Thursday during Valve's Steam Dev Days conference, Intel announced that all 1200 attendees received Gigabyte's BRIX Pro. This brick-sized Steam Machine packs Intel's Core i7-4770R system-on-a-chip (SOC) along with Intel's integrated Iris Pro 5200 graphics. This represents a sizable investment by Intel to evangelize the GT3e platform.
"This processor is a leading edge high performance 'system-on-a-chip' (SOC) with quad core CPU, Intel Iris Pro graphics and eDRAM all on a single package. This gives users highly optimized and thermally efficient computing like you see in the Gigabyte Brix, as well as mainstream gaming offerings in the market," reads Intel's latest blog.
We took a look at the Gigabyte Steam Machine during CES 2014 earlier this month. The hardware details include 8 GB of DDR3L RAM (2x 4 GB) and 1 TB of storage via a 2.5" hard drive with a SATA 3 interface (6 Gbps). Two USB 3.0 ports and a headphones/SPDIF reside on the front, and two USB 3.0 ports are provided on the back.
Based on the BRIX Pro specs, the rear I/O panel also includes HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, a mini-DisplayPort jack and more. Also included are Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.0 via a pre-installed module, and one open mSATA SSD slot for adding even more storage. This unit measures 4.5 inches squared.
"The BRIX Pro is one of the first devices to boast the cutting edge graphics capabilities of Intel Iris Pro graphics. Based on the latest graphics architecture from Intel, Iris Pro Graphics use an on-package 128M eDRAM cache that negates memory pipeline issues, greatly boosting overall performance in 3D applications," reads the BRIX Pro description.
Steam Machines are expected to land in consumer hands sometime around September 2014. However, the Gigabyte BRIX Pro can be purchased in Black (i7-4770R) or Red (i5-4570R) at specific locations nationwide.