While it's not something that is popular among the PC master race community, Giada is actually a well established brand in embedded systems and IPC major in the industry that is widely known for their industrial grade small footprint PC for various purposes, i.e: Digital Signage, Education, Medical System, Hotel and Restaurant, etc.
A unit of Giada i200-b8000 Ultra Small Form Factor Barebone System arrived at Tech Critter's lab right after our visit to Giada's booth during Computex 2015 at Taipei, Taiwan, million thanks to Giada in provision of the review unit - Let's see what can we expect from the Giada i200-b8000!
(The Giada i200-b800 retails at $435.00, approximately RM1208)
Giada i200-B8000 Standard Features
- Dimensions: 5.12" x 5.06" x 1.02"
- Intel Core i5-4250U Processor (3MB Cache, up to 2.60GHz)
- Intel HD Graphics 5000 with DisplayPort and HDMI Display Outputs
- Gigabit LAN, Wireless LAN and Bluetooth Networks
- (4) USB 3.0 and (1) COM Ports
- External AC-DC Power Adapter with American Power Cord
The Giada i200-b8000 ships in a simple eco-friendly packaging.
A series of description on the prominent features of the Giada i200-b8000 can be found at the left of the box.
Technical specifications of the i200-b8000 can be found on the right of the box.
The content of the box:-
- Giada i200-b8000 Ultra Small Form Factor Barebone System
- Power cord and adapter
- Wi-Fi antenna
- Mounting screws
- Drivers CD
Just notice how small the i200-b8000 is? Almost as the size of the envelope of thedrivers CD!
The Giada i200-b8000
The front panel consists 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x Infrared jack, power on/off switch and 3 LED indicator.
At the back of the i200-b8000, you'll find a pair of Wi-Fi antenna connector, the DC port for power adapter, DisplayPort port, HDMI port, Ethernet port, 2 x USB 3.0 port, headphone/microphone jack and a dip switch labelled with 'JAHC' - Giada self-developed embedded JEHE Active Hardware Control technology that helps to solve function failures that occur in cases such as a power outage or those caused by software setting dependencies.
While home user nowadays doesn't uses devices with RS-232 any longer, but these devices which appears to be long forgotten is still a crucial part of many industries that has lasted for decades. It's not something to be surprised when a RS-232 serial port is found at the left of the i200-b8000 - it's made for that very purpose.
If you're setting up a digital signage network and lengthy Ethernet cable isn't something you plan to go for, the Giada i200-b8000 comes available with Wi-Fi connectivity to reduce the need to maintain large amount of lengthy cables.
We took apart the Giada i200-b8000 for the sake of curiosity and this is how the system looks like. Other than the CPU, upgradeable components will be the and mSATA Wi-Fi module (optional), memory (RAM) and mSATA SSD.
The Giada i200-b8000 ships with a 4GB DDR3 SODIMM and replacing the existing memory (RAM) is the only way if you need more than 4GB of memory.
As the Giada i200-b8000 wasn't meant to be used as a workstation, the pre-installed SSD comes with a very limited capacity of 32GB. Just like the memory, replacing the current unit is necessary if you're planning to upgrade to higher capacity mSATA SSD.
We've played few HD high quality videos on the Giada i200-b8000 and the result is pretty good as from what we could tell. The videos that we've played during the test runs smoothly with no significant stutters or tearing.
We've stressed the CPU for maximum heat using Prime95 with option 'In-place large FFTs' and much to our surprise, the maximum temperature we can hit with the CPU is only 52°C. This gives the Giada i200-b8000 an upper hand compared to bulky PC that is meant to run for long hours as it's pretty much impossible for the Giada i200-b8000 to overheat.
While the Giada i200-b8000 doesn't comes with a jet pack that allows it to compete against a workstation PC, it's low power consumption, low heat output and moderate overall performance makes it an ideal choice not only as what Giada has made it to be (Digital Signage especially), but also as a good alternative for HTPC which will definitely cost just as much to build.
- Reasonable price for its form factor and specifications
- Very small footprint
- Supports DisplayPort and HDMI video output
- Able to perform self-maintenance (thanks to JEHE Active Hardware Control technology)
- Low power consumption
- Very low heat output
- Support only 1 memory module
- Limited capacity on pre-installed SSD
- Not able to handle heavy tasks