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Yes, You Will be Able to Upgrade Alienware's Steam Machine

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 12 comments

It won't be easy, though.

Earlier this week, Alienware boss Frank Azor said that the company's upcoming Steam Machine, slated for September if all goes well, will have no customization options, as the customer really can't update the hardware. Now, several days later, he's back in the spotlight singing somewhat of a different tune.

On Thursday, Azor explained that Steam Machine owners won't be locked out of modding the device. However, making alterations to the existing hardware set will not be easy. Just think of it as a laptop, not a stand-up desktop with enough space to house ten-foot graphics cards.

"Enabling customers the opportunity to upgrade components has been a core tenet for Alienware since the company was founded, and that remains true today," he told Eurogamer in a short interview.

That's why the news was so shocking earlier this week; preventing customers from upgrading their machine just isn't Alienware's style. Besides, if you purchased the machine, you should have the right to do whatever you want with it as long as modifications don't void the warranty, right?

When Valve set out on its quest to bring PC gaming into the living room, presumably one of the key Steam Machine rules was to have a gaming box that can be upgraded as PC games grow more complex. This is why the press assumed that Xi3's Piston was a Steam Machine last year, partly due to the ease of upgrading component cards (the Piston name and Valve's financial involvement also played a hand in the speculation).

Now that all 14 Steam Machine partners are out in the spotlight, Alienware's model is one of the most talked about boxes, likely due to the complete lack of hardware information. What kind of hardware present is inside that pretty box? Whatever it is, it can be upgraded according to Azor.

Previously, Azor suggested that modders choose the company's Alienware X51 instead. That opinion still stands.

"If a customer is interested in modding and upgrading their rig on a regular basis, then we recommend the Alienware X51," he said. "Enabling easy upgradeability was a critical design requirement for the X51. It includes features such as single screw access to all internal components, and easy-to-remove ODD, HDD, graphics, etc."

He added that if gamers want more freedom to upgrade, then they should consider the X51. If they want a small, console-like device and have no intention of swapping out the hardware, then the Alienware Steam Machine will be the golden ticket to PC gaming in the living room.

Read about all the latest Steam Machines here.

Display 12 Comments.
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  • -2 Hide
    damianrobertjones , January 23, 2014 1:44 PM
    Heck if you COULDN'T upgrade then THAT would be news.
  • 4 Hide
    lmaonade200 , January 23, 2014 1:51 PM
    an X51 with SteamOS on it is probably a better steam machine than this steam machine
  • 2 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 23, 2014 2:48 PM
    Alienware, there are only two things you need to know:1) It's a Dell so the build quality is crap2) It's overpriced regardless of the hardware
  • -2 Hide
    FastGunna , January 23, 2014 3:04 PM
    I thought that upgradability was a requirement for steam boxes?
  • 4 Hide
    lmaonade200 , January 23, 2014 3:05 PM
    Quote:
    I thought that upgradability was a requirement for steam boxes?


    don't think so, just has to be portable and can stream stuff into the living room TV

    some steam boxes will use laptop processors, how are you supposed to upgrade those?
  • 1 Hide
    itookmypills , January 23, 2014 4:25 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I thought that upgradability was a requirement for steam boxes?
    don't think so, just has to be portable and can stream stuff into the living room TVsome steam boxes will use laptop processors, how are you supposed to upgrade those?
    Many laptops allow you to upgrade the processors. The only problem is that you have to almost fully disassemble it.
  • 1 Hide
    lmaonade200 , January 23, 2014 4:28 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I thought that upgradability was a requirement for steam boxes?
    don't think so, just has to be portable and can stream stuff into the living room TVsome steam boxes will use laptop processors, how are you supposed to upgrade those?
    Many laptops allow you to upgrade the processors. The only problem is that you have to almost fully disassemble it.


    well i mean they CAN be upgraded, but most people can't exactly just walk into Best Buy or log onto Newegg and purchase a mobility chip, those aren't usually available for consumers, not in any sizable quantities anyway, and they're expensive...
  • 3 Hide
    San Pedro , January 23, 2014 4:50 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I thought that upgradability was a requirement for steam boxes?
    don't think so, just has to be portable and can stream stuff into the living room TVsome steam boxes will use laptop processors, how are you supposed to upgrade those?
    Many laptops allow you to upgrade the processors. The only problem is that you have to almost fully disassemble it.
    Actually, Alienware notebooks are pretty easy to upgrade CPU and GPU, or at least the M17 Rx3.
  • 1 Hide
    cypeq , January 24, 2014 12:51 AM
    Soon after it's released people will publish mesurements of what you can put inside that case. It was obvious that this will be custom ATX buid. No surprise here... surprising was no upgrade announcement erlier... that made me think there will be bios limitation to hardware support.
  • 1 Hide
    jalek , January 24, 2014 9:09 AM
    Since Dell is involved, I wouldn't be surprised if everything was proprietary.Upgrade all you want...with parts available exclusively from the Dell store.
  • -1 Hide
    coolitic , January 24, 2014 11:59 AM
    I can upgrade my alienware laptop pretty easily. Just need a screw driver.
  • 0 Hide
    lmaonade200 , January 24, 2014 3:57 PM
    Quote:
    Since Dell is involved, I wouldn't be surprised if everything was proprietary.Upgrade all you want...with parts available exclusively from the Dell store.


    actually Dell has for the most part gotten rid of that policy, my dad is still a big Dell user and often upgrades stuff inside like the RAM or the CPU fans