GDC 15: ZOTAC Announces the SN970 Steam Machine - Powered by a GTX 970M and Intel Skylake CPU

Subject: Systems | March 4, 2015 - 12:11 AM |
Tagged: Skylake, zotac, valve, SteamOS, Steam Machine, steam, gdc 2015, gdc 15, GDC, GTX 970M

Favor a steamier TV gaming experience? ZOTAC has announced a new Steam Machine on the eve of Valve’s presentation at GDC on Wednesday.

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The SN970 presumably gets its name from the GTX 970M mobile GPU within, and this does the heavy lifting along with an unspecified 6th-generation Intel (Skylake) CPU. The massive amount of HDMI outputs (there are 4 HDMI 2.0 ports!) is pretty impressive for a small device like this, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports are a premium feature as well.

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There's a lot going on back here - the rear I/O of the ZOTAC SN970

Here's the rundown of features and specs from ZOTAC:

Key Features

  • SteamOS preloaded
  • NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970M MXM graphics
  • 4 x HDMI 2.0, supports 4K UHD @ 60Hz


  • 6th Gen Intel Processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970M 3GB GDDR5
  • 64GB M.2 SSD
  • 1 x HDMI in
  • 2D/3D NVIDIA Surround
  • Dual Gigabit Ethernet
  • 4 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x 2.5” 1TB HDD
  • 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Mic-In, Stereo Out
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Reader

The release for this new Steam Box isn't specified, but we will be doubtless be hearing more from Valve and their partners tomorrow so stay tuned!

Source: ZOTAC

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March 4, 2015 | 12:25 AM - Posted by larsoncc

Wow! That actually looks REALLY impressive. I bet it costs a FORTUNE. That thing looks awesome - a NUC style form factor with meaningful graphics... Ugh, it seriously must break the bank.

March 4, 2015 | 12:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm thinking $1400 seeing as the alienware one is $1000(or something)

March 4, 2015 | 02:01 AM - Posted by renz (not verified)

Skylake huh?

March 4, 2015 | 02:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Who is the idiot who thought a 64gb ssd and 1tb hdd would be alright?

That's a laughablbly low amount of storage which you will have to pay extra just to upgrade.

March 4, 2015 | 02:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

First, it's 64GB for the OS. There is a dedicated 1TB drive for games.

Second, the 1TB is double that of the "next gen" consoles, XBOX One and PS4.

Thirdly, as it's Steam OS on board, gamers may stream games from a dedicated in-home gaming PC, if they have one.

Lastly, there are multiple USB 3.0 ports on the back, which means storage can be easily expanded without requiring the user to open the box.

March 4, 2015 | 09:31 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Fifthly, the OP is correct. This is dumb. Just put in a single 1TB SSD. FFS

March 4, 2015 | 08:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Cost prohibitive to put a 1 TB SSD in there compared to HDD. You can choose two of the three: Good, Quick, Cheap. You can't have all three.

You sound like children complaining about something that should be obvious to an adult.

March 4, 2015 | 02:17 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Needs more HDMI

March 4, 2015 | 02:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Too much water.

March 4, 2015 | 09:31 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

0/10 wuld not recomend

March 4, 2015 | 05:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

A modt with steamos.

March 4, 2015 | 07:27 AM - Posted by HDMI philliac (not verified)

The amount of HDMI slot it has is greater than that of the USB. I approve.

March 4, 2015 | 08:31 AM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

Skylake I think is slated for a Q3 launch- call it maybe September. I'm also surprised they went with the 64GB-SSD/1TB-HDD. A 1TB SSD would have alleviated some heat and power issues- but I think they are gunning for a more reasonable price.

I think the big drag on this is the OS as I know Steam dealt with a lot of developers last year and I think they tried to hit a sweet spot in a "design by committee" situation. I think they are also thinking of yet even more surprises....

March 4, 2015 | 08:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

PS4 and XBONE have HDD's. They're competing for the same customer base and to do that they have to compete on price. So you're right there about reasonable price.

March 4, 2015 | 08:38 AM - Posted by Edmond (not verified)

And for a sec there i was very happy cuz i thought i would have a small vesa mountable gsync box on the back of gsync monitor....

But no, these stupid fucking cunt holes couldnt add in a displayport.... adding four useless hdmi`s instead ... GG

What a worthless piece of trash... really expected better from zotac.

March 4, 2015 | 09:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks zotac for adding 5 HDMI ports very useful lol

March 4, 2015 | 08:42 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Let's see, someone would use 3 of them for triple 40-52" LED television displays, a fourth for a dedicated audio output to their surround sound receiver, and the fifth for connection to a projector. All, ostensibly, without a need for an HDMI switch.

March 4, 2015 | 10:20 AM - Posted by fundando (not verified)

Looks pretty solid. I just bought a laptop with a 970M and I am very impressed by the gaming performance.

March 4, 2015 | 10:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"6th generation skylake processor", this is not an actual processor make/model number(Full number), or if there are options the complete list of optional processors'/SOCs' makes and model numbers. I need at least a quad core i7, none of of that U/M dual core stuff for me please, especially with that Vulkan middleware/VM/API on the way. They really need to get all food-label/auto-industry labeling anal with the listed specifications listings on PC/Laptop/mobile electronic products! Hopefully there will be a Carrizo SKU, paired with AMD's discrete mobile graphics. Better work hard on your Linux software/driver Stack AMD!

March 6, 2015 | 12:42 AM - Posted by patrickjp93 (not verified)

Haha, AMD work on their Linux drivers?! Intel's already put more than 2 million lines of code into their Linux Skylake graphics drivers.

March 4, 2015 | 03:57 PM - Posted by Crazycanukk

I would actually consider this as a traveller if i could load lets say Windows 10 as well when it comes out. The SFF size is perfect, the GTX 970 would play the MMo's i enjoy with no issues and it would run my powerpoint and other presentations during the day and it could fit into my suitcase. I already have a small but powerful led projector i drag around ..

Hmmmm ..definitely keeping a close eye on this one

March 4, 2015 | 07:29 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

2.5GB, huh...

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