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ASUS announces the GR8S Steam Machine

by Mark Tyson on 9 March 2015, 10:36

Tags: ASUSTeK (TPE:2357), Valve, SCAN

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacpro

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ASUS has announced its GR8S Steam Machine. The compact 2.5 litre PC, scheduled for a November release alongside all the other upcoming Steam Machines, is essentially the same as the GR8 Console PC with Steam OS. ASUS notes that, by launch time, the GR8S will be "updated with any future Intel Core i5/i7 and Nvidia GeForce hardware available at the time."

The current ASUS GR8 Console PC was launched at Computex 2014. It had prepared the design for a launch of Steam Machines which failed to materialise but decided to go ahead with marketing the living room friendly design with Windows 8.1 installed. "The first GR8 runs Windows 8.1 and is fully compatible with SteamOS and the Steam Controller. A SteamOS-powered ROG GR8 will be launched at a later date, in alignment with Valve’s Steam Machine schedule," explained ASUS at the time. Other Systems makers did the same with the machines they had prepared; for example the Alienware Alpha.

Given that the core performance components of CPU and GPU are subject to change, what do we know about the ASUS ROG GR8S? ASUS list the following key features:

  • Precision-engineered SupremeFX audio for immersive sound
  • Intel Ethernet and GameFirst III for lag-free online gaming
  • Built-in Miracast receiver and dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Incredibly low heat and and power use with a low operational noise of 20dB idle
  • Slide-off covers for additional 2.5-inch HDD/ SSD and DIMM upgrades

The ASUS ROG GR8S product page on the Steam Store reveals a more traditional spec list:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5/i7 processors
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 9-series graphics
  • Memory: DDR3 4GB ~ 16GB
  • Storage: 500GB/1TB 7200rpm HDD, or 128GB ~ 512GB SSD
  • Audio: ROG SupremeFX 5.1 HD audio
  • Network: Intel Gb LAN with 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
  • Price: Starting at $699

Other Steam Machine hardware

If you hadn't noticed, the Steam Store is now overflowing with Steam Machines, all scheduled for a November release. You have examples starting from $459.99 all the way up to $4,999.99. All in all there are 15 brands listed, which all offer at least one Steam Machine variant in their store pages. Among examples from the likes of ASUS, Gigabyte and ZOTAC our friends at SCAN have the 3XS ST Steam Machine listed with configurations priced from $999 to $1,299.

In the Steam Store hardware section you can also look at the Steam Controller page and the Steam Link page. There's no purchasing or pre-ordering right now, you can just 'follow' to be notified of updates to these hardware items, due in November.

HEXUS Forums :: 25 Comments

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By the time November comes there will be newer generation CPU and GPUs. Hopefully the specs will be updated by then lol!!
It seems a little… silly to have this complete free for all on the spec front from a “steam machine”. We're basically talking ANY pc with it's upgrade options severely lacking in a none PC looking box with a steamOS.

They'd do much better narrowing it down to something like a high/medium/low grade machine with a specific spec. Manufacturers could make their version of “steam basic” special in ways other than the spec, publishers and developers could tune their games to run on a low number of specific platforms and could even have a nice, easy UI inside games tuned to run really nicely against those exact spec machines. The “normal” PC crowd would then generally group around each of the specs, economies of scale would kick in and stuff would hopefully be cheaper.

As it is, steam machines are a gimmicky PC without the benefits.
I didn't see much steam machines with AMD APUs, this is weird because I have seen some with intel APUs and while cpu wise are better and cooler the gpu part is not exactly what I could call gaming cpu, like the gigabyte joke… I mean brix…

Since those APUs are good enough for gaming on their own I was expecting some entry level models with them.
It doesn't specify mobile components… that's promising
Pretty much any sff is now called a steam box.

Seeing as a load of them are using the rvz01 like I do I guess that means I have a steam box too.
RVZ02 will be more compact and easier to build in, though less flexible on the cooling front.