There sure are a lot of Steam Machines to choose from. However, what offers the best bang for the buck? Futuremark has taken an early stab at benchmarking these systems with 3DMark.
Unfortunately, with many of the systems not completely spec'd out yet, the report is rather incomplete. In addition, these tests are being conducted with equivalent hardware running Windows. The Linux-based SteamOS may offer varying levels of performance, especially depending on the quality of the video drivers available at launch.
Unsurprisingly, the Chronos system from Origin wins on pure power, having not one but two GTX Titans in the rig. The score is nearly a tenfold increase over the lowest on the list: the GIGABYTE - Brix Pro. Given the disparity between the low and top end, it's clear that Steam Machines will range in power just as much as other Windows-based gaming PCs.
Perhaps the most intriguing benchmark will be iBuyPower and CyberPowerPC's $499 offerings. At that price, those Steam Machines are competitive with consoles. But will they be able to offer comparable performance? Once Steam Machines are actually out in the wild, we'll finally be able to find out.