PC makers were reluctant to use Intel’s 10th Generation Core ‘Ice Lake’ processors for their ultra-compact form-factor (UCFF) desktops, but they seem to be truly interested in the 11th Generation Core ‘Tiger Lake’ CPUs.
This week Gigabyte introduced its new Brix Pro systems that are designed primarily for office applications, but which can also serve as a home-theater PC or even for light gaming. Meanwhile, they have a rather unique selling feature for productivity.
Gigabyte’s Brix Pro systems are based on Intel’s dual-core Core i3-1115G4 with UHD Graphics (48 EUs), quad-core Core i5-1135G7 with Iris Xe GPU (80 EUs), or quad-core Core i7-1165G7 with Iris Xe GPU (96 EUs) processors. The CPUs are configured for a 28W TDP and therefore offer higher performance than their counterparts in notebooks. All machines can support up to 64 GB of DDR4-3200 memory using two modules, pack two M.2-2280 SSDs featuring a PCIe 4.0 x4 or SATA interface.
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As far as input/output capabilities are concerned, the Brix Pro feature dual LAN connectors (a 2.5 GbE and a GbE port), Intel’s AX201 Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 adapter, one Thunderbolt 4 port, four USB 3.2 ports, and a headphone jack. In addition, the systems come equipped with an onboard TPM 2.0 module.
One of the key selling points of the new Brix Pro desktops is support for up to four monitors using four HDMI 2.0 ports and a Thunderbolt 4 connector thanks to Intel’s latest Xe integrated GPU that has four display pipelines.
Meanwhile, because Intel’s latest Iris Xe graphics processing units feature a very advanced multimedia engine supporting 12-bit BT2020 color along with Dolby Vision and HDR10 transports as well as all the latest video codecs, these systems are quite good for multimedia playback. Furthermore, higher-end GPUs with 80 EUs or 96 EUs also boast with a rather decent performance in Full-HD resolution.
Overall, with a high-performance CPU that can burst to 4.80GHz when cooled properly, 64GB of memory, two SSD, and an external graphics card connected using a Thunderbolt 4 interface, Gigabyte’s Brix Pro can be used for rather demanding applications, including those for content creation. In fact, even without an external graphics card the Brix Pro can serve for various business applications that use more than one display.
Gigabyte has not announced pricing of its Brix Pro UCFF systems, though it will be revealed shortly when the PCs hit the market in November.
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Anton Shilov is the News Editor at AnandTech, Inc. For more than four years, he has been writing for magazines and websites such as AnandTech, TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Kit Guru, EE Times, Tech & Learning, EE Times Asia, Design & Reuse.