Prototype SteamBox Specs Revealed!

By Jim Rossignol on October 5th, 2013 at 9:46 am.


Valve have posted up a range of specs for the Steam Box prototype – or prototypes, as they have varied CPU and gfx cards – three hundred of which are going to be sent out to early sign ups. They explain: “The prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts. It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to. Apart from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by shopping for components and assembling it themselves. And we expect that at least a few people will do just that. (We’ll also share the source CAD files for our enclosure, in case people want to replicate it as well.)”


The full details are just over here.

And the stats are:

The 300 prototype units will ship with the following components:
GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
CPU: some boxes with Intel i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB GDDR5 (GPU)
Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high

Valve expand on the idea behind these prototypes, saying: “And to be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase – those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.”

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237 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Dimonte says:

    So this is a coup for Nvidia. Interesting. It would be even more interesting to see the prices. Titans are considered excessively overpriced by many people, wonder if Valve gets a bulk discount or will sell at loss.

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      Weird. Considering the state of drivers there is an amd shaped hole in these specs, large enough to fit a bulldozer through. I’d prefer them to keep pushing both parties to higher standards by including them in these prototypes.

      The picture now is: It’s a totally open platform, as long as open means intel and nvidia hardware.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Intel and nVidia are the least dysfunctional to get working under Linux, and SteamOS is a Linux distribution. I guess they’re going for pragmatism rather than trying to put pressure on AMD by making the initial wave of their product miserable to use.

        • pegolius says:

          The last time I checked nVidia on Linux was still a complete hack. Up until a short while ago all drivers were ugly code beasts, binary-only without proper source code released, And the current open source nouveau drivers are a thing to laugh about when it comes to performance. Yes, nVidia works on Linux, but not in the way it is meant to work. Intel has proper driver releases for Linux but the hardware is not really there for gaming in my opinion.

          • LionsPhil says:

            And AMD is a hell of crashes and lock-ups. So, y’know. Lesser evils, pragmatism.

          • MrPyro says:

            That’s still pretty much the case. However, while the Nvidia binary drivers aren’t wonderful in terms of the open source philosophy, they do actually run pretty well and give good performance.

          • Awesumo says:

            When you have a single setup for all Steam boxes, you only have to sort Linux driver problems out one time (plus once per bugged game), so the end user will never see these problems (some poor soul at Steam will be tasked).

          • SaVi says:

            Implying that Gaben actually cares about any sort of Open Source philosophy that doesn’t directly benefit Valve.

            About Nvidia as a first choice, I believe Valve just wen’t what is used most often in their hardware surveys.

          • uh20 says:

            last i checked the nvidia drivers was a single click from a fancy-ol utility provided by ubuntu

            i do have to illiterate though that some people will end up downloading the driver from the nvidia website, which is a big no-no because they are essentially the unsimplified versions of the driver that requires you do do this wierd file and no gui thingy.

            to top this all off, nvidia just last 2 months released a linux driver that had higher multi-monitor support than windows (people managed to set up to 7 monitors up just fine), then they then dropped this feature for “parity”.

            edit: I just found article, nvidia added egl and a crapton of fixes to the latest driver, and although it’s still a bad idea, they made “their” installer more friendly.

          • jaypettitt says:

            Not sure how it will play out for open source drivers. I’d guess that AMD and Nvidia will want to keep some of their secret recepies close to their chests and deliver good quality but proprietary drivers.

            I’d also guess that the reason for the strong Nvidia slant with the steam box specs is just because Nvidia have been working with Valve to make some early improved drivers that have been working out quite well. I’m sure there’ll be showings from Intel and AMD soon enough; what with a lot of people having AMD and Intel stuff.

          • Mildoze says:

            ITT: People who fail to recognize the fact that it is an OS developed by Valve BASED on the linux kernel. Pretty much everything else has been custom built beyond that to operate the steam client as a full service OS. So throw everything about Ubuntu or whatever the hell ver. you use. That wont apply to 99% of the conversations about compatibility with regards to drivers as they will have their own set of drivers for SteamOS. As a side point of conjecture; I’d be willing to bet quite a bit of the preference for Nvidia here is due in large to the partnership with Valve in the past with the nvidia shield. This sample of SteamBoxes are only just that. There will likely end up being a very wide range of components going into machines in the future, including AMD’s with all sorts of cool overclocking and customization to be had. To further give justification of the lack of AMD in this lineup, they probably all tied up with the next gen consoles just around the corner and making sure Sony and MS are happy with their gpu’s.

          • Jad says:

            binary-only without proper source code released

            Somewhat relevant for standard Linux distros, particularly free-focused ones like Debian, not at all relevant for SteamOS, which will be chock-full of proprietary, non-free software. After all, Steam itself is a DRM system with the primary function of selling a library almost entirely comprised of closed-source games.

            Complaining that the Nvidia drivers on SteamOS are closed-source is only slighly less ridiculous than complaining that they are closed-source on Windows.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Torvalds, like Stallman, gets far more attention than he deserves, and is prone to mouthing off.

          • pegolius says:

            The thing is that Torvalds deserves every bit of attention he gets because without him we would not talk about a SteamOS or SteamBox. He might be vocal about this thing but so far he keeps the kernel in good health, which is really the most important job there is.

          • Mario Figueiredo says:

            And what’s your point exactly, pegolius? That we should listen to every single word coming from his mouth and not question it? Or perhaps that NVIDIA execs aren’t worth of any respect despite ensuring the continuation of a company serving high end tech?

          • Nesetalis says:

            yep, remember it perfectly, and for anyone whos tried to develop on linux with nvidia crap at a low level.. its impossible.
            you HAVE to use high level interactions. This is why he hates nvidia, cause his first love is low level coding, he doesn’t use high level languages most of the time.
            Nvidia has a closed source binary that only accepts very abstracted procedure calls…

          • Kageru says:

            Which is justified since he ultimately has to deal with people thinking Linux is shit because their Nvidia card is acting weird (or not acting at all) and being frustrated there’s nothing they can do about it.

      • jalf says:

        I suspect that most people who buy one of these will want a reliable system with good performance more than they want to be able to read the source code for the graphics driver.

        Just a hunch.

        If you somehow think that the existence of a binary driver makes the platform as a whole “not open”, then… well, good for you, I guess?

      • Lemming says:

        Nvidia have been working with Valve to get their drivers up to snuff for Linux, so it’s not surprising they are working with them. AMD never approached Valve, AFAIK.

      • YoFatManz says:

        Heat and power consumption are both concerns when trying to shrink down the amount of space being used. AMD doesn’t do as well with smaller spaces.

        • Grey Poupon says:

          Tell that to the next gen consoles. AMD’s APUs are probably going to be quite popular in the Steambox HTPCs. And Valve would be stupid not to support Mantle in SteamOS so AMDs drivers will most likely be a lot better in the future than what they are now. At least for EA and Activision games. Indie games might be a completely different matter. Either way it’ll be a very good next 6 months for PC gaming in general.

          • Premium User Badge

            drewski says:

            Next gen consoles can arrange their internal bits in whatever way they like – the Steambox will need to use some form of generic form factor to ensure upgradeability. Maybe the current AMD cards don’t fit in the box properly.

        • Faxmachinen says:

          The main reason I chose an NVidia card for my new ITX was that all the ATI cards were too long to fit.

      • Banana_Republic says:

        AMD has locked up all the next gen consoles. Nvidia needs something high profile to counter, not just for sales but for brand presence. I imagine that Valve would be able to translate that need into some fairly favorable cost reductions. Both hardware makers ARE still being pushed as a result and it’s on an industry wide scale, not just from one small segment of it.

      • stampy says:

        The current state of linux drivers is not good enough for a console-competitve consumer device, whether AMD or Nvidia. The problems might be different for each, but they have problems.

        The good thing about Nvidia here may be more about business than tech — since AMD is in the MS and Sony consoles, Nvidia now has a significant business interest in making sure that this works at a software level. If AMD had MS, Sony, and Steam? It wouldn’t be a big deal for them to continue half-assing the linux driver support, and the whole thing could be at risk.

        The open source community ought to be looking at this as a good thing, finally getting better commercial support for at least one maker of NVidia drivers. Looking at that as an “oh no but its only good if i get it from amd too!” is what holds back a lot of sectors of open source development… and really, the better job nvidia does, the better job amd will have to do in the future; so its a win even if you have dedicated your heart and soul to AMD. You will just have to wait a bit longer.

    • Borsook says:

      Amd simply makes the hardware for the competition, as consoles are a competition to steambox.

    • C0llic says:

      Anyone who has done any gaming on linux wouldnt be surprised by it being nvidia only. Nvidia has been the only card manufacturer that put any effort into decent drivers for linux systems. It’s always been pretty much the only choice if you want the option of gaming on something other than windows.

    • Rockman says:

      Without reading any of the replies you got I’ll just say that you must remember that this is a prototype created by valve, the released machines will not be sold by valve, they will be sold by any company who wants to do so, and they will put whatever hardware they want in the box. Some companies will sell cheap boxes, some will sell silent boxes, some will sell powerhouses, it’s these very differences that valve wants to push.

      Valve’s games have always been ‘best experienced with nVidia’ so it’s a no brainer they would release their prototype with nvidia hardware.

  2. Tjee says:

    Even if they do, these are machines aimed at the richest of gamers, they’ll try to put the margin as high as possible.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      I doubt that.

      It’ll be relatively high considering how much a home builder could do it for, but I shouldn’t imagine it’ll be prohibitive, Gabe is, afterall, trying to break in to this market and make the Steambox as attractive as possible to as many people as possible.

      I think he’s more concerned about market share than out and out profit.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Not necessarily. Remember, these are prototypes. The final system from Steam could well be an i3 or i5 paired with a 660 or 760. By the end of 2014, the 760/660 will be very cheap for Nvidia to make, since GK104 full is about the same size as a 560 Ti’s GF114.

      Plus next year will bring Maxwell, so 660 retail prices should be far below $200 anyway. Same for the Intel side of things, bulk discounts paired with year old tech should keep prices low.

      • nearly says:

        While I’m sure they’ll eventually have a range of machines (even if just low-end, mid-range, and high-end), I’m guessing the idea here is that they want (read: need) machines that, if unstable, can push high-end graphics in a small package. They don’t want testers on youtube with videos saying “well, this is the steambox, I guess things maybe kind of like okay on medium.” They can write off crashes/lock-ups with “it’s just a prototype,” but the actual performance when things are working right needs to be something people could be impressed by.

  3. huldu says:

    What a joke… It’s hard to take this serious.

  4. Morte66 says:

    Might one buy a Steambox for the looks and install Windows 8 on it?

    • Baggykiin says:

      It’s just a regular PC running a Linux distro, so yes, sure.

    • Borsook says:

      Have you ever made a clean Windows 8 install? Windows 8 without all the preinstalled drivers etc is much more hassle than any Linux distro. :) That said – technically there is no reason not to.

      • Smuckers says:

        I don’t know about that. I actually did a clean install earlier this year from an upgrade disc, and all i had to change was one small registry entry and boom, it was validated.

      • Jazzyboy says:

        I’ve clean installed Windows 8 about five times now and had no issues, drivers were all pre-installed without me having to do anything.(until I wanted to use a few of Nvidia’s optional tools, which aren’t installed by default, since they’re optional)

      • derbefrier says:

        Your insane a clean win8 install was the most painless easy install I have ever done.

    • C0llic says:

      I was with you until you said 8. This isnt a touch device. Why would you want to put windows 8 on there?

      • zakihashi says:

        I will answer this for you, it performance better on a gaming PC then what Windows 7 do. Especially with more then a single core on your CPU.

        • Mario Figueiredo says:

          Having used both operating systems on the same machine I don’t find the performance increase high enough to justify installing a windows version that half the world wants to see die in a fire.

        • airmikee99 says:

          Ever since beta, through release, and up until PC Advisor’s testing in an article just a couple of weeks ago, there is negligible difference between gaming on Win7 and Win8. The only difference is Win7 only has partial support for DirectX 11.1 while Win8 has full support, which is another negligible difference.

          If you have a touchscreen device, by all means, go with Win8. Considering the dismal Win8 adoption rate, Microsoft is going to have a hard time justifying keeping further DirectX updates out of Win7, and even if they do, until I get a touchscreen I won’t be picking up Win8.

  5. Premium User Badge

    dangermouse76 says:

    Fingers crossed I will get one. I built a GTX 660 with current i5 K series chip for around £550 including OS. So it would be interesting to see a sale price for a Steambox with specs in that area. Would they subsidise the box maybe ?

    Edit: Also I wonder how they will communicate to people the level of gaming their box will be capable of. Maybe the games will have something akin to a traffic light or colour coding system to indicate minimum specs to run.

    This is a yellow spot game or tier 3 game etc that will run on a correspondingly marked machine. It would make upgrades and purchasing easier for non-tech people.

    And I assume valve would want that in the future.

    • Bull0 says:

      RE: subsidy, it’s not totally outside the realms of feasibility given that they get a cut from all the game sales through Steam. If they do, I don’t expect it’ll be the kind of deep subsidy the other consoles get, but the product is heaps better, so it’s probably fine. But then this is valve – predictable they ain’t

      • Premium User Badge

        dangermouse76 says:

        Also if I can build a GTX 660 based machine for £550 ( xboxone £429 off Amazon ) Valve should be able to cut a better deal than that, plus a subsidy. Well that could make for something quite affordable on the medium range end of things.
        We live in interesting times.

      • RonnieBoy says:

        If it’s subsidised, and depending on how much the subsidy is, I can see people buying these and stripping out the better components for their own desktop machines.

        • Bull0 says:

          You’re right – if anything the fact that it’s built with off-the-shelf components probably pours a bit of cold water on the subsidy theory

          • SuicideKing says:

            Off-the-shelf essentially means standards compliant/compatible. I’m pretty sure Valve’s not going to mass produce this stuff based on Newegg orders.

          • Premium User Badge

            dangermouse76 says:

            I could see Valve partnering up with select OEM’s, hardware manufacturers, even Dell. I think given essentially the Steam OS on Linux is the key to their push. The wider industry has scope to produce boxes in a range of prices, specs, and designs ( although GTX 660 seems like a good base ).

            Also for OEM’s there is the benefit of no OS licence fee to shave the price down. I think Steam are playing the long game here 5-10 year set up. Steam OS on Linux ( as living-room box or home media server, etc ) is the intro that Xbox live on Xbox original meant for Microsoft.

          • Bull0 says:

            @SuicideKing in this case it literally means commercially available CPUs and GPUs, though. I’m obviously not suggesting they’re going to source said components through the retail channel.

          • SuicideKing says:

            @Bull0: I know, what i mean is exactly that – commercially available, but not to the point of retail prices. They’ll get it cheaper, is all i meant.

  6. DrManhatten says:

    Doubt these specs are accurate. Titan with a 450W power supply no chance in hell this is going to work. You need at least double that to run that card.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      I was just about to type that.

      There’s no way that’s a stable system with that PSU and any of those cards.

    • chopsan says:

      So you’ve tried running a Titan with a 450w psu then?
      ~500w is enough for pretty much any computers thats not running SLI. People like buying way more than they need to feel safe.

      • DrManhatten says:

        Yep seen it in action don’t run one personally but the power draw easily reaches 350W. Add another 70-90 for i7 and your pretty much at the limit that does not include hard disk, ram, chipset and any other peripherals, etc. 450 is too small if you want a stable system that doesn’t run out of steam after a month

    • Premium User Badge

      stahlwerk says:

      Titan is actually not that power hungry. With a TDP of 250 W a 450 W PSU should do just fine. At anandtech the full test bench system drew about 400 at the wall under load.
      http://www.anandtech.com/show/6774/nvidia-geforce-gtx-titan-part-2-titans-performance-unveiled/15

      The advantage of a designed system is that you do not need to overprovision things like PSU.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        Yep. I’m running a GTX 680 (550w “minimum” requirement) on a SilverStone 450w PSU, and it’s the most stable gaming system I’ve had to date.

        Some quick calculations show that the SteamBox with the Titan and i7 will consume at most 414W. Not that you’d need an i7 in a SteamBox, an i5 will do just fine.

      • fish99 says:

        Ahem… the article you linked says 429, plus PSUs aren’t 100% efficient, so a 450W would be …risky. There’s also a definite life-shortening effect from running a PSU that close to it’s limits. I suspect Valve just forgot to mention that Titan equipped units will have a beefier PSU.

        • Premium User Badge

          thedosbox says:

          Yes, PSU’s are not 100% efficient – but anandtech’s measurements were at the wall (i.e. input). Hence, the output from the PSU is going to be somewhere between 85%-90% of those numbers – or less than 400W.

          • jon_hill987 says:

            PSU measurements are on the output.

          • Premium User Badge

            thedosbox says:

            “PSU measurements are on the output.”

            Yes, PSU specs are based on power output. However, Anandtech measures system power consumption at the wall (or input) – hence the multiple “at the wall” references in the article.

    • jalf says:

      “At least double”? Uh, no.

      The reason 1kw PSUs are being sold is not that *any* PC hardware on the platform requires it, but just that, well, it sounds impressive, and people have got it into their heads that the need that much power to drive a high-end PC. Which is not the case.

      I probably wouldn’t go much *lower* than 450w, but if it is a good quality PSU, that should be sufficient (unless you’re running SLI)

      • Premium User Badge

        Wisq says:

        I’m afraid you’re quite wrong on this, because I’ve used a Kill-A-Watt to measure my system’s load, and I’ve reached as high as 800W while playing certain games.

        Now, yes, my system is top-of-the-line with quad GPUs, triple SSDs, a six core CPU, etc. But still, it really is a kilowatt-range system, hence why I’m running a 1200W PSU.

        There’s also the fact that even if you’re “only” using 450W or less, you get better efficiency if you’re only loading your PSU around 40% to 70% or so, IIRC. And PSUs also can handle less load the hotter they get, and get hotter the more heavily loaded they are, and a lot of PSU manufacturers give their rated watts at unrealistically low temperatures — i.e. you should add a little extra headroom for that, too.

        And finally: When a PSU dies, it’s a hassle to replace, sure — but in some cases, it can take a lot of hardware with it. Or, if it’s near its limits, you can start getting subtle hardware errors causing BSODs and the like. It’s the one component you should never skimp on — but sadly, so many people just buy cases with cheap built-in supplies and don’t give it a second thought.

        So all in all, a kilowatt power supply isn’t a bad idea for a fairly high-end machine. Can you get by with less in most cases? Absolutely. But if I’ve got a reasonably high-end system, why would I want to take the risk?

        • Premium User Badge

          thedosbox says:

          “There’s also the fact that even if you’re “only” using 450W or less, you get better efficiency if you’re only loading your PSU around 40% to 70% or so, IIRC. ”

          The 80Plus Gold standard mandates efficiency fall within a 3% range from 50% to 100% capacity, so that’s not really going to be an issue for a system with a single GPU.

          • Premium User Badge

            Wisq says:

            True enough; hadn’t realised the specs were getting that tight these days. All the more reason to look for those 80-Plus stickers.

    • Apocalypse says:

      250W for that Titan, 84 W for the i7-4770 and no optical drives. This leaves 116W for Mainboard, RAM and that single Hybrid-HD.
      Sounds for me more like that left some room intentional for overclocking.
      Sounds as well to me that you should buy a steam machine as you seem not to be very good at building your own.

    • Yosharian says:

      This and some of the replies just proves that many people who build PCs have no fucking clue what they’re doing

      In addition, do you really fucking think that Valve haven’t tested these prototypes and found them to be stable, jesus.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Pretty sure MS also checked X360 and decided they are stable enough before shipping them. And no RRoD happened.
        Guess that’s why they ship those 300 GabeCubes to gamers. If 10% of them will report “my GabeCube turned into puddle of plastic” they will know something went wrong.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Doubt your reasoning is accurate. In fact, it isn’t. 450w is enough, especially if the PSU is of very good quality.

      Heck, a rig with three 760s and a 3930K draws 1kw (at the wall, so adjust for efficiency and you’re looking at around 850w) under a full load stress test.

      http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-a-pc-core-i7-overclocking,3596-16.html

  7. Premium User Badge

    DarkLiberator says:

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to build a steambox yourself, then install SteamOS on it?

    • lordcooper says:

      That would depend on the price.

    • Premium User Badge

      cpt_freakout says:

      Yeah, but I think the target audience here is not us gamers who know how to put together a PC. At least that’s what it seems, because anyone who has ever assembled a gaming rig knows how to do these things already (and know it’s always cheaper to just do it yourself), so I think that the people they’re targeting are not us.

      Maybe this is targeted at the kind of gamer that prefers consoles because of the ‘hassle’ with PCs? I have no idea at this point, but to me, it would make sense to try and open the PC gaming market to all those gamers who don’t have an interest in making their own PCs. After all, there’s a million more games on PC than on any console, lots of which would definitely be of interest to everyone who doesn’t regularly come to a PC games website, and that would perhaps receive attention via this thing (?). I guess we’ll have to wait on more details to know for sure.

      • trjp says:

        Given the higher spec prototypes are probably $1000+ in hardware – I’m not sure it’s a console competitor…

        • PopeRatzo says:

          What you mean is, “consoles aren’t going to be Steam Box competitors”.

          • SuicideKing says:

            loool

          • trjp says:

            Hey, you’re right, the devices which are sold in every supermarket and electronics store prominently – places which also sell tonnes of games for those things too – they’re not remotely in competition with this thing…

            You may be immature enough not to like consoles but you cannot deny that they are a fairly prominent and successful thing and that as they’re the de-facto ‘box under the telly’ option, you’ll be competing with them by making a box which is designed to attach to a telly!?

            or are we missing something fundamental?

        • cfehunter says:

          Well valve won’t be paying off the shelf prices obviously and nvidia are going to be fairly desperate to get a platform to support due to AMD winning both bids for the next gen consoles.

          Add in that valve get a percentage of every single game sale, that there’s inherently no pre-owned market due to steam and valve may even sell at a loss to get their adoption rate up and we may be looking at very reasonably priced hardware.

          If it’s cheaper to buy a steam box than all of the components individually they may even get some of us system builders on board.

    • C0llic says:

      Almost certainly cheaper. And it does’nt look like Valve are discouraging that. If I do get a steam box, that’s likely exactly what i’ll do. They have never been a dumb company. The ability to build your own is one that sets them apart from what we usually consider a console.

      Why not build a media system for your living room, at your own budget, and stick steam os on it so you can play some games on it too. Sounds like a great idea.

    • Baines says:

      Depending on what Valve eventually comes up with, it also gives developers and publishers hardware targets to aim for.

    • cunningmunki says:

      *scrolls back and forth through the article looking for the price*
      Erm, cheaper than WHAT?

  8. honuk says:

    …so what in the world distinguishes a steam box from, you know, just a gaming computer? how is this any different from paying a premium to buy an alienware system?

    seems like a lot of fuss for a lot of nothing

    • Radwulf says:

      There are a number of points for the overall system but regarding the hardware the main reason is to present a pc in a consoler friendly format. This would allow Valve to extend its PC dominance into the console market and make lots of money.

      • lordcooper says:

        Agreed. While ‘core’ PC gamers may well benefit from it’s existence, I really don’t think the Steambox is aimed at us.

        • Yosharian says:

          Why does this even need to be stated? It’s so fucking obvious… Sometimes I wonder at people. Of course it isn’t aimed at people who build their own fucking boxes…

          (Not directed at you personally, I’m just commenting)

          And Alienware is just overpriced trash

    • pegolius says:

      It depends on the package. If the format is small and elegant enough to be able to put it into the living room (WAF is a big thing here) then I can see this taking off.
      I really would like to have a Steam PC in the living room that also hosts my XBMC, Steam and everything else. The recent Intel NUC review on RPS has shown that it takes alot to create a living room PC with a small form factor but with enough juice to run everything you want.

    • Lemming says:

      You need to starting thinking like an Apple customer rather than a console gamer pointing out how expensive PC gaming can be. There will be lower cost models, but the same prats who buy a new iPad every generation probably wouldn’t bat an eye at a $1000 Steam Machine.

      It also makes sense for the prototype, as with all things they want feedback for, it wastes everyone’s time I imagine if most of the feedback is ‘couldn’t get x to run on it’.

    • SuicideKing says:

      The same that distinguishes an Alienware from a gaming computer. Nothing, except that these aren’t going to be overpriced and will actually game well, also most likely mini-ITX.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Maybe NOT paying the premium perhaps maybe depending on the the price that NO ONE FUCKING KNOWS YET BUT EVERYONE KEEPS ON MAKING FUCKING ASSUPTIONS ABOUT. Maybe?
      *deep breath*

      • honuk says:

        I’m going to go out on a limb and say Valve isn’t going to make a box that loses them significant amounts of money on every unit sold. maybe you’re holding out for a magic box with a titan in it for five hundred dollars, but I prefer to not delude myself with idiocy. the chances of them beating out the price of a self-made system are basically zero, so you’re going to REALLY have to like small form factors and the Valve logo for this to be worth buying. and even then it’s not like there aren’t other third parties who do the same thing without any of the fanfare.

  9. Soapeh says:

    Gonna wait a year and buy it in a Steam sale for 75% off.

    • trjp says:

      Why isn’t this the top comment yet – in our new “chosen by the man” Reddit-like system? :)

    • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

      Ha ha :o), in the same vein, is anybody tempted by the Windows 7 DLC for Steam Boxes?

  10. aeromorte says:

    So in short its a normal pc … But woo000o0ha “Steambox: sounds so kewl and funky! Meh no thank you i prefer building my own pc’s.

    • trjp says:

      and you’re free-to-do-so, they fully encourage using SteamOS on self-builds.

      I think you’d struggle to get THAT hardware into THAT space tho – in fact I’ve no idea how they intend to get an i7-based 16GB Titan GPU’d system into a box 12x12x3!?

      • iniudan says:

        Simple enough, mini-itx motherboard (this motherboard for example fit all the spec, http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-1155-Intel-Motherboard-GA-H77N-WIFI/dp/B009JDTWVC/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1380981422&sr=1-1 ), along right angle pcie adapter, so the GPU is parallel to the motherboard, instead of perpendicular. standard PSU is also lay flat, next to the motherboard, should leave plenty of front room on the front of the casing for drive and frontal panel, while the top part of the casing is mostly the airflow, has the heat will come out above the back panel.

        Main trouble of building this kind of set up is finding a case.

        • C0llic says:

          And they say they’re releasing CAD drawings of the case. If its even mildly popular i’d expect third parties to start selling suitable things for people’s own home built boxes.

  11. Perjoss says:

    I’m having trouble seeing the point of these machines. From what I can tell they do not do anything different from a regular PC gaming machine, and I can probably install Linux + SteamOS on my current PC if I want right? so unless they are selling all those parts for cheaper than they usually go for which I think would be highly unlikely then I don’t see the point.

    Who exactly are these boxes aimed at, the only thing I can think of is people that are thinking of maybe getting into PC gaming for the first time but have no idea where to start.

    • Perjoss says:

      OK never mind, if i understand correctly it’s console shaped? so its like a trojan horse for Valve to sneak into the living room and maybe onto console gamers wish lists. Anything that gets more people into PC gaming is a good thing.

      • fish99 says:

        I’m kinda curious, since they say they’re using off-the-shelf parts, how they’ve crammed all that into a console sized box, how good the cooling is, and how much noise it makes. PSUs alone are enormous things, so are video cards.

        • C0llic says:

          It will be a challenge but people have been building compact media-box style pcs for their living rooms for years. PCs designed to just be a tivo box, home cinema system, and file server. So very compact, quiet running PCs arent a new thing really. They just arent very mainstream (or cheap). The graphics card does sound like a challenge, but I would imagine thats why their working with nvidia on it.

    • C0llic says:

      Its an open standard ‘console’. Have you ever tried to use an xbox360 or PS3 as a media box for video files? Its very hit and miss. Doing that on a steam os running something like vlc media player? No issues whatsoever. And lets not forget its basically a little pc with all of the advantages of uprgading and the flexibility of the inital build that runs PC games. Games that are about half the price of anything you can find on a console.

      Sounds pretty good to me.

      You’re right though. Theres no reason why you would’nt just reap the benefits on your usual box. I’d love to be able to ditch windows for gaming, and this could be a step towards that. Very exciting news all round.

  12. trjp says:

    We’ve been talking about this in the forums but I’ll post the question to a wider audience if I may.

    “Who the hell are they aiming at with a SteamOS SteamBox?”

    I’d assumed they’re targetting current/likely console owners – but It’s not going to compete with current-gen consoles on price – and possibly not next-gen ones either!?

    Anyone who knows what a ‘Titan’ is – or thinks they need 16GB of system RAM or 3GB of GPU RAM for that matter – is going to self-build and, at those prices, a Windows licence would be a no-brainer.

    So I’m lost as to what the hell Valve are thinking here!?

    • Snargelfargen says:

      It’s a gaming solution for families who already have a work or gaming computer in one room and want something to hook up to the TV in the living room/den.

      A niche product for now, but Valve is positioning themselves to take advantage of the market in case one of the next-gen consoles fails to become popular, or Microsoft locks down the next version of Windows with the App store. It’s a gamble that might pay off in the long term.

      • trjp says:

        If they’re designing this as a ‘niche product’ they’re screwed – getting into hardware means selling a LOT of hardware, it’s the only way you can get costs to any sensible level.

        Never mind the SteamBox itself, the Gabepad alone will cost a fortune unless they’re planning on making A LOT of them – look at the price of a 360 joypad and consider the volume of those they make!?

        Tooling-up a production line for something like that is a 6-figure undertaking in itself.

        p.s. Ever wondered why low-volume cars use headlights and taillights from other cars? Same reason – 6-figures to tool-up for a headlight/taillight. That rarest of rare gems, the McLaren F1 – a car so perfectionist it has gold foil in the engine bay (best heat absorber available) has rear lights from a Bova bus ;)

        • jonahcutter says:

          I wonder if they could makePS3/ PS4 and Xbox360/Xbone compatible versions of the Steam controller, to expand their potential markets just for those.

          The controller seems likely to be the most expensive element to produce, considering it’s a completely original piece of hardware. Being able to sell them to other console gamers could be a huge source of revenue to cover their costs.

    • Synesthesia says:

      I’m one of them. I’ll either build or buy one of the boxes. My desktop will still be used, but there is a ton of games i’d rather play on a couch with a console, on a big tv. Legend of dungeon, Deadlight, rayman, hitman, and a bunch more. It’llg et me out of my corner, and share this in a room i’d like to use more, with my girl. A win situation all around.

  13. pegolius says:

    The most interesting part for me was the St(r)eamBox they were indirectly talking about at the end of the article. I think this might be the thing that alot of people are waiting for because they already have good gaming boxes and are just waiting for a way to bring the content to the TV.

    • Lemming says:

      Yep. Those of us with capable gaming PCs are going to be able to get dirt-cheap Steam Machines and just take advantage of the streaming. A bit disappointing to see people in the comments here on a PC gaming site getting so stuck in a loop on the expense of this prototype. You expect that kind of shit on Kotaku.

      • trjp says:

        I’m not seeing the ‘dirt cheap’ aspect of this at all – none of their prototype systems seem geared to the streaming idea and the way they throw-it-in as an afterthought suggests it’s not really their focus.

        I agree it’s actually the most interesting aspect for the likes-of-us – tho I’m not convinced it can be made to work any better than OnLive managed it tbh (and that didn’t go well did it – do they still even exist?)

        • identiti_crisis says:

          Valve expand on the idea behind these prototypes, saying: “And to be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase – those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.”

          Taken straight from the article.

          • trjp says:

            “Cost less” is a scattershot term here – this is a company who decided that £75 for Windows wasn’t an option and yet they’re putting 3GB Titans and 16GB RAM into their prototypes – erm – V8 engine in a shopping cart!?

            Also – the idea that there will be no ‘standard’ SteamBox – no recommended spec for it – seems a bad omen to my mind. Are Valve going to sell these boxes or are they simply going to rubber-stamp hardware for other people to sell (I suspect the latter but they’ve implied otherwise in the past?)

            Are Valve really trying to create an OS to flog other people’s hardware with a googly-eyes controller for laughs?

          • pegolius says:

            Nope. they just take intel as an example with their NUC and adapt the whole thing to the gaming space. Which is the smarter way to do it and also stays in line how Linux distributions and work. You give out a standard and let others build things around it. Google does it, Intel does, can’t be wrong if Steam tries the same.

  14. Arcanon says:

    Of course we, tech savvy gamers, could build a ITX system with those specs and probably spend less…but we aren’t the target audience for this.

    As I see it, Valve just wants to bring Steam (not SteamOS, Steam) to the living room of console gamers, bringing them better performance and cheaper games. Oh, and SALES.

    The SteamBox isn’t meant to make a profit, Steam is.

    And if Valve has half a brain the final product (these are specs for PROTOTYPES) will include the GTX 780 option…..and leave the Titan out of the equation.

  15. rustybroomhandle says:

    One thing to note: These prototypes are intended as reference specs. They’ll be using info gathered from the use of these to pass onto potential hardware partners. We really have no idea yet what type of configurations we can expect to see, or who will be building them. At least we can see here that the ballpark they are aiming for is fairly high-end – let’s just hope the prices are not exorbitant.

    • LionsPhil says:

      16GB of RAM makes me happy. Shame the Xbone and PS4 are dragging their heels there, but I am very, very tired of the small-level, small-bubble-of-simulation constraints consoles have been foisting on cross-platform games so far.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        For people who want to build their own hardware intended for “SteamOS” it’s also nice to have a reference spec, since one cannot just blindly buy hardware for Linux.

      • trjp says:

        16Gb of RAM is stupid for a games-playing machine – there is no conceivable reason you’d need that much RAM

        Even on Windows – a reported ‘memory hog’ and something you’re likely doing other things than just ‘playing a game’ on, you struggle to see any advantage over 4Gb right now.

        Sometimes I think people just like fishing numbers out of their ass – 16Gb ram, 1000W power supply, 10″ cock…

        • LionsPhil says:

          the small-level, small-bubble-of-simulation constraints consoles have been foisting on cross-platform games so far.

          you struggle to see any advantage over 4Gb right now.

          any advantage over 4Gb right now.

          over 4Gb right now.

          right now.

          so far.

          right now.

          Hurr-de-durp angry Internet people.

        • Premium User Badge

          Wisq says:

          You’re aware that RAM is used for more than just working memory for programs, right?

          Any extra RAM you have, above and beyond the actual needs of the programs, goes towards caching the contents of your disk the first time they’re accessed. That won’t help you on your first load, but games tend to load the same things over and over, especially at map loading time. And remember, a lot of these games have tonnes of assets — some of my Steam games are clocking in at 10GB+ these days.

          A basic Windows 8 install will see you using almost 2GB of RAM just idle on the desktop after logging in. A lot of games can use more than 2GB RAM, so 4GB is definitely too small, and 8GB is definitely the minimum. But bumping it up to 16GB means you can play your game and cache every single disk access it ever makes (for standard game sizes). Doesn’t matter if you have an SSD — reading from RAM is still way faster.

          Especially with RAM being so cheap these days. You can get 16GB DDR3 “value” branded RAM for US$100ish. So, really, why wouldn’t you want the extra disk cache?

        • TechnicalBen says:

          I’m guessing, going by the rumors (though NOT the actual info from Valve yet), most people are expecting this box to stream games to other devices (Smart TV/tablet/phone/thin client PC). That added to the “play a family/friends library” plus the need for some sort of distributed network if “cloud services” type gameplay is ever popular (as Amazon/MS/etc are hoping) and the cost of building your own network…

          … would suggest perhaps they possibly (at the stage of BETA at least, it’s along shot and personally I think they will not go for it), may attempt to run multiple game instances. With those specs, your at least double the requirement of a PS4 or XBOne.

          As an example, I was playing a CPU intensive simulator, while encoding video and downloading off the net, and lightening to music, checking emails etc all on an aging 4gb AMD940. So yeah, it’s easily possible on the Valve hardware.

        • waltC says:

          Say 12″ and you have me nailed…;)

          Nah…:D…This is a bog-standard x86 Windows PC, and SteamOS is bog-standard Ubuntu 12.03+ with a Valve-themed front end and some OpenGL graphics tweaks. Yawn.

          Business as usual for Valve–just a couple of new coats of paint, that’s all.

    • belgand says:

      Yep. Notice how they’re shipping a variety of different GPUs and CPUs. They want to get a range of performance out of the testing to determine what’s going to make the best impact so the price/performance can be dialed-in effectively.

      I’m guessing the i5 with a 760 or 660 will win out just as it has in the current PC market.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        I get a bit of a chuckle on games sites posting this where people say things like “Alienware must be quaking in their boots” when the likes of Alienware/Razer etc. will likely be building these. :)

        • C0llic says:

          Yep, you can guarantee they will be. And valve wants them to. The CAD drawings of the box designs aren’t for our own home workshops heh.

    • Lestibournes says:

      Valve said they’re planning on having 3 classes of machines: Streaming, Low, High. This sounds like High. We have no clue what the Low and Streaming class machines might be like.

  16. Awesumo says:

    Wow. Those are some pretty high end specs. Beats my gaming machine hands down and that can play everything just fine. My only gripe would be the storage. 1Tb just isn’t enough for me anymore.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Perhaps the higher spec Steamboxes are meant for use with 4k TVs, Oculus Rift or some other 3d solution? Those are just about the only use cases I can think of where a Titan or a 780 be needed.

      • Awesumo says:

        It would future proof it somewhat as well. Also if they could put out a system with those specs for, around £600 then they would pretty much monopolize the PC gaming market.
        A single top end spec, where mass production lets them blow the competition away pricewise, could corner the market if they get it right.

        • Snargelfargen says:

          As amazing as that would be, I’m afraid that’s a wildly optimistic price point even for an i5/760 Steambox. Unfortunately future proofing is a thankless endeavour when £500 video cards are consistently outperformed by cards that cost half that after only 2 years. There will always be people who want the best regardless of the cost though!

    • Bilbo1981 says:

      Well you can easily buy a cheap external hard drive these days?

      • C0llic says:

        Or just replace the 1tb hybrid drive with a 4tb hybrid drive. I have to say though, I dont think youd have to. 1tb is a lot of space for just games.

        Of course if youre using it to play media too (why wouldnt you I guess) then extra storage would be nice. But that’s easily doable.

  17. analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

    Seems Nvidia have responded to AMD taking the console market. As an AMD user I was happy when the next gen console specs were released. I thought that developers would be shying away from Nvidia bias and PhysX. Now the Steambox has come and muddied the waters, these reference specs are all Intel/Nvidia. I guess I won’t be running Steam OS on my system :o(

    • C0llic says:

      This isnt really about that to be honest. AMD hardware has always been practically unusable for gaming under linux. The only card manufacturer that has ever had drivers that actually work to some degree has been nvidia; current console generation aside, it was pretty much always going to be them.

      PS: Buy a nvidia card. It’s never too late to change :P

  18. XhomeB says:

    I honestly cannot fathom who exactly these “Steambox” devices are being created for. PC gamers will either build their own PCs themselves or go to a store and have new PCs put together for them for a small fee, while console gamers simply won’t touch these things with a barge pole, primarily because of their price.

    That controller Valve are making does have a lot of potential and could prove to be quite fun to use (not necessarily as a replacement of K&Mouse, but something you grab from time to time), but the “Steambox”… no way will it be able to compete with the upcoming consoles for the space in the living room.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Well, arguable, i know a lot of “PC Gamers” that have laptops or AIOs or some old computer, mostly without a decent discrete GPU, if at all, who also have PS2s or 3s or 360s.

      The Xbone isn’t available in most of the world till the end of next year.

      I can see a lot of nice things happening with this here. Or, are you suggesting buying Dell ALIENFACE?

      • XhomeB says:

        No, not at all – Alienware rigs are well put together, but overpriced. Where I live, you go to a computer shop, the staff help you put together a PC from parts, and then assemble it for you. It’s not always a matter of choosing between a laptop and an Alienware.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Yeah, but for most of the world…i’ve had at least one friend of mine choose Dell over DIY because of better service or whatever.

          And i sort of see the point, i wouldn’t have imagined that my parents would have been able to put together or maintain my PC.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Where I live the PC shop tries to fob off some mini itx ex office lot as a “gaming pc”. Your mileage may vary. :(

          • iniudan says:

            Computer shop quality is indeed quite variable, most around, where I live, are decent, but there is two where you never send anyone, one of them because the owner is a freaking hack (came to do a disk transfer on a computer he had build one time, he had put a freaking IDE drive has system drive along a SSD for data storage), while the other are the predatory car dealer of computer shop, basically I will send someone to an Apple store, before I send them there, has they have very high chance to come out with a less expensive bill and service better suited to their need.

    • benjaminlobato says:

      How about in 3-5 years when 4k televisions start to become common in living rooms? PS4 and XB1 will not be able to play games at that resolution at 60fps, with anti-aliasing etc. So you can either plug a traditional gaming PC into your TV or use a steambox. Many people (probably not those that read RPS regularly) are not interested in building a PC themselves, and a steam box could provide a welcome alternative to the clunkiness and expense of something like an alienware desktop tower.

      Valve is trying to combine the best of PC gaming (upgradability, openness, steam sales) with consoles (ease of use, small form factor). It could work.

  19. rsf says:

    Questions:
    1. Will RPS write to Valve to procure one of these living room adapted PCs?

    2. Will RPS get Jeremy to do a full comparison of performance and list conservative estimates of Valve’s effort vs Next gen consoles vs Current gen consoles? (It’s obvious to more technically inclined people but there’s nothing like a head to head comparison).

    3. Linux/Unix and its software ecosystem run on fundamentally different philosophies with regards to software and openness. Now that a lot of games are coming to Linux, is there any intention to contact the GNU foundation and specifically ask for a good communicator, to do a series of interviews explaining to the gaming public why and how those philosophies work?

  20. fish99 says:

    Hybrid drive and Titan GFX don’t really match. If you have the money for Titan, surely you have several SSDs. My mid-range PC will beat the best of these in loading times just through having 128GB+256GB SSDs.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Yeah but what about the other specs (yours)? For how much?

      If this had 384GB of solid state storage, rest assured that there would be hordes screaming that they’d rather see more money put into the GPU, RAM and CPU.

      I think by going hybrid, they’ve struck a perfect balance between performance and storage. And face it, except in games like Planetside 2, the difference in load times is going to be small.

      I have the same setup as you, in fact a step further. My storage is split into 20+128+256 as far as SSDs are concerned, along with a 320GB HDD that used to be my primary. The difference in load times in games like BF3 was minimal.

      • fish99 says:

        Well if a Titan is close to £800 (more than my whole system cost), are you going to quibble about £200 worth of SSDs?

        As for SSDs making little difference to loading times, I haven’t done a huge amount of back to back tests, but I know when playing Borderlands 2 co-op with my brother, my game loads 6-10 seconds quicker every time. Usually I’ve checked all the shops before he’s loaded.

        (my specs btw – I5-3570K, Z77 board, GTX660 2GB, 8GB DDR3)

        • SuicideKing says:

          6-10 seconds for how much money?

          I’ve actually done trace based tests using perfmon. The only game which i saw the SSD stretch its legs and actually felt a difference was PS2. I’m not saying Borderlands 2 doesn’t, but i’m saying it’s one of the few.

          Yes, stuttering due to in-game loading has reduced considerably. But that’ll happen even with a hybrid.

          My point is exactly that (in other posts), a Titan may not be final, nor will Valve get it for £800. We’re talking a year from now. And heck, there’s a higher chance that an i5 will get paired with that Titan, if it makes to the final build. So we’re looking at a $1500 build max. And a $200 variation even at that price is 13%, not trivial. Again, user serviceable, so you can always DIY.

          And remember, you’re actually arguing for a $120 drive + another $60 for a 1TB (or a $180 + $60) vs what’s likely a $100 hybrid.

          Unless you want a TB of solid state storage… 0_0

          • fish99 says:

            Turn your argument around and how much difference does that Titan make over a 680, for use on a single 60Hz TV at 1080p? Virtually no noticeable difference (200 fps versus 140 fps at a guess) for an extra £575 which will get you a TB of fast SSDs (or better get 2×256 SSDs, a 680 and save £300). And Valve wouldn’t pay retail for SSDs either.

            What I’m saying is that IMO having no SSDs make that an unbalanced system. Too much of the money has gone on the GPU. TBH for a TV you barely need more than a 660.

          • SuicideKing says:

            EXACTLY! You don’t need a Titan for a TV, which is why i suspect that:

            a) There won’t be Titan machine from Valve

            b) There will a much lower tier system as well, which won’t have a Titan. Remember, they’ll have to squeeze these specs into $500 tops on at least one machine they’re selling.

            SSDs are wonderful, but where you’ll be competing on price as well, it’s too much of the budget. Remember, users are free to exchange that drive for an SSD, perhaps add another. Maybe Valve gives you the option to customize your machine when you order it from them? Who knows.

            But yeah, a hybrid drive at lower price tiers is good balance imo. For those who can spend on an SSD, they’ll be able to add it, i think.

    • LionsPhil says:

      But that’s “only” 3/8ths of a Terabyte. Perhaps they’re thinking that they want you to have most of your Steam library installed at once so it’s power-on-and-play whatever you feel like, rather than having to shuffle about uninstalling and redownloading games. I could do that with my half-tera partition if it didn’t have other crap on it, but I suspect my library size is below the median for someone who counts gaming as a major hobby. (Hell, someone upthread is saying 1TB isn’t enough.)

      Load times will be an interesting one for this. Windows actually does a lot of aggressive pre-caching these days; there’s nothing comparable to SuperFetch in common desktop distro use on Linux that I know of. (Seen a few experimental things, but nothing that got mainstream adoption.) You boot an Ubuntu box to the desktop, and it’ll sit there and leave all other 15GB or such idle indefinately, then dopely grind away at the disk when you launch the same web browser (or game) you launch every time you log in. All that “thrashing” Windows does is for a reason; Microsoft have just struggled to tune it right.

      • fish99 says:

        I should have mentioned I have a 1TB mechanical as well. You can get a surprising amount of games on 384GB (minus 20GB for OS+apps) worth of SSD though. And while I also have loads of games on my mechanical drive, it’s games I generally don’t play, and were I to want to play them, I’d always want to move them over to the SSDs.

        I have the ‘thrashing’ turned off btw. Don’t want all that extra wear on my drives for so little gain (you barely need superfetch with SSDs anyway).

        • Premium User Badge

          Wisq says:

          There’s no wear on your (SSD) drives for just reading them, which is what SuperFetch does.

          • fish99 says:

            That’s not quite true, all electronic devices suffer wear through use, circuit board pathways wear, chips wear and break, your SSD will run at a higher temp, and If nothing else the (small amount of) processing involved is pushing your CPU into a higher power mode briefly and eating some more electric (everything your PC does uses the CPU, even just reading files). And it will be putting wear on my mechanical drive.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Your hardware will be long, long obsolete before that’s an issue.

            Admittedly this is just an anecdote on the Internet, but I have a 11-year-old Athlon XP box still running along fine. The RAM and—sure enough—mechanical drives have needed replacing over the years, but the hot little CPU (remember, these things chug along at a solid 70) and the adjacent motherboard carries on trucking long, long since it’s useful “new” gaming life.

            The real challenge with implementing things like SuperFetch is making sure the I/O scheduling is good enough that loading the things you might want sits down and shuts up to make way for loading the things you are asking for right now. (AIUI they didn’t get this right with Vista, but it’s improved in 7.)

          • fish99 says:

            I’ve had hardware die in 2-3 years, including motherboards, HDDs, video cards, PSUs, all quality brands with little use on them. Anyway this wasn’t a discussion about superfetch, it’s about whether SteamBoxes should have SSDs or hybrids. IMO SSDs are one of the best upgrades to any system.

      • Premium User Badge

        Wisq says:

        Steam does keep track of the last time you played a particular game, which makes me think that SteamOS could use that to (quietly, transparently) decide which games to keep on the SSD and which to offload to the HDD.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yeah, Steam could special-case these kinds of things. In an ideal world they’d take one of the aformentioned general-purpose attempts, fix it up, and adopt for SteamOS, though, since that could feed back into other distros.

    • jaypettitt says:

      “My mid-range PC will beat the best of these in loading times just through having 128GB+256GB SSDs.”

      Sure, but what you’ve probably got is a desktop PC. A computer that happens to have (and need) an entire desk built around it. So what’s a few drive bays between friends?

      The Valve Steam Box prototypes are, on the other hand, 12″ x 12.4″ x 2.9″. They’re seriously tiny fun size things for the living room. That means some compromises, like cutting back on multiple drive bays.

      Sure, you could build a more awesome gaming desktop PC. But who the hell wants a desktop PC taking up real estate in their living room?

  21. SuicideKing says:

    Angry rant incoming. Brace yourselves and read, should you choose.

    1) So, first we have legions of PC users and gamers claiming that they’d replace Micro$hit’s “bloated” OS the first chance they get, and that they’d wish Linux would be the leading OS so that M$ has compettition.

    They’ll hate on Win 8 (rhymes, yes), but now? Now they suddenly want that touch-oriented OS to replace a gaming-oriented OS? Why? I mean, no one’s asking you to replace your desktop OS, or your PC, or anything else. What’s the problem? Why not let it take off? Maybe M$ will actually return to making a proper OS and UI, rather than a jack of all trades abomination that doesn’t serve anyone well.

    2) Don’t kid yourselves, the main purpose of SteamOS is living room gaming. Look at it in that perspective. it’s an HTPC oriented OS that’s main focus is gaming and streaming. It’s fucking free and hackable. Those extra $100 you pay to Dell for Windows 7 Basic + Bloatware + Adware on an Alienware? Yeah, Valve’s giving you hardware for that.

    3) This is a fucking prototype. Prototypes ARE EXPENSIVE. Actual production cost is always less. Yes, Nvidia and Intel have profit margins to maintain, and they keep them high because AMD. But think about it. This goes into production a year later. A retail GTX 760 will cost under $200. That GTX 760′s die size is the same size as say, a GTX 560. So can Nvidia make money despite cutting prices for Valve or OEMs? Yes. Will Intel be in a similar position to as well? Yes. Will Intel? No. But Nvidia most probably will.

    They’ll have left over inventory as well, and next year they’ll want to sell them Maxwells. What does that mean? Lower prices.

    4) Who are the prototypes aimed at? Those 300 beta testers.

    5) Would you rather pay Dell or HP or some other traditional OEM the same amount of money for a gaming PC? Has everyone forgotten how much a trashy Alienware sells for? Sure, you can build it yourself. But guess what, most people, including gamers, don’t. When they ask the “computer guy” to do it, they end up with expensive, weak crap. And then they play FIFA at 20 fps and fap to it.

    6) The Xbone will launch with Steam Machines in most countries, assuming they launch it globally within a short period. This thing will sell loads in the third world. Or maybe not, because, well, Indians rather pirate. OR watch a movie. But yeah.

    7) The lowest, or maybe even the standard Valve config will be 8GB DDR3 + a Core i3 or i5 + a GTX 760/660 or equivalent 800 series card. They’re likely aiming for 60 fps @ 1080p as a standard. A lot of TVs are 720p over HDMI and 1366×768 over DVI or VGA. So that. My guess is that it’ll cost $400, with maybe a higher end thing for $800.

    8) Thin clients, etc. may be the more popular route.

    TL;DR: Give them a fucking chance, they’re trying something good, doesn’t anything ever make you folks happy? Would you rather have millions playing Android/iOS games or playing PC titles? PC Master Race FTW and all, ok? OK.

    /rant.

    p.s. Incoming was a nice game, doesn’t run properly anymore ever since Windows XP. :(

  22. xf11 says:

    Wow it is exactly the same old PC but overpriced! Exactly what everyone wants since Apple showed how stupid people are.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      How do you know it’s overpriced? Nobody said how much it’ll cost. :/

    • benjaminlobato says:

      No price information has been released yet, but all things being equal, steam boxes should be cheaper as you won’t need a $100 copy of Windows.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Llewyn says:

    If only Valve had thought to ask the RPS commentariat before embarking on their obviously ill-considered and misguided strategy, eh? Should have come where the real expertise is.

    • LionsPhil says:

      There’s a spectacular level of “power user” on display, isn’t there. Whole bloody thread reeks of Internet Testosterone.

      • SuicideKing says:

        I know. And considering that we may or may not even fall into the target market, looking at it in such a narrow minded way is odd.

      • Premium User Badge

        Wisq says:

        Indeed.

        Ultimately, whenever I see anyone saying “this is a stupid idea”, “this won’t take off”, etc., etc., I just remind them: When’s the last time that Valve released a flop? They have an eye for quality, and for what people want, and for what sells, and how to sell it.

        Let them do what they do, see what effect it has, and then decide whether you think it’s a good idea or not.

        Unfortunately, we live in an era where people think that if you don’t immediately and loudly voice your opinion, no matter how ill-informed it may be, you just don’t care enough. Nobody ever just sits back and reserves judgement any more; judgement must be swift, and as loud as possible.

  24. Tams80 says:

    I’m not sure how this is going to pan out, so I’ll just wait and see.

    Something that is annoying me is the lack of coverage of AMD’s Mantle on this site. Yes, I know I’ve made my views known on the forums and that this is your site, to do and cover what ever you wish. That doesn’t change the disparity in coverage. Valve with their Steam OS based announcements have got so much coverage, arguably more than is deserved. Now this post is of more relevance than some of the others, but it still adds to disparity. Less is also known about Mantle as well. Still, I think Mantle has just as much potential to affect the PC gaming landscape as any of the latest of Valve’s announcements, if not more.

    My apologies if you are working on a Mantle article.

    • SuicideKing says:

      I’m assuming they’ll talk about Mantle when BF4 comes out…but before that, there’s just not a lot to talk about. We’ll have to wait for Jeremy’s rare next article, i guess.

    • iniudan says:

      There isn’t much to speak about mantle until November, where AMD it suppose to give out more information.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I’m not sure how this is going to pan out, so I’ll just wait and see.

      You must be new at this Internet thing. You’re supposed to pick an opinion, crank it up to 11, then defend it to the death.

      • Tams80 says:

        Cheese is the greatest food of all time. It even surpasses all other edible items present at an afternoon tea.

        This is an irrefutable fact and not one living being shall be able to disprove it.

        If one disagrees with this fact, then one is free to challenge me to a dual. I am most skilled both in swordplay and pistolry, so one should not expect to best me. I shall be behind clock tower when the clock strikes one.

        Regards,

        One Tams-with-numerical-eighty, son of Tams-with-numerical-seventy-nine.

  25. Reefpirate says:

    There seem to be a lot of bright people in these comments who are excited about all of this… But I’m not seeing it. Is it the hope that Valve will provide all of this hardware at a more affordable price than what you could build yourself?

    All I’m seeing is a custom PC with a linux install and plugged into a TV with a new kind of controller pad. What am I missing? Why can’t we all just build this ourselves after buying the controller?

    • iniudan says:

      When did Valve said you couldn’t build it yourself ?

      The thing your forgetting most people don’t build their own PC, assembling is indeed in the skill range of almost everyone (mostly fear that limit most to delve in), but reading hardware spec has to have a computer appropriate for your need and doing hardware diagnostic is way out of league for most people, has most are unwilling to spend time to learn those and just prefer to spend money instead of time. This also include professional who are overqualified for the task, who just prefer to save time and sanity instead of money.

      • Reefpirate says:

        That makes sense to me. So it’s kind of like an Alienware PC, but hopefully more affordable and with a specialized Linux distribution on it?

        • iniudan says:

          Feel free to view the Steambox like an Alienware, but how it will work I think will be more like Intel’s Ultrabook specification. Basically Valve will have set of requirement that OEM must fulfill to have right to sell their product under the “Steambox” brand, which will help ensure a minimum of hardware and software standardization.

          But all this is speculation on my part, but it’s how it make the most sense for Steambox to be distributed, considering the information Valve already gave.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Pretty much the case for Valve’s own, though closer to what iniudan says in general (i.e. for Valve’s partners).

  26. jaypettitt says:

    So I’m noticing the bit that says: Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD

    If I’m reading right, that’s 1TB of ye olde hard-drive with the actual physical spinny whirry bits for storage, and 8GB of sleek modern SSD for running system files. Which means that SteamOS is really quite tiny.

    • C0llic says:

      Given its running on a custom linux distro, it probably won’t even be using all of the 8gb SSD for system resources. Some of your most accessed files will probably benefit from the buffer too.

    • iniudan says:

      The 8GB is not for installation but for caching.

      Has for a system fitting in 8GB, there is nothing extraordinary about fitting a basic system installation into there, unless your Microsoft, has Windows is a humongous bloat.

      • SuicideKing says:

        True, it’ll be a cache, most likely transparent to the OS.

  27. Keyrock says:

    Those dimensions can’t be right. 2.9 inches tall? Out of the box parts. How are you putting a video card in a 2.9 inch tall box? That sure as hell ain’t happening with an ATX motherboard. At the very least, they’ll need a different (custom?) form factor motherboard. Maybe something “L” shaped.

    Out of those specs, the i5, GTX760 combo seems the most appealing. That should be able to max out the vast majority of games at 1080p, and even play graphical beasts like Metro: Last Light and The Witcher 2 on high settings. The Titan is a beast, but it’s absurdly overpriced. Same for the GTX780, to a lesser degree. Going from i5 to i7 wouldn’t benefit a lot of games that much.

    • iniudan says:

      Search for me before your post, I already explained how thing are most likely set up in the box.

  28. Frank says:

    I long ago gave up on inferring GPU specs from GPU names, but really — can’t people say “x cores” or some s*** like that after the CPU? Or, g** forbid, the frickin’ frequency. I don’t know what an i7 is, but I’m d*** sure it doesn’t have seven cores. Is the idea that if you have a large enough market share, everyone is supposed to know your products’ specs implicitly? Or are you saying that tech is so far beyond being measured (in terms of cores and frequencies) that I’d simply have to read performance tests to understand the power involved here?

    GAH. Well, now I remember why I always skip Laird’s posts.

    • iniudan says:

      No your not suppose to know the spec just from hardware number, that why you read spec sheet.

      Here you go, if you want to read Intel spec: http://ark.intel.com/

    • Snargelfargen says:

      I’d blame the manufacturers, they seem to go out of their way to obfuscate their naming schemes. Bigger numbers equals better, right? Frustratingly, looking at the specs doesn’t help much, since the architecture of each generation of cpu and gpu chips counts for more than the raw numbers. Otherwise a 3ghz dual-core chip from 6 years ago would still be competitive and AMD’s higher clocked chips would outperform Intel’s, which certainly isn’t the case. In-game benchmarks are the only reliable way to measure performance these days.

      • Grey Poupon says:

        Actually in-game benchmarks aren’t that reliable either and they can be skewed to favor manufacturer of your choice. They are quite decent in judging the performance within a manufacturer’s lineup though, at least within a certain architecture. For GPUs anyway. Gaming performance shouldn’t be a deciding factor on your CPU unless you’re going for a very low budget part as the difference will be minimal and with such a system you might do better going with an APU setup these days..

    • timethor says:

      Imho, the product name having a certain reputation (i7: top of the line! i5: still awesome! i3: for the budget concious!) is actually better than “objective” criteria having a certain reputation. Computer parts can be described with a boatload of objectively true numbers, and if one of those numbers (falsely) gets the reputation of fully describing a product, marketers will just increase that number for a crappy product so that customers still think it’s an awesome product.

      Celeron vs Pentium with the same frequency would be a a good example. 2 years back a guy at an electronic store tried to sell my uncle a GPU that was “awesome for gaming because it has 1 gb of ram!!”. And yeah, high end cards had at least 1 gb. But this particular card was a pathetically weak thing intended for streaming video.

      With an unfamiliar product name, the customer at least knows that he doesn’t know what the capability of the product is, so he may google it for reviews. But if a product name highlights some cherry picked statistic, the customer may get the false idea that he does know the quality of the product.

    • Keyrock says:

      i7 – quad-core, hyperthreading – top of the line
      i5 – quad-core, no hyperthreading – mid-level
      i3 – dual core, hyperthreading – budget

      • iniudan says:

        Not exactly, there is always low power desktop i5 which are dual core with hyper-treading and some hexa core i7 model (still no haswell model of those).

        But what you said does indeed apply for the majority of desktop product, while for mobile model everything got hypertreading, but the whole line up is dual core outside of i7 which get a mix of dual and quad core.

    • SuicideKing says:

      If being angry about specs could be assigned a part number, you’d be an i7-4960X. :P

      It’s how it works in the electronics industry in general, if you start stating a huge amount of detail where you could just say “here, get this thing”, world would be pretty sad indeed.

      So you use Google, or some other database, etc. Makes everyone’s life easier.

      “SO MANY COARS” is just for the marketing dept. to shout about.

      p.s. Jeremy makes it quite simple to understand, you know.

  29. alsoran says:

    So I have my windows PC that chunders away and plays most games that I want to play. Is there anything to stop me dual booting into Steam OS initially to see how it works. Can I just download it in future?

    • iniudan says:

      No there is nothing that can stop you from dual booting and yes SteamOS will be available for download in the future, should be this year from what Valve mentioned (just no idea if will be a testing or stable version through), if I remember right.

  30. benjaminlobato says:

    The negative reaction here of the SteamOS and Steam boxes is really strange to me. Do you all like paying $100 for a copy of windows? A PC that can play games and watch netflix is pretty much all I need, so SteamOS sounds perfect to me.

    • iridescence says:

      I’m interested if they can get all this good hardware into a small form factor at a reasonable price. But I’m skeptical because branded PCs are huge rip-offs usually.

    • Hicks233 says:

      I like having a pc be able to do more than play games. I know Windows, I’m used to it and it does the tasks that I need it to. Paying for that operating system isn’t a problem for me as I can choose which one I want to buy – I know that it’s going to offer a solid base for all the things I need to do. A gaming centric os based on Linux from a company that I don’t trust in the slightest is useless to me.

      If I want to play games on a tv or stream via LoveFilm 4oD etc then I’ll use my PS3 or I can move the desktop to another room in a pinch. Paying for a second unit to stream from my main one is taking the piss when I can just physically move the first unit.

      I despise Valve for spreading online drm with the speed and tenacity of a yeast infection so the idea of them further expanding the notion of steam “being” pc gaming – as ridiculous as this sounds makes console gaming actually look more appealing to me. Be it retro gaming with the vast library of title available across multiple platforms or the next iteration – despite the shift to paid multiplayer (even though I’ve no interest in that). Sure I’d miss the good parts of pc gaming if I were to give up on it but I’d certainly not miss Valve and its influence over the past decade. Inevitably though other companies would look at what Valve has done, realise that locking in apathetic customers with a drm client works and would follow suit screwing us all further.

      I really hope this entire venture is a huge failure and give Valve the smacking round the chops they so badly need. Pigs might fly but I’d also like it if Valve’s love affair with drm would come to an end. Sod all chance of that though.

      • Frank says:

        Not to comment on any points you’re making…just some more snark…

        “Be it retro gaming with the vast library of title available across multiple platforms…”

        Do you like buying those retro games again and again at a huge markup on each of these platforms as the platform holders (MS, Sony, Nintendo) and publishers deign to make them available?

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        Steam is not in my list of Things That I Love, but your comment feels strange. You complain about Steam DRM and that is why console gaming is more appealing?

        As for this being a huge failure, I think it will in fact. The whole Linux thing seems more like a romantic notion that few developers will want to follow. And I don’t think the steam box with all it’s open endedness will work as a effective Linux distribution platform and users won’t just install Windows on it.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      In general, the masses wouldn’t know what was good for them if you rammed it up their arse along with a hundred page dissertation.

      Singularly you get inteligence, En masse they are all redneck dumb.

  31. A Dangerous Sloth says:

    A lot of people seem to be thinking this is going to be more expensive than it is and won’t compete with console prices. I don’t think this is the case. Sure, the Titan model probably won’t be console prices, but they have already stated there will be multiple models and I doubt they are trying to make a profit off of the consoles themselves. Consoles are sold at a loss, Sony and Microsoft get all the money from the software sold on them. I think Valve will sell these at a loss in order to get a bigger population using Steam. If there is one thing Valve knows how to do, it’s making money. Valve isn’t a stupid company.

  32. rsf says:

    People seem unsure whether SteamBox is a good thing or just mediocre.

    SteamOS
    1. SteamOS is based on Linux and is Opensource since it’s apparently derived from Linux. CopyLeft license: Anyone can improve it, extend it, replace the steam logo with a picture of themselves etc. Anyone can also gain money from their efforts as long as they allow others to extend it and make further money.

    2. Exposes both devs and players to openness and opensourceness. Lots of programs from Office suites to 3d modelling apps – most of these are already available on Windows as a result of industrious porting.

    3. Valve are just slapping on a friendly UI to Linux. MacOS X has done a similar thing with success – but with older code under licenses that allow them to selfishly not release the results of their work. Underneath SteamOS is the super stable OS that is used in engineering, in critical applications that don’t need Blue Screens of Death, as well as in servers.

    4. SteamOS will run on your desktop PC and is a Windows replacement! There may be an end in sight to monopoly and anti-competitive practices. There will be ways to dual boot with Windows and SteamOS, or boot SteamOS from within Windows. Software companies will start make their software to run on SteamOS and …

    SteamBox

    1. SteamBox promotes open standards and competition among hardware – i.e. the full spectrum of companies that make PC producs can be involved, not just with exclusive contracts.

    2. Nvidia GPUs were specified, only for the 300 prototypes. Valve will probably have AMD GPUs variants as well. Even if they don’t can swap in an AMD card later – assuming AMD gives good opengl driver support, which is likely.

    3. Valve are releasing the CAD sources of their Box – anyone can make it commercially and improve it. hardware manufacturers can make components especially suited to it like motherboards.

    4. SteamBox is aimed at living room gamers who don’t want to put something together themselves There was a guide on RPS that explained how to put a living room system together. Desktop only gamers and the rest needn’t buy, but should spread the word.

    Goal
    Valve are basically jumping up and down in frustration and trying to change three things that never should have happened in a more rational universe:
    1. Having hardware monopolies on computation devices just because they plug their video output into a TV.
    2. Having such a universally required thing in modern society, like an OS, be under the control of a closed commercial entity instead of being a public opensource project controlled by parties with vested interests – devs and end users..especially when a technically superior product and variants existed, but no one had bothered to make a friendly UI or documentation for it.
    3. 1 and 2. together (Microsoft Xbox)

    What Valve aren’t trying to do is become the top PC hardware dev or OS dev – they are just trying to kickstart change and hope others will carry on (open CAD designs , Opensource OS).

    Why?
    Valve are end users of both hardware and OSes, just like gamers. So they belatedly recieved a wakeup call when Microsoft decided to integrate their store closely with Windows.

    Don’t give them too much credit in absolute terms; the horse had not only bolted through the gate, it had bred, and was about to become the ancestor to a spacefaring species called the Ferengi when Valve noticed.

    However, Valve say their views have changed since being exposed to Linux people.. It’s certainly possible..Only time will tell whether Valve geeks will see the light regarding open standards, open source and competition.

    Valve’s next step should be to get rid of DirectX and Microsoft’s not-so-benevolent-it-turns-out oversight ..probably by getting game-devs together and working on a new version of OpenGL.
    After that it’s in their interests to get enough game devs together to ask Nvidia/ATI to provide assembly level access to GPU programming.

    • The Random One says:

      You are bloody mental if you think ValvE is embracing open source because they think closed OS’s are a bad thing. They only went after Linux after W8 came out, bringing with it the possibility that Microsoft might try to muscle in on their territory by having a Windows store that comes with the system and sells AAA games, and the only reason they went with Linux is because there are literally no other options. If they could come up with an OS that played their library and was closed they would do it in a heartbeat. They are only using open source software because they have to, and anything they do to encourage open source is only because the alternative would be damaging to the “good boys” image they have with a significant part of PC gamers.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        Do you really think that is the case?

        I don’t ‘know’ anything for sure, obviously, but I’m of the opinion that Gabe has had a run in with MS somewhere along the way (licencing fees???????) and has become so pissed off with them he’s out to fuck over their marketshare anyway he can and ‘opening’ up the formally closed gaming OS market allowing community input/oversight for the first time, and an easier job for devs is a pretty good way to shaft it to them.

        I’m pretty sure that with his resources and his coders, if he wanted to put together another closed OS to promote valve he could do it without much problem. Let’s face it, with Linux regs, there’s nothing really to stop him stealing the whole graphics subsystem, pissing round with the code, and using it in a closed system… Wine did it, zipped it up like a straitjacket and sold it as a closed paid application.

        • HadToLogin says:

          Pretty sure at least part of it. I recall GabeN saying Win8 is bad because they will want 30% from each Steam-sale.
          As for “selling slightly edited Linux as their own OS” – that wouldn’t work. Someone would find out SteamOS is Linux and their reputation of “last good PC developer/publisher” would went down the drain. Some people already notices Valve isn’t that “goody” (for example: CSGO doesn’t really support new weapons models because if you’d change your AK47 into AKSU you wouldn’t be able to use custom skins, which means no $$$ for Valve – and being stuck with CSGO ugly vanilla guns and animations are one of the biggest reason why I’m not playing it), selling Linux would be beginning of the end.

        • rsf says:

          Basically this. Valve have also been spouting they are OpenSource converts – as I mentioned, the change was because of the windows store integration, and only time will tell if Valve are genuine.

          However, Valve are in the same position as other consumers with respect to OSes being closed or open – they are end users and subject to closed OS dev whims.
          There’s no reason for Valve to favour closed OSes more than the rest – i.e. no commercial conflict of interest pulling their business practice towards closed source OSes.

          Mac OS X is pretty closed and has steam already:P

          @HadToLogin: As for “selling a slightly edited OS” – The GPL license allows it. Obviously if the charge did not meet the amount of work put in to extending the OS, it would be regarded as a scam. It is also a viable commercial model for businesses to provide paid support/training for opensource OSes.

          @RProxyOnly: “Let’s face it, with Linux regs, there’s nothing really to stop him stealing the whole graphics subsystem, pissing round with the code, and using it in a closed system” – GNU foundation could take him to court for breach of the GPL license.. people would find out soon enough.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            I think GNU would have a hard time enforcing anything now considering they let the ‘Wine’ thing slip.

            Isn’t it comercial/IP/patent, or some shit like that, law that all infractions must be challenged or they lose the right to?

        • jalf says:

          Wine did what? I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

          In any case, neither GPL, Linux or open source in general prohibits commercial software. The GPL license doesn’t mean you have to share the code publicly, just that users of your application must have access to its source code. And it also doesn’t mean that you can’t charge money for your software.

          And… as far as I can see, the Wine source code is available on their website.

          (There is also no such thing as “commercial law”, and nothing saying that “all infractions must be challenged” in general)

          The GPL license is on fairly solid ground legally. And even if Valve could get away with violating it (they can’t), why would they? How would they profit from doing so?

  33. Panda Powered says:

    Will the box come in orange?

  34. Mario Figueiredo says:

    The annoying bit about all this is that this being an open architecture and Valve wanting us to change it to our liking, they still don’t seem interesting in selling us just the enclosure.

    It’s feels a bit weird reading about specs and being told at the same time I’m free to ignore them. Just give us the damn case!

    • airmikee99 says:

      Valve, please ignore this guy and do as much testing as it takes in order to get as many games working on SteamOS on Steam Machines, please oh please oh please.

    • RProxyOnly says:

      I don’t understand your point of view/gripe…

      All of the positive things about this and you seems to be more concerned that you can’t get a plastic box?

      Jings, crivvens and help m’boab.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        I still fail to see any advantage about this Steam Box concept. I’d rather see SteamOS as a free download and the Steam Box as a well designed HTPC case. Filling it to the brim with specs just like another branded computer is what I don’t understand about the whole thing. In an open ended architecture like that of the PC, I just can’t quite grasp why it is important to sell a branded machine anymore.

        • Svant says:

          Which is exactly what it will be? SteamOs will be free to download, you are free to build your own steambox with any hardware you like. But you need to make sure it will work well with the linux distro they are using.

          The branded machine is just a stamp of approval from Valve. “This machine fulfils some hardware/software requirements we have”.

          They are also releasing the CAD drawings for the case so that anyone can make their own, i.e. it is very likely that similar cases will pop up for you to buy.

  35. Premium User Badge

    psepho says:

    The interesting bit of this for me is the following:

    “Apart from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by shopping for components and assembling it themselves. And we expect that at least a few people will do just that. (We’ll also share the source CAD files for our enclosure, in case people want to replicate it as well.)

    And to be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase – those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.”

    I don’t think Valve are actually looking to make money out of direct hardware sales. I think their hope is that the wider hardware industry will leap into the breach and start churning out a wide range of compatible living room products that compete with xBox and Playstation — with Valve in pole position for providing online retail and community services to that userbase. Similar to the way that, by making it open, Google used Android to break the dominant position that iOS initially had for mobile.

  36. Hahaha says:

    I’m not going to buy this so why the fuck are valve making it?
    Why the fuck are they using a titan in the top of the range prototype model?

    people are really dumb.

    • airmikee99 says:

      If you’re not going to buy it, why did you read and comment on the article? And you don’t really think that just because you can’t think of a use for it that no one else can, do you? And why not use the highest end graphics card in the highest end machine?

      Inquiring minds want to know.

  37. HattieTWilliams says:

    Since I started fre+lancing I’ve been bringing in $90 bucks/h… I sit at home and i am doing my work from my laptop. The best thing is that i get more time to spent with my family and with my kids and in the same time i can earn enough to support them… You can do it too. Start here—-
    http://www.jobs53.com

  38. bongosabbath says:

    *mumbles about bitcoin mining and AMD*