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Valve: Steam Machines Won't Be Only Nvidia Hardware

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.

  • back_by_demand
    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.......
    Reply
  • Murissokah
    11692449 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • L0n3Gr3yW0lf
    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.
    Reply
  • chimera201
    Xi3 again?
    Reply
  • jtd871
    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.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    11692449 said:
    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.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    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
    Reply
  • loops
    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.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    Intel's getting into the GPU market?
    Reply
  • JD88
    11692694 said:
    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.
    Reply