Gigabyte BRIX Gaming: Powerful PC In The Palm Of Your Hand
With its exterior dimensions of 4.5" x 5.0" x 2.3" (115 x 128 x 60mm), Gigabyte's BRIX Gaming GB-BXA8G-8890 barebone kit doesn't look like it could be a gaming system. Quite the opposite, in fact, even if the hardware involved is really meant for (albeit expensive) laptops.
Lurking inside the glossy plastic case is a quad-core AMD A8-5557M processor running at up to 3.1Ghz, alongside a Radeon R9 M275X discrete GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 video memory. The BRIX can feed these with up to 16GB of RAM through laptop-style SO-DIMMs, along with an mSATA SSD and 2.5” hard drive or second SSD.
You'll need to provide those latter three items yourself, though, this being a barebone kit. A suitable operating system is also required. Windows is a popular choice, but there's also SteamOS – more on that later. Unfortunately, we can't give you a total for a typical config as Gigabyte has not yet released pricing info.
The rest of the BRIX Gaming's specs page note an included wireless card good for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. There is also a gigabit wired LAN port on the back. Video outputs include Mini DisplayPort and HDMI, and there are four total USB 3.0 ports, two on the front and two on the back.
There's also a headphone jack and Kensington lock slot. Unfortunately, an SD card reader is conspicuously missing.
Again, all of this is crammed inside a box that can fit on the palm of your hand. Release dates are unknown, but it bears mentioning that boutique PC maker Maingear is preparing to launch the BRIX Gaming under its own name. It will ship with SteamOS, an operating system in development by game developer Valve to target living room gaming. Sounds like a good match to me.
Edit: the Gigabyte-branded version of the BRIX Gaming GB-BXA8G-8890 can now be found at online retailers, including Amazon.