I’m sat at a relatively teensy Alienware X51 – about the size of an Xbox and packing several more punches. But all of these manufacturers are determined to get my eyes wandering with ever-more-compact PCs. The Xi3 Piston is priced on just the right side of silly to keep my affections from straying, but this one’s somewhat harder to resist.
You remember the size your dog was when you went to see her for the first time? When she looked dozily up into your eyes from your walm palm? The Gigabyte Brix II is about that size.
The company’s Brix lineup launched earlier this year. The idea was to fit powerful laptop processors into very small places – 4.5 inches wide places – and the latest models are fitted with new Haswell processors.
One of the newest makes good use of Intel’s 65W Iris Pro chips, which aim to stop ‘integrated’ and ‘graphics’ from becoming dirty words in conjunction. Intel have said they’re about level with Nvidia’s discrete GeForce GT 650M chip.
The crux of all this is that the Brix II is fairly nifty, despite being small enough to lose. The Verge played Dirt II on one at San Francisco’s 2013 Intel Developer Forum this week, and said it looked and played something lovely at 1080p. Intel claim the box can handle Crysis 3 – which, just as Crytek had hoped, seems to have become the benchmark to boast about.
Along the sides of that box, they’ve also found space for HDMI and Mini DisplayPort output, four USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port and a 3.5mm audio jack. And on the inside, there’s wi-fi.
But let’s talk cost: $499-599. Not bad, but you’ll have to bring your own memory, hard drive and OS to complete the package.
I picked up a cheap USB Xbox receiver from Amazon at the weekend, and have spent the days since trying to play everything with twin sticks, on my laptop, in bed. I’m about five years late to the party, but still feel like I’m living in the future.
I do rather like the idea of popping that controller into my bag next to a proper gaming PC of about the same size. What do you reckon?
The Brix II is set to ship in December.