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Valve Talks More About Nvidia GPUs Inside Steam Machines

By - Source: Nvidia | B 36 comments

Valve's Mike Sartaina briefly talks about Nvidia's involvement with the Steam Machines prototypes.

On Friday, Nvidia PR manager Brian Burke posted a short Q&A with Mike Sartaina from Valve's Linux team, discussing the Steam Machines initiative. As revealed earlier, the GeForce GPU maker has been involved with SteamOS from the beginning, and is supplying the Kepler-based GPUs used in the 300 Steam Machine prototypes being offered to testers later this month.

"Nvidia and Valve have been working together for over a decade and engineers from both companies are in constant communication," Sartaina said. "When the SteamOS and Steam Machine projects first got going at Valve, everyone from Nvidia showed a ton of excitement and wanted to get involved. It was a very collaborative effort as folks just started tackling issues such as driver support, porting Nvidia’s content library, and more."

Both teams believe the SteamOS open ecosystem is a very important move for gaming and that it will redefine the living room gaming experience. This will be a chance for gamers to provide feedback during pre-production, to allow them to be part of the design process. The Steam Machines initiative will also be a chance to innovate in a way that really hasn't been seen in the living room console market.

Sartiana said that with the prototype stage now about to begin, Valve is interested in receiving feedback on a number of configurations. "Their feedback will have a significant impact in shaping further development of these devices and the functionality of the SteamOS," he said. "As such, we wanted to test a variety of Steam Machines that explore a range of price performance. Nvidia has done a ton of work to optimize its GTX GPU series on Linux. That work applies across the GTX product line, which provides a complementary set of GPUs for our desired range of prototype Machines."

The prototype machines will feature either an Nvidia Titan, GTX 780, GTX 760, or GTX 660 GPU. On the CPU front, some boxes will have Intel's Core i7-4770, others will have the Core i5-4570, and some will have the Core i3 processors. Available RAM will be 16 GB DDR3-1600 (CPU) and 3 GB DDR5 (GPU). Storage will be provided by a hybrid SSHD with 1 TB for storage and 8 GB for cache. Power will be handled by an internal 450 watt 80 Plus Gold power supply.

"The GeForce GTX series delivers the graphics performance, acoustic characteristics, and power efficiency we wanted for the first impression of the SteamOS living room game experience," he said. "So, even though they are helping us test these devices, their experience should begin with superior performance and amazing visuals directly on their big screen TV the first day they have it."

For a chance of landing a Steam Machines prototype, follow the beta entry instructions here.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Memnarchon , October 7, 2013 1:30 PM
    "others will have the Core i5-4750"
    After the successful invention of i7 3990K, Tom's Hardware continues to invent new CPUs!
  • 12 Hide
    nekromobo , October 7, 2013 2:10 PM
    Where will this SteamBox stand on the forgotten console list?

    Nvidia, did you pay Valve like you did with origin?

    http://semiaccurate.com/2013/10/05/much-nvidia-pay-origin-pc-drop-amd/
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    athulajp , October 7, 2013 1:15 PM
    Ok valve, we know nvidia was involved in steamOS from the beginning, and I have no problem with GeForce cards being in steam machines, but what's the situation like with AMD? They said they were involved with SteamOS, and that Nvidia was just more vocal about their involvement(NV was probably more involved though). It'd be nice to know if AMD cards could meet the spec for steam machines.
  • Display all 36 comments.
  • 9 Hide
    shahrooz , October 7, 2013 1:23 PM
    this is what I call a console :D 
  • 6 Hide
    joaompp , October 7, 2013 1:26 PM
    I just want the controller =D
  • 21 Hide
    Memnarchon , October 7, 2013 1:30 PM
    "others will have the Core i5-4750"
    After the successful invention of i7 3990K, Tom's Hardware continues to invent new CPUs!
  • 8 Hide
    slomo4sho , October 7, 2013 1:32 PM
    I'll install the OS on my existing machine but will never buy a Steam Machine. Their hardware configurations are too restrictive and there is a high likelihood that the system will demand a hefty premium.
  • 2 Hide
    DeizelVolt , October 7, 2013 1:32 PM
    Meh all I want is a price on this and the PSU doesn't seem to be suitable to run all of that unless they allow upgrading the PSU.
  • -1 Hide
    raydog , October 7, 2013 1:34 PM
    Why so much ram?
  • -1 Hide
    marcchell0 , October 7, 2013 1:40 PM
    http://ark.intel.com/products/76087/
  • 7 Hide
    Memnarchon , October 7, 2013 1:41 PM
    Quote:
    Meh all I want is a price on this and the PSU doesn't seem to be suitable to run all of that unless they allow upgrading the PSU.


    Not entirely true. Titan paired with a 3960X @4,5Ghz which obviously consumes double power than the most consume hungry steam machine CPU the i7 4770K, Chris Angelini used maximum around 430Watt for whole system. Source: Clicky Clicky
    The article.
  • -1 Hide
    Larry Bob , October 7, 2013 2:03 PM
    760 and possibly 770 I can understand, but the 660? That's absolutely terrible when compared to a price-comparable 7870 and with 7950s/270Xs dropping to around $200 they'll be curbstomped even further. The 760/770 will at least stay somewhat comparable to AMD cards.
  • 12 Hide
    nekromobo , October 7, 2013 2:10 PM
    Where will this SteamBox stand on the forgotten console list?

    Nvidia, did you pay Valve like you did with origin?

    http://semiaccurate.com/2013/10/05/much-nvidia-pay-origin-pc-drop-amd/
  • 1 Hide
    juan83 , October 7, 2013 2:48 PM
    Linux is linux and this one is for PC, so you can install it everywhere. this is nothing but a PC, and you can estimate the price based on the components, CPU, GPU.. the mother and ram, as well as HDD, might introduce some variations depending on model and brand.. Linux is FREE of charge, you don't have to pay for it. The great thing is that you can try to install it, but maybe some device doesn't work, like sound card, wifi.. but if you take into consideration that a puppy linux is packed in about 150mb and comes with a kernel 3.5+, you can assume that your compatibility could be easily 100%.. even today you can download the propietary drivers of my ancient 8600 GT updated, so in terms of graphics performance, it will work as well as the humble HW acquired for the PC..
  • 1 Hide
    joneb , October 7, 2013 3:21 PM
    I think many of you are missing the point with the Steam Machines. They are designed to get Valve and Steam into competition in the overall gaming community, and nt just to sell consoles. Its like when Pinky and the Brain try to take over the world except if marketed right these machines could be the Trojan Horse to success. They do want people with PCs to also run the OS and Steam so it can be the SYSTEM of choice for all kinds of gamers. I think the consoles will be quite inexpensive because they want to hook gamers to Steam and that is where the real money lies for them.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 7, 2013 3:23 PM
    Seeing as AMD has tied up the previous and the next generation of consoles, it makes sense for nVidia to cosy up to Valve, because if they lose out with the PC gaming crowd too their only cash cow after that would be Tegra and that's an even more cutthroat market - no, get in sweet with Valve to salvage any sales
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , October 7, 2013 3:29 PM
    i honestly dont see how this is living up to Gabens hopes earlier this year for there to be steamboxes in the 300-500 range. these PCs are all looking so expensive.
  • 1 Hide
    walter87 , October 7, 2013 3:49 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Meh all I want is a price on this and the PSU doesn't seem to be suitable to run all of that unless they allow upgrading the PSU.


    Not entirely true. Titan paired with a 3960X @4,5Ghz which obviously consumes double power than the most consume hungry steam machine CPU the i7 4770K, Chris Angelini used maximum around 430Watt for whole system. Source: Clicky Clicky
    The article.


    Thats still pushing it pretty close to its threshold, considering there PSUs are 80 Gold not 80 Platnium certified. Since they are designed to be modular and upgradeable, having a little extra would benefit those high-end tier in a few years, when you can never predict what power requirements may be (although more and more components are pushing for better efficiency). In my opinion, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Considering the small 12x12x3" form factor they mentioned, are they using custom PSU's or a custom PSU like you would find in the built-in mounted PSU in Hadron Case for example (something that is not replaceable)?

  • 1 Hide
    Memnarchon , October 7, 2013 4:04 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Meh all I want is a price on this and the PSU doesn't seem to be suitable to run all of that unless they allow upgrading the PSU.


    Not entirely true. Titan paired with a 3960X @4,5Ghz which obviously consumes double power than the most consume hungry steam machine CPU the i7 4770K, Chris Angelini used maximum around 430Watt for whole system. Source: Clicky Clicky
    The article.


    Thats still pushing it pretty close to its threshold, considering there PSUs are 80 Gold not 80 Platnium certified. Since they are designed to be modular and upgradeable, having a little extra would benefit those high-end tier in a few years, when you can never predict what power requirements may be (although more and more components are pushing for better efficiency). In my opinion, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Considering the small 12x12x3" form factor they mentioned, are they using custom PSU's or a custom PSU like you would find in the built-in mounted PSU in Hadron Case for example (something that is not replaceable)?



    i7 4770: 100watt
    GTX Titan: 230watt
    Rest System: 20watt
    Total: 350watt

    Now how can 350 watt be close to 450watt threshold??? And what's this has to do with the efficiency?
    edit: removed "K" :p 
  • -1 Hide
    slomo4sho , October 7, 2013 4:16 PM
    Quote:
    i7 4770K: 100watt
    GTX Titan: 230watt
    Rest System: 20watt
    Total: 350watt


    Pay a premium for an unlocked CPU and then be restricted to stock speeds on CPU/GPU because you have no overhead on the PSU. Brilliant!
  • 2 Hide
    cmi86 , October 7, 2013 4:27 PM
    Over priced PC hardware with a limited game selection... meh i'll keep my pc thanks.
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