Valve said to be developing Steam Box hardware spec

Whatever happened to that Steam "big picture" mode we heard about a year ago? The guys at The Verge think they have an idea: according to their sources, Valve is in the process of building a full-fledged hardware ecosystem for the living room.

Perhaps the strongest evidence is Gabe Newell’s answer to a related question in an interview with The Penny Arcade Report:

Now do you see a future where Valve is actually selling hardware or do you just want to have things that could take advantage of that technology should it be popular?
Well, if we have to sell hardware we will. We have no reason to believe we’re any good at it, it’s more we think that we need to continue to have innovation and if the only way to get these kind of projects started is by us going and developing and selling the hardware directly then that’s what we’ll do. It’s definitely not the first thought that crosses our mind; we’d rather hardware people that are good at manufacturing and distributing hardware do that. We think it’s important enough that if that’s what we end up having to do then that’s what we end up having to do.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. The Verge says the company is developing a hardware spec for a "Steam Box" that could be offered by multiple hardware partners. (The spec is said to include a Core i7 processor from Intel, an Nvidia graphics card, and 8GB of system memory.) Steam Boxes reportedly wouldn’t be limited to running games through Steam—The Verge compares the design more to Google’s Android platform than to Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Valve wants the devices to set a "baseline for hardware . . . with changes possibly coming every three to four years," the site adds.

And official confirmation may come sooner than you think. According to The Verge, Valve could go public at the Game Developers Conference this week or, possibly, at E3 in early June. Rumor has it the company secretly showed partners a prototype Steam Box at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. In fact, Alienware’s Mini-ITX X51 desktop is supposedly based on an early version of the standard

You know, that all sounds good to me. One of the problems with PC gaming is the sheer number of possible hardware configs, some including entirely inadequate GPUs or even integrated graphics. If Valve manages to establish a baseline spec, PC gaming could become a more appealing option to less tech-savvy users. I’m sure game developers would be happy with some sort of sensible baseline, too. The PC gaming market is clearly alive and well, but giving it a little more ‘zazz and consumer appeal wouldn’t hurt.

Comments closed
    • clone
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t believe Valve sells any software that desperately needs an I7 cpu.

    if Valve tries to push poorly balanced specs they will fail entirely to gain any significant traction.

    • superjawes
    • 8 years ago

    Well, I think Valve sees the writing on the wall. Digital distribution is huge, and getting a “console” on the market dedicated to an already existing platform would be an interesting move if not a brilliant one.

    The real question is whether you want this to be closer to a traditional PC versus a console. A PC would most certainly have to run a “full” version of Windows and function as a full PC. If it were closer to a console, it might be “app” driven, similar to iOS (or maybe Windows 8). The “full” version would probably run closer to the price of a full PC, making it a novelty or dedicated build. The “app” version could be considerably cheaper, opening the possibility of releasing in your typical stores. Even at $500, I think it would sell decently provided it had the third-party support like you get with Apple.

    EDIT: Looking a little more at the Verge article, this could get REALLY interesting. If the “Steam Box” would compete with Apple TV and be made by trhid parties, the bigger story would be porting Steam from the home console/box to mobile devices. Imagine getting Steam on Windows Phone or Android…

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 8 years ago

    It’s called the GabeCube.

      • yogibbear
      • 8 years ago

      GabeN64

    • lethal
    • 8 years ago

    I’m pretty sure MS is at the very least raising an eyebrow, since a valvebox without licensing costs or xbox live subscriptions is aiming directly at how their business model works.

    On the other hand this valvebox will probably run windows, so its very likely MS will be less than friendly on their licensing.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 8 years ago

      I got money on Valve using Chrome OS. Just a wild guess.

        • superjawes
        • 8 years ago

        Eh…I haven’t run Windows 8 yet, but the move toward an “app” version of Windows would also bridge the gap from Steam on PC to a “Steambox” console.

        To Lethal, Valve can sidestep a lot of the direct competition by avoiding boxed releases on their system. Steam already “competes” with Microsoft in a very general sense, but it’s an indirect competition. As long as it stays that way, Microsoft has little reason to restrict Valve’s operations, especially if they can pick up some income licensing to Valve.

    • puppetworx
    • 8 years ago

    This actually makes sense. Search ebay or pop into your local electronics store and ask to see the gaming PCs. Usually what you find is some overpriced plastic monstrosity with a low GHz multi-core CPU and a mid-range graphics card with insufficient memory. If you don’t know what you are doing it’s easy to get stung.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 8 years ago

    Edit: Before the Thumb Brigade rolls through – please read the whole post first. πŸ™‚

    I would love to see something like this adopted as a unified console. It gives developers a single platform to focus on that is PC-like in its resources, but loses the troublesome patchwork of hardware. It gets Sony and Microsoft out of the console hardware business (that’s not the profitable part of the deal, anyway) and puts them in software development/publisher roles. If they spent half as much money on games as they spend on hardware…

    But… I don’t expect that to happen; and without Playstation/Xbox-exclusive games, the Steam Box wouldn’t be any more successful than PC gaming currently is. Not to mention the fact that our “troublesome patchwork of hardware” is due to healthy competition (some competitors being healthier than others).

    I think a more likely path to a unified console would be either Sony or Microsoft losing their appetite for such thin margins.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    This isn’t going to work. Essentially Valve is trying to bridge the gap between computers and consoles, showing the average joe that they can easily hook up their computers to the TV and it becomes a console. They’re decking it out with modern hardware and they’re making it compatible with windows games… But that’s not the way consoles work. They settle on the least common denominator when developing software for hardware. That means after Sony and MS crap on their next latest and greatest system, the software will essentially be designed for the least powerful system (as long as one doesn’t turn out like a Wii).

    That’s the way it worked with the latest entourage of consoles. That saves the developers tons of work or conversely allows them to do less work then if they were developing for more powerful hardware. If they weren’t lazy they’d develop for the PC and port them to the consoles already, but they don’t do that. That’s also part of why Sony got royally screwed. They built a really powerful piece of hardware, but no one cared because it was hard to use and then they’d have to adjust things to make it run on the Xbox. With the exception to this being PS3 exclusives.

    Essentially all Valve is doing is muddling the waters and rebranding a HTPC when they should be pushing steam on normal computers, raising customer awareness, and generally showing people how hooking a PC up to their TV isn’t all that scary. Essentially doing what GFWL was supposed to do and what MS refuses to do because that would put their love child at risk (X360).

    MS and Sony keep trying to make their consoles seem magical, when really it’s already a PC. Nintendo already realized that consoles are crossing the niche to PCs and they solidified their position by making their system seem completely different from a computer, not just in terms of how you interact with it (the Wiimote), but also the kind of games you see on them. They tried to make them seem classical and basically retro. The graphics look like they’re on the same level as a nintendo 64.

    I really hope Valve doesn’t go through with this… Maybe their real intention is to muddle the waters and make people actually attempt to hook a PC up to their TV…

    [quote<]One of the problems with PC gaming is the sheer number of possible hardware configs, some including entirely inadequate GPUs or even integrated graphics. If Valve manages to establish a baseline spec, PC gaming could become a more appealing option to less tech-savvy users.[/quote<] I disagree. I think that's a defining factor of PCs. If you're talking about letting users be able to tell if they can run the game on high or low settings, I would agree. There should be a open specification designed for transparency to users. Essentially what GFWL and MS should've done in the first place. You know like a baseline a game has to run at, like a average of 40fps. Then automatically set graphics for the PC hardware they're based on. Sort of like what good game developers already do. Only take the cost of that and their subjective notion of what is 'acceptable' enough to be 'minimum' vs what is 'recommended' out of their hands. They could make a database with information concerning the game on it that users can visit and look up the game. Conversely steam could automatically do this when it harvests your system specifications. All they have to do is put a badge on the product page showing green/yellow/red. Green you can run it no problem, yellow you may run into some stuttering, red your system can't run it at all. Color indicators like that are pretty easy to understand. Then break it down further if the user wants to, say by clicking on it, and show the user what piece(s) of hardware are holding them back from a better experience in that game. This would be insanely easy for Valve as they have all the tools at their disposal to make this work INCLUDING being able to monitor in game FPS. At the very least all they need is a way for games to tell Steam what settings they're running at. Game developers hardly need to do anything! Stagnating the entire development scene, including PCs is a utterly terrible idea. Why not just offer multiple settings for different computer setups? It's like people are now completely oblivious to the fact that High/Medium/Low settings are there for computers that are fast, slow, and everything in between.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      But the average joe can’t build a Mini-ITX HTPC.

      That’s why stuff like Alienware’s X51 is pretty compelling.

      If Dell can fit a 150W GPU and a 95W CPU in a chassis the size of an Xbox, that means a consumer could eventually buy a mass-produced HTPC with a 2600 and a 7850 (!) in it.

      And combined with an Amazon-like business model of selling cheap hardware (Kindle Fire?) to make back money in Steam sales, we could easily see a $1000 Mini-ITX enthusiast PC.

      Would I pay an extra $200 for a computer with the same hardware that fits in a tiny chassis? Probably. [url=http://www.anandtech.com/Show/Index/4294<]Upgrading to my own Mini-ITX chassis[/url<] would almost close the gap right there.

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]But the average joe [b<]thinks he [/b<]can't build a Mini-ITX HTPC. [/quote<] Fixed that for you. Most people if they ambition to and tried to build one would be easily capable of doing so. building a machine now days is pretty fool proof. They don't even have to worry about configuring jumpers anymore which was probably the hardest thing ever to building a PC.

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          Yup.. this too. Part of combating the plague of consoles is showing people how un-scary PC building is and how easy it really is to hook a computer up to a TV. How hard would it be to make Steam more user friendly? All it takes is a couple youtube videos and links on their page…

          Of course they can’t reap the benefits of having a niche system that everyone buys so they can make tons of money… I mean why are Sony and MS in the console business? It’s not to be friends of the video game industry. Sadly I think Valve is starting to get lethargic and this may be the start of focusing on greed. Blizzard started doing similar things.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 8 years ago

          I’m talking about a Mini-ITX chassis, not some cavernous ATX case. The difference is huge.

          When I see an assembly image for a case like the FT03, my jaw drops. [i<]I[/i<] wouldn't know where to start with a build like that, how in the fuck is a noobie supposed to know? [url<]http://images.anandtech.com/doci/4294/s-assembly.jpg[/url<] Yes yes yes, [i<]fool proof[/i<]. You just have to fit everything in the case...

            • Bensam123
            • 8 years ago

            You can buy pre-built mini-itx computers as per my other post, if its really that scary to you.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        You can buy mini-itx systems that are prebuilt…

        This isn’t just marketing the system as a enthusiast HTPC though, they’re attempting to set it as a baseline for another generation of consoles and all games (PC games included) that should be built around those standards. That is what I don’t endorse.

        They can sell as many prebuilt systems they want for all I care, but when they start making everyone dance to their tune it completely ruins the freedom currently present in PC gaming. It’s counterproductive and stifles innovation.

    • yammerpickle2
    • 8 years ago

    I hope it is true, and I hope it is a commercial success. It removes the excuses from companies for not focusing on PC gaming.
    PC’s are too diverse and hard to develop for.
    Well here is a new basic minimum system requirement to shoot for. For those of us with bigger budgets and willing to build our own that means we will have PC games, and hopefully can up the setting to get more eye candy and FPS, but at least the game will be based on minimum PC hardware spec.
    Software developers complain about piracy.
    Steams DRM is not perfect, but is still a nice standard that offers a certain amount of piracy protection.
    Software developers complain about cost.
    Steam is a great way to go direct digital distribution cutting down on cost.
    Console gamers complain about cost of PCs.
    Well standardizing system requirements will allow for a certain economies of scale and lower prices for PC based Steambox.
    Since they have USB and it is to be an open standard it sound like it would be able to use normal mouse, and keyboard. Giving it media capability would be easy. With PC it might even be able to be upgraded in a simple and easy way, instead of the very lengthy upgrade cycle of consoles where the whole system is scrapped. Maybe this would be the perfect place for Intel to dump it’s older Sandy Bridge I7 chips when it moves to Ivy Bridges.

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 8 years ago

    Why dont go for something with a wider audience? they should publish more choices, like multiple certified systems for standard, premium and extreme gameplay.

    • willyolio
    • 8 years ago

    it might be neat if they actually release these boxes annually, like car models.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    I for one would like to see valve embrace a distrobution for non game content as well. I’d like to see music and movies available through their service.

      • Voldenuit
      • 8 years ago

      Why stop at media? I would like to see Steam distribute applications and programs, like Photoshop, Office, etc.

      They could become a de facto app store that is platform and OS agnostic (selling on Windows, OS X, etc.).

        • ImSpartacus
        • 8 years ago

        Alternatives like the Amazon App Store have already shown that a third party app store can exist in the presence of a first party app store. Steam might have a chance.

        But I doubt they want to do that. They seem too ‘pure’ to me.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 8 years ago

      I’d like to see Steam distribute pizza and beer–but that’s probably just me.;-)

        • superjawes
        • 8 years ago

        They’d probably do energy drinks or soda first.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Totally, Steam should be the next Amazon or Apple iStore… XD

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      That most likely will happen with a steam console.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    So now valve is doing microsofts job for them, lol.

    • bcronce
    • 8 years ago

    While this can be done, there are many wrong ways to do it. The market is quite mature for consoles, so unless they plan on something really special, there isn’t much room for growth.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20120305[/url<]

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      I see Buckley is stealing Futurama jokes now.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 8 years ago

        It’s kind of become a meme, they’re just staying “current” with internet humor.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Using a Companion Cube Mini-ITX chassis would be nothing but fucking brilliance.

      The GabeCube!

    • Prion
    • 8 years ago

    Hardware spec? Are we looking at MPC Level 4 now? πŸ˜›

    [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimedia_PC[/url<]

      • nico1982
      • 8 years ago

      One of the Valve dev working on the project made a few tweets about it some time ago: one of the boxes he was working on was based on a Zotac Z68 mini-ITX with an integrated GT 430, an i7 and 8 GB of memory (from neogaf [url<]http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=35694515&postcount=2009).[/url<] Not definitive for sure, but strange choice of hardware, uh?

    • sweatshopking
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t buy it. or i don’t think it’s a good decision. either way

    a) if they’re running intel chips, and dedicated graphics, it’s going to be damn expensive, WAY more than a console
    b) if they’re going to use the existing games, they’ll need directx. at which point, paying for windows makes this 1. just a computer 2. more expensive.
    c) who wants this? there are already consoles that do a ton, whether it’s wii u, xbox, or ps3. the wii sold a bajillion units because it was cheap. this thing will be expensive. there’s no way many people would buy this over an xbox.

      • Madman
      • 8 years ago

      Because consoles suck and are a sole reason for stagnation in PC industry?

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        hardly. consoles don’t “suck”, they just cost less than a discrete gpu. that’s not the “reason” pc’s game stagnated. pc games stagnated because people can’t afford the upgrade cycle, and so consoles sell better. the consoles grew out of a pc failure. pc’s are the reason games stagnated. costs are too high. and the “you just need to be careful, buy the right gear at the right price” and “just replace your gpu and the important parts”, etc. excuses don’t work. if they did, we wouldnt be where we are. there is a still a pc market, but it’s not as powerful as it once was.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          The PC market has actually grown, it just hasn’t grown as fast as consoles.

          Consoles suck for the same reason summer bockbusters suck, games target at the least common denominator.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            i don’t disagree with either point. My point is that they both fill different niches. blaming consoles for pc games getting ports is dumb. it makes no sense. did we whine when nintendo didn’t put mario 3 on pc? why do we complain now?

            i just don’t see this thing selling unless they can get it below 350$, which i don’t think is likely.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      Not true.
      A) Subsidize the hardware. Steam box games cost more.
      B) It’s a gaming computer that’s also a console. It’s possible. price? see A
      C) Everyone who’s tired of Xboring and Poorstation. Steam has a lot of variety, and newer hardware is just what the doctor ordered. People don’t want to wait another 2 years for the next console, they want it now. Steam could do this. Plus your games won’t be obsoleted from a hardware upgrade.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        first off, you think steam can somehow subsidize hundreds of dollars off the cost? i doubt it. they’ll be selling that thing at cost, or pretty damn close to it at the lowest. I don’t buy it.
        Steam does have variety, but i’m not sure people are really begging for a new console. the ps3 still has room to improve, and halo 4 is looking pretty sweet on the 360. I realize a pc CAN do more, but it’s irrelevant. the masses see the xbox graphics as “pretty good” and are happy with them. there’s a reason nobody but nintendo is clamoring to release a new console right away.

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 8 years ago

          Yes. That’s the biggest reason console games cost $60. Steam would have a higher profit margin being download only, and effectively destroying the resale market. Consoles still have to fight the resale market, steam doesn’t. Not only that, it isn’t like steam is going to be fronting the entire cost, just enough to make it competitive.

          “the masses see the xbox graphics as “pretty good” and are happy with them. there’s a reason nobody but nintendo is clamoring to release a new console right away.”

          Yes and no. The graphics are not seen as “pretty good”, but acceptable. They also are interested in better graphics, which is why more people are getting into PC gaming. Consoles have stagnated too long for their own good, and their base is slowly wandering off towards the PC. A lot of console owners have a PC, and when they hear about improved DX11 graphics, that interests them. My local gamestop has several employee’s that have recently bought gaming computers because of this. Ironically, gamestop doesn’t carry a good selection of PC games, and they’re using steam instead of impulse.

          “halo 4 is looking pretty sweet on the 360.”
          At what resolution? Console owners know their boxes have limitations, which is another reason for the migration.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]a) if they're running intel chips, and dedicated graphics, it's going to be damn expensive, WAY more than a console[/quote<] Same exact thing was muttered before the release of the original XboX. It had an intel cpu, discreet graphics and even a custom chipset (which was later incarnated in the PC as the Nforce).

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        it ran a pentium 3 based chip….. it was WAY out of date vs pc’s…. you arguing he should build an out of date console? how is that an improvement?

          • Deanjo
          • 8 years ago

          Way out of date? Maximum’s PC in 2000 sported a P3. Xbox was released in 2001.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 8 years ago

            The original Xbox was a dx8 computer. It was close to current hardware when released. The P3 was pretty decent for games, and removing the OS probably freed some cycles, giving games a boost. It wasn’t running HD resolutions either. I’d say the hardware was powerful enough for what it was used for.

    • Stargazer
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]One of the problems with PC gaming is the sheer number of possible hardware configs, some including entirely inadequate GPUs or even integrated graphics. If Valve manages to establish a baseline spec, PC gaming could become a more appealing option to less tech-savvy users.[/quote<] They'd go a long way if they could just introduce some sane way of selecting the default resolution. More often than not when I install a game through Steam, I seem to end up with some non-native low resolution (which, obviously, makes things look kinda bad). There are tons of people who wouldn't know what to do about this (or even notice that something is wrong), so they're stuck with poor graphics. If they could select the resolution in a better way, these people would get improved graphics "for free".

      • Duck
      • 8 years ago

      If you can’t even work out how to change the screen resolution or even notice that it’s bad, then you don’t deserve to get the improved graphics.

        • Stargazer
        • 8 years ago

        Like it or not, but there are tons of gamers that are not tech-savvy. A lot of them probably don’t even know what resolution their monitor has (or even what resolution means), and some even have their desktop resolution set “wrong” (some non-native resolution that looks horrible). You and me can tell the distance from across the room, but they don’t know to even look for that difference.

        These users typically don’t go into the options for each game, and even if they do, they usually don’t know the “best” settings to use. For these users, it’s important to have good default graphics settings. If the defaults are poorly set, and for instance use some low non-native resolution, things are going to look much worse than they could, and these users won’t know that the reason is their own lack of knowledge. This makes consoles look comparatively better (no need to mess around with settings).

        In my opinion, it would be good if PC games could be similarly easy to get up and running. It’s awesome when PC games offer tons of options that knowledgeable users can tweak, but if the games can *also* provide decent default settings, I believe that would go a long way towards making PC gaming seem more attractive to the people who don’t know much about computers (and there are a ton of those).

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 8 years ago

          DUHRR ME NO READ OPTIONS MENU. IT SAYS NEW GAME – OPTIONS – EXIT. I GUESS OPTIONS DOESN’T EXIST, AND I”LL NEVER OPEN IT TO CHANGE MY RESOLUTION. DUHRRR.

          Quite frankly the intelligent thing to do is automatically set in-game resolution to match desktop resolution, and some games do that, but not all. It’s still not the end of the world to open the options menu and fix it.

          Regardless, your scenario is too exaggerated. You would have to be mentally retarded to be that dumb. Now a more realistic scenario would be someone buying a very expensive video card and never setting AA / AF. I have seen that, but those options are usually included in-game and then those people turn them on. Plus, people do learn over time, and also get hints from the online community. Nobody is that stupid forever, and we shouldn’t contain them in a bubble to fix it either. Bubble policies hurt more than they help. Look at what Rage attempted to do. Did it work? No.

            • Stargazer
            • 8 years ago

            You seriously believe that there are no people that don’t know the “proper” resolution for their monitor, but still enjoy playing games every now and then?

            I’m certain that does not match with reality.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 8 years ago

            Yes. HDTV’s should have effectively educated everyone on that. This isn’t 10 years ago when some people theoretically didn’t understand resolution. Anyone currently not understanding resolution would not be capable of turning their computer on, installing a game, browsing the Internet, driving, walking, speaking, rational thought, etc.

            I don’t agree with you on resolution. That’s almost a non-issue to me, but default settings could use work. However, this isn’t something easily fixed. A lot of “auto-detect” programs just don’t work right, *cough* rage *cough* and you’re better off manually adjusting the settings. In this case, proper documentation is the most important feature you could add.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 8 years ago

      This is where helping standardize the hardware spec could help: everyone must target 1920×1080. Combine something like that, WITH a gpu that has HDMI out and now you’re looking at help building a platform where the SteamBox is the center of your gaming experience.

      Lots of people have been doing this with HTPC’s for years. Valve wants to target their game platform/library to HDTVs.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      Bad ports/games are now Valves responsibility…? :l

        • Stargazer
        • 8 years ago

        Of course not.

        However, if it is their goal to make games more appealing/accessible to less tech-savvy users, then it is in their interest to ensure that these users end up with decent default settings (since these users are unlikely to change the defaults). They are also in a position where they can help direct this process.

          • Bensam123
          • 8 years ago

          Yeah, I was debating on changing this comment after making a post… It does represent a conundrum of how far Valve should go to improve users experience. Essentially they should become something like GFWL was supposed to be and ease things for their customers, after all that’s their entire business for Steam…

    • Stargazer
    • 8 years ago

    If they’re aiming for setting a baseline, why would they want to use a Core i7? Seems a bit weird…

      • [+Duracell-]
      • 8 years ago

      A baseline for the hardware in the boxes that developers can target. They can always use a faster i7 or faster GPU, but everything must be able to run at the baseline at a particular target level (30 or 60fps, maybe).

        • Stargazer
        • 8 years ago

        But why an i7 instead of say an i5? They really want Hyperthreading for some reason?

        I doubt that they want their boxes to be “expensive”, so it’s not clear to me why they’d want an i7.

          • xtalentx
          • 8 years ago

          Could just be because 7 is greater than 5 in consumer minds?

          • StashTheVampede
          • 8 years ago

          The amount of threads will become even more important in newer game engines. BF3 can really use four and I’m sure Source2 (or whatever they will call it) will be certain to use even more than that.

            • khands
            • 8 years ago

            At which point they’ll update the spec, a baseline PC gaming spec is useless if it tries to go too far into the future, specs for PC’s to be sold in 3 months need to take about the next year’s games into consideration (so 15 months from now), which is very likely still going to be fine on a quad-core and a 6870 or something equivalent.

      • LaChupacabra
      • 8 years ago

      They never said which generation of i7. It could be an i7-860.

      Valve has always made games that play on relatively slow hardware. For any game they release you can usually get away with a 100 dollar cpu and 150 dollar gpu and come close to maxing it out (at 1920). By the time this hits (if it does hit) Ivy Bridge will be out. Comparing an i7-860 to what Ivy Bridge will do it starts to make a lot more sense.

        • geekl33tgamer
        • 8 years ago

        It don’t matter what i7 – They are targeting a good “baseline standard” IMO if thats the CPU they are going after. Lets just hope the baseline graphics are a 7850/70 – Or something like it πŸ™‚

      • superjawes
      • 8 years ago

      Probably because Steam distributes more than Valve games…as said in other responses, Source games aren’t that intensive, but then Valve would probably want to get big releases like Mass Effect and Call of Cuty available as well, especially since they can market direct-to-home distribution on day 1.

      Yeah, it seems like overkill, but I can understand why they would do it.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 8 years ago

    See it when I believe it.

      • xtalentx
      • 8 years ago

      Wait what?

    • ImSpartacus
    • 8 years ago

    The X51 was built to use 150W GPUs (w/single 6 pin). The 7850 fits the bill.

    Compared to the X51’s 555 (a 550 Ti on steroids), the 7850 blows it out of the water, all in the same power envelope.

    [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=541[/url<] The next gen X51 is looking good!

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed, it’s a matter of getting the hardware together that can game effectively in a nice package as cheaply as possible.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 8 years ago

        I think $1000 for a the best 150W Kepler GPU (no Optimus in the 7850) and a passable Ivy Bridge CPU with 8GB of RAM and a cheap SSD would be perfect.

        There’s a $950 X51 with the GTX 555, a cheap dual core Sandy Bridge, 6GB of RAM, Wifi, a TB HDD and a DVD Burner. So I don’t think it’s completely insane to think that they could get close to $1000 by just adding Kepler and Ivy Bridge.

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