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Valve: Steam Machines Won't Be Only Nvidia Hardware

By - Source: Maximum PC | B 31 comments

Steam Machines will include all three main GPU vendors: AMD, Nvidia and Intel.

We already figured this would be the case, but Valve Software's Doug Lombardi felt the need to clarify that Steam Machines won't specifically focus on Nvidia GPUs despite the prototypes, but support the three primary graphics vendors of today: AMD, Intel and Nvidia. For PC gamers looking for a pure GeForce screaming machine this holiday season, look no further than Nvidia's Battlebox certification.

"Last week, we posted some technical specs of our first wave of Steam Machine prototypes," said Lombardi. "Although the graphics hardware that we've selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of Nvidia cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are Nvidia-only."

"In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, Nvidia, and Intel," he added. "Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future."

Nvidia has played a big part in Valve's SteamOS and Steam Machines introduction over the last several weeks. That could be partially due to AMD focusing on revealing its "Hawaii" GPUs and Mantle API during the same timeframe. AMD has also been talking up its unified gaming approach that ties in with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Nvidia, on the other hand, has been cashing in on its involvement with the SteamOS development and Valve's prototype "consoles."

Although Xi3 hasn't officially made any announcements, its Piston compact PC slated to ship in late November is supposedly a Steam Machine. The "console" will likely ship with a quad-core AMD R464L "Trinity" 35 watt APU clocked up to 3.2 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, an installed 128 GB SSD, a second SSD connector and two SD card slots. There's speculation that the device will ship with SteamOS installed along with several Linux-based free games.

By comparison, the 300 Xbox One-sized Steam Machine prototypes will feature either a Nvidia Titan, GTX 780, GTX 760 or GTX 660 GPU. On the CPU front, some boxes will have Intel's Core i7-4770, some with the Core i5-4570, and some with Core i3 processors. Available RAM will be 16 GB DDR3-1600 (CPU) and 3 GB DDR5 (GPU), and 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.

"[T]o be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase -- those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package," stated Valve designer Greg "Gregori" Coomer. "Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions."

The prototypes are slated to be released to the 300 beta participants by the end of the month.

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  • 22 Hide
    Murissokah , October 10, 2013 10:14 AM
    Quote:
    So far, I can barely contain my indifference. How else can I describe launching overpriced PC hardware to play a seriously reduced Steam game collection. 3...2...1...meh.......


    Mmm, maybe we can look at this in a different way: the largest pc games distributor will now build its own distro of linux and work with all major hardware manufacturers to ensure the platform has broad support of next generation games.
  • 11 Hide
    L0n3Gr3yW0lf , October 10, 2013 10:15 AM
    I'm more interested in the evolution of Linux (as Steam OS is based upon should bring the Linux Community to better gaming experience in that of more games of AAA kind and not just the free and/or clones of the Windows games). If Steam OS is optimized to work with any type of hardware as they kindly try to say then the type of hardware that are in SteamBox's is of less importance as the opportunity of OpenGL to thrive once more.
Other Comments
  • -5 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 10, 2013 10:09 AM
    So far, I can barely contain my indifference. How else can I describe launching overpriced PC hardware to play a seriously reduced Steam game collection. 3...2...1...meh.......
  • 22 Hide
    Murissokah , October 10, 2013 10:14 AM
    Quote:
    So far, I can barely contain my indifference. How else can I describe launching overpriced PC hardware to play a seriously reduced Steam game collection. 3...2...1...meh.......


    Mmm, maybe we can look at this in a different way: the largest pc games distributor will now build its own distro of linux and work with all major hardware manufacturers to ensure the platform has broad support of next generation games.
  • 11 Hide
    L0n3Gr3yW0lf , October 10, 2013 10:15 AM
    I'm more interested in the evolution of Linux (as Steam OS is based upon should bring the Linux Community to better gaming experience in that of more games of AAA kind and not just the free and/or clones of the Windows games). If Steam OS is optimized to work with any type of hardware as they kindly try to say then the type of hardware that are in SteamBox's is of less importance as the opportunity of OpenGL to thrive once more.
  • -6 Hide
    chimera201 , October 10, 2013 10:16 AM
    Xi3 again?
  • -6 Hide
    jtd871 , October 10, 2013 10:20 AM
    Like I mentioned in the initial hardware spec announcement, the Valve-designed enclosure is tiny - and will likely be starved for air for cooling - unless they significantly underclock/volt the GPUs or have a really efficient cooling solution.

    Based on the Titan-sporting Tiki, which has a water-cooled CPU only and is about the smallest (volume-wise) commercial form factor for serious gaming that I'm aware of, I'm expecting that these boxes will probably be fairly loud under load.
  • 8 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 10, 2013 10:31 AM
    Quote:
    So far, I can barely contain my indifference. How else can I describe launching overpriced PC hardware to play a seriously reduced Steam game collection. 3...2...1...meh.......


    While its not mentioned, you can also format the HDD and install Windows on it and use Steam in big picture mode until devs catch up to the SteamOS distro. I don't expect all the devs to but I would imagine they will want a piece of the SteamBox market.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 10, 2013 10:48 AM
    I still don't get the excitement, we already know SteamOS will install on PC hardware, if you already run Steam on Windows then you know it will run SteamOS. What bores me is all the excitement over reference hardware for machines that will cost double a capable games PC and gimp your collection
  • 0 Hide
    loops , October 10, 2013 10:52 AM
    I'll wake up to the idea of this when I can stream my main rig to a Steam box. I am predicting that Nivida gpu based rigs will have the ability to do this 1st, then maybe AMD gpus. I have an AMD gpu so....not holding my breath.

    A 100 buck box that plays casual games and streams from my main PC to the TV seems like a win. I'll stay half interested.
  • -8 Hide
    ubercake , October 10, 2013 11:58 AM
    Intel's getting into the GPU market?
  • 6 Hide
    JD88 , October 10, 2013 12:03 PM
    Quote:
    I still don't get the excitement, we already know SteamOS will install on PC hardware, if you already run Steam on Windows then you know it will run SteamOS. What bores me is all the excitement over reference hardware for machines that will cost double a capable games PC and gimp your collection


    back, you troll nonstop and spread around misinformation about topics you know absolutely nothing about. The price and specifications have only been released for the Piston and that's not even an official Steam box. No one knows how they will be priced or perform yet. Not everyone wants to shell out $100 for an overpriced and overrated, and overbloated operating system just to play games.

    Also, Tom's needs to stop posting pictures of the Piston as it is being associated with Valve Steam Machines which it is not.
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , October 10, 2013 12:21 PM
    The SteamBox is a cool idea and I can see it appealing to some people. Most of us are the build-your-own-pc type so we're not going to buy one of them. As mentioned by a couple of people here, I'm mostly interested in seeing increased support for games in Linux. If this somehow takes off and becomes even half as successful as the Xbox/PS then it could mean big things for Linux, no to mentioned vastly increasing the Linux consumer user base.
  • 1 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 10, 2013 12:28 PM
    imo the biggest problem with the steam 'console' isn't the lack of linux games or nvidia's incessant p.r. on how they're still relevant in pc gaming or amd's gpus. it's intel's cpu price (and lack of linux games). haswell is so badly sku-ed and priced that it'll drive up pc console's overall cost to way over an xbone(R) or ps4. for approximately the price of a core i7 4770 and a $150 gfx card you might be able to buy a whole new console. amd and nvidia can price-battle in discreet gfx market and drive prices down, but the cpu market is the opposite. and intel Never drops cpu prices(lowering 5-20 bucks make no difference). if steam pcs consoles don't sell under regular gaming pc prices, they won't be worth getting. it'd be better and easier to just install steam o.s. in an existing gaming pc and dual-boot instead.

    amd's fx cpus pretty much quit themselves when valve decided for an xbone(R) sized enclosure dimensions and 450w 80+ gold rated psu. hopefully steamroller fx, if they come out, have better luck.

    Quote:
    Intel's getting into the GPU market?

    all gpus: intel is the market leader, with 61%~ share, followed by amd's 21%~ and nvidia's 18%~. couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic.
  • 0 Hide
    bgunner , October 10, 2013 12:31 PM
    Till we see the pricing and performance reviews, I will continue to Upgrade my machine. the way it seems to be put here on Toms makes it almost sound like a glorified console. Yes I know it's actually PC hardware but hell I have one of them already.
  • 1 Hide
    ubercake , October 10, 2013 12:34 PM
    Quote:


    Quote:
    Intel's getting into the GPU market?

    all gpus: intel is the market leader, with 61%~ share, followed by amd's 21%~ and nvidia's 18%~. couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic.

    I seriously didn't think they would consider low-end graphics bundled with a CPU as a GPU. How many of us are not using our Intel CPU's GPU? In the land of the laptop, sure I'll use Intel Graphics 2000 or 4000 or whatever. But on a serious gaming machine? No way in heck.
  • 1 Hide
    Jarmo , October 10, 2013 12:41 PM
    ... ok, I can't see the point at all anymore.
    A certified box that's guaranteed to run all the available titles, fine.

    But this, is not being able to run anything except Steam offerings the only benefit?
    Because that's not a benefit.
  • -1 Hide
    de5_Roy , October 10, 2013 12:44 PM
    Quote:

    I seriously didn't think they would consider low-end graphics bundled with a CPU as a GPU. How many of us are not using our Intel CPU's GPU? In the land of the laptop, sure I'll use Intel Graphics 2000 or 4000 or whatever. But on a serious gaming machine? No way in heck.

    if a pc or laptop has igpu or on board gpu and discreet gfx, it's counted as having 2 gpus. discreet marketshares are very different. moreover, non-x86 gpus, ultramobile socs were not counted afaik. tablets like surface pro might have been exceptions.
    i guess even when you buy the cpu and the discreet gaming gfx card, you still pay for the igpu and that's why it's being counted. or something like that.
  • 0 Hide
    kartu , October 10, 2013 1:38 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    So far, I can barely contain my indifference. How else can I describe launching overpriced PC hardware to play a seriously reduced Steam game collection. 3...2...1...meh.......


    Mmm, maybe we can look at this in a different way: the largest pc games distributor will now build its own distro of linux and work with all major hardware manufacturers to ensure the platform has broad support of next generation games.


    There is no sign of them having the capacity to revive OpenGL, and without it it's just vaporware.

    It's been a huge mess so far, with 1k$ Piston, then hinting "SteamMachine" is Intel/nVidia box and now suddenly Intel becoming a GPU manufacturer (yeah, I know they do integrated crap).

    It took Microsoft YEARS with all of its skilled workers and insane resources to get DirectX to current levels. I wouldn't count on Valve being able to match, let alone beat that.

    And IF there is no serious push to Linux gaming, I'd have no problem with buying games from Windows Store, if price is right.
  • 1 Hide
    Krisk7 , October 10, 2013 2:10 PM
    Trolling with piston pictures again?
  • 0 Hide
    hapkido , October 10, 2013 2:36 PM
    I think a lot of people are expecting all of their Steam games to run on SteamOS or a Steam Machine. That's not going to happen for a lot of Windows DirectX games. Games that are DirectX 9 can be emulated with Wine (it's not an emulator, yeah, whatever), but I don't think Wine supports DX10 or 11. If Valve hasn't solved this problem, or secured a DirectX license (unlikely), you're left with the same options you currently have for Linux gaming -- you can play OpenGL games or DX9 Windows games through Wine.
  • 1 Hide
    JD88 , October 10, 2013 3:03 PM
    Quote:
    I think a lot of people are expecting all of their Steam games to run on SteamOS or a Steam Machine. That's not going to happen for a lot of Windows DirectX games. Games that are DirectX 9 can be emulated with Wine (it's not an emulator, yeah, whatever), but I don't think Wine supports DX10 or 11. If Valve hasn't solved this problem, or secured a DirectX license (unlikely), you're left with the same options you currently have for Linux gaming -- you can play OpenGL games or DX9 Windows games through Wine.


    Anyone expecting that have no idea what a SteamBox or Steam OS even is. Just because the Xbox is made by Microsoft do people expect it to run games for Windows? No. Of course it won't run Windows games, and Valve never claimed it would. Just like any console, developers will have to develop or port to Steam OS and there's nothing wrong with OpenGL as the PS4 is already going to be using it and an OS that shares a lot in common with Linux. Getting games to Steam OS will be a relatively simple prospect for devs, especially now that everything is x86.
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