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Valve's Steam Machine Gets iFixit Teardown

By - Source: iFixit | B 25 comments

A detailed look at the components inside Valve's Steam Machine.

We've already seen a teardown of Valve's Steam Machine thanks to YouTube user Corey Nelson, but the iFixit teardown is something of a rite of passage for new gadgets.


The iFixit crew managed to get its hands on one of the 300 beta units shipped out last week and finished up its teardown early this morning. Thanks to other beta kit users, we already know that this machine packs a quad-core Intel i5-4570 CPU clocked up to 3.2 GHz, 16 GB of RAM, a GeForce GTX 780 GPU with 3 GB of VRAM, an ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard, and a Silverstone ST455F power supply. So what can the seasoned teardown pros at iFixit say about ease of access and repairability?

 

According to iFixit, the Steam Machine's parts are easy to access and easy to upgrade; the controller was also easy to take apart. This, along with a modular design and room for another hard drive, was enough to garner the computer an admirable 9 out of 10 on iFixit's repairability scale. In total, the computer's components come to about $1,300 in value. 

For the full gallery of images, as well as the step-by-step teardown instructions, head on over to iFixit!

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  • 0 Hide
    ssalim , December 19, 2013 2:33 PM
    $1300 in value? Isn't the machine $500?
  • 3 Hide
    vmem , December 19, 2013 2:43 PM
    it's like tearing down a homebuilt PC XD

    then again, what did we expect? the folks at ifixit must've had fun with this one
  • 9 Hide
    vmem , December 19, 2013 2:44 PM
    Quote:
    $1300 in value? Isn't the machine $500?


    dude, that GTX 780 by itself is $500 in value
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    Antimatter79 , December 19, 2013 2:51 PM
    Jeez-us! Even with business partners' discounts on the hardware, sounds like a serious hit taken on each one they plan to sell. This even outdoes the PS3 Fatboy in losses per unit sold; there already isn't much markup in PC components. I wonder how much revenue in steam games they're projecting with each unit sold. It'd have to be an awful lot just to come close to breaking even. I just don't see how this will work out.
  • 4 Hide
    Malaraltos , December 19, 2013 2:58 PM
    You are aware they weren't going to sell every unit for $500, right? That was just a starting price. They also mentioned they wanted to put a Titan into a few units as well, and nvidia would never allow them to sell a whole unit for half the MSRP of one item.
  • 3 Hide
    invlem , December 19, 2013 3:01 PM
    Just remember that the steam machine directly from valve is for beta testers only. This is not a retail version they will be selling to anyone.

    There's no way this would sell for $500. Valve already said there will be 3, a low, medium, and high spec system.

    I would assume this is their high spec system.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , December 19, 2013 5:30 PM
    SILVERSTONE!!!

    Power supply and riser. Makes you wonder if they made the full case.
  • -6 Hide
    gudomlig , December 19, 2013 6:05 PM
    $1300 worth of hardware and we are stuck with a crappy onboard sound solution? Even my ancient audigy 2 spanks the Realtek ALC1150 for gaming purposes. Why no lovin for the sound? It seems like pc makes all assume that most americans are tone deaf or something.
  • 0 Hide
    Platinum Era , December 19, 2013 6:09 PM
    The is the eerie thing about the Steam Box. The high end, long lasting models will be in the 1000s. If I were to purchase a PS4 or Xbox One I know this console will last it's lifetime 5-7 years and I will be able to play whichever game I want and it will run adequately. But if I do get the lower-mid end Steam machine for 500$ I will need to upgrade the parts after 2-3 years to run games the way I want. For example take some PC hardware from 2006 when both the PS3 and Xbox 360 were popular, I can still play new games on the "Last gen console" (Bioshock, Crysis, Battlefield) while if I had that PC build in 06 I would have needed to upgrade it for a lot more than the overall price of a console. I don't see how they could target the console audience if the overall price to maintain a Steam Machine (Upgrades to keep it up to date) will cost a lot more than a console.
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , December 19, 2013 7:21 PM
    Still don't want a separate computer/OS for gaming. Steam OS would make PC gaming weaker by diluting already dwindling dev resources to two platforms, one of which can't run most industry standard productivity software (no, I don't want to be using Gimp and Inkscape thankyouverymuch).
  • -2 Hide
    vmem , December 19, 2013 7:32 PM
    Quote:
    Still don't want a separate computer/OS for gaming. Steam OS would make PC gaming weaker by diluting already dwindling dev resources to two platforms, one of which can't run most industry standard productivity software (no, I don't want to be using Gimp and Inkscape thankyouverymuch).


    you have already listed the reasons for which Steam OS will fail in its current form. unless they come up with something new and different, this current version will be little more than a fascination for some folks
  • 0 Hide
    SirRaulo , December 19, 2013 7:55 PM
    i bet this machine will perform better (fps wise) than a similarly spec'ed PC running windows 7/8
  • 2 Hide
    teh_chem , December 19, 2013 9:01 PM
    @killerclick; the only reason I still use (read: purchase and pay for) Windows is because it's needed for 'pc' gaming. if steam OS pans out, it negates my use for Windows as everything else I do can be easily accomplished with Linux (and with distros of Linux being so easy to install and use, there's even less of an advantage to Windows). granted, I think it's a niche market, I don't think it'll pose much of a threat to Windows...
  • -1 Hide
    killerclick , December 19, 2013 11:58 PM
    Quote:
    you have already listed the reasons for which Steam OS will fail in its current form. unless they come up with something new and different, this current version will be little more than a fascination for some folks


    Another reason I don't think Steam OS is viable is the number of different possible configurations for Steam Machines. That's a big point of consoles, that developers know exactly what hardware they're dealing with and can optimize much more than if they're dealing with a variety of CPUs and GPUs.



    Quote:
    i bet this machine will perform better (fps wise) than a similarly spec'ed PC running windows 7/8


    You bet what?


    Quote:
    I think it's a niche market, I don't think it'll pose much of a threat to Windows...


    So if some developers don't see the business case to develop or at least provide decent ports for Windows now, what makes you think they'll see the business case to develop for Linux? So yes, I think Steam OS will not be a threat to Windows because it will be just a niche and a curiosity, but if it did somehow take off, it would just further fragment the PC (meaning non-console, non-handheld) gaming market.
  • 2 Hide
    chimera201 , December 20, 2013 12:06 AM
    That is a SilverStone SST-ST45SF-G 450W SFX12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
  • 0 Hide
    AJSB , December 20, 2013 1:36 AM
    SteamBox need AMD Kaveri , and,down the road, AMD Carrizo APUs to build competitive 500 USD machines.

    The hole Nvidia thing skyrockets the price.

    16 GB RAM might be also excessive ( 8GB DDR3 2133MHz or 2400MHz is a much better option).

    There are other things that are increasing price.

    Check my homemade "SteamBox" with a placeholder A6-5400K:

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1440405/asrock-fm2a88x-itx-fm2-mitx-board-kaveri-ready-build

    :D 
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , December 20, 2013 5:29 AM
    $125 on a HD7770 and that can easily handle 1080p at a frame rate same or higher than any console around. It may cost more than $500 in total but not much and seriously good gaming is worth paying for.
  • -1 Hide
    teh_chem , December 20, 2013 5:45 AM
    Quote:
    So if some developers don't see the business case to develop or at least provide decent ports for Windows now, what makes you think they'll see the business case to develop for Linux? So yes, I think Steam OS will not be a threat to Windows because it will be just a niche and a curiosity, but if it did somehow take off, it would just further fragment the PC (meaning non-console, non-handheld) gaming market.


    Fragmenting? Games are already linux-compatible. Steam is unifying cross-platform play with SteamOS. How is it fragmenting anything? It doesn't require any new hardware. It doesn't require a user to buy a new OS. Steam is steam, whether it's on Windows or on some other OS. Steam-compatible games will still be steam-compatible games, regardless of whether it runs on Windows, or Mac, or Linux. Game developers/publishers already implement linux-compatibility in games without a major player (like Steam) expressing intent to support linux (until now). Is every game going to have this support from the publisher? No; just like how they already don't. At the moment (and I'm sure it'll change in the future), SteamOS (and steambox) will let people play Steam games that are already linux-compatible on a system where that person might not want to go through the hassle of installing linux, installing wine, troubleshooting all of the issues that go into it. And don't need Windows for anything else.

    A lot of people--Steam as well as game publishers--actually don't like working with Microsoft/DirectX, and things implemented in Windows 8 made them even more upset.
  • 1 Hide
    chrisso , December 20, 2013 6:16 AM
    Actually, you CAN play most modern titles on a 2006 pc, just not all of them.
  • 0 Hide
    jasonpwns , December 20, 2013 7:17 AM
    The thing some people fail to understand is PCs are long term investments. I've spent less than 500 total on my PC if you count selling old parts and recovering cost. Then saving money with steam sale, etc. I also look at it this way. I could spend 400 dollars on a PS4 and 300-400 on a mediocre laptop/desktop. Or I could spend 650-900 and get a decent PC in that same price rage. That doubles as a gaming machine. Or I could even decide to use that money to get a decent low pofile gaming notebook. That I can hook to my TV and use a controller in a similar way to a console. That way I have a decent laptop and it can play games. At the same cost as a PS4/Laptop combined. Sure some people own just a console, but that's not as large as those who own both.
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