Gigabyte Updates BRIX PCs with Haswell Chips

Gigabyte recently updated its BRIX ultra-compact PCs with the latest fourth-generation Intel Core processors. There are four models in this series, providing improved CPU and graphics performance over the previous models, plus native 4K display support to boot. They also now include a front SPDIF jack and expanded USB 3.0 connectivity, making these mini-PCs great for the home theater.

The updated BRIX arrives in a boxy, palm-sized form factor measuring a mere 29.9 x 107.6 x 114.4 mm. A single power button resides at the top, and the front provides two stacked USB 3.0 ports and the headphones/SPDIF jack. On the back, the mini-PC adds another USB 3.0 stacked duo, Gigabit Ethernet, a mini DisplayPort jack, HDMI output and the power jack.

The difference between the four models, obviously, is on the inside. The model numbers hint to what's inside the box: the GB-BXi7-4500 has an Intel Core i7-4500U chip (1.8 GHz – 3 GHz), the GB-BXi5-4200 has an i5-4200U chip (1.6 GHz – 2.6 GHz), the GB-BXi3-4010 has the Core i3-4010U chip (1.7 GHz), and the GB-BXCE-2955 has the Celeron 2955U processor (1.4 GHz), all dual core.

The boxy little rigs also feature two empty SO-DIMM DDR3L slots supporting up to 16 GB of 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz RAM, Realtek ALC269 audio, Intel HD 4400 graphics, one empty mSATA slot and a half-size mini-PCIe slot that's occupied by a Wireless N / Bluetooth 4.0 card. All four are bundled with a VESA bracket so that the device can be mounted behind a monitor or HDTV.

"This new and updated GIGABYTE BRIX builds on the incredible success and popularity of our original compact PC design," said Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. "We're confident end users will enjoy the improved overall performance that the latest Intel Core processors offer, as well as additional upgrades we have made regarding audio and USB connectivity."

Gigabyte has not released details regarding pricing, but expect to see dollar signs around the $300 price point as seen with the previous BRIX generation.

  • shompa
    HTPC are meaningless today.
    Just have an AppleTV + a mac and stream you desktop via Airplay mirroring/extended desktop.
    Cheaper and better. I used to have 3 HTPCs. Now replaced by 3 sub 100 dollars Apple TV.
  • ragenalien
    Three $300 HTPC = $900. MINIMUM setup for three apple tv's and a mac computer is $900. I fail to see how they're meaningless. *Mac pricing based off of the mac mini, currently the cheapest mac possible.
  • Ryan Klug
    Interested in benchmarks...

    This would be exciting if you could add "laptop" discrete graphics cards to it. Tiny power = great gaming / HTPC.
  • donovands
    1 HTPC + Roku and you can stream all your video content to any TV using Plex. Or swap the Roku for a Miracast or DLNA device if you must have an extended desktop. But yes, Apple does have it all under one roof so to speak.
  • rwpritchett
    AppleTV is fine if you don't mind downgraded audio and limited file support. I prefer uncompressed HD audio and video myself, and one must jailbreak the AppleTV to get mkv support.
  • Ryan Klug
    Can PC games stream from a powerful gaming PC elsewhere to this NUC? This would be a better deal than an Nvidia Shield.

    I just asked Gigabyte about streaming, and if a future version might be capable of hosting "laptop" quality discrete video cards. Keep you posted...
  • kinggraves
    I have to agree, HTPCs are losing relevance. If you need a device to stream internet content there are dozens of options these days, including -$50 Droid Mini PCs. If you want to record TV (which this wouldn't do) then a network attached tuner would be able to provide for the entire family. NAS drives are getting to be commonplace, storage isn't a factor. Still too weak to play modern games very well. What function does this serve that isn't better served elsewhere? Maybe an emulator machine, but there's a limited audience for that.
  • MfastPrincess
    Since this is the only way I watch any kind of TV nowadays, this is totally worth checking out.I can't remember the last time I had cable or some kind of broadcast television.
  • xiinc37
    Did anyone else read that as "update brix pcs with haswell chips"?
  • mitoda
    I'm deciding if to swap this model for the "older" BRIX 3227, which has a third generation i3 core at 1.9 ghz, slightly faster than this new 1.7 haswell. You can get a Brix 3227 as low as 280 in amazon. Not sure if this really represents an upgrade. So bottom line, will this new model be faster or at least as fast as the previous BRIX 3227?