Gigabyte's BRIX mini-PC promises desktop gaming performance in a small package
Jun 27, 2014
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Gigabyte have announced yet another version of their increasingly impressive BRIX range of mini PCs: the BRIX Gaming. Contrary to the way mini PCs have traditionally been configured, Gigabyte's latest actually stands a chance of delivering playable frame rates without sacrificing texture quality or post-processing.
Where mini PCs have traditionally simply been laptop components squeezed into a screen-less box, the new BRIX Gaming is using some desktop components to give it the edge. And, importantly, one of those desktop components is a graphics card.
The BRIX Gaming has got a specifically-designed version of Nvidia's GTX 760, to fit under the tiny motherboard, and that's a GPU which is more than capable of delivering great 1080p gaming performance.
Unfortunately the images Gigabyte have released so far don't show the discrete graphics card, so we don't really know how it looks or how it's attached. This small form factor version is likely to have lower clocks to keep the thermals within reason, but it should still have an advantage over other mini PCs.
The mobile GTX 760M is based on the lower-caste GK106 GPU. The desktop version comes with the GK104 graphics processor, which comes with an additional 384 CUDA cores to give it a chunky 1,152 CUDA cores in the final reckoning.
To go alongside the discrete graphics card the BRIX Gaming is offering an i5-4200H CPU (with i7s in the offing come August). That's a dual core i5 with HyperThreading, running at a stock 2.8GHz with a 3.4GHz Turbo clock.
The barebones BRIX Gaming also comes with a WiFi card, but to make it into a full PC you'll need to get some DDR3 laptop RAM, an operating system, and some storage. On that front you can either go for a standard 2.5-inch drive or take advantage of the mSATA port sat on top of the mini PCIe WiFi card.
With the engineering effort that's likely gone into putting together a discrete graphics card on this scale you can bet the BRIX Gaming is going to be anything but cheap, but in terms of the form factor I reckon you'll struggle to find anything close that will perform anything like as well—so long as the GPU can cope with the wee machine's thermal envelope anyway.
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