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GIGABYTE GB-XM14-1037 Intel NM70 2 x 204Pin SO-DIMM Intel HD Graphics Integrated by CPU BRIX / Ultra Compact PC kit
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Small, low power, neat VESA bracket included.

Cons: Not enough USB ports, no DVI/VGA ports, no sound out, lack of ports makes for more mess (external sound card, external USB hub, etc).

Other Thoughts: I bought this for a simple web browser/Skype/movie player machine for a family member. It is working great!

Here some potential stumbling blocks:

1) It had no audio out. I bought the monitor without noticing this, so I got an HDMI monitor with no speakers (derp). Consequently, I had to get a USB sound card and external speakers, which added greatly to the bulk of the finished computer. You can avoid this by buying a monitor with HDMI in and built-in speakers. (I tried to get her to let me just connect it to her TV, which has HDMI in AND speakers, but switching inputs was too much complexity for her.)

2) As one might expect from a tiny machine, it takes laptop-sized (204-pin) DDR3, not desktop-sized 240-pin modules.

3) If you've never worked on laptops before, you might not even know what msata is. Be sure to get an msata drive. They be teeny. ;)

4) It has TWO USB ports. I needed more, which meant a hub, which meant more wires and connections, which further took away from its original purpose (which was to be compact, tiny, and hard to screw up).

I didn't do any benchmarking, but I put 8 gigs of RAM and a zippy little Intel SSD in it, and it performs very nicely for the simple stuff that is asked of it (web browsing, video playing, and Skype), even with rather aggressive antivirus software.

SanDisk ReadyCache SDSSDRC-032G-G26 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • neweggOwned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: -Cheap
-Reliable so far

Cons: -Bundled windows software is garbage

Other Thoughts: I briefly tried that ReadyCache nonsense. It sounds like a good idea (not as good as putting more RAM in the box, but cheaper), but it did not deliver much increased speed (in many cases, it was a slower ssd caching data from a faster ssd, so it delivered a slowdown).

Happily, that wasn't what I bought it for anyway. It has been the boot drive in my OpenBSD Soekris 6501 firewall for about 6 months now, and has never given me a problem. (Not that this is a hard job, as its only disk I/O is probably booting up after the power goes out, and writing log files.)


Chris M.'s Profile

Display Name: Chris M.

Date Joined: 09/13/10

  • Reviews: 2
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 07/24/13
  • Last Review: 01/28/14
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