Brix Gigabyte he will make a good Steam Machine?

Is it possible to play in suitable conditions, with the machine Gigabyte?

The small dimensions of this housing are obviously the first argument of this product, but also potentially one of its faults: the image of what we had achieved in our file on ultrabooks for players, we obviously interested in issues heating and noise that can result.

Gigabyte Brix Pro, an impressive compactness Brix housing is not an aesthetic model, at least for us. The glossy plastic, placed at the top, much brand, and all the strength not breathing. But when we received the Brix Pro Gigabyte to the editor, responses were unanimous: the size of the mini-PC deceived, but undeniable.

It must be said that the dimensions of this mini-PC is really amazing. Even compared to a NUC or a Mac Mini. While the case is thicker (49.5 mm), but its width and depth (102 by 116.6 mm) are not commensurate with what existed previously, or Cubox Raspberry Pi excluded.

Both machines have no effect on the claims of the Brix Pro, especially in terms of gaming. Because the machine Gigabyte boards, in its least expensive version, Core i5-4570R and Iris Pro 5200. Without offending the Raspberry Pi, the use is not the same.

Iris Pro 5200, we were testing late last year (see Intel Mobile Haswell: finally autonomy) is the cornerstone of this machine. This IGP is supposed to display enough performance to play without occupying additional space, since it is part of the Intel processor. It is expected to provide performance / space particularly interesting, in the image of what is trying to achieve with its AMD APU, since the acquisition of ATI and its Project Fusion.

So based on a Core i5-4570R (or a Core i7-4770R, for the most high-end version), it must also Brix Pro compactness to ITX motherboard or the SO-DIMM memory, those found on laptops. It is also easy to draw a parallel between an ultrabook and the Brix Pro: Machine Gigabyte could be summarized in an ultrabook configuration in a format (very) particular.

Except that mobile processors (particularly those of ultrabooks) have a thermal envelope which remains under 40-50 W maximum. Gold Brix Pro processors which are equipped with the TDP is 65 W, and the extreme compactness of this machine imposes a smaller cooling system. The radiator, which covers much of the motherboard, remains indeed very end as is the fan whose role is to remove the heat via an airduct too thin.

Despite the openings provided by Gigabyte in its case, is there to fear a risk of overheating? Not necessarily, if this fan in the Brix Pro running fast enough. But in this case, it is the noise that become annoying … In this field, Gigabyte announces acoustic pressure of 24.3 dB (A) at rest and 35.9 dB (A) supported.

There are however two areas in which the compactness of the Brix Pro imposes no particular sacrifice. The connection, first of all, is sufficient for most uses: a jack and two USB 3.0 ports on the front, two in back of the machine, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, HDMI output and even a second mini-size -displayPort.

The connectivity of the device does not suffer either compromise: the Brix Pro supports Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi 802.11n.

Finally, note that the Brix Pro is a barebone. This means that the markets without Gigabyte RAM or storage media (and thus without operating system). You must therefore add a SATA 6Gbps hard drive (2.5-inch format, 7 or 9 mm), unless you prefer to use the mSATA connector (the Brix has two on Core Version i7, one on the Core i5) provided by the manufacturer. Regarding the RAM, the machine Gigabyte can accommodate up to 16GB of DDR3L via two SO-DIMM slots (whose frequency is limited to 1 600 MHz).

Brix Pro comes with a VESA mount and a transformer whose dimensions are not really consistent compared with those of the case, it is the least we can say …