CHUWI GT Box is a new mini PC of which we present today his review, a model that has a quite spectacular design. This small computer has a low-power Intel Core i3-5005U processor, integrates 8GB of RAM and has a 256 GB M.2 SATA disk installed as standard. This miniPC also has internal ventilation to keep temperatures at bay in high performance scenarios. Let’s see how this is defended in the following detailed review.
Table of Contents
The CHUWI GT Box mini PC has a box design inspired by workstations that surprises with its small dimensions of only 173 x 158 x 73 mm. In the package e found DC 12V 3A adapter brick, the SATA cable and first steps manual. We don’t have HDMI cable or SATA support.
- Materials: Plastic and aluminium.
- Accessories: DC 12V 3A adapter / SATA cable / Manual.
On the front of the CHUWI GT Box we only have a status LED on the power button. In the back we have the rest of the connectors where the double HDMI 1.4 stands out with 4K@30fps support that allows us to connect two monitors at the same time, we also have Gigabit Ethernet, two audio jack, two USB 2.0 and two other USB 3.0.
- Interfaces: 2x USB 3.0 / 2x USB 2.0 / 2x HDMI 1.4 / 2x Jack audio in-out
In the lower area we find two rubber strips as a support and the fixing screws of the lid and if we open it we can see the SATA connector to mount a 2.5″ disk and the Nectac M.2 256 GB disk installed. Cooling system we have a fan with aluminum heatsink in contact with the CPU, in the back of the board we only have the BIOS battery and the Wifi adapter ac + BT 4.2 MIMO (Intel 3165) .This mini PC does NOT have with option to hang it on a VESA stand.
- Expansions: 1x M.2 SATA 2280 Nectac 256GB (installed) / 1x SATA 2,5″.
System and user experience
We power on the CHUWI GT Box by pressing the front button of the box, as indicated by the specifications we have Windows 10 Home 64bit correctly activated. We check the list of devices and note that all have their drivers installed correctly, the systems work without problem.
- OS Version installed: Windows 10 Home 64bit.
- Software pre-installed: None.
How can we see the Windows 10 Home system moves fast, thanks to the 8GB of RAM, we can do a lot of loading of navigation tabs without loss of performance. A perfectly valid computer for office automation, multimedia and programs of all kinds up to an medium level of processing.
- Tutorials mini PC: Control the mini PC with your Smartphone / Install Windows 10 / Migrate Windows to SSD
Support, BIOS and other OS
The CHUWI has its own website and contact email. We can access the BIOS by pressing ESC, it has a classic AMI BIOS with only basic options. This model is fully compatible with Ubuntu, we can check it from a USB boot drive, all the devices are detected and we can use the hardware without problems. LibreELEC is also compatible.
Storage, RAM and Ports
We passed the Nectac M.2 SATA disk storage speed tests installed by default on a disk in 2280 format, we also tested the 8GB of DDR3 RAM that comes by default integrated in the motherboard.
The disk behaves correctly within the SATA 3 speeds. The RAM memory is limited by the controller of this generation of processors, the speed of the DDR3 memory at 1600Mhz and its Single Channel configuration is also noted.
Wifi, Ethernet and Bluetooth
Integrated in the mini PC CHUWI GT Box has installed a wireless adapter Wifi ac + BT 4.2 MIMO (Intel 3165) with which we connect to an ASUS RT-AC1200G+ Router, a mid-range device. We perform tests on the use of streaming using the iPerf measurement tool to see the maximum performance of each network adapter.
- Wifi speed results: Correct speeds for this network adapters.
- Wifi range: Signal from 40 dBm to 5m / Double internal antenna / Correct performance.
- Bluetooth: Works correctly and connects without problems
- We recommend reading our Tutorial SAMBA on Android networks if we are going to use files from our network PC
Electric consumption, temperature and noise
In terms of electricity consumption the model CHUWI GT Box model with the Intel Core i3-5005U processor has a variable consumption between 10 and 15W TDP, has a low numbers as usual in these models and we can see that we remain at a contained power consumption level even in scenarios of maximum performance. The active ventilation system refreshes the CPU and is not very noisy in basic use, the internal fan works always at minimum revolutions and if we are close we can hear a low continuous sound. If we run a game to some powerful application if that is more audible but not annoying.
- Measuring temperature: 25ºC
- Noise: Desktop 25db / Gaming 32db / Full 45db.
In our review we make several types of tests to check the performance in each use scenario, with this data we can make an idea of the overall real performance that the system will have during its working life.
- Continuous extreme performance: 68ºC Max. / CPU 1.97 GHz / NO thermal throlling and NO limited CPU
- Overclock: NOT available in BIOS.
- Performance in games: LOL 63ºC / CPU 1.7 GHz average and 1.97 GHz máx.
- External temperature: 39ºC on the surface.
Integrated in the CHUWI GT Box mini PC we have an Intel Core i3-5005U with two cores and four threads that has a maximum speed of 2.0 GHz and an Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU up to 850 MHz. This chip has a maximum consumption between 10 and 15 W TDP, the results are correct within the Broadwell family thanks to its manufacturing process in 14nm. Where is weak is in its old GPU that also has a VPU decoder quite outdated as it is a processor of the year 2015. A mini PC that works perfectly to navigate, multimedia playback with KODI, use with office suites at user level or even with basic design applications at mid load range.
We passed several performance tests on games in the CHUWI GT Box we can see the results, the values are classic in line with this type of product of this type, the Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU is fine for simple games such as we can find in Android phones by downloading them from the Microsoft Store. Also indie titles in 2D or current games with light 3D load like LOL, the emulators are also feasible but at the most we stayed in some simple Wii titles.
- GTA V / Overwath / Fortnite, low settings, 720p resolution and no VSync.
- LOL / CS:GO, low settings, 1080p resolution and no VSync.
*On models with powerful discrete GPU settings in medium and 1080p resolution
With the CHUWI GT Box we have performed a performance test with the game League of legends (LOL) which is quite light and we can play at 28 fps, DOTA 2 is more demanding and we usually have 10fps less. We also do a special test with CS:GO and we see that we stay at 23 fps in 1080p, a GPU not recommended for this type of games.
VIDEO AND AUDIO TESTS
Video playback test
At video playback level the CHUWI GT Box mini PC has an integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 GPU that has a VPU WITHOUT hardware support for the HEVC codec or for the modern VP9. In this processor it does NOT have support for 10bit or HDR range by default and reduces the colors to SD level. This mini PC can be valid as a multimedia system to use KODI, IPTV or to use it with PLEX but in 1080p contents and with h.264 codec.
- Devices: Double monitor with HDMI 1.4a 4K@30fps and DP 1.2 4K@60fps
- Max. bitrate: 60 Mbps = 7,5 MB/s
- Tutorials: Playback 4K videos with HEVC and VP9 seamlessly / Install KODI with add-ons / LibreELEC operating system for PC
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||Frameskip|
|h.265 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||Frameskip|
|h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDR||Frameskip|
|VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bit||Frameskip|
|VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDR||Frameskip|
|VP9 P2 / 8K / 10bit HDR||Frameskip|
- The maximum bitrate depends on the port used to connect or the limitations of the SAMBA Networks.
Audio playback test
We past test with the CHUWI GT Box using a Yamaha RXV-577 AV receiver checking that the miniPC supports DD and DTS 7.1 pass through, is curious because the default hardware only supports stereo and does not have licenses for DD or DTS formats. We recommend, as always, to update all the drivers with Windows Update to the latest before connecting the device to our AV receiver.
- Devices: HDMI with Intel HD audio up to 7.1 / Audio jack with Realtek up to stereo / No integrated microphone
- Configuration tutorial: Basic concepts and configuration for multichannel audio on Windows and Android
Audio test results
|Format||DD / DTS 5.1||DD+ / DTS MA||DD True / DTS HR||DD Atmos / DTS X|
|HDMI||OK / OK||OK / OK||OK / OK||OK / Core*|
- PCM – Stereo only doing downmix from DD or DTS
- Core – Only the core of the format is played back with what we passed to the Dolby / DTS base system
* Our AV receiver does not support these native formats but we verify that it is played back to 7.1
For the streaming aspect in the CHUWI GT Box mini PC we check the most popular streaming services such as Youtube, Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video and others with their native apps or using the most compatible browser. You can consult our guides where we explain in detail all the best known streaming services, how to configure them and what requirements are necessary to see content in HD or 4K quality
- Performance: Has hardware acceleration for VP9 4K codec on Youtube.
- Tutorial: Add-on for Chrome to force h.264 if we have problems with VP9.
|Streaming service||Video / Audio||Result||Manual|
|Youtube||FullHD (1080p) / 5.1||OK||–|
|Netflix||FullHD (1080p) / 5.1||OK||Netflix for PC|
|HBO||FullHD (1080p) / Stereo||OK||–|
|Amazon Prime Video||HD (720p) / Stereo||OK||Amazon Prime video for PC|
The CHUWI GT Box mini PC undoubtedly stands out for its peculiar and different design with a compact size and for the possibility of expansion in its internal storage or RAM. The processor that integrates, Intel Core i3-5005U, is powerful at the CPU level but is somewhat lazy at the level of GPU and video for its VPU. A miniPC that can be valid for desktop, office use, browse intensively and run design applications at a basic or medium level. We have 8GB of RAM integrated in the plate, 256 GB M.2 SATA disk and allows us to mount another 2.5″ SATA disk that allows us to expand it.
As we have seen, the CHUWI GT Box has an internal fan that maintains controlled temperatures, does not have semi-passive operation but is quite silent in normal use scenarios. The Wifi aC network adapter behaves well with its two internal antennas, we have Gigabit Ethernet in addition to dual HDMI 1.4 video output to connect two monitors simultaneously and streamline the multi task.
The CHUWI GT Box model as we see is an attractive design and relatively powerful computer, a mini PC for desktop use or surfing the internet comfortably, for high-level video playback perhaps we are interested in something with more modern processor.
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