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Build your ideal steam machine 
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:27 am
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Post Build your ideal steam machine
In a moment of boredom I took upon myself the challenge to build an ideal steam machine.
A console replacer so to say. So I just opened a spreadsheet and started.

But more people have more ideas. I got curious how you would all approach it.
So how about a game :D ? A game will need rules however, feel free to point out if some rules seem meaningless.

The rules
- The machine can have any price as long as you can defend it. I suggest to keep it competitive with the consoles.
The target is just a machine with a excellent price/performance ratio that outperforms the new consoles.
- Prices are tax included, special sale discounts are not allowed.
- No need to include shipping fee.
- No need to include the price of the controller. The valve controller price is still unknown and we can use almost any we prefer anyway.
- The case is probably the most important part to considder. It should be suited to place near a TV.
- Steam OS will be the OS, so it costs nothing.


Please explain and/ or post reference links for important decissions.


I do not know if anyone is interested in this? But if you are bored, do feel free to post a build. :mrgreen:

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Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:52 am
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
I personally think the whole idea of SteamOS/Machine is stupid. Most of the ones that OEMs have created are equal to the price of a Windows-gaming machine. I don't see the vast majority of developers switching over to SteamOS (Linux/OpenGL) support. EA owns a ton of "AAA" titles and I can only assume they'll continue to support DirectX/Mantle, Windows and of course Origin. I'd say Activision owns the remaining and again the same thoughts apply.

PS4 and Xbox One are all we need for "console" type machines. They're effectively PC's anyhow too. However, both Sony and MS have far more money behind them so they can develop purpose-built hardware. All the Steam machines I've seen thus far are just using off-shelf parts which is why they cost more, causes fragmentation in the market and potentially fail more often due to having more parts.

If you build a PC equal to that of the PS4/XB1, as it's really just an AMD APU, I highly doubt you'll get anywhere near the same performance. The optimizations done for consoles is immense as the developers only have to target 1 specific hardware design. It's far easier to make your code run perfect when you know where it's being ran. I'd like to see a $399 PC run as well as the PS4.

Game streaming is the only thing that makes some sense. NVIDIA is doing this to their portable gaming device SHIELD and Steam is doing this with the regular client. Ultimately though, you still need a Windows-based gaming rig to run the games.

(and yes, I own both the PS4 and XB1)

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Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:34 am
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
I was aware of all the things you have mentioned, and I still see some potential. Even if it is never mainstream, I do think it can work.
Why are you sure Mantle could not run on Linux? I figured if windows can use different APIs, than linux would be no different.
And once things run on mantle instead of DirectX the biggest issue for linux gaming is gone. Even if it is for niche games, native linux support wil deffinitly increase too.

I do not think that the PS4 can be outperformed at their price but the Xbone can (because of camera?). Optimization for consoles definitly has limits. And when building your own steam machine you can save on a lot of parts you wont be using.

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Last edited by PimpMySystem on Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
Alternate.be (noticed that the prices on newegg arepretty much the same if you would change € in $ :s)
Started out with a ideal that was almost €600 and then trimmed away the overkill.
I attempted to make a machine that would easily run anything well for half a decade from now and costs as much as a Xbone.

Case: Thermaltake Armor A30 (not the most ideal shape I must admit)
PSU: Corsair 430CX
HDD: WD Blue 500 GB
RAM: 4GB DDR3-1333
CPU: AMD FX-4300 (about 95W)
GPU: SAPPHIRE R7 260X 2GB (max 220W)
MOBO: MSI 760GM-P23 (FX)

price: €495

Price with 8 GB 1600 ram (other mobo) and SSHD would be €545 instead


Instead of a SSHD I just took a standard 500GB. Reason being that the only thing that would be noticably faster ingame is level load times.
The cpu is much higher clocked than the tablet processors of he new consoles. 2 cores less compared to PS4 (dont know Xbone specs) however.
It will still take considerable time before more than 4 cores will be in use.
Ram is only 4 gigs, but once again this is likely sufficient for most games (32bit aplications), and easily upgraded.
Motherboard limitations only allow DDR3-1333, but the performance gap compared to higher clock speeds will likely not be noticable.
Sapphire card for affordable power and possible mantle support.
No disk drive (USB install).

Initially I was looking at desktop cases like Silverstone Grandia or ML04B but the graphics card would barely not fit and airflow is not adequate.

_________________
Gaming rig: X4 955 - Asus M5A99X EVO - 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1866 - Sapphire HD6950 - OCZ RevoDrive PCI-EXPRESS SSD 80GB - Corsair GS700 - Watercooled
Anime Server: Athlon LE-1640 - Nvidia 2600 - 2GB apacer ram - 4x WD Caviar green 2TB 64MB SATA600
Notebook: HP Pavilion dm1-3200sb: 11,6-inch - AMD Dual-Core E350 APU 1,6 GHz - AMD HD 6310M - 3GB ram - 500 GB SATA


Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:23 pm
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
PimpMySystem wrote:
Alternate.be (noticed that the prices on newegg arepretty much the same if you would change € in $ :s)
Started out with a ideal that was almost €600 and then trimmed away the overkill.
I attempted to make a machine that would easily run anything well for half a decade from now and costs as much as a Xbone.

Case: Thermaltake Armor A30 (not the most ideal shape I must admit)
PSU: Corsair 430CX
HDD: WD Blue 500 GB
RAM: 4GB DDR3-1333
CPU: AMD FX-4300 (about 95W)
GPU: NVIDIA card of your choice (max 220W)
MOBO: MSI 760GM-P23 (FX)

price: €495

Price with 8 GB 1600 ram (other mobo) and SSHD would be €545 instead


Instead of a SSHD I just took a standard 500GB. Reason being that the only thing that would be noticably faster ingame is level load times.
The cpu is much higher clocked than the tablet processors of he new consoles. 2 cores less compared to PS4 (dont know Xbone specs) however.
It will still take considerable time before more than 4 cores will be in use.
Ram is only 4 gigs, but once again this is likely sufficient for most games (32bit aplications), and easily upgraded.
Motherboard limitations only allow DDR3-1333, but the performance gap compared to higher clock speeds will likely not be noticable.
Sapphire card for affordable power and possible mantle support.
No disk drive (USB install).

Initially I was looking at desktop cases like Silverstone Grandia or ML04B but the graphics card would barely not fit and airflow is not adequate.


there.....now its fixed


Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:09 am
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
It's interesting that you bring this up. Because I may or may not have gotten a beta invite to a certain feature that may or may not be part of future steam boxes ;)

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Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:30 am
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
Nataku wrote:
It's interesting that you bring this up. Because I may or may not have gotten a beta invite to a certain feature that may or may not be part of future steam boxes ;)

You have access to game streaming?

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Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:36 pm
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
Nataku wrote:
It's interesting that you bring this up. Because I may or may not have gotten a beta invite to a certain feature that may or may not be part of future steam boxes ;)


Damn you for being so honorable as to uphold the terms of agreement!
Can't you at least give us a little nudge in the proper direction?

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Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
jdrom, wins a cookie.

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Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Build your ideal steam machine
If you frequent Reddit, you'll see lots of people got access a few weeks back and posted their "reviews" with screenshots and such. Still beta obviously and full of little quirks, but generally it sounded like it worked decently.

SplashTop already does it pretty well for streaming from your desktop to iOS/Android devices. I was impressed actually of how well I could play Borderlands 2 on my Nexus 7 with a XBOX 360 wireless controller (connected to my PC).

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Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:42 pm
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