Maingear's Drift Steam Machine is a colorful, compact powerhouse


— 9:41 AM on November 10, 2015

The time is ripe for Steam Machines, and today's harvest is bountiful indeed. Maingear's Drift Steam Machine can stay cool with an optional closed-loop liquid cooling system, and its slim body still makes room for hot performance thanks to space for full-sized graphics cards. If black isn't your thing, Maingear will do up your Drift in any of several colorful "automotive" paint jobs.

The Drift's option sheet starts with Skylake CPUs up to a Core i7-6700K or Haswell-E chips as powerful as the Core i7-5960X. Up to 16GB of RAM can be loaded into the Drift's Mini-ITX mobo. Maingear offers Nvidia graphics ranging from a GeForce GTX 750 Ti all the way up to a GTX Titan X. The company's optional Epic 120 liquid-cooling system should help keep the CPU cool while keeping noise to a minimum. Base systems ship with the Intel stock cooler.

The Drift also has three storage bays available, one for 3.5" mechanical disks and two for 2.5" drives. Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 round out the main specs. As a Steam Machine, the Drift naturally comes with a Steam Controller in the box and SteamOS preinstalled.

The Drift is larger than most Steam Machines, but it's still within the realm of set-top boxes: 14.8" x 13.8" x 4.2" (38 x 35 x 11 cm). Prices start at $1,100 for a Z170-based system in black with a Core i5-6500 CPU with Intel's stock cooler, a GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive.

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