Despite a long series of delays, Valve is still finding partners for its Steam Machine hardware initiative. One of the latest entrants is Zotac, whose Steam Machine SN970 packs what looks like some potent hardware into a form factor similar to a bigger Zbox. Have a look:
The exact nature of the hardware inside the SN970 is shrouded in mystery for the moment, unfortunately. Zotac's press release says the SN970 contains a "sixth-generation Intel CPU," which probably means this box is built around Intel's upcoming Skylake CPUs. On the graphics front, Zotac says the SN970 has "a discrete GTX level graphics card with Nvidia's Maxwell GPU." Again, not much help.
Maximum PC did get up close and personal with the SN970, however, and they say the GPU inside is a GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB of VRAM. Whether that's enough processing power to substantiate Zotac's claim that the SN970 is capable of "smooth 4K gaming" with "graphics sliders on ultra" remains to be seen.
Each SN970 will come with SteamOS preinstalled, along with one of Valve's Steam Controllers. Maximum PC says a fully-equipped SN970 will run $999, which seems like a lot of money for something that's meant to take the place of a console. Zotac didn't provide a release date, but Valve news site SteamDB reports that a number of Steam Machines are slated for a November release.