Steam Machines to feature Nvidia, AMD and Intel GPUs

By on October 11, 2013, 9:30 AM
amd, valve, intel, nvidia, gpu, steam, graphics card, steamos, steam machines

Last week, Valve revealed specifications for prototype Steam Machines that will be sent to 300 lucky beta testers, with all systems featuring Nvidia graphics cards. Despite Nvidia dominating prototype Steam Machines, Valve confirmed to Maximum PC that when the SteamOS-powered systems hit the shelves, they will feature hardware from AMD and Intel as well.

Doug Lombardi, spokesperson for Valve, said that in 2014 we'll see Steam Machines "commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, Nvidia, and Intel." He also mentioned that the company 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."

The inclusion of Intel graphics in the mix indicates some Steam Machines should be available at prices comparable to next-generation consoles. The lowest-end protoype machines with dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 graphics cards feature a total parts bill of at least $800, but by removing the GPU, the cost could be reduced to $600 or less.

Valve has yet to reveal the design of the Machines, which are set to include a case similar in size to (although slightly longer than) an original Xbox 360. While consumer Steam Machines will be available in 2014, alongside the interesting Steam Controller, Valve will hopefully ship off the prototype Machines to the 300 beta testers sometime soon.




User Comments: 10

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1 person liked this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It seems like the AMD APUs would almost be ideal for this kind of platform... Lower cost, generally better gaming performance than integrated Intel, and when you slap an AMD graphics card in later you can do the hybrid CrossFire thing...

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Seems like they're going about this the right way, to me.

psycros psycros said:

Seems like they're going about this the right way, to me.

I don't see how introducing many of the same driver and compatibility problems as regular PCs really helps. Developers hate spending extra time optimizing for different hardware, testing, fixing post-launch bugs, etc.

Chazz said:

Hmm, I don't know much about this thing.

Are these consoles or PCs? Will you have the option of choosing all of the internals like PCs?

Are these more controlled like consoles instead? Will Valve limit the GPUs to make them perform even like a console? Is this somewhere inbetween? I don't understand the point of this.

I see potential for Microsoft to do something useful, like merge PC and Console gaming, since Valve will offer both gamepad and keyboard+mouse options and they act like they want to merge everything together anyways. But I doubt they would... they're always two metas behind.

penn919 said:

Hmm, I don't know much about this thing.

Are these consoles or PCs? Will you have the option of choosing all of the internals like PCs?

They are PCs in a console package. From the looks of it, there will be no difference whatsoever between a steam machine and running steam on a PC in big picture mode. The experience is the same...except a regular PC with windows installed is compatible with a LOT more games.

JC713 JC713 said:

It seems like the AMD APUs would almost be ideal for this kind of platform... Lower cost, generally better gaming performance than integrated Intel, and when you slap an AMD graphics card in later you can do the hybrid CrossFire thing...

Yeah that is better than Intel Integrated Graphics.

Guest said:

Intel + Nvidia if you want high end, but sure for budget systems, they're on the right track.

I wouldn't want one of their prebuilt machines anyways. I would however replace Ubuntu with Steam OS on my PC: 3770k@4.8ghz / gtx690@stock / ram16gb@2400mhz / ssd240gb / hdd1tb+1tb+4tb+4tb / 27"monitor2560x1440@120hz

I built it over a year ago with the 240gb sdd and 1tb hdd for storage. Apart from storage I don't plan to upgrade it for at least another year. I'd upgrade to bigger higher res screen if one is released for around a thousand bucks. And then I may need to upgrade my gtx 690 to keep my fps in line with my refresh rate.

I am anxious for more properly supported games in Linux. The Linux Steam client catalog is still limited. Wine works, but not for competitive play with the increased latency. Regardless, bring it on Valve!

Chazz said:

They are PCs in a console package. From the looks of it, there will be no difference whatsoever between a steam machine and running steam on a PC in big picture mode. The experience is the same...except a regular PC with windows installed is compatible with a LOT more games.

I see, you actually made me try out Big Picture mode. I don't see why I'd use it to replace, or even alongside, my computer. I'll keep an eye on this though.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

They are PCs in a console package. From the looks of it, there will be no difference whatsoever between a steam machine and running steam on a PC in big picture mode. The experience is the same...except a regular PC with windows installed is compatible with a LOT more games.

I see, you actually made me try out Big Picture mode. I don't see why I'd use it to replace, or even alongside, my computer. I'll keep an eye on this though.

Computer means desk + chair + mouse + keyboard. Steam Box means TV + controller + couch.

Guest said:

Keyboard and Mouse FTW .. and until the END ..

keep your controllers!

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