Beside NUCs and Mac minis there is another great barebone in the homelab market. Basic requirements for home server are a decent price, good performance and low power consumption. Gigabytes BRIX offers great performance and is small in size and power consumption and thus makes it a great candidate for running ESXi at home. To get started, first a look at the different models available at the moment.
BRIX: Basic Barebone, candidate for ESXi.
- GB-BXi3-4010: Intel Core i3-4010U (2x 1.7GHz)
- GB-BXi5-4200: Intel Core i5-4200U (2x 2.6GHz)
- GB-BXi7-4500: Intel Core i7-4500U (2x 3.0GHz)
BRIX s: Identical to BRIX barebones but with 2.5" HDD/SDD support. Slightly larger case and a good candidate for ESXi.
- GB-BXi3H-4010: Intel Core i3-4010U (2x 1.7GHz)
- GB-BXi5H-4200: Intel Core i5-4200U (2x 2.6GHz)
- GB-BXi7H-4500: Intel Core i7-4500U (2x 3.0GHz)
BRIX Pro: High performance BRIX with 2.5" HDD/SDD support and quad-core CPU. These are the only systems with VT-d support and thus the best candidate for ESXi.
- GB-BXi5-4570R: Intel Core i5-4570R (4x 3.20 GHz)
- GB-BXi7-4770R: Intel Core i7-4770R (4x 3.90 GHz)
There is also a Brix Gaming series with GPU support and a BRIX Projector with an integrated projector. BRIX with AMD and Celeron CPUs are also available but these are not the best candidates for ESXi. I'm listing them here for completeness.
- BRIX Projector GB-BXPi3-4010
- BRIX Gaming GB-BXi5G3-760
- BRIX Gaming GB-BXi5G-760
- BRIX Gaming GB-BXi7G3-760
- BRIX Gaming (AMD) GB-BXA8G-8890
- BRIC (AMD) GB-BXA8-5545
- BRIX (Celeron) GB-BXBT-2807
Read More »VMware Homeserver - ESXi on Gigabyte BRIX