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Didn't Get A Valve Steam Machine Prototype? Build Your Own!

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December 15, 2013 9:28:38 PM

There's a typo in the official rules, the i5 steam machine specs list the i7.
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December 15, 2013 10:13:25 PM

That's pretty awesome that they put up all of those parts for the contest. I would love a steam box personally. And pretty cool build too. Ill keep my fingers crossed.. lol
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December 15, 2013 10:23:13 PM

so i can build it but i can't build it cause the case is still not on sale
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December 15, 2013 10:25:39 PM

What's a "Desicion" ? Thought it was always, "Decision".
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December 15, 2013 10:41:20 PM

eh, wait till it hits the market. I'm sure

A) manufacturers will start shelling out slim SFF cases similar to the steam machine designs

B) you can buy broken steam boxes from ebay and salvage the case
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December 15, 2013 10:57:40 PM

Already have my steam box in a Fractal design node 304. Couldn't be any happier with that case.
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December 15, 2013 11:00:14 PM

Double post
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December 16, 2013 1:40:50 AM

Huge amounts of wasted space in that case, even with the clever riser cable trick.. I don't get it.
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December 16, 2013 1:50:07 AM

Menigmand said:
Huge amounts of wasted space in that case, even with the clever riser cable trick.. I don't get it.
The selection was "made for us" when nobody could provide a suitable alternative. There were some alternatives in the past, but those are no longer in production. And there will be some alternatives in the future, but those aren't being produce yet.

The past cases were Micro ATX based. I believe this new one might be made of some of those parts. But its manufacturer came up with a new reason not to reduce its size from former glory: It added a large radiator mount. Azza's new target market will be slim gaming system overclockers, even though it appears that the previous version of this case was probably an office desktop (or Micro ATX media center). Meanwhile, a Tom's Hardware team member or two will continue watching for even smaller alternative cases.

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December 16, 2013 3:41:22 AM

Its nice and all but would not a person be limited for future upgrades with this i would rather prefer a full tower or mid-tower PC.
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December 16, 2013 4:45:54 AM

Pretty cool. I remember having similar issues when picking parts for my HTPC a couple of years ago and ended up folding for a standard ATX case from nMedia, this looks much better!

Given that we don't any SteamOS benches any word on temps or how it runs with SteamOS?
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December 16, 2013 5:10:13 AM

I think the SteamBoxes didn't rely on the stock HSF for the CPUs.

It would be a very good time to do another cooling efficiency for SFF HSFs :p 

Let's see how they all fit in this case and perform.

Cheers!
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December 16, 2013 5:16:48 AM

really nice article and since steam if the major gaming station on pc it would be loved by everyone including me!
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December 16, 2013 6:49:07 AM

I'll use a mobile AMD athlon 64 4000+, ATI Radeon Mobility 600, and 2GB of the slowest DDR2 memory. That should be enough to power any of the linux titles "ducks for cover"
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December 16, 2013 7:09:05 AM

I also made my SteamBox....using a 65mm X 190mm X 220mm case.

Includes a WiFi Card (can be replaced by a mSATA card), ODD, 2.5 HDD and 8GB DDR3 at 2133 MHz....and a AMD APU.

Right now uses a Trinity APU that will be replaced by a Kaveri when they arrive.
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December 16, 2013 8:04:50 AM

You made it put no review? wtf! Install the OS and bench!
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December 16, 2013 9:08:36 AM

Clonazepam I would like to see you run dota2 on those specs. Linux requires are dual core 2.8GHz, 4GB's ram, and HD2600/3600. While specs you suggest will meet minimum requirements for games like cs source, team fortress 2, and left 4 dead 2 you'll need a mid range current card to run them at 1080p.
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December 16, 2013 9:09:39 AM

Clonazepam I would like to see you run dota2 on those specs. Linux requires are dual core 2.8GHz, 4GB's ram, and HD2600/3600. While specs you suggest will meet minimum requirements for games like cs source, team fortress 2, and left 4 dead 2 you'll need a mid range current card to run them at 1080p.
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December 16, 2013 9:21:32 AM

1) Brings free donuts to loops
2) loops says "you brought donuts and no coffee? wtf! Go get me coffee!"
3) Decides never to offer goodies to loops again.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2013 10:07:23 AM

It only uses DDR3???? Well my PS4 uses DDR5 so it's better!

Just kiddin'.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2013 10:21:48 AM

I like this whole idea of basically being able to build your own game console. But the smaller the fans the louder they seem to be. I would think the stock cooling fan and the smaller PSU fan would create the fan noise no one is looking for.

The new Xbox Ones are close to silent. You have to put your ear right above it to hear a fan even while gaming. By no means am I saying they are better at gaming than my PC with a 3930K and 2 780s, but a small, quiet running machine is what I look to put on my entertainment center. This is why my Xbox One is on my entertainment center.

I would think a PC with small fans is going to be pretty loud.
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December 16, 2013 10:40:52 AM

Kick-ass case.
How can i enter the giveaway?
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December 16, 2013 10:46:16 AM

The future is now
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December 16, 2013 10:55:08 AM

would love to do this if i had the money.
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a c 290 4 Gaming
December 16, 2013 11:25:32 AM

Great like everything except the case and entered!
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December 16, 2013 12:18:42 PM

Unbelievable... Why would anyone want to throw more money at Valve? We're already STUCK within the walled garden called Steam.

Can you simply take your games with you if you decide to leave? Nope. Please people, please, stick with Steam on the PC as there's little to zero need for this.

P.S. Toms... You STILL haven't reviewed the Surface Pro 2.
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December 16, 2013 12:33:34 PM

That rise.....how much electric current it supports? Will support a high end cards?
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December 16, 2013 1:54:23 PM

What is a SSHD?
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December 16, 2013 2:16:31 PM

I like that Azza Z case. Never before heard of them. Thanks.
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December 16, 2013 2:40:07 PM

Where would one find the Azza Z? is it listed on the company website? googling Azza Z brings up some junk music and some random COD player. I would absolutely love that case, or the new raven mini case.
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December 16, 2013 2:41:19 PM

loops said:
You made it put no review? wtf! Install the OS and bench!


I can't , my net reached its full speed traffic limit Friday before SteamOS was released and now its working at a veeeeery slooooow speed....only go to full speed again next week Monday.
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December 16, 2013 6:48:29 PM

lekzero said:
That rise.....how much electric current it supports? Will support a high end cards?
How much does it matter when they're replacing the riser on retail cases? Azza is a case manufacturer: The flexible link is a temporary solution until they get someone else to supply the rigid riser, and the article states this.
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December 16, 2013 8:10:46 PM

i just came here to say that the advertising (ads) on this particular article remind me of 2001. Constant popups. I hate to use ad block because the web developers and content creators deserve to be paid, but you guys seriously made me reconsider taking you off my whitelist.
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December 16, 2013 8:21:29 PM

nice specs... hope i can win this.....then install windows.. it can play PC games...right?? :) 
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December 16, 2013 11:54:46 PM

SirRaulo said:
nice specs... hope i can win this.....then install windows.. it can play PC games...right?? :) 
Certainly. Linux is still an OS for the PC :p 
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December 17, 2013 1:26:17 AM

First off that power supply is total junk.. Wth. But the rest of it will rock even if you put an I5 in it.. Go with a very large ssd for the main drive and you are set.
I have been building lots of i5's lately and they benchmark up around my 3770k which was surprising.
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December 17, 2013 3:00:46 AM

mcgee101 said:
First off that power supply is total junk.. Wth. But the rest of it will rock even if you put an I5 in it.. Go with a very large ssd for the main drive and you are set.
I have been building lots of i5's lately and they benchmark up around my 3770k which was surprising.
What makes it junk?

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December 17, 2013 7:50:31 AM

I love when TH does articles like this. Looks like a really sweet system at a very nice size. Should fit a home entertainment system very nicely.

One question: So the contest builds also include the flexible riser, correct? Could that create any long-term reliability issues and would someone be able to order a solid riser card from Azza after they start shipping retail versions of the case?
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December 17, 2013 8:33:37 AM

Isaiah4110 said:
I love when TH does articles like this. Looks like a really sweet system at a very nice size. Should fit a home entertainment system very nicely.

One question: So the contest builds also include the flexible riser, correct? Could that create any long-term reliability issues and would someone be able to order a solid riser card from Azza after they start shipping retail versions of the case?
The temporary solution appears solid, but I have no additional information.

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December 17, 2013 8:46:25 AM

Crashman said:
Isaiah4110 said:
I love when TH does articles like this. Looks like a really sweet system at a very nice size. Should fit a home entertainment system very nicely.

One question: So the contest builds also include the flexible riser, correct? Could that create any long-term reliability issues and would someone be able to order a solid riser card from Azza after they start shipping retail versions of the case?

The temporary solution appears solid, but I have no additional information.

Cool. Thanks for the reply.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 17, 2013 11:29:14 PM

posting after reading the ava direct mini cube article. imo, the smaller form factor power supplies would immensely benefit from modular, ribbon cables - more than their mainstream counterparts do.
edit: may be bundle shorter cables by default and add an option for longer cables for extra price.
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December 18, 2013 12:10:46 AM

de5_Roy said:
posting after reading the ava direct mini cube article. imo, the smaller form factor power supplies would immensely benefit from modular, ribbon cables - more than their mainstream counterparts do.
edit: may be bundle shorter cables by default and add an option for longer cables for extra price.
Yes, the cables are typically around 1-2 inches shorter on retail-branded SFX power supplies, and are still far too long for the enclosures they serve. They need to be around half as long as PS2 cables. And often they could be 1/4 the length. I'm thinking 9" for main power and 12" for the last connector on drive power should be sufficient for 99% of the SFX-powered cases on the market.

The slightly shorter cables and the slightly smaller power supply did help uncrowd this case a little, but not as much as it should have.

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December 18, 2013 10:39:57 AM

Can you post the dimensions of this case? (even a ballpark would help!)
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December 18, 2013 7:39:56 PM

Trey McDonald said:
Can you post the dimensions of this case? (even a ballpark would help!)
13.5*17.3*4.4 I was a little upset that we couldn't get it down to 12.5 x 13.5 x 4 max, but it's the only slim riser case we COULD get.

These used to be common but are no more, and other editors are part of the problem. Ten years ago many praised motherboard companies for moving the graphics slot down one space for the sake of DIMM clearance, but that caused compatibility issues in riser card cases. By the time Mini ITX motherboards made their way into performance machines, riser-card cases had mostly disappeared.

Mini ITX solves the compatibility issue by getting rid of the option to move the graphics slot. And a new generation of buyers are starting to realize the benefits of a riser card towards slim case design. There's nothing truly new here, just reemergence of former good ideas that were cast aside by careless reviewers.

No reviewer is immune from bad advice though. Ten years ago I criticized Asus for moving to the Intel-standard front-panel header, because most of the cases back then had 3-pin power LED connectors. And so they went back to their old pin header. But now that "everyone except Asus" is using Intel's front-panel header connector, Asus is the only one preventing case manufacturers from going to a one-piece connector for power/reset/hdd-led/pwr-led.
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December 18, 2013 11:53:41 PM

Looks very nice. Would love to see how well it runs!
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December 19, 2013 2:55:21 PM

It takes a MINIMUM of 1tb disk size to install?
Somebody got something screwed up.
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December 19, 2013 3:52:35 PM

AxlMyk said:
It takes a MINIMUM of 1tb disk size to install?
Somebody got something screwed up.
Valve has specified 1TB for multiple game installs. They really want you to install VERY MANY games.

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