Gigabyte BRIX Gaming UHD Review With Teardown And Rebuild Action

Gigabyte BRIX Gaming UHD: Bioshock, Shadow of Mordor, & Thief

Bioshock Infinite
Explore the Sky-Lines
BioShock Infinite was game-of-the-year material back in the day. The floating city of Columbia is one of the most evocative, intense, and gorgeous environments we've ever seen in a PC game -- but how much you like it may depend on what sort of visual wizardry you prefer. BioShock Infinite is built on Unreal Engine 3, and while it pushes that framework's capabilities into the stratosphere, there's a clear difference between BioShock Infinite and, say, Crysis 3. BioShock Infinite emphasizes light, color and motion, and while the characters look more exaggerated and cartoon-like than some other games, they still look great. We tested the game at various resolutions with its DX11 code path with DOF effects enabled.

gigabyte brix gaming uhd bm bioshock

Here, we get to see the not-insignificant bump in performance we get from even an entry level GPU like the GTX 950 over an integrated solution. The Iris Pro 580 represents the highest-end offering from Intel at the consumer level, which only affords a third of the performance we see in the GTX 950. On a different note, we see that despite the higher average framerates offered by the Alpha R2 here, the BRIX Gaming UHD provides a more consistent framerate with better minimums - again a sign of better cooling and stronger performance.

Shadow of Mordor
Glorious Orc-Slaying Vengance
Monolith's surprisingly fun Orc-slaying title delivers a ton of visual fidelity even at the lowest quality settings. So, to maximize eye candy while also heavily taxing the cards, we typically run the game's built in benchmark with its Ultra quality settings at various resolutions, topping out at 4K on these tricked-out dragster gaming PCs. For the BRIX Gaming UHD and company, we dialed things back to Medium quality settings to give them a fair shake.

gigabyte brix gaming uhd bm mordor 1080
gigabyte brix gaming uhd bm mordor

With some of the visual flair disabled here, the difference between integrated and discrete graphics is a little less pronounced, but the GTX 950 still enjoys double the framerate that the Iris Pro 580 can muster. We also turn our attention to a spectrum of higher resolutions with Mordor. This time, the BRIX Gaming UHD suffers the greater framerate hits, but even still only just misses playable framerates at 4K. Sure, we could turn the detail down even further, but most gamers would probably prefer to drop down 1440p at that point.

DirectX 11 Gaming Performance
Square Enix set the tone for Thief by saying, "Garrett, the Master Thief, steps out of the shadows into the City. In this treacherous place, where the Baron’s Watch spreads a rising tide of fear and oppression, his skills are the only things he can trust. Even the most cautious citizens and their best-guarded possessions are not safe from his reach." The Thief series has been popular for years, not only for its interesting story lines and unique gameplay, but because the games have consistently featured excellent graphics and imagery, and leveraged bleeding edge technology, like AMD's Mantle API, for example.

gigabyte brix gaming uhd bm thief

Finally, our Thief benchmarks confirm the performance profile established with other titles. Again, not spectacular, but certainly good enough for passing the time on your favorite sofa.

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