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Gigabyte Brix review: compact mini PC

Sleeker and better than the Intel NUC?

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Introduction

If Intel can do it, so can we, Gigabyte must have thought. Okay, Gigabyte won't be making processors anytime soon, but when it comes to compact PCs and especially motherboards we have full faith in Gigabyte. Intel has the Next Unit of Computing (NUC), and Gigabyte now has released its interpretation of the compact PC with the Brix.


Measuring 11.4 cm x 10.8 cm x 3.2 cm, the Gigabyte Brix will even fit in the palm of your hand. It's thinner than the Intel NUS which is 3.9 cm high. 

Gigabyte Brix GB-XM11-3337

Like the Intel NUC, the Brix is closer to a laptop than a desktop in terms of hardware. The barebone chassis comes with two DDR3 SO-DIMM RAM slots, an mSATA SSD and an MiniCard wireless card. Gigabyte does include the wireless card, as those aren't always so easy to find. So you need to add at least one RAM module and an mSATA module before you can get started.

Gigabyte Brix GB-XM11-3337

There are two monitor connectors on the back, HDMI and Mini DisplayPort, along with a gigabit network port. There's a USB 3.0 port on both the front and the back. What's a little impractical is that the USB ports are upside down, however. These are good features for such a small system, but it's strange that there are no analog audio jacks for speakers or a headset. A 65-watt PSU and cable are included, and we mention this because you don't get a cable for the PSU with the Intel NUC. The box also includes a frame for mounting the mini PC on a VESA mount on the back of a TV or monitor, or even onto a wall.


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