Intel's Tiger Lake launch was focused on ultrabooks and notebooks, as various SKUs with TDP ranging from 7 to 28W were launched. The performance of Intel's low-power parts (U- and Y-series) have been good enough to land them inside small and ultra-compact form-factor systems. These systems have become a big hit in the market (not least, Intel's own NUC systems) since they gained prominence in the early 2010s. Vendors such as ASRock, ASUS, ECS, and GIGABYTE also jumped on this bandwagon to market 'NUCs' under their own branding. GIGABYTE was one of the early ones to do so with their BRIX series of mini-PCs. These SFF and UCFF systems find applications in multiple areas including content creation, productivity, and gaming, as well as embedded systems applications such as digital signage.

Intel's Tiger Lake-based NUCs (Panther Canyon and Phantom Canyon) are an open secret in tech circles. ASRock Industrial's Tiger Lake NUCs such as the NUC BOX-1165G7 have also been hinted at in Intel's marketplace - a retail follow-up to the embedded market-focused iBOX 1100 and NUC 1100 solutions. GIGABYTE, however, became the first vendor to officially announce Tiger Lake-based mini-PCs targeting the retail market with the launch of the GIGABYTE BRIX PRO. Three models (BSi3-1115G4, BSi5-1135G7, and the BSi7-1165G7) are being introduced. Their specifications are summarized in the table below.

GIGABYTE BRIX PRO (Tiger Lake-U) Lineup
Model BSi3-1115G4 BSi5-1135G7 BSi7-1165G7
CPU Intel Core i3-1115G4
2C/4T
1.7 - 4.1 GHz (3.0 GHz)
12 - 28 W (28W)
Intel Core i5-1135G7
4C/8T
0.9 - 4.2 GHz (2.4 GHz)
12 - 28 W (28W)
Intel Core i7-1165G7
4C/8T
1.2 - 4.7 GHz (2.8 GHz)
12 - 28 W (28W)
GPU Intel® UHD Graphics for 11th Gen Intel® Processors (48EU) @ 1.25 GHz Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics (80EU) @ 1.3 GHz Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics (96EU) @ 1.3 GHz
DRAM Two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots
Up to 64 GB of DDR4-3200 in dual-channel mode
Motherboard 3.5" SBC
Storage SSD 1x M.2-2280 (PCIe 4.0 x4 (CPU-direct))
1x M.2-2280 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
DFF 1 ×  SATA III Port (for SATA DOM? No space for 2.5-inch drive?)
Wireless Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
2x2 802.11ax Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5.1 module
Ethernet 1 × GbE port (Intel I219-V)
1 × 2.5 GbE port (Intel I225-V)
USB Front 4 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
Rear 2 × USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
Thunderbolt 1 x Thunderbolt 4 (Type-C Rear Panel)
Display Outputs 4 × HDMI 2.0a
1 × DisplayPort 1.4 (using Thunderbolt 4 Type-C)
(Only four simultaneous display outputs are supported)
Audio 1 × 3.5mm audio jack (Realtek ALC255)
PSU External (135W)
Warranty Typical, varies by country
Dimensions Length: 196.2 mm
Width: 140 mm
Height: 44.4 mm
MSRP ? ? ?

THe Tiger Lake-based BRIX PRO eschews the NUC form-factor (approx. 4"x4" / 100mm x 100mm) for a 3.5" single-board computer one that is popular in embedded markets. The motherboard's actual dimensions are 5.75" x 4" (146mm x 102mm), and the system's dimensions come in at 196.2mm x 44.4mm x 140mm. At 1.16L in volume, it is still a compact machine. The Tiger Lake-U processors in the BRIX PRO units are configured to run at their maximum cTDPup of 28W.

One of the unique aspects of the units is the availability of 4x HDMI 2.0 ports - each capable of driving a 4Kp60 display. In addition, a Thunderbolt 4 port (with a display output capability of 8Kp60) is also available. The system can drive four of those five display outputs simultaneously. Segments of the chassis are metallic, allowing for the Wi-Fi antenna to magnetically clasp to it.

The Tiger Lake-U processor can be configured with different PL2 values depending on the power delivery circuitry. GIGABYTE believes that the robustness of its board design, coupled with the 135W external power adapter can sustain upwards of 70W for the PL2 setting.

Retail availability of the new BRIX PRO units is expected in November 2020. Pricing hasn't been announced yet. GIGABYTE also hinted at the possibility of UCFF BRIX systems sporting Tiger Lake-U processors reaching the market soon.

Source: GIGABYTE

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  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    That's quite a large case for a system that can't fit a 2.5" drive. Nice selection of ports though. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    "These systems have become an big hit"

    'a' bit hit.
    Reply
  • ingwe - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    The gaming scenario with an eGPU is something I am very interested in and will likely pursue instead of a true desktop in the future. Seems like a good balance of upgradeability (and power) while keeping a small size. Reply
  • antonkochubey - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    That's dumb; you could make a mini-ITX build in smaller volume, for less money, and with more upgradeability than this+it's power brick+eGPU. Reply
  • MASSAMKULABOX - Saturday, October 3, 2020 - link

    I suspect the price of the egpu enclosure will dispppoint you ... $600+ and it includes a power supply. Better to just game on these IGPu ata alower resolution,,, job done muchos bux saved Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    Very interested to see the sort of performance numbers Tiger Lake can put out with a 70W PL2. Judging by the difference between 15W and 28W I'd imagine it's not Earth-shattering, but still, that's a lot of headroom to play with.

    Also interested to see how Xe performs with DDR4 3200.
    Reply
  • OFelix - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    Why does the spec list show USB 3.2 rather than USB4? Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    The only USB4 port is the Thunderbolt 4 port. The rest are all USB 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps ports only. Reply
  • OFelix - Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - link

    Is that likely to be common? I was expecting that Tiger Lake systems would have multiple TB4 and multiple USB-4 ports?

    I don't have anything to plug in to those ports yet, but for future proofing it would be good.

    A single TB4/USB4 port on the entire system is very disappointing :-(
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, October 1, 2020 - link

    You should brace yourself :) USB4 is not going to be what many people think. Many folks have been led to understand that Thunderbolt 3 = USB4, but the specifications actually have the PCIe component of Thunderbolt 3 as 'optional' - so, you could have a Type-C port in a system that the manufacturer claims to be USB4, but support ONLY USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds (that is 10Gbps). And, that is just for starters.... Reply

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