#1 Edited by Andorski (5365 posts) -

Engadget Article (with more photos in the Picture Gallery)

This is Valve's Steam Machine prototype and SteamOS handson

This is Valve's Steam Machine prototype and SteamOS handson

This is Valve's Steam Machine prototype and SteamOS handson

I love the aesthetic design of the box. It's simple, clean, and functional. Given how tightly the crammed everything in, it makes sense as to why they went with nVidia on the GPU. The Titan/GTX 780/GTX 770 cooler is the best blower-style cooler made to date and does a great job of moving the majority of the heat to the back of the card. The rest of the package is not much of a surprise: the PSU looks like the ST45SF-G 450W (best SFX PSU out there), low profile CPU cooler (which is okay since it's not an unlocked chip), GPU on a riser card, and a single 2.5" HDD.

I think the most surprising thing I read in the article is how gaming oriented SteamOS is. The writer mentioned how the OS doesn't even how any type of file browser. Given how Steam is now starting to include non-gaming software on their client (e.g. music creation tools), I would have expected there to be some baseline PC functionality. It's understandable though, as it's probably in Valve's best interest to keep this product as straight forward and user-friendly as possible to appeal to the more mainstream crowd.

#2 Posted by ajamafalous (12147 posts) -

No file browser? Kinda disappointing news, to be honest. I was planning on dual-booting and maybe shifting to SteamOS if it did everything I needed it to, but seems like that's off the table now unless the PC version of SteamOS is different (but that would defeat the whole purpose, right?).

#3 Posted by Andorski (5365 posts) -

I have to assume it's the same OS no matter what you install it on. I mean, this prototype is a PC. Every component is an off-the-shelf component.

#4 Posted by zombiepenguin9 (528 posts) -

Looks pretty slick. There seems to be a cohesiveness between the look of the controller and the box.

#5 Posted by BigJeffrey (5173 posts) -

Sexy

#6 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5982 posts) -

It looks pretty nice. Very easy on the eyes.

#7 Posted by ajamafalous (12147 posts) -

@andorski said:

I have to assume it's the same OS no matter what you install it on. I mean, this prototype is a PC. Every component is an off-the-shelf component.

Yeah, exactly what I was thinking.

#8 Posted by SSully (4316 posts) -

No file browser? Kinda disappointing news, to be honest. I was planning on dual-booting and maybe shifting to SteamOS if it did everything I needed it to, but seems like that's off the table now unless the PC version of SteamOS is different (but that would defeat the whole purpose, right?).

The Internet. Where there is always someone who is disappointed by something.

#9 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4487 posts) -

Damn, and I thought the alienware X51 cases were small. That looks great.

@ssully said:

@ajamafalous said:

No file browser? Kinda disappointing news, to be honest. I was planning on dual-booting and maybe shifting to SteamOS if it did everything I needed it to, but seems like that's off the table now unless the PC version of SteamOS is different (but that would defeat the whole purpose, right?).

The Internet. Where there is always someone who is disappointed by something.

I'm disappointed by this comment.

#10 Edited by rempresent (106 posts) -

It is all looking very sharp, it isn't built to please everyone and that is just fine. There will be other vendors doing their best to make their machines a little different than Valve. The article says that the majority of the vendors are working on the low end style machines which is interesting.

The circles are used throughout the designs and will bleed into the GUI later. My guess is in the middle of next year we will have another refresh of Steam that will incorporate some of the design decisions.

I am pretty impressed with it so far. That controller is going to shake things up. Any chances that Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo do a stickless design?

#11 Posted by ajamafalous (12147 posts) -

@ssully said:

@ajamafalous said:

No file browser? Kinda disappointing news, to be honest. I was planning on dual-booting and maybe shifting to SteamOS if it did everything I needed it to, but seems like that's off the table now unless the PC version of SteamOS is different (but that would defeat the whole purpose, right?).

The Internet. Where there is always someone who is disappointed by something.

I'm not sure how you could even extrapolate that from my comment unless you just stopped at the word 'disappointing.'

#12 Posted by crithon (3441 posts) -

Gabe mentioned earlier this year it'd consume less power..... wonder if that's true

#13 Posted by BaconGames (3574 posts) -

I'm actually in the market to build a new PC in early 2014 and the compact-ness might just get me to get one of these. If the video card is a GTX 770 with a overclockable CPU, I'm in. All I would do is install an SSD, slap windows and dual boot into SteamOS when I play games and Windows to watch videos, write papers and do research.

#14 Posted by Jams (2966 posts) -

No file browser? Kinda disappointing news, to be honest. I was planning on dual-booting and maybe shifting to SteamOS if it did everything I needed it to, but seems like that's off the table now unless the PC version of SteamOS is different (but that would defeat the whole purpose, right?).

I assume the PC version of SteamOS is just Linux with Steam installed. I thought I heard different anyways. I thought there way still a way to get a desktop or something. I don't care either way as I'm committed to the switch (save for anything weird happening). This way they might make a neat way to just reboot to SteamOS from windows that's painless and quick. Eventually just using Linux instead of Windows?

I guess we're still a good ways off before we really know what to expect.

#15 Edited by Andorski (5365 posts) -

@rempresent said:

It is all looking very sharp, it isn't built to please everyone and that is just fine. There will be other vendors doing their best to make their machines a little different than Valve. The article says that the majority of the vendors are working on the low end style machines which is interesting.

The circles are used throughout the designs and will bleed into the GUI later. My guess is in the middle of next year we will have another refresh of Steam that will incorporate some of the design decisions.

I am pretty impressed with it so far. That controller is going to shake things up. Any chances that Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo do a stickless design?

I can see vendors offering lower spec/lower budget builds. Using low priced components allow for higher margins of profit. That being said, I don't know who would want a low spec Steam Machine. A PC that uses the CPU's IGP would only be able to play indie-like games. It would be an Ouya with a better library of games. Once you start putting in a GPU like the GTX 760 then the cost of the parts accumulate towards the price of the PS4 and Xbox One (both of which can out-perform a PC running that GPU). The only benefit I see of a low cost Steam Machine would be its streaming capabilities, but would make it more of a peripheral for existing PC gamers rather than a full fledged console.

As for a stickless controller on consoles, I doubt it. The only benefit I see of Valve's controller is its ability to be used on older PC gamers that weren't designed with controllers in mind. Nowadays developers usually consider controller support when designing games. So many PC games have plug and play support for the 360 controller. Even Diablo III, which originally was released without controller support, had it's developers retool the entire game to support a gamepad when it was re-released on consoles. I think it's more feasible for developers to be told "keep controller support in mind even when making PC games" rather than console manufacturers to be told "design, produce, and sell a completely different controller just in case developers only offer keyboard and mouse support."

I'm actually in the market to build a new PC in early 2014 and the compact-ness might just get me to get one of these. If the video card is a GTX 770 with a overclockable CPU, I'm in. All I would do is install an SSD, slap windows and dual boot into SteamOS when I play games and Windows to watch videos, write papers and do research.

Doubt that an overclockable CPU would be offered in such a small case like that prototype. The cooler pictured in Engadget's article is barely any better than the stock heatsink Intel offers. Not to mention Intel has been cheapening out on the thermal paste on Haswell's heatspreader and requires large air coolers or watercooling to get decent overclocks. Hopefully Intel changes its act once they release Broadwell.

Also, out of curiosity, how much would you pay for a Steam Machine with an i7, GTX 770, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD (along with the expected PSU, case, motherboard, etc.)? Would you pay the cost of the components?

#16 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4487 posts) -

@bacongames said:

I'm actually in the market to build a new PC in early 2014 and the compact-ness might just get me to get one of these. If the video card is a GTX 770 with a overclockable CPU, I'm in. All I would do is install an SSD, slap windows and dual boot into SteamOS when I play games and Windows to watch videos, write papers and do research.

Don't expect to be able to do any kind of overclocking in those small cases and I see no reason why you would even bother with OCing if you're just playing games and other basic tasks.

#17 Edited by marsilainen (1 posts) -

@jams:

You can trick steam beta client to think that it's running under SteamOS by adding -steamos to launch options and then starting the BP mode. In the settings there is then option to "Enable Access to Linux desktop". http://i.imgur.com/jajsfNU.jpg

You can also probably just install any window manager you want.

#18 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

I do love competition. Especially from a company that is not sold on the market. I'm game.

#19 Posted by Trylks (829 posts) -

@jams:

You can trick steam beta client to think that it's running under SteamOS by adding -steamos to launch options and then starting the BP mode. In the settings there is then option to "Enable Access to Linux desktop". http://i.imgur.com/jajsfNU.jpg

You can also probably just install any window manager you want.

Very interesting, although having dual boot you don't really need any of those things. I'm guessing the partition for SteamOS will be readable and writable from a Linux dual-booted. It takes restarting the machine but, who cares? And dual boot should definitively be possible.

I'm actually in the market to build a new PC in early 2014 and the compact-ness might just get me to get one of these. If the video card is a GTX 770 with a overclockable CPU, I'm in. All I would do is install an SSD, slap windows and dual boot into SteamOS when I play games and Windows to watch videos, write papers and do research.

Research on what? Use Linux! (In the line of the thread, I am disappointed)

#20 Edited by RonGalaxy (3266 posts) -

That's definitely a big, black box with electronic shit in it.

and dAT controller look like a duck. QUACK QUACK