Steam Machines: Wrath of the Titan
Its been over a week since Valve’s three announcements for its Steam service hit our screens, the biggest of which detailed plans for PC/Console hybrid “Steam Machines”, to be running the SteamOS. Valve have recently let a little more slip about the specs of these devices, in an announcement via the Steam Website.
If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for the Steam Machine Beta, in which 300 of Valve’s own Steam Machine prototypes are up for grabs. This prototype is the subject of the recent spec update. Valve stated that their own Steam Machine is to be a, “high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts.” They’ve also been very adamant about the fact that the unit will be fully upgradable. Valve also went one step further, explaining that the prototype was “not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users”, rather a unit appealing to a niche audience that will respect the need from some extra grunt under the hood.
In reference to the 300 coveted prototypes shipping for the beta, Valve had this to say;
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 GDDR5 (GPU)
Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high
Now don’t worry, you’re not going crazy, they did mention the infamous NVIDIA Titan. As far as we know, the model featuring the Titan is set to be the higher end model for the Steam Machines, but whose idea was it to put a Titan in there? On one hand its good to see Valve taking care of the high end of the market. There are definitely going to be a group of serious gamers out there that would want that level of graphics processing in their living room. With power like that, the PS4 and Xbone just can’t compare. On the other hand, considering a Titan could cost you $1200 in Australia, what sort of price would we be looking at? Take all those parts at cost and you could still be looking at a $1700 unit.
Another surprising revelation was the dimensions. 12” by 12” doesn’t put the prototypes that much bigger than current gen consoles. While its certainly possible to get a unit like this down to that size, the issue of cooling immediately comes to mind. Those dimensions don’t leave a whole lot of space inside, so it’ll definitely be interesting to see how they pack everything in, as well as stop the darn thing from exploding.
If this last few weeks are any indication of what is to come, I think we can all expect Valve to keep the surprises coming. PC or Console gamer aside, you’ll want to be keeping an eye on the Steam Machines. Innovation can never be a bad thing and when it comes to the Steam Universe, innovation looks to be the name of the game. For any further information, be sure to read the announcement for yourself.