We knew Valve will show Steam Machines on CES 2014 and they haven't failed. Thirteen of those have shown presented with specs and prices. The reception went both ways, here’s why.
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Steam Machines were supposed to seriously challenge Windows PC as a gaming platform. Valve released a brochure with images, prices, and specification for 13 boxes from third-parties. Alienware revealed the least about their machine, but other partners showed at least basic specs and some even put a price on it.
Maingear’s system was bit late to make to the brochure, according to Gabe Newell, along with few others that are supposed to be presented later today. In the meantime, have a look at the 13 that were shown at CES and tell us what you think of specs and prices. They all have similarities, but also some unique characteristics.
Alienware Steam Machine
Alienware’s Steam Machine looks somewhat pretty and that’s all we know. No specifications or price were revealed at CES. Black box with Alienware and Steam logos with a pair of USB ports on the front side. Dell has a tradition of offering multiple hardware choices for their builds and that is always pricy. From what we can see this is a PC gaming console.
Alternate Steam Machine
Alternate designed their Steam Machine to look more like a subwoofer than a gaming box. Simple, yet with some decent specs. Gigabyte GTX 760 GPU will do a good job for some time when it comes to video games. With Intel Core i5 4570 processor, 1TB of storage via a hybrid solid state hard drive (SSD) and 16GB of RAM, this SteamBox will be available at $1339.
CyberPower Steam Machine
CyberPower managed to get their Steam Machine look like an old-gen console. Basic setup comes with a 2GB Radeon R9 270 graphic card, a 3.9GHz A6 AMD CPU, 500 gigs of internal storage, and up to 8GB of RAM. For those who prefer Intel, CyberPower offers an alternative with an i3 Core 3.5GHz and a GeForce GTX 760. This SteamBox has dozens of configurations available and will be released in the second half of 2014. The price starts at $499.
Digital Storm “Bolt II”
This one resembles an average gaming PC and comes with an Intel Core i7 4770K, a GTX 780 Ti GPU and with up to 16GB of RAM. The best thing is that Bolt II will have a traditional one-two HDD/SDD combo, with 1 terabyte on the HDD and 120GB on SDD. These specs will cost you $2,584, but configuration can be customized to suit your needs. Not much was said about alternative hardware options.
Gigabyte “Brix Pro”
Gigabyte came up with a small box, seems to be just a little wider than a DVD, and that comes with a cost. Intel Core i7-4770R processor is speedy and cool, but an integrated graphics is not. Intel iris Pro 5200 is the integrated chip on Brix Pro, might be OK for gaming at the moment. To compensate a bit for this odd decision, Gigabyte outfits their box with 16GB of RAM and 1 terabyte SATA HDD.
iBuyPower Steam Machine
iBuyPower box resembles the current consoles than any other Steam Machine presented at CES. The design looks like a mix between an Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The box will be customizable with an option to choose from Intel and AMD processors. Apparently it will be outfitted with an AMD Radeon R9 270, 8 GB of RAM and more than 500 gigs of an internal storage. All this has a starting price of $499, not bad at all.
Falcon Northwest “Tiki” Steam Machine
Now, this is the most expensive Steam Machine showed at CES 2014. The design is not innovative as this is literally a replica of Falcon’s current Tiki. The difference between the two is SteamOS and Steam Controller that comes with the box. Hardware specs come in a wide range, including graphics up to GTX Titan, up to g terabytes of storage and 16GB of RAM. Arriving later this year and price will range from $1,799 up to $6,000. Emblazoned with a fire imagery on the side, this beast is rather expensive to be used just for gaming.
Material.net Steam Machine
Right, so here we have a box that could be mistaken for a comfy chair. Packed with little bit more power than Microsoft’s and Sony’s consoles. NVIDIA GTX 760 graphics, Intel Core i5 CPU, 1 TB of storage and 8GB of RAM could all be yours for $1,098. The big enough power upgrade might justify the price for this SteamBox.
Another one trying to challenge the next-gen consoles created by Microsoft and Sony. Although design of this one is not challenging by far. Next’s Steam Machine comes with an Intel Core i5 CPU, a NVIDIA GT 760 graphics, 8GB of RAM and 1 terabyte of storage. The price hasn't been announced yet, but we heard it will be just under $1k.
Origin PC “Chronos”
Origin’s shiny Steam Machine comes with a configurable hardware options. Up to two NVIDIA GTX Titan GPUs, an Intel Core i7 CPU, 14 terabytes of storage and 32GB of RAM. This could as well become the most expensive SteamBox if you go for the highest offered specs. No wonder that the price hasn't seen the daylight at CES.
Probably the prettiest Steam Machine showed at CES, with flat design and an odd mix of hardware. High end NVIDIA GTX 765M has been paired with a weak Inter Core i3 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 500 gigs of an internal storage. Scan’s box looks like it was meant to be used for streaming, rather than gaming. The price is set at $1,090.
Webhallen Steam Machine
The white box from Webhallen looks like a file holder with company’s logo in the front. Outfitted with a NVIDIA GTX 780 GPU, 16 gigs of RAM, an Intel Core i7 processor, and 1 terabyte on SSHD this one is pricey. So we can agree that Webhallen’s Steam Machine has higher-end hardware than the next-gen consoles, but its price is also much higher than those of consoles. At $1,499 it might be hard to massively sell these boxes.
Zotac Steam Machine
Well this is a tiny cute box with an unnamed Intel Core CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX which is also (TBD). The amount of RAM and storage is unknown as well. All we heard so far is that Zotac’s Steam Machine will be available for $599. The SteamBox that looks like a console and has a price of a console.
That’s it! The world expected to see detailed hardware specs and lower price for Steam Machines. Maybe they will offer something that’s unrevealed yet, because currently most gamers don’t see the point in buying one of these. What do you think?
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