I’ve had a Gigabyte Brix GB-BKi5HA-7200 for a while now.
This is about the 3rd Mini system that I’ve had. Maybe fourth if you include one that I built from parts. This one has:
- Intel® Core™ i5-7200U Processor
- 8GB RAM
- M.2 120GB SSD
- 60GB 2.5 inch SATA SSD
Linux Mint Fails in 4K
It was running Linux Mint 18 and recently Linux Mint 19. And this was working fine, except recently I upgraded the monitor to a Samsung 40″ 4K TV – UN40MU6300FXZA. I found the Refurbished TV for about $290 for sale by Walmart a couple of months ago. This is quite a good price for this Samsung 6300 level TV.
Since I use this mini system to display photos and game screen shots a large high-rez display is just the thing. However, Linux Mint has never supported the display correctly.
As you can see, when in 4K [3840×2160], the display is sliced up and repeated across the screen. It works fine in 1920×1080 mode on Linux. From all the reading of the processor and TV specs, it looked like it should work fine and when I use a long HDMI cable to plug the TV into a Windows 10 system with a GTX 1060 card, it works fine too in 4K.
I am using a pair of 2K monitors through a IOGear Displayport switch and Linux Mint works just fine with that using a GTX 1050 card, which has DisplayPort output.
After spending a couple of days on various forums trying to understand and fix the problem on the BRIX with no luck, I had the bright idea of just trying Windows 10 directly on the system. So I made a Windows 10 install Thumb drive, removed the M.2 Sata, to avoid messing up the Linux Install with Windows 10, and installed Windows 10 on the 60GB SATA SSD. Worked like a charm and brought the monitor right up in 4K without problems.
Windows 10 Install
I made a USB Stick Installer using the Microsoft Media creation tool and plugged that into the Brix. Be sure you choose the choice for install on another computer so it gets all the drivers etc for another system. The install went without a hitch. I made sure I chose an “Offline Account” and gave false answers for all the secret questions. Ha Ha.
At first the monitor came up with 1024×768 and I began wondering how to get the driver required, but in a couple of minutes the display fixed itself. A notification indicated that the correct driver had been found and installed automagically. And the system went directly to 4K mode. It went to 300% scaling, but I set that back to 200% since I don’t need the apps and panels taking up that much space.
Windows 10 took a little over 20GB of the disk and after seeing a message about network discovery, I could see the rest of the systems on my local network.
I assume that Intel has not been as careful about their drivers for Linux. But clearly the Intel CPU graphics and the TV are just fine with 4K.
Windows 10 cost me $120 and I had to activate it to “Personalize” the system which included turning off the screen saver and lock screen so that the slide shows will just continue to run without stopping. I investigated an OEM Windows install from NewEgg, but I would have had to wait several days for them to ship that to me. It said something on Newegg about a “Digital Delivery” option, but that link was basically broken and I could not find the option to purchase an OEM version for $100 rather than the $120 from Microsoft.
Sigh. But it works great.