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Gigabyte Gaming GT Desktop Review

Price Analysis & Conclusion

At $1,100, the Gigabyte Brix Gaming GT desktop is a value buy for a system with an Intel Core i7-6700K and a GeForce GTX 1070. Overclocking either of these components is out of the question (despite the normally overclockable CPU and chipset) thanks to a locked BIOS, but the platform still provides excellent 1080p and impressive QHD gaming performance at a price that’s difficult to beat. Even at its original $1,700 price tag, it was a unique and compelling choice in the GTX 1070-equipped SFF marketplace. Now it’s simply a great deal.

Aside from the possibility of being mistaken as a trash receptacle by one of your friends holding a mostly empty solo cup (don’t ask, it was a close call), the thing that sets it apart from the pack also makes it incredibly difficult to work with. The case is hard to grasp (both physically and mentally, for some) and awkwardly weighted; for something so small, moving it around seems more tedious than it has to be. Plugging in the power and display cable extensions can also be an awkward affair until you tie them all together, but even then, you need to mind the wires as you set the system upright. Getting inside the chassis for a potential upgrade is equally awkward, but it is nice to know that you can access the components if needed (unlike some other big-box brands).

The Intel Core i7-6700K and Z170 chipset may not be overclockable, and the BRIX power phase design may hold the CPU back from prolonged boost states, but the CPU still performs at a higher level than a system with a locked Core i7-6700. Furthermore, the Core i7-6700K has seen its day, and we're already anticipating the arrival of Coffee Lake processors. For those who want the absolute latest and greatest technology, the 6th-generation chipset may turn you off to the Gaming GT when you realize we're about to get 8th-generation processor products. (There is not a Kaby Lake version of this product.)

The 16GB of DDR4-2133 may be standard with its speed, but the capacity (and the fact that it is a dual-channel kit) makes it appealing to gamers looking for more than just the standard 8GB. The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming graphics card also provides above-average performance thanks to a beefy factory overclock, and you wouldn't expect a GPU that powerful (or that large) to fit into the case without a severe impact on performance. Although it may heat up, the graphics card doesn't throttle, and the fact you can upgrade down the line gives the Gaming GT a degree of longevity.

The cooling system was an experiment on Gigabyte’s part, and we’re impressed that we didn’t see any thermal throttling. CPU and GPU temperatures were indeed high, but well within operating parameters. Under a heavy load, the vents opened once the CPU hit 80°C and cooled both components back down to the low-mid 70s. We wouldn’t call these great temperatures, but they are technically safe. The only downside is the jet engine-like noise you get when the components heat up. We could take or leave the automated (but not really automated, because they don’t close on their own) hinged panels at the top of the case, but we do enjoy the RGB LED lights that are exposed when they are open.

The 240GB SSD isn't the fastest drive around, but it sports MLC NAND flash (which is more durable than TLC-based SSDs)  and is more than adequate for average consumers. We wouldn't mind if it were slightly larger in size, but the 1TB 7,200RPM SATA HDD makes up for this and provides a modest starting point for your game library, music, and other applications. You can also add another 2.5" drive down the line if need be.

We were concerned that the 400W power supply would throttle the performance of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming graphics card, but it turned out that the only loss of performance we saw was from the CPU, which hardly ever switched to its max turbo frequency of 4.2GHz during our testing. It would occasionally reach its single-threaded boost speed, but the BIOS-locked CPU power settings (likely deployed by Gigabyte to maintain the delicate balance of available power) prevent the processor from maintaining it for any significant length of time. Using the same power phase design as the BRIX-branded mini PCs may have made it possible to cram the powerful components in the SFF chassis, but it also seems to hold back the CPU's full potential.

However, the slight shortcomings don't affect the end result: The Gigabyte Gaming GT performs admirably in our benchmark suit, highlighted by exceptional productivity scores, above-average GPU performance, and a reduced price tag that makes it a compelling choice for average consumers looking for a powerful 1080p and 1440p SFF gaming machine. We realize that the Gaming GT isn't everyone's cup (or can, if you will) of tea, but it's hard to debate the merits of a Core i7 platform with a GTX 1070 under the hood that goes for just $1,100.


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  • velocityg4
    To summarize.
    - It has a weak PSU
    - Outdated CPU
    - Outdated Chipset
    - No Overclocking on a chipset and CPU designed for overclocking

    All it has going for it is a decent price. No overclocking is BS. You don't buy an off brand PC for a locked down BIOS and crap PSU. That's what you buy a Dell or HP for.

    They'd have a real winner at that price with a decent 550w PSU and a standard full featured BIOS. You know, like in the Motherboards they sell.

    What is with these reviews of old hardware? Your publication is wasting resources reviewing old tech. Anyone who comes here regularly is well aware of what a GTX 1070, i7-6700K, &c. is capable of. There was nothing new revealed. This product came out last year.

    All I can think is that this computer was a flop. So, Gigabyte dropped the price and paid for a plug. Just to try and clear out a pile of old inventory nobody wanted.
    Reply
  • kibitzer76
    The newegg link for that price does not have the GTX1070.

    "Intel HD Graphics 530"
    Reply
  • kewlguy239
    KIBITZER76, if you scroll down the Newegg product page and look at the specs tab, the GTX 1070 is correctly attributed to this model. The main spec summary at the top is inaccurate (I've reached out to Newegg about this). Good eye!
    Reply
  • sillynilly
    Forget using a DVI cable in there - man wouldn't want to have to make that bend.
    Reply
  • kewlguy239
    Gigabyte includes an angled DVI cable with the Gaming GT, ya Silly Nilly! ;-)
    Reply
  • derekullo
    20004438 said:
    To summarize.
    - It has a weak PSU
    - Outdated CPU
    - Outdated Chipset
    - No Overclocking on a chipset and CPU designed for overclocking

    All it has going for it is a decent price. No overclocking is BS. You don't buy an off brand PC for a locked down BIOS and crap PSU. That's what you buy a Dell or HP for.

    They'd have a real winner at that price with a decent 550w PSU and a standard full featured BIOS. You know, like in the Motherboards they sell.

    What is with these reviews of old hardware? Your publication is wasting resources reviewing old tech. Anyone who comes here regularly is well aware of what a GTX 1070, i7-6700K, &c. is capable of. There was nothing new revealed. This product came out last year.

    All I can think is that this computer was a flop. So, Gigabyte dropped the price and paid for a plug. Just to try and clear out a pile of old inventory nobody wanted.

    To be fair they did mention it was in the shape of a trashcan ...
    Reply
  • SayNO2BS
    At $1100, is there any intel or ryzen build that can beat it at $1100? This is unrivaled value. The 6700K will out run any ryzen for gaming performance. With crypto miners jacking up the GTX1070 to over $500, $100 for Windows 10, what can you build for $500 for the rest of the machine. Heck microcenter has i7-6700k and 7700k at $300, so that is $200 left. 16GB for memory will take up $100, that leave $100 for motherboard and storage... How do you get a nvme 240GB SSD, mobo, CPU cooler, hdmi cables, dvi cables, and 1TB HDD under $100? It can't be done. This is massive value.

    Heck buy it and sell the parts and you might even come out ahead by $200.
    Reply
  • kewlguy239
    20004438 said:
    To summarize.
    - It has a weak PSU
    - Outdated CPU
    - Outdated Chipset
    - No Overclocking on a chipset and CPU designed for overclocking

    All it has going for it is a decent price. No overclocking is BS. You don't buy an off brand PC for a locked down BIOS and crap PSU. That's what you buy a Dell or HP for.

    They'd have a real winner at that price with a decent 550w PSU and a standard full featured BIOS. You know, like in the Motherboards they sell.

    What is with these reviews of old hardware? Your publication is wasting resources reviewing old tech. Anyone who comes here regularly is well aware of what a GTX 1070, i7-6700K, &c. is capable of. There was nothing new revealed. This product came out last year.

    All I can think is that this computer was a flop. So, Gigabyte dropped the price and paid for a plug. Just to try and clear out a pile of old inventory nobody wanted.

    I would have to take most of the blame for the late entry of this review. The device was shipped to me in March, but a combination of travel and other projects kept me away from the desktop review beat for a while. Now that I'm back on it, it was a happy coincidence that Gigabyte dropped the price, and because the product is still readily available, we thought it was still worth the review. We have another Z170 review coming out soon too, under the exact same circumstances (still available, price dropped). But don't worry, Z270 reviews are on the way!

    The idea that Gigabyte or any other company pays us for "plugs" is laughable. I did basically refer to it as a trash can, so how does that work for an official endorsement? Furthermore, the award status is always up to the editorial staff, and for the pricing alone we felt it was worth at least a recommended award (the lowest of our applicable awards). We know good deals when we see them, and despite the Gaming GT's shortcomings (no overclocking, grrrr), we feel it's worth a nod for the hardware inside.
    Reply
  • rwinches
    Buy this, strip the parts out, get a used/referb MB better PS and new case.
    You could sell the 1070 on eBay and get a Vega 64 or you could sell the 1070 on eBay and keep the GPU you have.
    Turn the original into a HTPC with a few parts.
    Many options if you have the bucks.
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    20005839 said:

    I would have to take most of the blame for the late entry of this review. The device was shipped to me in March, but a combination of travel and other projects kept me away from the desktop review beat for a while. Now that I'm back on it, it was a happy coincidence that Gigabyte dropped the price, and because the product is still readily available, we thought it was still worth the review. We have another Z170 review coming out soon too, under the exact same circumstances (still available, price dropped). But don't worry, Z270 reviews are on the way!

    The idea that Gigabyte or any other company pays us for "plugs" is laughable. I did basically refer to it as a trash can, so how does that work for an official endorsement? Furthermore, the award status is always up to the editorial staff, and for the pricing alone we felt it was worth at least a recommended award (the lowest of our applicable awards). We know good deals when we see them, and despite the Gaming GT's shortcomings (no overclocking, grrrr), we feel it's worth a nod for the hardware inside.

    Ah, the sudden influx of reviews of old tech was just starting to get suspicious.

    Anyways, I don't think your review unit and the link for Newegg are the same. As far as I can tell the linked unit does not have an OS installed. It is sold under the barebone category. While the review mentioned software being included. Perhaps I missed it but I saw no mention of you having to install Windows.

    I suppose that is why Gigabyte has to sell them at a discount. The market of people whom are confident enough to install an OS but not assemble a computer yet spend what was originally close to $2K must be quite small.
    Reply