Slightly off topic Question for Don - Lab Machine

Hey Don,

I shot you off a facebook message yesterday but then realised you may not actually check your facebook messages. I probably need to get onto this Twitter thing …

Anyhow this is probably something that a few people can benefit from.

In the powerscriping podcast, you showed us the Gigabyte BRIX that you use for your lab.

After a few months of trying to get some test gear from work (the largest University in my state mind you!) I have decided to stop asking and work on getting my own lab up and going. Your recent rants have inspired me :slight_smile:

I’m tossing up between a BRIX and a clone micro-ATX build - I’d primarily like something that won’t boost my power bill by a large amount.

I would rather the BRIX for portability and for the small power use over the ATX, but I was wondering what the performance is like. I don’t need anything super special, I will be running server core where I can and then probably a few other machines for product specific testing (exchange, SQL, System Centre stuff etc).

I’d be interested to hear what you get out of your BRIX to see if it will probably fit my needs as well. I’m currently thinking an i7 4500 with 256GB SSD and 16GB ram.

I don’t travel around much but a huge positive for the BRIX would be the ability to take it with me where I go and not rely on my home ADSL (at a whopping 3Mbps down and .5Mbps up - yay for Australian infrastructure!) to remote back into my lab.

Cheers, Matt.

I like the BRIX because it’s crazy-portable, which is important to me. A Micro ATX probably offers more options in a larger form factor. For me, the BRIX performance has been stellar. I have an Origin PC shoebox that is similarly equipped, and the BRIX runs just as well, if not a bit better. I’ve got a half-terabyte SSD in it and the full 16GB of RAM and an i7; don’t underestimate disk space once you start taking snapshots and stuff. And the portability is amazing. I actually have a Pelican case with a USB omnidirectional mic (it’s huge), an Apple TV (to send my screen to a projector - easier than draping cords everywhere), room for a small projector, an Apple Airport Extreme (can’t rely on places I go having a network I can use), and the BRIX. The BRIX is obviously the smallest piece of equipment in the damn box.

Awesome thanks Don. I can get away with an i7, 16GB ram and 250GB SSD for just under $1000AUD, which is what I was hoping for. Could probably get away with a micro ATX for about $800, but the compromise is obviously there in power and portability. Something to think about anyway.

Point taken about the extra storage too, I will give it a go with 250GB and see how I get on.

Looks like you have a great kit there for a full portable solution. I’d be nowhere near as mobile as you but that is a great ‘all in one case’ collection you have organised.