Dual-core Haswell, desktop GeForce team up in Brix Gaming mini PC

Gigabyte is prepping another small-form-factor system targeting gamers. This latest addition to the Brix Gaming family combines a Haswell processor with discrete GeForce graphics pulled from Nvidia’s desktop GPU family. The system was demoed at a Gigabyte press event in Las Vegas yesterday, and I snapped a quick picture before turning my attention to other products that I’m not yet at liberty to discuss.

This particular Brix Gaming config was shown at PAX East earlier this month, so the details are fair game. Under the hood lies a dual-core, quad-thread Core i5-4200H CPU clocked at 2.8GHz with a 3.4GHz Turbo peak. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 760 rides shotgun, giving the pint-sized rig a healthy dose of graphics grunt to go along with its potent CPU.

The Haswell chip has a 47W TDP, and desktop GTX 760 cards are rated for 170W, so there’s an awful lot of heat to exhaust from the system. Unfortunately, the event was too loud to get a good sense of the machine’s fan noise. The case felt warm to the touch during gaming, though, and there was clearly a blower whirring inside. The lower-power GeForce GTX 750 Ti might have been a better choice on the GPU front.

Apart from its beefy internals, the lime green Brix boasts dual SO-DIMM slots and support for both mSATA and 2.5" drives. 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity are included along with four USB 3.0 ports, dual HDMI outputs, and one Mini DisplayPort connector.

GeForce-equipped Brix Gaming rigs will be available next month, Gigabyte says, and the company is also readying a version with a Core i7 CPU. We may have to get one of these bite-sized systems in-house to see if it fares any better than the Iris-equipped Brix Pro we reviewed in March.

Comments closed
    • Voldenuit
    • 5 years ago

    On second thought, I’m sick and tired of seeing OEMs push “gaming” builds with a core i7 CPU and a(n overpriced) GTX 740 “gaming GPU” (cough Dell XPS cough).

    It’s nice to see someone spec out on the GPU for a change.

    • bluevaping
    • 5 years ago

    Computer companies think key specs is the biggest factor selling PC’s. It not important right now, if you buy from them in the future. Does it have a key spec? “It does. Sounds good, Buy.” They got the sale. I see plenty of over specced PC that I would never consider. Why? Because some less important hardware is a bit lacking or the design or lack of something brings overall experience down. And it makes sense when you got expensive key hardware at a deal. We put the best key spec items that will fit in here.
    Brix didn’t learn anything from previous models. They just hope you don’t care. Yeah it will be loud and could have heat problems that might affect things down the road. It should be fine for the limited warranty they will take the risk if you do.

    Just like a multimedia laptop with a budget webcam. They know what your doing with it and still get it slightly wrong. I don’t get it. This is not a top tier huge gaming rig, this should be a good compromise for it’s form factor.

    • timbits
    • 5 years ago

    Sounds great… but how much is it?

      • bittermann
      • 5 years ago

      It’s Nvidia so expect price gouging…

      PS: 2 down votes = 2 Nvidia fan boys. Seems about right…

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 5 years ago

    Why not a R9 270X, the most similar to console GPU around?

      • Laykun
      • 5 years ago

      Any graphics API they use on consoles will not be the same or directly translatable to a desktop one. So owning an AMD video card won’t give you an advantage in console ports, just like it never helped with xbox 360 ports (yes there’s an ATi video card in there).

    • jessterman21
    • 5 years ago

    [quote<]The lower-power GeForce GTX 750 Ti might have been a better choice on the GPU front.[/quote<] Definitely my first thought when hearing the specs for this thing. Amazing idea, but probably too loud and hot for its own good. Maybe a GTX 860 in the inevitable Rev2 version will be cooler and quieter.

    • Bauxite
    • 5 years ago

    Are you sure it wasn’t a mobile 760?

    Seems more likely considering they used a mobile “i5” which is more like a desktop i3 and that case looks much like their others. Would take a pretty decent blower to dump 200W+ of heat from that box.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      That would make way more sense, and it’s still a decent enough GPU for 1080p gaming. Looks like a desktop GTX 650 Ti (though at a much lower clock speed).

      [url<]http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-760M.92068.0.html[/url<]

      • drfish
      • 5 years ago

      Was going to say the same thing, it must be. Even then I’d rather see an 860M in there instead. So close!

      • jessterman21
      • 5 years ago

      Watched a video from PAX about this thing, and the Nvidia rep definitely said “desktop GTX 760” like 5 times. I couldn’t believe it either. This thing is going to be loud.

        • drfish
        • 5 years ago

        Ugh, what a horrible decision, especially coupled with the fact they went with a dual core CPU… Bleh.

          • DPete27
          • 5 years ago

          Not to mention they couldn’t even [url=https://techreport.com/review/26166/gigabyte-brix-pro-reviewed/4<]quietly (or effectively) cool the 4770R in the Brix Pro.[/url<] I'm not as disappointed about the mobile i5, even though a discrete GTX 760 deserves a true quad core. I agree, a 750Ti would have been a much better decision both in terms of thermals and balance. [Edit]: Added TR review link.

            • drfish
            • 5 years ago

            47W for a dual core mobile chip isn’t great anyway. The TDP of the 3610QM in my W110ER is only 45W. Sure it can’t turbo up to 3.4GHz but it’s a true hyperthreaded quad and it’s Ivy not Haswell…

            Just weird choices all around…

      • tviceman
      • 5 years ago

      But that would make LESS sense than if Gigabyte actually made a sound decision and went with the gtx 750 ti. The mobile versions of desktop cards cost way more because of aggressive binning, thus the gtx 760m would be slower and cost more than the gtx 750 ti.

        • Bauxite
        • 5 years ago

        A ~55W 760M (basically 650 Ti) with a dual core cpu makes more sense in the “its possible to power and cool it in this formfactor” compared to the absurd idea of ~200W TDP combined.

        A 760 desktop kepler means this box will either melt, throttle to hell, sound like a leafblower or perhaps all of the above. Since I don’t think gigabyte is that far detached from engineering reality, I think the marketing people have the wrong specs.

        But yes, the ~55W 750 desktop with the superior maxwell power efficiency is far and away the obvious solution they skipped….unless the marketing people are wrong 🙂

          • Voldenuit
          • 5 years ago

          Not necessarily.

          The MSI GTX 760 ITX [url=http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_760_Mini_ITX_Gaming/23.html<]is mini-ITX-sized and is neither loud, nor throttles[/url<]. 82C is getting towards (or even past) the thermal limit of the 760, though*. No idea if Gigabyte can replicate MSI's cooling prowess with their (presumably home-grown) version. Judging by the Iris Pro Brix, I'm not too confident. I do agree that the 750 Ti would have made more sense (especially with the dual-core CPU), just wanted to opine that small and GTX 760 aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. * EDIT: It's worth noting that techpowerup tested the card in a completely passively cooled system with no active fans. Temps might be noticeably lower in a case with decent airflow, although the Brix may not qualify as such.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 5 years ago

    The potential for this thing really intrigues me–possibly a decent portable gaming rig for LAN parties or a fairly beefy HTPC.

    • Jon1984
    • 5 years ago

    I hope it’s not as loud as the last one reviewed here in TR… Anyway awesome hardware is such small form factor.

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