in its own right.) As a gamer, my 8800gt was starting to fall behind, so I upped to the GTX260, and it's a fantastic piece of hardware.

Cons: It does draw more power, and it's a 2-slot card vs. the 1-slot of my old 8800GT. Nothing to dock and egg for, though -- find me a high-end card that doesn't do either of those things!

Other Thoughts: Had I done a slight bit more research, I might have discovered the GTX 260 / 216, which nVidia made as the second generation, adding 20 or so more pipes to the card. The performance difference isn't significant, and not worth trying to return the card in order to upgrade again.

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Jon E.'s Profile

Display Name: Jon E.

Date Joined: 04/15/05

  • Reviews: 5
  • Helpfulness: 5
  • First Review: 06/05/09
  • Last Review: 11/01/14
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