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Gigabyte debuts Skylake equipped Brix mini-PC at CES 2016

When you can have a credit card sized PCB powering all sorts of connected devices, you know it should be possible to get a high powered CPU inside a package not that much bigger. That’s certainly the case with Gigabyte’s new BRIX mini PCs, which it’s been showing off at CES 2016. The micro-systems come complete with whatever Skylake chip you want, all the way up to a Core i7.

As small as these systems are, they’re still big enough to fit a 2.5 inch hard drive, or SSD if you prefer, as well as a M.2 SSD. That gives the Brix a huge storage potential, and there’s plenty of space for volatile memory too, with twin DDR3L-1600 SODIMM Slots, so if you find the right modules you could fit 32GB of RAM in there.

Graphically it’s no power-house, but comes with an Intel HD Graphics 520 core on-board the CPU, and that should be more than capable for general office tasks, web browsing and media viewing. Its overall capability will really depend on the choice of CPU.

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Externally there’s a number of USB 3.0 ports, mostly in the Type-A configuration, though there will be some BRIX models that come with Type-C. Those will be compatible with Thunderbolt 3, which offers bandwidth up to 40Gbps and the ability to fast charge external USB devices.

Each BRIX also comes equipped with a pair of headphone and microphone jacks, as well as HDMI, mini DisplayPort outputs and a Gigabit Ethernet port. Wirelessly you can connect it via Bluetooth 4.2, or dual band 802.11 ac Wi-Fi.

To celebrate the new generation of BRIX hardware, Gigabyte even changed up the exterior chassis. It’s now a little bigger, measuring in at 46.8 x 112.6 x 119.4mm, rather than 46.8 x 107.6 x 114.4mm. Its casing is also now a silver, brushed aluminium rather than glossy black.

In truth, the BRIX line isn’t much different from Intel’s NUC, but it’s nice to have options. Unfortunately, pricing and availability weren’t announced. That’s a bit disappointing given that Intel’s Skylake NUCs are already available.