GIGABYTE has updated its BRIX family of small form-factor PCs with Intel’s latest Core processors featuring the optimized Kaby Lake microarchitecture. The new systems are promoted to offer better performance than their predecessors, but are otherwise identical to BRIX PC powered by Intel’s Skylake processors: they support DDR4-2133 memory, M.2-2280 NVMe SSDs, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, USB Type-C connectors and use Intel NICs. Apart from performance, the notable improvement the new BRIX systems have are HDMI 2.0 outputs which we suspect to be via provided via an onboard LSPCON.

As Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake-U CPUs are drop-in compatible with motherboards supporting the Skylake-U chips, GIGABYTE uses exactly the same chassis for the new BRIX PCs featuring previous-gen processors: one is 0.46 L in volume and another is a bit larger at 0.6 L. Meanwhile, the new PCs also have better CPU and GPU performance due to higher frequency and improved architecture. Besides, the latest BRIX PCs come with HDMI 2.0 outputs, thus supporting 4K (4096×2160 pixels at 60 Hz) resolution (the HDCP 2.2 tech compulsory for certain content is supported). By contrast, the predecessors of the new BRIX systems only had HDMI 1.4b connectors (they still had mDP 1.2 ports with 4Kp60 support).

  

GIGABYTE BRIX SFF PCs Based on Intel's Kaby Lake CPUs
  0.6 L with 2.5-in
'HA'
0.46 L without 2.5-in
'A'
  GB-BKi7HA-7500 GB-BKi5HA-7200 GB-BKi3HA-7100 GB-BKi7A-7500 GB-BKi5A-7200 GB-BKi3A-7100
CPU i7-7500U
2C/4T
2.7 GHz
3.7 GHz
i5-7200U
2C/4T
2.5 GHz
3.1 GHz
i3-7100U
2C/4T
2.4 GHz
i7-7500U
2C/4T
2.7 GHz
3.7 GHz
i5-7200U
2C/4T
2.5 GHz
3.1 GHz
i3-7100U
2C/4T
2.4 GHz
GPU HD Graphics 620
24 EUs
up to 1050 MHz
RAM 2×DDR4-2133 SO-DIMMs (up to 32 GBs)
SSD Up to M.2-2280 SSDs
HDD 2.5"/9.5 mm -
GbE Intel i219LM
Wi-Fi Intel 3168 1×1 802.11ac + BT 4.2
(via M.2 2230 card)
I/O USB 3.1 (10 Gbps) via ASMedia ASM1142
1×USB 3.1 Type-C
1×USB 3.1 Type-A
2×USB 3.0 Type-A
Video 1×HDMI 2.0 (HDCP2.2) via LSPCon
1×DisplayPort 1.2
Audio Realtek ALC255 (ALC3234, an ALC268 variant)
TRRS and HDMI connectors
Size H: 46.8 mm
W: 112.6 mm
L: 119.4 mm
H: 34.4 mm
W: 112.6 mm
L: 119.4mm
Full
Specs
GB-BKi7HA-7500 GB-BKi5A-7200 GB-BKi3A-7100 GB-BKi7A-7500 GB-BKi5HA-7200 GB-BKi3HA-7100

The audio codec is perhaps a downside, with a laptop-class ALC255 in use, however we see an Intel NIC on board which is typically a requirement for embedded management systems. I would suspect that GIGABYTE will offer these units with vPro enabled hardware/software to specific business customers if needed.

Since GIGABYTE BRIX SFF systems are barebones, end-users or systems integrators will have to equip them with their own DDR4-2133 SO-DIMM memory, an M.2 SSD and/or a 2.5” hard drive (0.6 L BRIX PCs only). Since the computers are based on Intel’s Core i-series mobile processors in BGA packaging, they cannot be upgraded with better CPUs and GPUs. As there's no Thunderbolt 3, there's no provision for external GPUs with Kaby Lake at this time.

GIGABYTE did not announce recommended prices or release dates of the new BRIX systems, but MSRPs should be similar compared to existing SFF PCs based on Intel’s Skylake processors. As for availability, typically we see devices like this on sale in 2-4 weeks after the manufacturer lists them on their website.

Source: GIGABYTE

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  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - link

    I wonder, other than being overpriced like all tech, how the 620 performs compared to the HD 540 on the Surface Pro 4? Dolphin runs pretty darn well on the 540 so hopefully the 620, at least, provides the same or improved performance. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - link

    Yeah no. Barking up the wrong tree. Despite being a newer generation, the intel 540 is an iris part, with 48EUs and 64MB of cache. The 620 is only 24EUs with no cache. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, October 13, 2016 - link

    Yep. I'm worried they're going to ditch the crystal well concept and eventually Iris will be eDRAM-less. It certainly seems to be moving in that direction. My Mac Mini has 128mb Iris cache and it's basically the difference between being able to run games on Steam and not being able to run games on Steam at native resolution. I know because I had a 2012 Mac Mini that was QUAD core (all the new ones are dual core only) and even with the best Ivy Bridge GPU it was crap compared to Haswell/Crystal Well's GPU, even if I lost 2 physical CPU cores. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, October 13, 2016 - link

    "eventually Iris will be eDRAM-less" Aren't there already Iris SKUs which are EDRAM-less? Like The 5100? Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, October 13, 2016 - link

    that's going backwards, not forwards. Starting with skylake, all iris parts had EDRAM. 64MB on non pro parts.

    I dont think intel will get ris of it on kaby lake. gigabyte has never used the 15 watt iris parts. Intel seems consistent in making them though. Would be nice to get some more laptops using them.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, October 13, 2016 - link

    Yes, I know the specs but UNTIL the benchmarks appear we do not know. Plus the Surface is a thin chassis while the Brix... Reply
  • briand095 - Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - link

    Had a BRIX once, up and died on me for some reason. Went to NUCs and haven't had any issues for years. If this truly has HDMI 2.0 it will be a good candidate as a Kodi box, as I believe only the NUC6i7KYK has HDMI 2.0 Reply
  • XZerg - Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - link

    I believe the dimensions are switched as the without 2.5" is taller than with 2.5". Reply
  • Amoro - Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - link

    I hate how they call them i7's and i5's but they're all dual-core. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - link

    It's not a new thing for them to sell dual core i7s. Intel's mobile i-series chips have been getting branded as 5 & 7 since the branding was first introduced with Arrandale six or so years ago.

    http://ark.intel.com/products/49666/Intel-Core-i7-...

    It doesn't work well for people who live largely in a desktop PC world to translate i5 and i7 over to their mobile and low-voltage counterparts, but this isn't a new problem. I don't agree with the branding either, but it has deep roots these days so it shouldn't come as s surprise.
    Reply

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