A variety of manufacturers have partnered with Valve to offer small but powerful computers running Steam OS. Systems vary in price, from as low as $500 all the way up to $6,000. Here's the latest from the floor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Steam Machines of CES 2014
LAS VEGAS -- Valve first introduced Steam OS, a Linux-based operating system centered around the company's Steam gaming platform, in the fall of 2013. The company has now partnered with a variety of manufacturers to offer small but powerful computers, known as Steam Machines, to compete with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Prices range from $499, which is in line with today's game consoles, and can reach as high as $6,000 for a fully configured system.
Dell is the most recognizable brand that plans to launch a Steam Machine. The company will launch a Steam OS-powered computer later this year under its Alienware subsidiary. Details regarding internal hardware and price have not been announced, but Dell has confirmed that the system will be powered by an Intel processor and feature an Nvidia graphics card. The Alienware Steam Machine will be priced competitively with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and come bundled with Valve’s special Steam controller.
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Alternate’s Steam Machine is equipped with a quad-core 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 4570 Haswell processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB solid-state hybrid drive. The system will retail for $1,339 and is expected to arrive later this year.
CyberPowerPC will offer two Steam Machine models at different price points. The entry-level machine, which is priced at $499, is equipped with a dual-core 3.9GHz AMD A6-6400K processor and an AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card. The more expensive model, which costs $699, features a dual-core 3.5GHz Intel Core i3-4330 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 graphics card.
Both models also include a 500GB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 802.11 AC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and a Steam Controller. CyberPowerPC’s Steam Machines are scheduled to arrive in the second half of 2014.
Digital Storm unveiled the Bolt II, a high-powered Steam Machine with a starting price of $1,899. The system will be equipped with a high-end Intel processor and Nvidia graphics card. The Bolt II also includes a built-in liquid cooling system and is capable of dual booting both Windows and Steam OS. Digital Storm has said that the Bolt II will be available later this month. Unfortunately, the Steam Controller will have to be purchased separately.
Falcon Northwest will offer a high-end Steam Machine ranging from $1,799 to $6,000. The system will be powered by an Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics card, and can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 6TB of storage. No release date was announced.
Gamers interested in Gigabyte’s Steam Machine can choose between a quad-core 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 4570R Haswell processor or a model with a quad-core 3.9GHz Intel Core i7 4770R Haswell processor. Both models are also equipped with an Intel Iris Pro 5200 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, 4 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a Mini DisplayPort. Pricing and release information was not announced.
iBuyPower is offering a Steam Machine with a quad-core 3.2GHz AMD Athlon X4 740 processor, an AMD Radeon R7 260X graphic card, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. The system will also include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and come bundled with the Steam controller. iBuyPower’s Steam Machine has a starting price of $499.
The Maingear Spark sports a quad-core 3.1GHz AMD A8-5557M processor, an AMD Radeon R9 M275X graphics card, and can be configured with up to 16GB of memory and either a 2.5-inch hard drive or a solid-state drive with up to 256GB of storage. The system also includes four USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a Mini DisplayPort, 801.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
The Spark, which weighs less than a pound, will be available online mid-to-late first quarter of 2014. Pricing was not announced, however Maingear claims it will be "an affordable PC solution."
The Material.net Steam Machine comes with a quad-core 3.1GHz Intel Core i5 4440 Haswell processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 OC graphics card from MSI, 8GB of RAM, and an 8GB plus 1TB solid-state hybrid drive. The system can also be upgraded to include a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with two Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics card. Material.net’s Steam Machine has a starting price of $1,098.
Origin PC’s Steam Machine will come in two flavors: a standard edition, and a high-end model with two Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics cards and liquid cooling. Both models will allow gamers to configure the machines with a variety of options for the processor, graphics card, and storage. The systems are also capable of dual booting Windows 7 or 8, and Steam OS, and will also include the Steam controller. Pricing and release information was not announced.
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The Scan NC10 Steam Machine includes a dual-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i3 4000M Haswell processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. The system will be available later this year and start at $1,090.
Webhallen’s Steam Machine sports a quad-core 3.5GHz Intel Core i7 4771 Haswell processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB solid-state hybrid drive. The system is expected to arrive later this year with a starting price of $1,499.
Zotac didn’t disclose much about its Steam Machine, however the company did reveal that it will start at $599. The system will be equipped with an Intel processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card. It is expected to arrive later this year.