Gigabyte @ CES 2014

Gigabyte was focused mainly at the PC high-end, but there were a few tidbits for HTPC enthusiasts as well. The BRIX was probably the most interesting thing in the bunch though with several different options either just out, or coming soon.

Gigabyte had two Thin ITX systems at the show, which was great to see. Unfortunately neither has the Custom Solutions Header (HTPC_HEADER) or Consumer IR, so they can’t quite provide the complete solution that Intel was providing before. If your tastes run toward building a gaming HTPC, they do have several high quality options both on the motherboard and GPU front. I don’t follow that space closely enough to provide any useful insight, but it was great to chat about what features Gigabyte is delivering to that market. Unfortunately, none of the mid-range boards offered DisplayPort, which at least for me, removes them from the list for standard desktop use. HDMI is included though, so they would be suitable for HTPC.

Gigabyte introduced the BRIX last year, and this year they rev’d the lineup from Ivy Bridge to Haswell. This includes an Iris Pro option. If you need more GPU in the BRIX, there are plans to bring out an Intel and AMD based BRIX Gaming system with MXM graphics. The current plan is that you will buy a complete system from Gigabyte (via retail channel) and won’t be able to à la carte different GPUs, but that might change if they see a market for it. For those with lower computing needs there will also be a BRIX based on Bay Trail, and a combo BRIX projector (have to wait a while for the 1080p one). Most intriguing was the Android based BRIX MAX, which besides the NAS functionality will have Google Play store. Unfortunately, we will have to wait to find out when the BRIX Gaming, Projector, & NAS will come out and how much Gigabyte will want for them.