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Gigabyte Brix Pro Steam Machine First Look

By , photos by Alex Davies - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

Gigabyte's Steam Machine is the smallest of them all.

The Gigabyte Brix Pro is a cool little piece of kit. In fact, it was the smallest Steam Machine at Valve's event, but it was also light on details. We've talked about the Brix Pro before when we found out that it would be running Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics. It may not be able to keep up with discrete graphics cards, but we can tell that Gigabyte is going after an entirely different target with its Steam Machine.

  • Price TBD
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770R
  • RAM: 2 x 4 GB
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Pro 5200
  • Storage: 1 TB SATA 6 Gb/s

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  • 8 Hide
    grazed , January 9, 2014 5:25 PM
    I could slap a Steam logo on my 3 year old laptop and call it a Steam Machine too. Integrated graphics from Intel and gaming do not go together. Valve should seriously start limiting the Steam Machine label to pre approved configurations such as "Needs at least this processor, needs at least this GPU".
  • 2 Hide
    rad666 , January 9, 2014 6:18 PM
    This might work...if you only use it for local game streaming that is. For playing games it's an epic fail.
  • 2 Hide
    dotaloc , January 9, 2014 6:30 PM
    I'd have to agree. Well...nothing wrong with integrated graphics for most humble bundle or 3+ yr old games, but some type of steambox rating is needed so buyers know what their system is rated at and a corresponding rating system for all steam games.For instance, my new game requires a steambox 1.2 for high graphics detail @ 60 fps and 1080 or a .9 rating for medium graphics at 30 fps and 1080. Something like that.
  • 1 Hide
    jwcalla , January 9, 2014 7:57 PM
    There are a lot of Intel players on Steam, so I don't necessarily agree. But I think this is going to be too expensive for what you get in terms of graphics performance, especially with the i7.
  • 5 Hide
    jwcalla , January 9, 2014 7:57 PM
    And Tom's new article / comments layout is an absolute trainwreck. Thanks for making it as annoying as possible!
  • 1 Hide
    Zeh , January 9, 2014 8:47 PM
    Perhaps you're all being too harsh on Gigabyte. HD5200 isn't all that bad, since it can play many AAA games on medium/high at 720p. That's certainly enough for most people (specially console users).If this helps them keep costs really low, this might be intereseting. I might actually prefer this to a console.
  • 2 Hide
    vmem , January 9, 2014 9:11 PM
    @Zeh WHY would you perfer this over a console? it's going to cost the same, while only deliverying xbox 360 level of graphics (720p). not to mention that given the trend of PC gaming, it'll be outdated in a year or two. I understand PC gaming is where it's at, but once you fall below a certain spec level, consoles become a pretty darn good alternative
  • 0 Hide
    SlitWeaver , January 9, 2014 10:25 PM
    If only those Intel stickers were not coving that good-looking top :/ 
  • 1 Hide
    joditas , January 10, 2014 3:15 AM
    A Steam Machine should be foremost about playing game, not CPU only intensive tasks. A balanced system for gaming, namely CPU and GPU, should be in the similar performance and price tier to give the most bang for the buck for gaming, not because they happen to be together, e.g. i7-4770R. Brix Pro is not a bad product, but it's not a balanced system for gaming. This theme is like many brand names that sell "gaming PC" with a top of line CPUs paired with entry or mid level GPUs. Isn't that the very thing Valve's Steam Machine trying to change? If it's for streaming, there should be a big, huge sticker or warning that it's for steaming, not a primary gaming machine, and sell for at most 150~200 dollars. I doubt this system is that cheap. I agree with the above, it's like Valve is getting carried away with so many "Steam Machines" cropping up. If there is no guild line or restriction, this whole idea won't end well.
  • -1 Hide
    joditas , January 10, 2014 4:00 AM
    A Steam Machine should be foremost about playing game, not CPU only intensive tasks. A balanced system for gaming, namely CPU and GPU, should be in the similar performance and price tier to give the most bang for the buck for gaming, not because they happen to be together, e.g. i7-4770R. Brix Pro is not a bad product, but it's not a balanced system for gaming. This theme is like many brand names that sell "gaming PC" with a top of line CPUs paired with entry or mid level GPUs. Isn't that the very thing Valve's Steam Machine trying to change? If it's for streaming, there should be a big, huge sticker or warning that it's for steaming, not a primary gaming machine, and sell for at most 150~200 dollars. I doubt this system is that cheap. I agree with the above, it's like Valve is getting carried away with so many "Steam Machines" cropping up. If there is no guild line or restriction, this whole idea won't end well.
  • 0 Hide
    Wisecracker , January 10, 2014 6:26 AM
    Looks like a great box for a Gigabyte A88X FM2+ ITX ...
  • 0 Hide
    wysir , January 10, 2014 6:46 AM
    If they replaced the APU with the new one about to come out (7850?) I'd definitely buy it if I could find the $ in my budget.
  • 0 Hide
    mynith , January 10, 2014 9:24 AM
    Basically a NUC with a Steam sticker.
  • 0 Hide
    araczynski , January 10, 2014 9:55 AM
    would make a neat little office computer.
  • 0 Hide
    griptwister , January 10, 2014 10:12 AM
    Brix were shat.
  • 0 Hide
    jasonpwns , January 10, 2014 10:25 AM
    Grazed I hope you realize that the Iris Pro 5200 can beat out most of the APUs by AMD? So for a low power machine with a small size and decent graphics I'd say that Intel has done pretty good on i.
  • 0 Hide
    qlum , January 10, 2014 1:38 PM
    Quote:
    Grazed I hope you realize that the Iris Pro 5200 can beat out most of the APUs by AMD? So for a low power machine with a small size and decent graphics I'd say that Intel has done pretty good on i.

    Most amd apu's sure but not the fastest ones, more importantly though this is one hell of an unbalanced rig for gaming especially where this could work perfectly fine as an office pc gaming rigs need a lot more gpu for their cpu and running an i7 without a graphics card is just stupid for a gaming machine.

    the a10 6800K is around € 150 cheaper and would offer better gaming performance so even if you want to go cpu/apu only that would have been a much better choice. Even though it would still be a poor gaming rig.
  • 0 Hide
    jmonaco5 , January 10, 2014 4:00 PM
    I would have to agree with most of you, this deters from the basic idea of a "Steam Box". The primary vision of it is to be upgradeable, and this is clearly not. However someone will buy it just because they don't know any better.
  • 0 Hide
    computer_noob , January 10, 2014 5:48 PM
    I don't want a console called "Bricks".
  • 0 Hide
    Haravikk , January 11, 2014 7:40 AM
    It's one of the more interesting options; probably not for me as I'd like something upgradeable so it can remain competitive for longer, but for getting access to more casual gaming via Steam it's a great little offering, especially if the price is right!I disagree with people thinking that a Steam Box is all about upgradeability; while it's certainly a compelling option, non-upgradeable boxes still have a role to fill too as not everyone needs to play all of the latest games via Steam, especially with the wealth of options out there. Since SteamOS will presumably get more media capabilities as well then products like this one will make great media centre/modest gaming boxes, and it could be a great unit for streaming from a more serious gaming rig elsewhere in your home.
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