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GIGABYTE BRIX - Gaming Handheld Gaming, Reinvented (Part 1)

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The miniature BRIX Gaming gives you the performance you’ve come to expect from a larger rig.

Here at CPU, we love LAN parties. Truth be told, there’s really not much we’d rather be doing than gaming all day (and night), surrounded by friends and fellow gamers. But there’s one thing about LAN parties we don’t like—lugging our rigs to the venue. This process sometimes means boxing up our systems and adding extra protection to ensure that the graphics card(s) and other heavy components can safely travel in the car. Even microATX and Mini-ITX systems can be bulky and tough to carry long distances.

As a barebones system, the BRIX Gaming lets you pick the amount of memory and storage inside the system.

As a barebones system, the BRIX Gaming lets
you pick the amount of memory and storage inside the system.

Enter GIGABYTE’s BRIX Gaming ultra-compact PC kit (model GB- BXA8G-8890). This Lilliputian system measures a mere 2.32 x 5 x 4.5 inches (HxWxD), and GIGABYTE includes a VESA bracket so you can mount it behind your monitor or HDTV. Imagine needing a single trip to carry in both your gaming PC and monitor into a LAN party.

“We were inspired by Intel’s Next Unit of Computing design and wanted to expand on the computing experience with this small and powerful PC,” says Leon Chen, PR manager at Gigabyte, “not only to the living room as an entertainment system but also as a powerful gaming system.”

For the right person, GIGABYTE’s BRIX Gaming is perfect fit as a LAN PC or HTPC. For such a small system, it’s packed with cutting-edge tech that begs for a closer look.

Gaming Performance

GIGABYTE knows that gamers don’t want to abandon desktop PC performance just for the sake of portability. As a result, GIGABYTE wanted hardware that could produce massive graphics horsepower within the confines of a pint-sized enclosure. “We chose components that provided high performance and maximum gaming experience,” says Chen. “Gamers should definitely be excited about the graphics portion of the BRIX Gaming.”

Inside the BRIX Gaming, you’ll find a Radeon R9 M275X discrete GPU that offers 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The R9 M275X supports DirectX 11.1, Shader Model 5.0, and OpenGL 4.1, so you’ll be able to play today’s newest titles at moderate resolutions and quality setttings.

Radeon R9 M275X discrete GPU

Radeon R9 M275X discrete GPU

The BRIX Gaming is built with more than just a high-performance GPU. GIGABYTE includes an AMD A8-5557M APU, a Richland-based APU that provides you with four cores that run at a 2.1GHz base clock. When under certain loads, the A8-5557M uses AMD’s Turbo Core technology to boost the clock speed up to 3.1GHz. AMD also loads up the A8-5557M with 4MB of L2 cache. The chip has a low TDP of 35 watts, which is great because there’s no need for a large cooling system to remove hot air during long gaming sessions.

On the subject of what resolutions and settings gamers could use with the BRIX Gaming, Chen says, “On average, gamers shouldn’t have any problems playing their favorite game in 1080p. The graphics card that is included in the unit is a powerhouse that can deliver them the most up-to- date graphics performance.” We love the idea that a system small enough to fit in the palm of your hand can provide HD gameplay.

Multimedia Capabilities

Enthusiasts who also want a portable rig for video editing, for example, will like that the discrete GPU supports the OpenCL 1.1 standard. Applications that utilize OpenCL acceleration can enlist the BRIX Gaming’s Radeon R9 M275X to help with media-editing and encoding applications. “The BRIX Gaming system is perfect for everyday computing tasks,” says Chen. “With the . . . dedicated graphics card, it makes video editing, streaming, and spreadsheets a breeze.”

Gigabyte Brix Gaming s APU A8-5557M a Radeonem R9 M275X (GB-BXA8G-8890)

Gigabyte Brix Gaming s APU A8-5557M a Radeonem R9 M275X (GB-BXA8G-8890)

GIGABYTE designed the BRIX Gaming with HDMI and mini DisplayPort outputs, so you’ll be able to connect it to an HDTV or monitor. You can even use both video outputs at the same time for a dual- display setup that spans the Windows Desktop across both screens. The BRIX Gaming supports a maximum resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 (at 60Hz) via the HDMI output, while the mini DisplayPort can produce a maximum resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 (at 30Hz).

 

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