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Twelve Steam Machine hardware partners revealed so far at CES

by Mark Tyson on 6 January 2014, 15:03

Tags: Valve, PC, ZOTAC, CyberpowerPC, Alienware (NASDAQ:DELL)

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We saw a couple of Steam Machines pre-announced before the start of CES week. In addition to the home-brewed Valve prototype we reported on the iBuyPower and Piixl Jetpack concoctions before 2013 ended. Now Engadget has learned of many more Steam Machine hardware partners including some big names from PC systems and components makers.

Today Engadget reporters learned that Valve has a long list of hardware partners who are interested in creating and marketing their own takes upon the Steam Machine. The list below includes some famous and other not-so-famous names;

Alienware,           Falcon Northwest,     iBuyPower,

CyberPowerPC,   Origin PC,                Gigabyte,

Materiel.net,         Webhallen,               Alternate,

Next,                      Zotac,                     Scan Computers.

If we include the previous known partners of Piixl and Digital Storm that makes at least 15 varieties of Steam Machine – if each partner only releases one model. It will be interesting to see which way these systems builders go with their designs and what market niches they will attempt to address. As a box intended for the living room though, we expect nearly all of them to be compact designs.

Looking at the list above we can see both Gigabyte and Zotac, both respected add-in-board partners which have also a history of chassis design. These two firms make the Brix and ZBOX mini PCs respectively so it wouldn't be surprising to see compact but powerful Steam Machines based upon these.

We hope to get a good look at all the new Steam Machines on offer around the CES, Tarinder is there for HEXUS pacing rapidly between the exhibition stands. However Valve isn't kicking off its press event until half past midnight UK time tonight (4.30pm PCT).

UPDATE:

CyberPowerPC has just sent us a press release detailing two models of Steam Machine it will be producing. The models are listed below in base configs but these can be customised further to your pleasing. 

 

CYBERPOWERPC

Steam Machine A

CYBERPOWERPC

Steam Machine I

Base Price

$499

$699

Case

                                         CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine Gaming Chassis 

Graphics

AMD Radeon R9 270 2GB GDDR5 Video Card

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 2GB GDDR5 Video Card

Processor

AMD A6-6400K 3.90 GHz

Intel® Core™ i3-4330 3.50 GHz

Storage

500GB SATA-III 7200 RPM HDD

RAM

8GB DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory

Chipset

mITX motherboard w/ 802.11 WiFi + Bluetooth

mITX motherboard w/ 802.11 AC WiFi + Bluetooth

Accessory

Steam Controller

OS

Steam OS

Availability

ETA: 2H 2014

 

 CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine chassis



HEXUS Forums :: 42 Comments

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Typo highlight HEXUS...iBuyPower is listed in the main group and the following sentence.

edit:

Hi there...me again...doesn't that make it "14 varieties"...or is there another name not yet listed? :mrgreen:
The last version of steam OS i have seen did not play nice with AMD at all. They better fix that before release.
But i'm still not able to see this as anything more then yet another prebuild Alienware like overpriced pc. The only difference is the OS
$499 and more power than a PS4, Time for me to look smug at all the people that told me you cant build a PC for the price of a console :)
That cyberpowerpc case is horrendous even for a gaming machine.
Seems only to be a product render but looks like a ps3's been sandwiched between some cheap white plastic and then 'pimped' with green neon lights.
Ehh,nope?? The $499 has an A6 6400K dual core and a R9 270X. Its going to be utter fail with titles like BF4 and Crysis3. It would not surprise me if a Athlon II X2 270 would be a faster CPU. The A6 6400K is going to be slower in such titles too than the 1.5GHZ to 2GHZ Jaguar cores in the PS4. Even if only 6 were used,the A6 6400K would be more of a bottleneck.

Its a horrible spec and I would not touch it with a bargepole.

That is also ignoring the other custom features the SOC has:

http://techreport.com/news/24725/ps4-architect-discusses-console-custom-amd-processor [techreport.com]

Cerny says the PS4's custom silicon incorporates not only the CPU and GPU, but also a "large number of other units." The chip has a dedicated audio unit to perform processing for voice chat and multiple audio streams. It also has a hardware block designed explicitly for zlib decompression. The main processor is backed by a secondary chip that enables an ultra-low-power mode for background downloading. In that mode, the CPU and GPU shut down, leaving only the auxiliary chip, system memory, networking, and storage active.

A 256-bit interface links the console's processor to its shared memory pool. According to Cerny, Sony considered a 128-bit implementation paired with on-chip eDRAM but deemed that solution too complex for developers to exploit. Sony has also taken steps to make it easier for developers to use the graphics component for general-purpose computing tasks. Cerny identifies three custom features dedicated to that mission:

An additional bus has been grafted to the GPU, providing a direct link to system memory that bypasses the GPU's caches. This dedicated bus offers "almost 20GB/s" of bandwidth, according to Cerny.
The GPU's L2 cache has been enhanced to better support simultaneous use by graphics and compute workloads. Compute-related cache lines are marked as "volatile" and can be written or invalidated selectively.
The number of "sources" for GPU compute commands has been increased dramatically. The GCN architecture supports one graphics source and two compute sources, according to Cerny, but the PS4 boosts the number of compute command sources to 64.

The GPU is further enhanced for compute purposes,and even an additional bus.

Moreover,do people really think that 100% of all PC titles in 6 years time will run fine on even the $699 spec SteamBox?? A PS4 will run every title made for it fine. Will a PC be simple plug and play like a console??

Moreover,as usual hardware enthusiasts on forums don't get a thing about longevity and I am the sort of person who likes keeping their desktops for longer than normal too. Consoles have far greater hardware lifespan than gaming PCs,and all the SteamBox is a competitor to Windows gaming PCs,and will follow the same hardware upgrade cycles. AMD,Intel and Nvidia have no interest in making their desktop hardware(especially GPUs) last longer as it means less MONEY for them. They WANT people to upgrade hardware on the desktop sales,as it means more money for them.

I really don't understand all this illogical hatred of consoles. It seems to be worse with this generation than the last one,and I have an inkling why it is the case.