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GIGABYTE BRIX - Gaming Handheld Gaming, Reinvented (Part 2)

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5/5/2014 5:31:05 PM

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

“This system is a great companion for anyone’s TV,” adds Chen. Realtek’s ALC269 codec supplies the BRIX Gaming’s sound capabilities, and you’ll be able to deliver those sounds over the HDMI and mini DisplayPort outputs, as well as a headphone jack.

Connectivity

The BRIX Gaming is no slouch when it comes to wired and wireless connectivity. GIGABYTE has smartly added a mini PCI-E wireless module to the PC (located below the BRIX Gaming’s mSATA connector), giving it wireless connectivity for both Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11a/b/g/n/ ac. “We opted for these wireless connections as Bluetooth is becoming more widely used in mobile devices,” says Chen. “We chose to include Wi-Fi as not everyone’s home theater system has wired [network] connectivity.”

One benefit to the Brix is that most models come with a VESA mounting bracket

One benefit to the Brix is that most models come with a VESA mounting bracket

For wired connectivity, the front panel offers a headphone output and two USB 3.0 ports, while the rear panel offers two more USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, and the HDMI and mini DisplayPort video outputs. Those concerned about the security of the miniature gaming system will like that GIGABYTE includes a Kensington lock slot.

What You’ll Need To Add

The BRIX Gaming is a barebones system that gives you the flexibility to select your own SO-DIMM memory, system storage, and operating system. “We know that consumers use systems differently and they all have different preferences,” says Chen. “We sell it barebone to allow consumers to be able to customize and upgrade.”

the memory section with two SO-DIMMs slot

the memory section with two SO-DIMMs slot

For memory, the BRIX Gaming provides you with two SO-DIMM slots that together can handle up to 16GB of DDR3L (1.35V) clocked at 1,333MHz or 1,600MHz. The low-voltage memory should produce less heat than 1.5V DDR3 SO-DIMMs, which is helpful considering the BRIX Gaming’s tiny enclosure.

For storage, you can use a 2.5-inch drive, as well as an mSATA SSD. These storage options give you some freedom to customize the BRIX Gaming according to your performance and capacity needs. For instance, HTPC builders can install an mSATA SSD as a boot drive and use a large 2.5-inch hard drive to provide the necessary capacity for HD videos and large music collections. Gamers, on the other hand, may opt for a single 2.5- inch SSD that has enough storage for their favorite titles. Whatever your preference, it’s nice that you can make choices for the memory and storage that fit your budget, rather than being forced to use a preset configuration.

Power Options

GIGABYTE locates the power button on top of the unit, but you’re also able to configure the BRIX Gaming to turn on through a connected USB keyboard or mouse. (This feature was only available to Windows 8 systems at the time of this writing.) This is ideal if you’ve placed the BRIX Gaming behind an HDTV or monitor, where it would be inconvenient to reach every time you want to turn it on. To set up the USB power, just press F2 or DEL during startup to enter the BIOS. Then, choose Chipset, select the ErP option, and choose Disabled. Save and exit the BIOS. Then, install the USB Power-On Patch for Windows 8, which you can find in a folder of the same name on the BRIX Gaming’s driver CD. Your system can now power on at the press of a key.

 

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

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

BRIX Strength

We can’t imagine a full-fledged gaming PC that’s smaller than the BRIX Gaming, and it’s more than just a gamer. It can also function as a capable HTPC. We particularly like the ability to mount the system to the back of any HDTV with a VESA mount, as you won’t even need an entertainment center or audio cabinet to conceal it, plus its extensive wireless networking support lets you install it virtually anywhere without worrying about the need to make a cable connection. Now, we just need some sort of collapsible monitor so we can fit an entire gaming rig in a backpack.

 

 

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