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iBuyPower shows off Steam Machine prototype

One of the first hardware partners to announce an official Steam Machine is iBuyPower.

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In addition to the Valve-developed prototype box, third-party manufacturers will be making their own Steam Machines. Valve's attempt at taking over your living room will go into full effect in 2014. One of the first hardware partners to announce an official Steam Machine is iBuyPower.

The company will have two models: Gordon and Freeman. According to Engadget, the two consoles will be identical, except for the light bar around the middle. One will be clear while the other will be black when not illuminated. There's no details on what's inside the box, but iBuyPower says it will be able to play "all Steam titles in 1080p resolution at 60fps."

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 25, 2013 6:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, iBuyPower shows off Steam Machine prototype.

    One of the first hardware partners to announce an official Steam Machine is iBuyPower.

    • reply
      November 25, 2013 6:24 PM

      ibuypower vs. cyberpowerpc....FIGHT

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      November 25, 2013 6:28 PM

      What's with the 360 color scheme on the prototype image?

      I find the claims of all games on Steam running at 1080p & 60fps a bit ridiculous, unless they just mean the handful of Linux titles and not the latest and greatest Windows releases. Which I guess is what they mean? As it's running the SteamOS by default.

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      November 26, 2013 12:13 AM

      That box is a nightmare for people like myself who hate all sorts of bright lights in electronic devices. I bet it'll blink, too.

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      November 26, 2013 6:33 AM

      the 1080p 60fps quote is a really unbelievable bullet point for PC gaming unless we're relying on developers to work towards the steambox standard specs for at least a couple of years at a time.

      they haven't even been able to keep that up for the new consoles and the specs for those platforms are static.

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        November 26, 2013 6:49 AM

        The specs for consoles are also pretty anemic when compared to the average gaming PC. As they should be seeing as how the average gaming PC costs more than a console.

        That said, yes it will be interesting to see how Valve manages the specs game - the 360 is underpowered hardware taped out way back in 2005 but at least you got eight years out of it (RROD notwithstanding). It will suck to learn that because your Steam Machine was made three years ago and not one year ago you can't play the latest games. Or at least not as well.

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          November 26, 2013 6:55 AM

          A point of consideration is that since the Steam Machines are running the proprietary SteamOS which has highly specialized hardware drivers and eschews all of the usual OS overhead/etc... you would have on a Windows Machine. That means more of the power of the PC hardware is going to be directed towards actually running the game instead of other background services. That can mean significant performance increases even with older hardware. That being said, a three year old versus one year old box will still be a weaker system.

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            November 26, 2013 7:18 AM

            It still has that overhead. It's basically a debian machine running the standard linux kernel and driver stack. We'll see if they can improve on that, Nvidia's been doing a lot of work with Valve.

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              November 26, 2013 8:11 AM

              I wonder if the amount of overhead (not that it can be "measured" in a normal way) is compared to PS4/XBone's overhead. Both of those are running some sort of OS (XBone's is a stripped down Windows, I'd imagine) which adds some overhead. Also I wonder if XBone's "XBox Do X!" bit adds more overhead than usual.

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                November 26, 2013 8:19 AM

                It's significantly more overhead because it's running the entire linux stack.

                XBox is not running Windows for the gaming portion. It's running a custom OS, same as the previous two. It does share a bit of driver-stack with DirectX, but it's a custom implementation designed to allow lower-level access and a lot less overhead.

                Technically, it's running 3 OSs (hypervisor, Xbox OS [for games], and a Apps OS [for the UI/apps/snap features]).

                The Kinect features are running on the GPU. No overhead, just less resources for games to use (compared to the PS4).

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                  November 26, 2013 9:43 AM

                  Ok but it's impossible to say that deep down the OS's aren't based on Windows in some way. Operating Systems fall under the category of software that's complicated enough that no one's going to be able to write one from scratch and be competitive in any way (even Android and Chrome OS are based on Linux) so I can't imagine that the Xbox OS is anything other than "stripped down Windows"

                  Also you say "entire Linux stack" as if it's a bad thing, or even accurate. I'm no neckbeard but there's probably a ton of things in your standard Linux distro that won't be included/running/necessary in a version that is aimed at gaming. If anything Linux's complete failure on the desktop, mindshare-wise, probably means it probably doesn't have the doo-dads and whatzits that Windows has going on which hinder PC gaming performance.

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          November 26, 2013 7:05 AM

          do we know how much these will cost yet? i would assume sub $1k? do you think a PC that was sub $1k bought right now and could do 60fps at 1080p in BF4 and then 1-2 years from now play BF5 in a similar fashion? not unless they get EA's support

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            November 26, 2013 7:14 AM

            The only price information is that it'll be "competitive with PS4 and Xbox One."

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            November 26, 2013 10:22 AM

            sure. BF4 runs way better at higher settings than BF3 did for me. anecdote no doubt, but its true. if the steambox gives a more stable HW profile to shoot for and is faster because of a better OS then yes. also a 1000 dollar PC sans monitor can be a pretty good machine, and the curve has dropped drastically over the years. gaming PCs last longer than they ever have by a pretty large margin, and i expect this to become even more true now that the consoles, though still pretty underpowered, are running such similar architectures. also the resurgence of profitability because of Steam causing publishers to focus more on the PC again.

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            November 26, 2013 10:36 AM

            [deleted]

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              November 26, 2013 11:09 AM

              that makes it way more appealing. I've been pricing out computers in that range and that is a good deal. No G-sync with that card, but hopefully there are similarly priced models with a 650 Ti Boost or better. I might not even hook that up to my TV and have a cheap gaming computer with the controller and plug in a keyboard and mouse when I want it.

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        November 26, 2013 7:16 AM

        Maybe games on the steambox will auto select medium quality.

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        November 26, 2013 7:19 AM

        yah you'd almost need specific "Steambox" settings to promise that... also aren't there suppose to be different configs for the Steambox?

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        November 26, 2013 7:42 AM

        There is no standard spec, eg Valve's beta boxes have video cards ranging from GTX660 to Titan and that's just Valve, other companies are free to put in whatever they like including 4x SLI shit.
        On top of that, games don't run with same settings for every box.
        1080/60 is easy for a mid to high end machine, and even for those few games where it isn't, just turn some settings down if you have to.

        I see nothing wrong here, this is one of the PC advantages that they should be advertising.

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        November 26, 2013 9:21 AM

        Apparently it was later clarified to " Steam for Linux games." The beefiest title there is like... Dota 2. Nothing particularly demanding for modern hardware.

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      November 26, 2013 11:26 AM

      Forgive my ignorance on this, but can I use this thing like a computer?As in hook it up to a monitor and play my steam games on it?

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        November 26, 2013 11:31 AM

        It is a computer, with steamOS preinstalled on it.

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          November 26, 2013 11:35 AM

          So In my situation I want a pc that is decent enough to play most indie titles, nothing heavy like BF4 or anything, should I wait for this thing or just build a cheap gaming pc?

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            November 26, 2013 12:54 PM

            If you have the capability of building a cheap gaming pc I'd say do that. Put it in a case that has the form factor of a piece of home theater equipment (like this thing) and you're there.

            Worst case scenario you can put SteamOS on it when Valve releases SteamOS for download.

            Steam Machines are designed for people who want all the advantages of Steam and PC gaming but don't want to do the work themselves (including updating it).

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              November 26, 2013 1:00 PM

              Yeah, pretty cool that steam is going to try to keep customers drivers up to date. If they can most of the hassle out, a lot of people will come to PC's.

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            November 26, 2013 12:59 PM

            Grab a Dell with a Core 2 Duo somebody throws on craigslist. Make sure it has a pci-e x16 slot first. After buying a decent used graphics card you will have spent only $100-150. Voila, you can play every indie game ever.

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            November 26, 2013 1:06 PM

            As far as I know, when steamOS is released, you'll be free to install it on whatever x86 system you have. The steam-machines are for people who like to buy Alienware rigs, or are console-PC anababtists.

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              November 26, 2013 1:33 PM

              Appending my statement above, Steam Machines are for people who want to go buy a box to play their games and don't want to mess with the cruft of a computer.

              - People who don't want to load and maintain a copy of Windows
              - People who want a native interface designed for a controller
              - People who think hooking a laptop to a TV in your entertainment center is stupid (a somewhat valid point)
              - People who want some (but not all) of the advantages of regular PC gaming

              There is potentially a big market if they handle it right.

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        November 26, 2013 11:50 AM

        It will have Steam's linux distribution on it, SteamOS. The answer depends on if Steam is allowing partners to pare down the OS accessibility and what the partner hides.

        You can get SteamOS and a controller and install that on your own computer.

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