Gigabyte BRIX Gaming UHD Combines 2.6L Chassis with Discrete GPU

Subject: Systems | August 17, 2016 - 04:37 PM |
Tagged: UHD, SFF, IDF 2016, idf, gigabyte, gaming, brix

While wandering around the exhibit area at this year’s Intel Developers Forum, I ran into our friends at Gigabyte a brand new BRIX small form factor PC. The BRIX Gaming UHD takes the now-standard NUC/BRIX block shape and literally raises it up, extending the design vertically to allow for higher performance components and the added cooling capability to integrate them.

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The design of the BRIX Gaming UHD combines a brushed aluminum housing with a rubber base and bordering plastic sections to create a particularly stunning design that is both simple and interesting. Up top is a fan that pulls air through the entire chassis, running over the heatsink for the CPU and GPU. This is similar in function to the Mac Pro, though this is a much more compact device with a very different price point and performance target.

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Around the back you’ll find all the connections that the BRIX Gaming UHD supplies: three (!!) mini DisplayPort connections, a full size HDMI output, four USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 connection, two wireless antennae ports, Gigabit Ethernet and audio input and output. That is a HUGE amount of connectivity options and is more than many consumer’s current large-scale desktops.

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The internals of the system are impressive and required some very custom design for cooling and layout.

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The discrete NVIDIA graphics chip (in this case the GTX 950) is on the left chamber while the Core i7-6500HQ Skylake processor is on the left side along with the memory slot and wireless card.

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Gigabyte measures the size of the BRIX Gaming UHD at 2.6 liters. Because of that compact space there is no room for hard drives: you get access to two M.2 2280 slots for storage instead. There are two SO-DIMM slots for DDR4 memory up to 2133 MHz, integrated 802.11ac support and support for quad displays.

Availability and pricing are still up in the air, though early reports are that starting cost will be $1300. Gigabyte updated me and tells me that the BRIX Gaming UHD will be available in October and that an accurage MSRP has not been set. It would not surprise me if this model never actually saw the light of day and instead Gigabyte waited for NVIDIA’s next low powered Pascal based GPU, likely dubbed the GTX 1050. We’ll keep an eye on the BRIX Gaming UHD from Gigabyte to see what else transpires, but it seems the trend of small form factor PCs that sacrifice less in terms of true gaming potential continues.

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August 17, 2016 | 05:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why separate heatsinks for CPU and GPU?

August 17, 2016 | 07:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

looks like there's 2 chambers to keep the heat away from each other. Also, 950's got a 90 watt tdp and the CPU has a 45 tdp, so you'd almost certainly see throttling at lower clocks. I would also bet that strapping a 90 watt device to your CPU voids your warranty.

August 17, 2016 | 06:52 PM - Posted by Anonymously Anonymous (not verified)

a 950 or a 1050 for $1300? it better come with chromed out trim which includes chrome tipped exhaust pipe!

August 17, 2016 | 06:59 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

EXACTLY what i was coming here to comment on.
$1300??! WTF?!
Cmon gigabyte. at least put laptop graphics card that's decent in there like a gtx 980m 8gb.

August 17, 2016 | 07:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

A fan at the top does not equate to the Mac Pro Trash can design, as the Mac Pro has a single monolithic heat-sink hollow structural core that has all the processors attached to it.

P.S. I can’t wait for Apple to get some Big Zen/Vega workstation APUs on an interposer with HBM2 to snug up against that monolithic heat-sink core and Apple could get rid of any main-board CPU only component to make way for a some x16 expansion slots for many types of SSD/other special function cards that video and graphics users would want.

Just imagine 2 total, APU’s each with a 16 Zen cores die and a big Vega pro graphics die, and at least 16GB of HBM2 all on an interposer snugged up to that heat-sink structural core where the 2 AMD GPUs sit now. That would be 32 Zen cores across 2 interposer based APUs each with its own Big Vega GPU die and HBM2(32GB or more across 2 APUs). Intel does not posses the GPU IP to compete with AMD, and once those workstation APUs on an interposer arrive Apple will be wanting that for its Mac Pro and more space made available where that Intel Xeon processor once occupied its part of the Mac Pro. Each APU could run its Own OS or the 2 APU/Interposer system could be configured as a workstation cluster for rendering workloads across a network of 2 workstation class APUs over some high speed Ethernet/other fabric.

August 17, 2016 | 11:45 PM - Posted by JoshD (not verified)

This reminds me of a Mac Cube I had back in the day (around 2000). It had a 500mhz PPC G4 chip, and an ATI Radeon card with maybe 32MB of VRAM(yup just Radeon).

September 5, 2016 | 07:23 AM - Posted by Andrew Cox (not verified)

Because of that compact space there is no room for hard drives

In fact there are two 2.5 inch SATA bays. The video on the Gigabyte site refers to them and points them out when the case is opened up to insert memory and an M2 module. Strange that Gigabyte don't make more of them, although there is some mention of being able to RAID the two SATA drives with one of the M2 modules.

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