Gigabyte has announced the launch of a newcomer to their stable of Brix computers, the AMD-powered BXA8G-8890 Gaming. Powered by all-AMD hardware, Gigabyte hopes to launch the BXA8G-8890 in Q1 2014 and will target gamers and home users who are looking for a small machine that packs enough punch to belie its incredibly small size. The BXA8G-8890 is only Gigabyte’s second AMD-powered Brix personal computer, following up from the much weaker BXA8-5545 designed for low-performance workloads and quiet operation.
The red-on-black colour scheme pokes fun at Gigabyte’s Brix Pro, which has a black-on-red scheme and features Intel’s Core i5-4570R processor with Iris Pro graphics. The BXA8G-8890 aims to be a lot cheaper than Gigabyte’s usual offerings and shoves in quite a lot of hardware for such a small package. Take a quick peek at the specs Gigabyte has settled on.
|Gigabyte BXA8G-8890 Gaming|
|Processor||AMD Richland A8-5557M quad-core|
|Graphics (integrated)||AMD Radeon HD8550G (VLIW4)|
|Graphics (discrete)||AMD Radeon R9 M275X (GCN)|
|Graphics memory||HD8550G shared system memory, R9 M275X 2GB GDDR5|
|Supported memory||DDR3-L 1333-1600MHz 1.35v, max 16GB|
|Network connectivity||Realtech Gigabit LAN, 802.11ac wireless with Bluetooth 4.0|
|Expansion slots||1x mSATA, 1x mPCI-E, 1x SATA (6.0GB/s support)|
|Ports||4x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI 1.4a, 1x mini-Displayport, 1x RJ45 LAN, 1x 3.5mm headphone plug|
It appears that even though Gigabyte is confident in the system’s gaming capability, it decided to beef up the graphics capability with a discrete graphics card instead of requiring buyers to invest in expensive DDR3-L 1866MHz memory, which is hard to come by at this stage. The A8-5557M APU is a mobile part, as is the Radeon R9 M275X and together they should be able to provide enough power for acceptable gaming at 720p with high settings and 1080p with low-to-medium settings. Its at the bottom of what can be achieved by modern consoles, but it is a good indication of AMD’s ability in such a small chassis. That being said, it would have been a better fit to have a Kaveri-based processor here instead.
Although Gigabyte clearly aims this at gamers, there’s no accommodation for power users who want to set up an Eyefinity monitor group on the cheap. Doing this would require the use of a Displayport hub, as the system cannot power more than two monitors using the HDMI and mini-Displayport connector. It is capable of powering a UltraHD 4K monitor, though it would be better suited to playing back 4K media and general work on the desktop rather than gaming use at that resolution.
One benefit to the Brix is that most models come with a VESA mounting bracket, allowing you to place it behind your monitor out of view. This makes it more ideal if you’re looking to save on desk space, although twisting yourself to find an open USB port might be a little awkward.
Gigabyte’s BXA8G-8890 Gaming launches just in time to be in line for Valve’s SteamOS, which is expected to complete its beta phase this year and release to the general public. Would you buy, or play on, one of these machines? Let us know in the comments below and in our forums.
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