Eventually, Valve plans on having multiple manufacturers making all kinds of Steam Machines. But until the program's formal launch next year, all eyes are on Valve's prototype machine. Three hundred of these prototypes will be distributed to gamers, and many are eager to know: what's in the box?
Described as "something special," Valve's initial prototype is a "high-end, high-performance box" built from off-the-shelf PC parts. Valve says that anyone can go and build exactly the same machine, minus the custom enclosure.
- GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
- CPU: some boxes with Intel : i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
- RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)
- Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
- Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
- Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high
Valve points out that "this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users." However, it will be "the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase."
Hardware partners will undoubtedly create very different systems for a variety of potential customers. Namely, there will be systems with less beefy specs--designed to cost less, be smaller, and/or be quieter. "there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions," Valve promises. Based on our estimates, Valve's prototype will cost about $1300 to build using parts purchased off Newegg. Your mileage will vary, of course.