Giada A51 Ultra Mini PC

Posted by on Friday, July 27, 2012 - 2:20pm

Giada A51One device we did not mention is the computer. A PC is the most cost effective way of connecting to the TV and not only being able to display your pictures, stream your videos and listen to your music but after you have done all that you can browse the internet maybe even play a game or two. And with a PC being as small or mini as they are they flow with all of the other components that make up your media theatre system without being the center of the setup.

Introduction to the Giada A51 Ultra Mini PC

It seems there are so many options when it comes to connecting devices to your television to display your media and connecting to the internet. I mean we have external hard drives, wireless devices, media player, cameras and a whole host of other components. But the items named only really service one purpose most of the time with the exception of having one do more but result in having to spend even more money.

One device we did not mention is the computer. A PC is the most cost effective way of connecting to the TV and not only being able to display your pictures, stream your videos and listen to your music but after you have done all that you can browse the internet maybe even play a game or two. And with a PC being as small or mini as they are they flow with all of the other components that make up your media theatre system without being the center of the setup.

We have seen a few mini systems come across our table. They mostly have come from Sapphire and Asrock and we have seen them both preform as advertised.

Giada’s take on the A51

The new A51 book-sized PC from Giada is quiet and unobtrusive, but offers remarkable power, performance and style. Support for powerful AMD Fusion E450 processors, Direct X11 3D graphics, native HD 1080P video, and super-fast USB 3.0 – all while remaining virtually silent – make the A51 the ideal choice for home entertainment, office work, and internet access. The A51 is powerful enough to use as your main home computer, and it's small size, low power consumption, and portability also make it the perfect choice for a second home PC.

About Giada

Giada is a brand of JEHE (Shenzhen Jiehe Technology Development Co., Ltd), a leading global manufacturer of digital products, graphics cards and motherboards. JEHE was the very first official partner of Nvidia in China for add-in cards. Since powering its way into the ranks of the country's top three manufacturers in 2003, JEHE has also built up a long and fruitful relationship with CPU makers Intel and AMD.

With almost 1000 employees at 8 locations worldwide and a strong background in OEM and ODM, JEHE has clear superiority in product knowledge, chip purchase and technology development. The Giada brand brings this accumulated knowledge and quality commitment to the international market.


Specifications

Model

Giada A51

OS

FreeDOS.
Option: Windows 7 Home, Professional, Ubuntu Linux, FreeBSD.

Processor

AMD® E-450

Chipset

AMD® Hudson M1

GPU

ATI® Radeon HD 6320 graphics

Memory

1 x So-DIMM Slots, DDR3-1066 2G (Max. 4G)

HDD

2.5" HDD, (Max 1TB)

I/O

4x USB2.0,
1x USB3.0,
1x RJ45,
1x CardReader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO),
1x HDMI,
1x VGA

LAN

Gigabit LAN + WiFi 802.11n + Bluetooth

Audio

AUDIO-Out/MIC-in/SPDIF-out(via adapter)

Power

30W

Size

7.48" x 5.9" x 0.98" inch, 190 x 150 x 25 mm

Color

White / Black

Features

Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
 
Giada A50 is fully compatible with running the latest OS-Microsoft Windows® 7.
 
Native Full HD 1080P playback

Supporting Full HD 1080P playback, Giada A50 gives you “better than cinema” quality and the ultimate movie experience in the comfort of your own home.
  
Silent Operation under 26bB 
    
Giada A50 is running a silent operation which is merely 26bB, ensures you a quite computing environment as well. With Giada A50, your living room will be transformed into a home entertainment center.
Report by Media.

802.11n Wireless Networking 
  
Wi-Fi 802.11n can not only speed your connection to the internet greatly with a wider bandwidth, but also cover longer distance coverage. 


Closer look

Currently, Giada offers two models of their newest ultra mini-PC, the first is the A51 and the second is the I51. We will give you one chance to what is the difference between the two. Bingo. One is AMD based and the other Intel based. Good job. Moving on. We will be taking a look at the AMD unit that is based around the AMD E450 APU.

The AMD E450 is a dual core low power accelerated processor normally seen in notebooks. The APU is clocked at 1.3GHz with a GPU clock of 488MHz but does offer a turbo boost of 600MHz. Yes, the APU does have integrated graphics and combined with the CPU core does not consume more than 18W of TDP. A great way to save on the electricity bill and still be able to stream some high-def videos even with only 1MB (512kb per core) of L2 cache. The Brazos platform (which the E450 is a member) supports DDR3 1333MHz natively. More details of the CPU tell us the GPU integrated in the APU is a Radeon HD 6320.

The APU used in the A51 was designed to be ultrabook and notebook placements which in most cases ideal for multimedia purposes. So, the same should and will apply to net-tops and HTPC units. And the A51 can fall under both. And like the more portable units the A51 is designed to consume very little power which for the A51 is a total of 30 watts.

The A51 (all variations) are full supported by Windows (XP to Seven) but not included with the system. Support is also avialable for various forms of Linux.

The A51 comes equipped with two gigs of DDR3 1066 but also support up to 4GB using only one slot. For storage there is a 320GB, 5400RPM mechanical HDD.

Now we get into the design of the A51 physically. Giada fitted all the components into the small form factor possible. And the nice thing here is they were able to outfit it with all the needed connections to make the consumer’s purchase worthwhile.

The system is built of plastic and aluminum and is available in black or white. The use of aluminum is beneficial as it helps to defeat heat that may build up due to operation. And it also helps to keep the unit quiet operating at 26 dBA or less during loaded operations.

The unit measure 7.5” tall and has a depth of 6” and is only 1” thick.

The front of consists of just the power button and a trio of LED to show power and activity.

The top of the A51 has a digital card reader that is capable of reading SD, MMC and MS cards. An USB 3.0 port is included along with MIC and headphone jacks hidden behind a small plastic door.

The rear of the A51 a lock outlet for security purposes. For video output there are full HDMI and VGA connections. Each able to display full hi-def video with the HDMI being able to produce hi-def audio as well. You can connect to the internet as well as your own network via two methods: a hard-wired gigabit LAN port or Wi-Fi. Other devices can be connected to if they support Bluetooth. Additional storage can be added to the A51 using one of the four extra USB 2.0 ports.

The A51 comes equipped with a MC remote control, AC adapter, HDMI cable and clear standing for holding the box upright.


Testing

We took the time to play around with the A51 for about a week and found that it was fully capable of performing all the task of a HTPC system. Granted a simple external hard drive can be connecting to a network or directly to the TV and film, photos and music all can be sourced from it. But systems like the A51 will allow you to do so much more like browsing the internet, playing some low graphic requiring games.


Main screen of the BIOS indicating the basic specifications of the system.


Health monitor.


Port protocols.


CD installation screen.


HWiNFO64 detailing all the specifications of the system.


CPU and ram usage while playing back a hi-def video over our LAN.

Windows score.


Conclusion

The Giada A51 is any variation is nice to have sitting in the middle of our living room connected to our big screen television. And to add to its versatility it can be used for office work or general PC usage like browsing the web. And it performed well doing it all. Systems like the A51 offers many different usages and are not limited like external hard drives and media boxes like the Roku.

The A51 is able to playback hi-def videos with no issues. We did a quick run with streaming from places like YouTube and Hulu and across our home network with no issues over Wi-Fi. This is not only because of the E450 APU but the N standard wireless connection built into the unit that made the movie watching experience grand.

The only thing I can find that many will not appreciate is the fact the A51 does not come with an O/S installed. You will have to provide your own. Adding to the cost of the system. We know some people prefer an O/S besides Windows but the majority of the population do choose Windows and willing to pay the extra cost.

The A51 is very thin and compact requiring very little room. Some may not even notice it as it is easily overshadowed by things like gaming consoles, A/V recievers, Blu-ray players and other electonic devices that make up a good home threatre.

We found the Giada A51 at a couple of shops for roughly $260. Not a bad price for a complete machine without an O/S.

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