Valve outlines specs, prices for retail Steam machines


— 10:33 AM on January 7, 2014

Commercial Steam machines aren't due out until the second half of this year, and their manufacturers are, for the most part, tight-lipped about specs and pricing. However, a handy PDF file on the Steam website reveals basic specs and pricing information about most, if not all, of the systems Valve demoed last night. Couple that with what little info has trickled out from the manufacturers themselves, and we can get a decent good idea of what's in store.

The document opens with a shot of Alienware's Steam Machine, and, sadly, there are no details to match. The Alienware website isn't entirely unhelpful, though. It mentions an Intel CPU, an Nvidia GPU (though there will apparently be an option for AMD graphics), a price "competitive with next-generation consoles," and a launch "later in 2014." Alienware promises performance matching or exceeding that of the next-gen consoles, as well.

Next up: Alternate and CyberPowerPC. The former is a European PC builder, so we might not see its rather pricey Steam machine on this side of the Atlantic. CyberPowerPC's $499 offering should be available in North America, however, and it seems nice enough: compact, snazzy-looking, and outfitted with either Radeon R9 270 or GeForce GTX 760 graphics—solid mid-range GPUs that can drive the latest games at 1080p without breaking much of a sweat.

We already know all about the Brix Pro; we've covered it in much more detail here. As for Digital Storm's Bolt II, well, I'm getting less of a Steam machine vibe and more of a top-of-the-line pre-built gaming PC vibe from it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Falcon Northwest's Tiki will be another option for folks with deep pockets. iBuypower's SBX, by contrast, will match the Xbox One's $499 asking price. That "Radeon GCN Graphics" bit could refer to anything from the Radeon HD 7750 to the Radeon R9 290X, but I wouldn't expect iBuypower to cheap out. After all, as we saw above, CyberPowerPC has managed to cram a Radeon R9 270 into its $499 Steam machine.

Materiel.net operates out of France. Last time I checked, it doesn't service the U.S. or Canada, so it's probably safe to ignore that build. Origin PC's Chronos, meanwhile, looks to be in the same vein as Digital Storm's Bolt II and Falcon Northwest's Tiki. Its dual GeForce GTX Titan graphics cards alone should push its price north of $2,000. Cheaper configurations should be available, though.

I've never heard of Next before (no, not that one), and their name isn't exactly Google-friendly, so it's hard to tell whether the SPA will be available stateside. The Scan NC10 probably won't, though, since Scan is UK-based and doesn't appear to sell systems outside Europe. That's too bad. I kind of dig that slim, metallic-looking chassis.

Last, but not least, we have Webhallen, a Swedish PC builder, and Zotac, whose Zbox Steam Machine we've previously covered in some detail. Valve has filled in one missing tidbit for us, though: the Zbox's price, which will be $599. Zotac's press release didn't include that information.

   
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