$499 iBuypower Steam machine revealed

Earlier this month, we got a glimpse at Valve's own Steam machine prototype. Now, the folks at The Verge have gathered details about (and pictures of) one of the first Steam machines from a third-party vendor.

The system is made by iBuypower, has a white enclosure that makes it look like a Portal 2 prop, and will be available for only $499 next year, according to The Verge. Its specs reportedly include a "multicore AMD CPU," one of AMD's new Radeon R9 270 graphics cards, a 500GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a bundled Steam Controller. The SteamOS will be pre-installed, too, of course.

Word is that iBuypower expects the machine to run current Steam for Linux titles at 1080p with a 60 FPS frame rate. Given how fast the Radeon R9 270 is, I don't doubt that—although, if our inside-the-second CPU benchmarks are any indication, a low-end AMD CPU like the FX-4350 could bottleneck the fast graphics card to some degree.

Still, that sounds like a pretty nifty hardware package for the same price as the Xbox One. Admittedly, there's no Kinect included, and we don't yet know how many big, triple-A games will be out for SteamOS. If Valve plays its cards right, though, this box could be an appealing alternative to the next-gen consoles.

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