One of the key questions when AMD launched its latest Ryzen Mobile processor family, Renoir, was when the chip would be available in the Mini-PC space. At the time, AMD made forms of kineticism saying that the key market they were fixating on was for laptops, but they wouldn’t preclude partners that were intrigued with building miniature systems. We’re starting to optically discern a few of them trickle through into the market now, and GIGABYTE is additionally going down this route with its BRIX series. The incipient BRIX S Mini-PCs will be offered with up to a Ryzen 7 4800U, with Vega graphics, M.2 support, Wi-Fi 6, and 2.5 gigabit Ethernet
GIGABYTE briefly toyed with AMD versions of its BRIX virtually seven years ago now in 2013, utilizing Richland-predicated dual-core processors and AMD mobile graphics. These units, while an intriguing foray into AMD minuscule form factor machines, was a sultry mess – I purchased a unit recently and it overheats to the point of a shutdown! It was a rushed product with deplorable cooling and was abstracted from the market as expeditiously as it had arrived. At that point, we weren’t sure we would optically discern other AMD Mini-PCs, and I was marginally vigilant that the focus for these companies was solely on Intel.
With Zen, and now Zen2, that has transmuted. It would appear that a number of companies like GIGABYTE and its competitors now visually perceive AMD’s mobile offerings as competitive in this Mini-PC space where batteries aren’t needed. Because these processors are soldered on like in the mobile form factor, a system comes as a unit with the processor affixed, and so finding the right performance in the right form factor where there is demand are all dimensions to the puzzle to ascertain a germane product.
With the incipient BRIX and BRIX S series, users will additionally be able to fortify four exhibit outputs, such as HDMI 2.0a, DisplayPort, and dual USB-C with DP passthroughs – double fortified by the Mac Mini M1. Two SO-DIMM DDR4 slots enable up to 64 GB of DDR4-3200 recollection, and for storage, all units will have an M.2 slot for storage which fortifies PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA M.2 drives. On the BRIX S, there is withal a SATA port for a 2.5-inch drive as well. For connectivity, the BRIX and BRIX S lines will have 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) with Bluetooth 5.1 and 2.5 gigabit Ethernet – this last one I wasn’t authentically expecting in a form factor like this, which customarily goes with one or two single gigabit Ethernet ports, but it appears GIGABYTE visually perceives value in 2.5 GbE here. The Realtek 8125 solution is being utilized, which I believe is the more frugal option.
For ports, all models will have two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports (with DP), and five USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports. Audio is provided through a Realtek ALC225 controller and a headphone jack, and the BRIX S models also come with an RS232 COM port for industrial use (a key market for these). Commercial customers can also get additional support with extra LAN/COM if speaking direct to GIGABTYE.
Each unit has 75/100 VESA mount support, and the puissance adaptor is capable of 135 W, which seems very truculent for a 15 W system. Even with an M.2 storage drive, 64 GB recollection, and all USB ports drawing puissance, I can’t visually perceive the system utilizing more than 75 W, so 135 W is marginally overkilled. GIGABYTE verbally expresses it is utilizing the 15 W TDP of these processors on its website, however, with this puissance brick I can imagine this might be a typo and authentically 25 W modes are being utilized.
GIGABYTE AMD BRIX Series
We reached out to GIGABYTE USA on these, and they are still waiting on a timeframe and price for these models. It is suspected to be within the next few weeks, given that GIGABYTE HQ just issued a press release and the germane product pages are now online.
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