[Linux] Junior s2 Camila Oct 4, 2013 @ 12:01pm
Steam Machines will Kick ♥♥♥!!
Thanks for joining the Steam Universe community group. As we get closer to shipping the prototype Steam Machines and controllers we talked about last week, we're going to be posting info here about what we're up to, and give you some insight into the work we’ve done to get to this point.

As we talked about last week, the Steam Machines available for sale next year will be made by a variety of companies. Some of those companies will be capable of meeting the demands of lots of Steam users very quickly, some will be more specialized and lower volume. The hardware specs of each of those machines will differ, in many cases substantially, from our prototype.

Valve didn't set out to create our own prototype hardware just for the sake of going it alone - we wanted to accomplish some specific design goals that in the past others weren't yet tackling. One of them was to combine high-end power with a living-room-friendly form factor. Another was to help us test living-room scenarios on a box that's as open as possible.

So for our own first prototype Steam Machine ( the one we're shipping to 300 Steam users ), we've chosen to build something special. The prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts. It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to. Apart from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by shopping for components and assembling it themselves. And we expect that at least a few people will do just that. (We'll also share the source CAD files for our enclosure, in case people want to replicate it as well.)

And to be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase - those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions.

Here are the specifications for Valve's 300 prototypes.

The 300 prototype units will ship with the following components:
GPU: some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660
CPU: some boxes with Intel : i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)
Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high

As a hardware platform, the Steam ecosystem will change over time, so any upgrades will be at each user's discretion. In the future we'll talk about how Steam will help customers understand the differences between machines, hardware strengths and weaknesses, and upgrade decisions.

We aren't quite ready to post a picture of our prototype - just because they're not finished enough. Before they ship we'll let you know what the prototype looks like. And we expect people to redesign the machine, too. Both from a technical perspective, deciding on different components, and from an industrial design perspective, changing the enclosure in interesting ways.

So high-powered SteamOS living room machines are nice, and fun to play with, and will make many Steam customers happy. But there are a lot of other Steam customers who already have perfectly great gaming hardware at home in the form of a powerful PC. The prototype we're talking about here is not meant to replace that. Many of those users would like to have a way to bridge the gap into the living room without giving up their existing hardware and without spending lots of money. We think that's a great goal, and we're working on ways to use our in-home streaming technology to accomplish it - we'll talk more about that in the future.

Stay tuned for some closer looks at the Steam Controller.

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse#announcements/detail/2145128928746175450
Showing 1-15 of 33 comments
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###O?qÿáÓ Oct 4, 2013 @ 12:02pm 
So, no AMD love?
[Linux] Junior s2 Camila Oct 4, 2013 @ 12:08pm 
Too bad that so far no.
`][`arron: Linux Oct 4, 2013 @ 12:08pm 
AMD is for consoles :P
[Linux] Junior s2 Camila Oct 4, 2013 @ 12:19pm 
Originally posted by Seph//roth #Linux:
AMD is for consoles :P
And SteamBox is....? =]
LOLCAT Oct 4, 2013 @ 1:09pm 
Originally posted by ###O?qÿáÓ:
So, no AMD love?
I agree. There are no decent open source drivers for nvidia. That's a huge risk.
sounds like a wooosh Oct 4, 2013 @ 1:43pm 
Originally posted by LOLCAT:
I agree. There are no decent open source drivers for nvidia. That's a huge risk.
No. It's the hope! It should kickass Nvida! – That's it!
2point4 Oct 4, 2013 @ 1:52pm 
I just don't get the hype. Valve is sort of entering the hardware market by making their own controller. Otherwise the Steambox is just a PC with specs that don't really fit into the living room space. These are going to be loud like how a PC is loud and with what sounds like a standard ATX form factor. And they aren't Valve hardware. They're just off the shelf components. And SteamOS...Valve has a tough enough time with the Steam client but they're going to magically be able to support an entire distro now?

I'm sorry, I just don't see the use case. It's great for Linux fans that want to see adoption rates grow, but the Steambox will do more harm than good, especially considering the abysmal support Valve provides its customers. And for people that they want to bring over from console, they'll just be helping Windows sales grow as you'll need two PCs (one with Windows) to really have any sort of enjoyable experience...provided their streaming tech is up to par.

I get that Valve is looking at the long game and probably isn't expecting stellar sales right out of the gates. But this is going to be a looooooooooong game that just doesn't seem possible to succeed at. They're trying to re-stimulate the PC market by selling...wait for it...PCs. Gabe Newell blamed Windows 8 for the decline in PC sales worldwide while totally dismissing the fact that phones and tablets exist and were the real reason for that decline. And somehow Valve thinks that games are what drives PC sales so they'll be releasing an OS that is solely dedicated to gaming, as if the corporate market doesn't exist at all. Desktop Linux hasn't taken off despite the efforts of so many. SteamOS can't be that catalyst if it's just gonna focus on gaming.

People say Valve isn't trying to compete with consoles but I don't get that argument. Just having the details we know so far that's all this whole "Steam Universe" thing is: a console. A, by default, closed off experience with a TV-focused front end. A limited selection of titles at launch. A controller, FFS. This is a console by definition. And since nobody can agree on it and Valve's details are so ambiguous, I doubt even Valve knows what they're doing in this space.

I'm missing something and I keep waiting for someone to say something that makes it all click for me. But none of this strategy makes any sense to me. I still only see it as Gabe Newell whining about having a real competitor in the market he created. But as always, I'm all ears and waiting for someone to make sense of it for me.

[Linux] Junior s2 Camila Oct 4, 2013 @ 2:11pm 
Are opensource drivers for ATI good nowadays? I might think on buying an ATI next time.
[Linux] Junior s2 Camila Oct 4, 2013 @ 2:31pm 
Originally posted by 2point4:
I just don't get the hype. Valve is sort of entering the hardware market by making their own controller.
Controllers shouldn't be that hard to build.
Originally posted by 2point4:
Otherwise the Steambox is just a PC with specs that don't really fit into the living room space.
Any other console is a PC with it's own OS, just like SteamBox. I doubt it won't fit.
Originally posted by 2point4:
These are going to be loud like how a PC is loud and with what sounds like a standard ATX form factor.
"This is gonna be that way" can't be applied here. If I recall Valve will make a water colling system for SteamBox, but I can be wrong (I need to research more)
Originally posted by 2point4:
And they aren't Valve hardware. They're just off the shelf components.
And XBOX or PS3 have their own hardware? Of course not.
Originally posted by 2point4:
And SteamOS...Valve has a tough enough time with the Steam client but they're going to magically be able to support an entire distro now?
Supporting a Client that will work on every distro is a tough job compared to take a distro and fork it the way you want it to behave. SteamOS will likely have no problems running Steam since it will be much easier to code to it.
Originally posted by 2point4:
I'm sorry, I just don't see the use case. It's great for Linux fans that want to see adoption rates grow, but the Steambox will do more harm than good, especially considering the abysmal support Valve provides its customers.
Steam on Linux did only good things to the platform. I'd love evidence that SteamBox will provide more harm, or even harm at all.
Originally posted by 2point4:
And for people that they want to bring over from console, they'll just be helping Windows sales grow as you'll need two PCs (one with Windows) to really have any sort of enjoyable experience...provided their streaming tech is up to par.
You need to know the point of SteamBOX before blabbing nonsense like this.
Originally posted by 2point4:
I get that Valve is looking at the long game and probably isn't expecting stellar sales right out of the gates. But this is going to be a looooooooooong game that just doesn't seem possible to succeed at.
Then certainly your market knowledge is bigger than Valve's. Feel free to joing their team and explain why you think this is a bad idea.
Originally posted by 2point4:
They're trying to re-stimulate the PC market by selling...wait for it...PCs.
A Console is a PC just like the one you're using to type this. The only difference is the OS. SteamBOX purpose is to make available for their users to buy the game once and play it everywhere without the need to buy the game for PC, then for PS3 again, for example.
Originally posted by 2point4:
Gabe Newell blamed Windows 8 for the decline in PC sales worldwide while totally dismissing the fact that phones and tablets exist and were the real reason for that decline.
Where did he said that? IIRC he said Windows 8 is a disaster, and it really is. Look at it's store and you'll know.
Originally posted by 2point4:
And somehow Valve thinks that games are what drives PC sales so they'll be releasing an OS that is solely dedicated to gaming, as if the corporate market doesn't exist at all.
He didn't say that. He said that regardless of the PC sales going down, the games sales either stays the same (with minor variations) or it gets bigger.
Please inform yourself.
Originally posted by 2point4:
Desktop Linux hasn't taken off despite the efforts of so many. SteamOS can't be that catalyst if it's just gonna focus on gaming.
Regardless of it's market share on Desktops, Linux is growing and it's getting better with the support from companies like Valve. If it weren't by Valve Linux would still have very crappy video drivers, and now we outperform Windows.
I don't think Valve wants to drive the PC sales up with SteamBOX. I think, you know, that they want to sell consoles.
Originally posted by 2point4:
People say Valve isn't trying to compete with consoles but I don't get that argument. Just having the details we know so far that's all this whole "Steam Universe" thing is: a console. A, by default, closed off experience with a TV-focused front end. A limited selection of titles at launch.
You must work for Sony, am I right?
Originally posted by 2point4:
A controller, FFS. This is a console by definition. And since nobody can agree on it and Valve's details are so ambiguous, I doubt even Valve knows what they're doing in this space.
Yeah you work for Sony.
Originally posted by 2point4:
I'm missing something and I keep waiting for someone to say something that makes it all click for me. But none of this strategy makes any sense to me.
Of course for you it doesn't.
Last edited by [Linux] Junior s2 Camila; Oct 4, 2013 @ 2:37pm
2point4 Oct 4, 2013 @ 2:44pm 
I tried once to generate some discussion of another topic and someone told me I must work for EA. Clearly that person wasn't interested in any sort of intelligent back and forth and only was interested in people that saw things his way. He wasn't at all open to the possibility that the world didn't revolve around his opinions. Most of his opinions centered around the propaganda that Valve put into his head. I left that discussion.

Unless, of course, there is anyone else that would like to shed any non-dense light on my comments...
blackout24 Oct 4, 2013 @ 2:50pm 
AMD open source drivers are worse than AMD closed drivers, which are worse than AMD Windows closed drivers.

https://dolphin-emu.org/blog/2013/09/26/dolphin-emulator-and-opengl-drivers-hall-fameshame/

Excellent - NVIDIA
We had no occasion to test NVIDIA's response time to driver issues because we actually never had any issue with NVIDIA's OpenGL implementation, either on Windows or on Linux.

Mediocre - AMD
We had the most issues with AMD when using their proprietary graphics driver on Linux, fglrx/Catalyst. A lot of issues that do not happen on Windows are present on Linux, sometimes with a very visible effect in our emulator.
Rain Ninja Oct 4, 2013 @ 2:51pm 
Well from a Linux gamer point of view, this excites me immensely. It's basically a typical PC with a custom case (or not, if you dont want) and a Valve-built controller. As it's not some locked down restricted console, SteamOS will have to be flexible and as close to our typical Linux OS' (just a more stripped down version for gaming/living room) as possible instead of some off-shoot made only for a set spec of hardware.
[Linux] Junior s2 Camila Oct 4, 2013 @ 2:52pm 
You *are* having an intelligent conversation, but I'm sorry if you expected other reaction from me, I see things the way they are and I don't tend to be soft on people who are "blind" towards something they know almost nothing about. Saying nonsense won't help you get a nice conversation, your entire post was "I don't see the point of it", "Valve is insane", "I would do better" "blah blah blah". You showed no interest in having a nice conversation, all you did was throw rocks and nothing more.
[Linux] Junior s2 Camila Oct 4, 2013 @ 2:58pm 
Originally posted by blackout24:
AMD open source drivers are worse than AMD closed drivers, which are worse than AMD Windows closed drivers.

https://dolphin-emu.org/blog/2013/09/26/dolphin-emulator-and-opengl-drivers-hall-fameshame/

Excellent - NVIDIA
We had no occasion to test NVIDIA's response time to driver issues because we actually never had any issue with NVIDIA's OpenGL implementation, either on Windows or on Linux.

Mediocre - AMD
We had the most issues with AMD when using their proprietary graphics driver on Linux, fglrx/Catalyst. A lot of issues that do not happen on Windows are present on Linux, sometimes with a very visible effect in our emulator.
Is it critical?
blackout24 Oct 4, 2013 @ 3:03pm 
Well if you don't mind slow performance for the money that you have spend and graphic glitches.

From the benchmarks that I can recall the open source drivers are about 80% as fast as the closed drivers. Even those aren't very good, though.

The open drivers aren't as bad as nouveau compared to nvidia, where the closed driver is about 4x faster.
Last edited by blackout24; Oct 4, 2013 @ 3:05pm
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Date Posted: Oct 4, 2013 @ 12:01pm
Posts: 33