GIGABYTE BRIX Has AMD Discrete Graphics (R9 M275X)

Subject: General Tech, Systems | January 28, 2014 - 01:54 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte brix, gigabyte, amd

If you feel a little déjà vu while reading this, it is because this system is identical to the MAINGEAR SPARK. Both devices are powered by an AMD A8-5557M APU backed with an AMD Radeon R9 M275X mobile discrete GPU. They even use the same case with the same color scheme. The only difference that I could find is the MAINGEAR logo on the front versus the GIGABYTE logo on the top. I think we could safely say that both devices are made at the same place. I expect that GIGABYTE was the OEM for MAINGEAR's Steam Machine.

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Check out Tim's post about the SPARK.

Check out GIGABYTE's product page for the BRIX Gaming.

When Tim published his post about the SPARK for CES, back on January 6th, little was known about the R9 M275X (beyond its 2GB of GDDR5). That is still the case. AMD has not said anything further about the mobile GPU. The press release from GIGABYTE claims that it will support DirectX 11.1 (which implies it will not support DirectX 11.2) and OpenGL 4.1 (which implies a lack of support for OpenGL 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4). GIGABYTE also claims that it will support "the latest OpenCL 1.1 standard" (which implies lack of support for OpenCL 1.2).

I seriously doubt that this is true.

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I cannot see AMD regressing that heavily on API compatibility. OpenGL 4.2 has been supported since the HD 5000 (desktop) and HD 6000M (laptop) series. OpenCL 1.2 has been supported since the HD 5000 (desktop) and HD 7000M (laptop) line. One of the main features of OpenCL 1.2 is the ability share resources with DirectX 11 (OpenCL 1.1 shares with DirectX 10). In fact, I cannot find a single chip that AMD produced which supports OpenGL 4.1 and OpenCL 1.1 and fails to support OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.2.

I would not trust GIGABYTE's press release when it comes to the R9 M275X.

Still nothing on pricing and availability for the GIGABYTE BRIX Gaming. Its product code will be the "GB-BXA8G-8890", which totally rolls off the tongue, so we have that going for us. It is a very interesting device. I wonder if we will see it, and other BRIX entries, find their way into the catalogs of other system builders.

Source: GIGABYTE
January 29, 2014 | 12:19 AM - Posted by nightscheme (not verified)

It is likely that this is the same box they showed at CES this year, which would mean that the R9-M275X is equivalent to an 8890M, which is likely an 8870M with a higher TDP accompanied with a higher core clock, judging by the full copper heatsinks that can be seen in jayztwocent's video about the brix lineup (www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zfpUMrT0bXs#t=227), Id say that its somewhere above 60 Watts, though that'd just be pure speculation based on the observation that the smaller heatsink is touching the motherboard and the device is running a 35 Watt processor, whilst the heatsink touching the gpu is roughly twice the size(though it is mentioned that the heatsinks are unified, I assume that this size difference is deliberate).
What is much more interesting though is that multiple videos from their CES booth mention that the device is featuring 'MXM graphics'(www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dfa7ixflMKY#t=446 www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iWh_MQ_Bm3o#t=50), which is feasible, since the MXM 3.0 standard specifies a size of 100 by 82 millimetres for the modules and the device has a footprint of roughly 115 by 128 millimetres, so even if you generously deduct about a centimetre on each axis for connectors and mounting there would be more than enough space available, this would be fantastic since it would theoretically give the user the ability to switch out the graphics card for a more powerful one down the line, should they desire to do so (though MXM graphics cards are somewhat hard to come by).

Personally I am very excited for more information about the Brix Gaming, since I am looking to build or buy myself a small form factor gaming pc in the near future and don't have the ambition to get a high-end machine, something like this that just does the job would be perfect, depending on the price, which I hope will stay below 500 bucks.

January 29, 2014 | 07:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why was this not done with the current flagship A10-7850 apu?

While this is goiod news for AMD, I doubt gamers are going to choose this route (buying more expensive RAM) with that low of a discrete GPU.

Better to just buy a tier or 2 higher on discrete with that money.

You could easily build a rig at same price point with an AMD Vishera paired with a 650ti boost or used 660ti and smash those Kaveri bencharks and not have to deal with frame pacing.

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