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

Didn't Get A Valve Steam Machine Prototype? Build Your Own!
By
Hardware Made Easy

Designed as a platform for PC gaming, the specs of Valve’s newest creation should be familiar to most builders. While a much wider range of hardware has since been approved, we nevertheless choose to stick to the original specs. The first 300 Steam Machine prototypes leverage Intel CPUs, including the Core i7-4770, Core i5-4570, and unspecified Core i3 models. On the graphics side, Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan, 780, 760, and 660 are the cards that were chosen. Sixteen gigabytes of DDR3-1600 is the only memory specification listed, and it's still unsure if that is a maximum or set standard. A 1 TB/8 GB Hybrid SSHD is the only storage spec listed, with a 450 W internal 80 PLUS Gold-certified PSU providing power to the prototypes.

Hey, we can do that!

The small, living room-friendly form factor is the most difficult of the Steam Machine prototype's specs to adhere to. At just 12" x 12.4" x 2.9" (305 x 315 x 74 mm), they're smaller than any currently available PC chassis capable of housing a full-sized graphics card and internal power supply. While we can't exactly match those specifications, we are keeping the slim theme...with an unreleased chassis.

And if you're one of three lucky winners, this will all be yours! Read on for more.

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  • -3 Hide
    sdmap , December 15, 2013 9:28 PM
    There's a typo in the official rules, the i5 steam machine specs list the i7.
  • 0 Hide
    goodguy713 , December 15, 2013 10:13 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
  • 0 Hide
    patiferoolz , December 15, 2013 10:23 PM
    so i can build it but i can't build it cause the case is still not on sale
  • -3 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , December 15, 2013 10:25 PM
    What's a "Desicion" ? Thought it was always, "Decision".
  • 0 Hide
    antemon , December 15, 2013 10:41 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
  • 0 Hide
    Jgriff , December 15, 2013 10:57 PM
    Already have my steam box in a Fractal design node 304. Couldn't be any happier with that case.
  • 0 Hide
    Jgriff , December 15, 2013 11:00 PM
    Double post
  • 1 Hide
    Menigmand , December 16, 2013 1:40 AM
    Huge amounts of wasted space in that case, even with the clever riser cable trick.. I don't get it.
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , December 16, 2013 1:50 AM
    Quote:
    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.

  • 1 Hide
    aatir , December 16, 2013 3:41 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.
  • 0 Hide
    ddpruitt , December 16, 2013 4:45 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?
  • 0 Hide
    Yuka , December 16, 2013 5:10 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!
  • 0 Hide
    sagara16 , December 16, 2013 5:16 AM
    really nice article and since steam if the major gaming station on pc it would be loved by everyone including me!
  • 0 Hide
    clonazepam , December 16, 2013 6:49 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"
  • 1 Hide
    AJSB , December 16, 2013 7:09 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.
  • 1 Hide
    Computered , December 16, 2013 7:49 AM
    Please erase the above post. Another case to consider is this one from NFC Systems

    http://nfc-systems.com/mini/
  • 1 Hide
    loops , December 16, 2013 8:04 AM
    You made it put no review? wtf! Install the OS and bench!
  • 0 Hide
    jtd871 , December 16, 2013 8:32 AM
    silverstone raven RVZ01, anyone? http://www.tomshardware.com/news/silverstone-raven-mini-itx-rvz01,25352.html
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , December 16, 2013 9:08 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.
  • 0 Hide
    elbert , December 16, 2013 9:09 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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