Steam Machine Specifications Revealed...?

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling, Systems | October 4, 2013 - 07:19 PM |
Tagged: valve, Steam Machine

Well, that did not take long.

Valve announced the Steam Machines barely over a week ago and could not provide hardware specifications. While none of these will be available for purchase, the honor of taking money reserved for system builders and OEMs, Valve has announced hardware specifications for their beta device.

Rather, they announced a few of them?

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The raw specifications, or range of them, are:

  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce Titan through GeForce GTX660 (780 and 760 possible)
  • CPU: Intel i7-4770 or i5-4570, or i3-something
  • RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB GDDR5 (GPU)
  • Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
  • Power Supply: 450W
  • Dimensions: approx. 12" x 12.4" x 2.9"

Really the only reason I could see for the spread of performance is to not pressure developers into targeting a single reference design. This is odd, since every reference design contains an NVIDIA GPU which (you would expect) a company who wants to encourage an open mind would not have such a glaring omission. I could speculate about driver compatibility with SteamOS and media streaming but even that feels far-fetched.

On the geeky side of things: the potential for a GeForce Titan is fairly awesome and, along with the minimum GeForce 660, is the first sign that I might be wrong about this whole media center extender thing. My expectation was that Valve would acknowledge some developers might want a streaming-focused device.

Above all, I somewhat hope Valve is a bit more clear to consumers with their intent... especially if their intent is to be unclear with OEMs for some reason.

October 4, 2013 | 07:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So depending on the layout of the SFF computer, I mean Steam Machine.

With a Titan you either have 1.5in left or 1.9inch and the possibily your power supply will shut-off during load being 150w short of what Nvidia 600w recommends.

SteamOS isn't dual boot? People can use their existing systems.

Whos going to want to pay a price tag of above $1k for a un-proven gaming system.

October 4, 2013 | 08:22 PM - Posted by Daniel Masterson (not verified)

Based on this I already have a steam machine!! woo hoo.

October 4, 2013 | 09:26 PM - Posted by Brox

The idea to have a high end gaming machine as a stream box is just stupid. Very little games on Steam support Linux.

Just me or do I have it wrong that the Steam box would have been used to stream games from your pc in another room?

October 6, 2013 | 06:00 AM - Posted by Zicoz (not verified)

This is some of my issues as well. What's the point of buying a Steam Box when you need a Windows Box if you want to play most games anyways.

A lan-version of OnLive would've been a much better solution imo,

October 5, 2013 | 01:14 AM - Posted by praack

well - perhaps we are not thinking correctly here- we tend to look at betas now as being something that is done when the game is just about to be released. in reality this should be another adjustment phase.

so look at Steam;
Has to run on Linux (can't start another windows application)
Nvidia still has a linux team
the rest is seeing what could go into boxes to get the numbers for the manufactures

I've said it before -the only thing keeping me to windows on my personal machine is game support- so if Valve can change that- then i move from Windows.

October 5, 2013 | 02:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

A more logical way of thinking is.

How many current Steam users will be willing to pay for said machine.

I'm willing to bet 50% of the users don't even meet the Steam Machines specs. So Steam will be asking them to buy a Steam Machine that is more than likely not subsidized and will cost close to MSRP per part. When their current user base as already proven they aren't willing to spend that much on gaming machines.

According to Steam Hardware Survey

51.98% of users use Nvidia

GTX 660 3.13%
GTX 670 2.22%
GTX 680 1.67%
GTX 770 0.73%
GTX 760 0.72%
GTX 780 0.41%

Only 8.88% of current users meet GPU Beta requirements.

I don't see how they plan on convincing around 97% of there user base to buy a Steam Machine that will range in the $1k-$3k When judging by there own numbers they don't seam in that much of a rush to spend money for upgrades.

October 5, 2013 | 03:41 AM - Posted by JohnGR (not verified)

Well, I guess now we know that Mantle is NOT coming to Linux.

October 5, 2013 | 07:08 AM - Posted by collie (not verified)

I am wondering if we are looking at this from the wrong angle. They have only stated that these will be the specs for the beta models, not the final product. This of course is just a wild guess, but what if Nvidia is building a custom gpu for this system, something that steam could sell at a loss while the cash rolls in from game and in-game purchases.

It can be assumed that AMD wasn't just given the contract for PS4 and Xbox without Nvidia Making a bid of its own, and perhaps, JUST PERHAPS valve is planing to use the chip that Nvidia offered to the other 2.

Of course none of us will know anything solid until they tell us, and this could unfortunately be a Dejavu moment back to the 3D0 a system that is so technologically superior (from a raw power point of view) to every thing else on the market that the price gap is far too large to get serious consideration from the general public.

we will see I supose

October 5, 2013 | 08:30 AM - Posted by eisbehr (not verified)

I don't get the confusion.

1) Steam Machines are PCs. Valve never claimed anything different. Their entire point is that off the shelve parts are great.

2) Yes, games are supposed to run on the box. The streaming is just a feature on the side. Lots of people jumped to the conclusion that it's somehow the main purpose, which it isn't.

3) They give out different devices to gather feedback for what should be *their* product, that's why this is a beta. This has nothing to do with an official Steambox spec (It even says that in the source).

4) That they are all using Nvidia isn't odd. Nvidia has a working driver for Linux that is on par with Windows performance, AMD does not. If you put an AMD card in your Linux gaming PC you are effectively wasting money (Even on Windows their OpenGL performance is far from great). This is not an omission, there is just no one but Nvidia who can be taken seriously (Intel has a good driver, but lacking the hardware) in the Linux graphics market.

5) Driver speculation isn't actually speculation or far-fetched. SteamOS is a Linux distribution, all Linux systems use the same graphics drivers from the manufacturers.

I don't know why so many people seem to have difficulty understanding this, is it just that people can't believe that Valve is actually lobbying to get more (all PC) games running on Linux?
Otherwise I can't see what's so difficult about reading their announcements.

October 5, 2013 | 05:06 PM - Posted by mAxius

nvidia is greasing the wheels here since they are going to irrelevant in the gaming space with in the next 5 years

October 6, 2013 | 06:50 PM - Posted by joejoe (not verified)

Ps 4: mid range PC sold at a loss.
XBox One: mid range PC sold at a loss.

I think steambox will follow the same paradigm as above and actively enter the console wars to become the "third player".

Nvidia is the natural choice as the company launched gforce experience a few months ago.A piece of software that scales the game settings to the given hardware base. Ull be able to prolly scale between 2-3 models that will feature a seperate gpu. The driver will automatically scale the title and offer a good experience on all systems.

This is a product intented for the end user that doesnt know or care about specs and numbers, just wants to play ( the same crowd gforce experience targets). One button/purpose operation (i.e. a console)

The linux choice is there to avoid liscensing microsoft (already a console maker).. The only problem is title availability...and unless they port AAA titles themselves and provide incentives for indie devs to go steambox...this thing will end up being the appleTV of consoles. Useless.

October 8, 2013 | 01:28 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Not really, it seems to me like Gabe is hoping open innovation will make a more attractive spread of products rather that try to beat consoles at their own game (especially when not even they are profitable).

There should be Steam Boxes which are cheaper than consoles... there should be ones which are more expensive and substantially better under many important metrics.

October 7, 2013 | 06:59 AM - Posted by KasiorMC (not verified)

I don't think that steam will be selling anything at a loss.

StemBox is a standard pc with a dedicated os. It is about the os. You can build the box yourself. Make it a dual-, triple-boot machine. Run windows for now. But later on, with enough push (and there will be) your next build's bill won't have 100$ for the os.

So far it's an example how steam box can be build. All that can be said for certain is that AMD needs to back this as well or they might become irrelevant on the market.

October 7, 2013 | 10:03 AM - Posted by Irishgamer01

Steam is trying to lower the bar
for PC games. Just like Microsoft did with the Xbox360.
If developers see a minimum quality standard for the PC, they are just not going to push past it. Like those who just ported 360 games to PC, we (pc gamers) will just get ports to the steam new min standard, which would be a 660, due to price.

Steam cutting the hand that feeds it

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