Valve shows off 13 Steam Machines covering all shapes, sizes and price points

By on January 7, 2014, 4:45 PM

Earlier this week we pointed out that Valve was preparing to show off multiple Steam Machine designs from more than a dozen partners. The company has since revealed 13 new designs and we have all the juicy photos to go along with it.

The machines are all different in terms of specs, shapes, sizes and more importantly, price. Entry-level systems start at just $500 while a fully decked out Steam Machine will set you back a cool $6,000. As we learned yesterday, iBuyPower, Digital Storm, Alienware, Falcon Northwest, CyberPowerPC, Origin PC, Gigabyte, Materiel.net, Webhallen, Alternate, Next, Zotac and Scan Computers all have systems on display at CES.

And as promised, here are the Steam Machines that Valve is currently showing off.

Given the images above, do you have a favorite at this point? And which do you think will ultimately make the final cut? Or are you planning to just use your existing gaming rig as a homebrew Steam Machine?




User Comments: 27

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Guest said:

Would be better if they could be used to watch movies similar to the Apple TV.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Meh. The appeal of an XB1, PS4, or WiiU is that it's all standardized hardware. You know that the games bought for them will work and will be optimized for them... can't say the same for these Steam Machines...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think it is still too early for an opinion. I can say I'm not overly joyed, by this selection of choices.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

Meh. The appeal of an XB1, PS4, or WiiU is that it's all standardized hardware. You know that the games bought for them will work and will be optimized for them... can't say the same for these Steam Machines...

I still think games ported and optimized for steam OS will perform better than they do on PCs. I think youll get price/performance between a PC and console.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why does it seem like a lot of the companies who already make gaming machines are just taking a system from they're smaller form factor line-up and slapping a silly name and a SteamOS sticker on it. Which essentially is all you have to do to make a Steam Box. The offerings above $1000 are just stupid, that's just a gaming computer, and no body should be stupid enough to just put Steam OS on it and not have a real Desktop. Wasn't the idea of the Steam Box to compete with console pricing, to bring PC gaming to the masses and the couch, not a desktop replacement thats just another desktop, I already have enough of those in my life. Besides, I was way ahead of this trend, built myself a SG05 gaming system years ago around an E8400 and 8800GT and get this, I've been using it almost exactly how Steam intends you to use the Steam Box, except I put windows on it and can do anything I want with it, also I have since upgraded it to a HD6850.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

I still think games ported and optimized for steam OS will perform better than they do on PCs. I think youll get price/performance between a PC and console.

I'm not so sure about that. Optimizations mainly have to do with hardware, and there are 13 potentially different hardware configurations and counting.

They might choose a favorite setup, or there would be a barely noticeable amount of optimization when comparing the games being run on Windows and SteamOS.

I just don't see an advantage.....

Guest said:

iBUYPOWER seem OK to me... I mean the design... simple & sleek.

the price could be lower though...

Linux based PC gaming.... seem promising (y)

Forg0t2 said:

Why does it seem like a lot of the companies who already make gaming machines are just taking a system from they're smaller form factor line-up and slapping a silly name and a SteamOS sticker on it. Which essentially is all you have to do to make a Steam Box. The offerings above $1000 are just stupid, that's just a gaming computer, and no body should be stupid enough to just put Steam OS on it and not have a real Desktop. Wasn't the idea of the Steam Box to compete with console pricing, to bring PC gaming to the masses and the couch, not a desktop replacement thats just another desktop, I already have enough of those in my life. Besides, I was way ahead of this trend, built myself a SG05 gaming system years ago around an E8400 and 8800GT and get this, I've been using it almost exactly how Steam intends you to use the Steam Box, except I put windows on it and can do anything I want with it, also I have since upgraded it to a HD6850.

I thought the idea behind Steam OS was more about the Open Source software that enthousiasts can discover and play with and develop to compete with all the closed source machines on the market. I read an article where Valve said they wanted to compete against the closed source machines because it is holding back technological development and by offering an open source system that can compete against closed source systems.

Another point where I have to disagree on you is that an gaming PC should be an Desktop. Nowadays a lot of people use multiple boot systems so they can benefit multiple OS's. The more gaming features Steam OS will obtain the less interesting Windows becomes for the mainstream gamer because the mainstream gamer wants to play games and use the tools to record and share their gaming. This is what Steam OS is built for while Windows is not. So a possible future could mean that the real gaming PC does not contain a windows anymore to be a real gaming PC. Xbox and Playstation are also real gaming PC's, but limit you using all abilities because it is closed source, and I'm not seeying windows running on Playstation...

Nobina Nobina said:

These are PCs trying to be consoles. I'm not sure I like it. Good thing is that they all come in different sizes and prices so you have a choice, but you have a much bigger choice if you want to build a custom PC.

Guest said:

I want the Chronos. It uses that new fancy U ram stuff.

2 people like this | ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

I just don't see an advantage.....

The advantage is supposed to be introducing PC gaming to console gamers by using a simplistic interface that is dedicated to gaming. I must say though, I was expecting at least a few offerings at around $300 to smash the "next gen" consoles.

On a side note: putting a Titan in any of these is baffling considering a GTX 780 and an R9 290x are both faster at a significantly lower price point.

Capaill said:

One of them even put 2 Titans in

Pure nuts.

Capaill said:

It looks to me like the best looking / best spec / best price combo would be the CyberPowerPC. Any gaming machine using Steam doesn't need a big HD as you can delete old games and download them again from the Steam Library. At home I have Steam running off a 120GB SSD and have never had space problems.

Having said that, I still prefer a PC purely for flexibility, both in what I choose to run and what hardware I choose to use/replace. But it's good to see progress in the world of PC gaming.

Guest said:

I think it's very early in the process, SteamOS is still in beta and this whole concept is in beta. Give it a year or two and some of these vendors will drop out and most likely only 3 or 4 main vendors will still exist. This concept has the ability to be huge however it may fail. I think it is a good concept and I'm looking forward to where it will lead. Remember choice is good, limitations not so good.

Guest said:

SteamOS is like dream. Finaly some choice for PC gamers and gamers in General.

theBest11778 theBest11778 said:

From a design stand point I like the IBuyPower system the best. However I feel the ASRock M8 is a better choice considering these prices. Newegg had it on sale for $450 over the holidays, should have got one then.

I feel from a small light livingroom PC to really be different than options available now, they should use mobile parts. I want a system with an LGA 4700QM (So it's still upgradable,) and an MXM 3.0B GTX/Radeon card. This will cut down on the power consumption, still allows for upgrades, and will fit in much smaller packages. I only see one system with a mobile GPU. Since mobile parts are meant to be crammed in top small place I would think that would be the first place these companies would start. Plus it'd be nice to bring down prices of MXM GPU boards with broader availability. Oh well, hopefully they'll catch on next year.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The more gaming features Steam OS will obtain the less interesting Windows becomes for the mainstream gamer because the mainstream gamer wants to play games and use the tools to record and share their gaming. This is what Steam OS is built for while Windows is not. So a possible future could mean that the real gaming PC does not contain a windows anymore to be a real gaming PC. Xbox and Playstation are also real gaming PC's, but limit you using all abilities because it is closed source, and I'm not seeying windows running on Playstation...

I don't disagree with you, yes Steam OS is going to be great for gaming, and gaming, and more gaming, but at the end of the day I want to have the option to do more than just gaming on my system that I just spent upwards of $500 on. This is my biggest problem with console and the SteamBox concept, they game but do nothing else particularly well, besides Netflix, but until this new generation of consoles doing so meant exiting everything the console is doing just to stream video. The lack of multitasking is what bothers me with all these devices, designed to do one thing and only one thing. Where as with a PC I can have many things going on at the same time and still game better than on these dedicated systems. Albeit for now, when Steam OS matures I will probably multiboot with it and there's Mantle which also promises to improve gaming on PC. Until either of these are proven to be an alternate solution worth anything I'll stick to Windows, even if I hate it so very much at times.

PS3 wouldn't run Windows because of architectural differences, the PS4 on the other hand could but who do you think is stopping it?

Guest said:

That's why I spend 500+ dollars on a gaming machine, to watch movies.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

I don't disagree with you, yes Steam OS is going to be great for gaming, and gaming, and more gaming, but at the end of the day I want to have the option to do more than just gaming on my system that I just spent upwards of $500 on. This is my biggest problem with console and the SteamBox concept, they game but do nothing else particularly well, besides Netflix, but until this new generation of consoles doing so meant exiting everything the console is doing just to stream video. The lack of multitasking is what bothers me with all these devices, designed to do one thing and only one thing. Where as with a PC I can have many things going on at the same time and still game better than on these dedicated systems. Albeit for now, when Steam OS matures I will probably multiboot with it and there's Mantle which also promises to improve gaming on PC. Until either of these are proven to be an alternate solution worth anything I'll stick to Windows, even if I hate it so very much at times.

PS3 wouldn't run Windows because of architectural differences, the PS4 on the other hand could but who do you think is stopping it?

Right there with you @Adhmuz , these offering at 1k plus are going to be a hard sell because of the limitations of the Steam OS. Plus did you see the one from Origin PC, 2 GTX Titans...Are you kidding me, how many steam games actually utilize one of those let alone 2. At 1k each card plus the Origin PC markup thats just going to be a stupidly overpriced box.

Im into hardcore gaming and steam OS, but anything above having a single R9 290x or a GTX 780 on one of those just sounds like a waste of money.

Guest said:

The key word is potential. However you might feel about Steam or Valve, I'm sure they are smart enough not to release thirteen separate boxes. Top 3, top 2, all with similar hardware for swapping.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Plus did you see the one from Origin PC, 2 GTX Titans...Are you kidding me, how many steam games actually utilize one of those let alone 2. At 1k each card plus the Origin PC markup thats just going to be a stupidly overpriced box.

I like how they didn't put a price tag on it. I wouldn't be surprised if my completely decked out desktop was cheaper than this monstrosity is going to be. I'm guessing they'll release this at around $3.5-4k.

Im into hardcore gaming and steam OS, but anything above having a single R9 290x or a GTX 780 on one of those just sounds like a waste of money.

You can play BF4 on the highest settings @1080p with a single R9 290x. If you need anything else, you may as well build your own desktop because you're either:

1) An ***** that thinks more power is simply better (we all know a few of these people)

or

2) You are going for triple screen gaming (in this case...why not build your own?)

coopatroopa89 coopatroopa89 said:

Would be better if they could be used to watch movies similar to the Apple TV.

This is a linux based PC.... how can they not do everything an apple tv can do.

Guest said:

I don't think this is meant to compete with the consoles. I think it's merely just a way to get PC gaming into the living room.

Forg0t2 said:

I'm just looking at the potential to create my own software for Steam OS that unlocks more capablities in multitasking in combination with gaming...

KrisPL KrisPL said:

I don't disagree with you, yes Steam OS is going to be great for gaming, and gaming, and more gaming, but at the end of the day I want to have the option to do more than just gaming on my system that I just spent upwards of $500 on. This is my biggest problem with console and the SteamBox concept, they game but do nothing else particularly well, besides Netflix, but until this new generation of consoles doing so meant exiting everything the console is doing just to stream video. The lack of multitasking is what bothers me with all these devices, designed to do one thing and only one thing. Where as with a PC I can have many things going on at the same time and still game better than on these dedicated systems. Albeit for now, when Steam OS matures I will probably multiboot with it and there's Mantle which also promises to improve gaming on PC. Until either of these are proven to be an alternate solution worth anything I'll stick to Windows, even if I hate it so very much at times.

PS3 wouldn't run Windows because of architectural differences, the PS4 on the other hand could but who do you think is stopping it?

Did I miss something, isn't SteamOS a re-branded Ubuntu, and if so it offers everything Linux have to offer.

Isn't that enough for you ? The only problem people had with Linux was compatibility with hardware and gaming - Valve is going in that direction for now there is like one release, but surely if I know Valve, they'll get they act together and in 2 years from now, we'll have improved system - at least when it comes to games and drivers as this is most important for Steam.

Gunnerb52 Gunnerb52 said:

Unless I am missing something or they are going to drop the prices down these boxes aren't worth it. I just bought a new computer with more power than the Digital Storm - Bolt II for $800 less. $800 buys a lot of games. Plus are these boxes upgradeable? At least with a PC you can pop in a new video card, more memory, even a processor if you haven't gone top line in the processor family your MB supports.

Mine has a better processor, better video card, more storage (I have 2 SSD drives 120GB and 240GB and a 2GB HD. Same amount of memory but mine was brand name (I assume they will use generic). And a 1000 Watt Power supply for adding things in later.

Guest said:

This is my choice!!

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