Steam Machines are being announced

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Aug 6, 2014
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#26
These devices will give Windows RT a real run for its money in the FAIL stakes.
Good call. Even if they manage to get some of these Steam Boxes at retailers -- the Playstation and Xbox brands will still sell the less powerful hardware probably 9 out of 10 times.

I just don't see the SteamBox ever becoming a mainstream offering. I'm sure a few die hard MMO or FPS players will buy a steambox, but nowhere near the 30+ million Xbox/PS4's that have been sold.
 

RampantAndroid

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2004
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#27
As much as I want to see steam doing well and linux gaming taking off I don't see the "steam machine" taking off at all...

PC gamers will stick with what they have and windows for now.

Console gamers... well I dunno how they think, I just dont imagine they would opt for a steambox over a PS4 or xbone :\ Its like windows phone, why would you bother? It dosent do anything the current offerings don't do, its unfamiliar and more expensive, so why bother at all.
Windows Phone is in many cases dirt cheap with good hardware. It sells well in some countries. A steam box is NOT cheaper.
 
Apr 27, 2000
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#28
Oh wow, I didn't see that. Not that I hate AMD or anything but having dealt with fglrx I pity anyone who has to deal with that in a machine that's supposed to "just work". Maybe it isn't launching until after AMD switches to the AMDGPU model for Linux.

There is a very long ahead of Steambox.

It need far more games, far better GPU drivers, openGL that is both conveniant to code in and more widespread, more standarization in Steamboxes themself if console consumer may know what to buy and what to expect out of it.
The Nvidia proprietary drivers for Linux are pretty good. Almost as good as their Windows drivers, in fact. Under bigger distros like Ubuntu, they're even easy to install once you know where to look, though if I recall properly, they do not update automatically using the default repos. Valve will have to deal with the driver update side of things to make it a positive user experience.

It is a question whenever Valve and other companies supporting Steambox and Linux as gamingOS idea are there for a long-run, eating losses for years if necessary.
How much money does Valve have to burn?

Does "6th generation" mean Skylake? That seems pretty vague. Depending on how old you are, that could mean a Pentium Pro.
 

seitur

Senior member
Jul 12, 2013
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#29
The Nvidia proprietary drivers for Linux are pretty good. Almost as good as their Windows drivers, in fact. Under bigger distros like Ubuntu, they're even easy to install once you know where to look, though if I recall properly, they do not update automatically using the default repos. Valve will have to deal with the driver update side of things to make it a positive user experience.
Yeah I know about NVIDIA, but that still leave Intel and AMD. Intel's linux drivres last time I've checked were very good for office&media usage and generally stable, but they're lagging behind in capabilities like making newer OpenGl features working or lacking performance in games.
NVIDIA Driver updating should not be a problem, since I remember some distros finding a way to provide proprietary Nvidia drivers through normal package managers.

AMD Linux ones not sure how they are now, but considering how sorry state they were last time I've checked...time frame is just too small for them to not be worst of the 3 now.
 
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Feb 8, 2004
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#30
Windows Phone is in many cases dirt cheap with good hardware. It sells well in some countries. A steam box is NOT cheaper.
Its dirt cheap because it failed. Steam boxes may end up the same way.

Its sells well in some countries that don't matter.
 

ninaholic37

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2012
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#31
I'm thinking it might turn out like ChromeOS. At first it was silly then it took off.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#32
cbn said:
It is supposed to be a low cost HTPC-like machine that can either play games directly or stream from an existing Windows machine.
Paying $500 for streaming is a bad joke. Three words: Intel Compute Stick.
I agree. That is a lot of money.

....But that Xeon X3323, 2GB RAM, GT 630 I mentioned earlier in this thread was less than $100 (on sale) which included a SFF Pre-built computer.

Now a days a person can even buy a Q6600 for ~$20 shipped on "Buy it now" ebay auctions and it will do the same thing as my Xeon X3323 (without needing to do LGA 771 to LGA 775 mod).

So used quad core Core 2 hardware (in SFF computer) vs. HDMI stick or micro-console is something to consider.

 
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Apr 27, 2000
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#33
NVIDIA Driver updating should not be a problem, since I remember some distros finding a way to provide proprietary Nvidia drivers through normal package managers.
SteamOS is based on Ubuntu which generally lets you install the proprietary drivers through a dingus in Synaptic. Or at least that's how I did it last time I had to bother with Nvidia drivers under Linux in Xubuntu.

The "big issue" when using a normal Ubuntu distro is that those drivers do not necessarily update through the Software Update thingy that helps keep your install up-to-date. SteamOS would have to address that issue. It should be pretty simple, since the repos that host driver updates are not exactly hidden or anything.

AMD Linux ones not sure how they are now, but considering how sorry state they were last time I've checked...time frame is just too small for them to not be worst of the 3 now.
Ideally, fglrx (Catalyst under its Linux name) is just as easy to install. In reality, it does some truly bizarre stuff on certain machines, even depending on what kind of monitor you have. One show-stopper is when fglrx autodetects inappropriate resolutions for your monitor and then selects one of those as the default when you start up X. It becomes nearly impossible to fix the problem from the command line; you have to revert to using an xorg.conf file which is a standard that most Linux distros abandoned years ago.

Then there's the Wine conflict which is just flat-out idiotic. If SteamOS is going to rely on Wine + PlayOnLinux to expand the available selection of game offerings, then they're going to have lots of fun getting that to work with fglrx. It's possible, but it requires dumping the contents of one of the package files, editing one file ,and then rebuilding the package.
 
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Idontcare

Elite Member
Oct 10, 1999
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#34
These things make me think of NUCs on roids.
 

tviceman

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2008
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#35
If it is to be successful, then it downright needs to have better in-game performance than Directx. If it can be 10% faster in the same games than the Windows version, then it will win over some from the get go.
Also, another big seller will be timed exclusives. I know Nvidia has said in the past that steamOS won't have any exclusives, but even if just for 24 hours, a timed exclusive would do much to get people to install and mess around with SteamOS.

There needs to be incentive. Windows 8 was that incentive, but Microsoft is quickly correcting it's mistakes and soon Windows 8 will be gone.
 
Feb 8, 2004
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#37
The core issue isnt even the hardware or the price its games on linux :| The situation is better than its ever been but its still not as good as windows. I hope the glNext thing takes off, sexy new replacement for openGL which is apparently a bit of a pain to use these days.
 

Smoblikat

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2011
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#38
Steam boxes without Windows will fail horribly. As the option of adding Windows exists maybe the customer saves the cost of the license up front if one can be reused from another box etc.
Cost of a license :p

Anywhom, I dont really see these as taking off. They are too expensive compared to a console, and I would be surprised if they could run the games as well either (thinking of the base model one).
 

jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
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#39
Cost of a license :p

Anywhom, I dont really see these as taking off. They are too expensive compared to a console, and I would be surprised if they could run the games as well either (thinking of the base model one).
Isn't the cost of a Windows license like $15 for OEMs?

I have less than $500 into my HTPC and it plays games on my couch just fine. Its even low profile.

Pic was before Cable management. Video card (Zotac GTX 750 Ti 2GB LP is off to the side)
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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#40
Isn't the cost of a Windows license like $15 for OEMs?

I have less than $500 into my HTPC and it plays games on my couch just fine. Its even low profile.

Pic was before Cable management. Video card (Zotac GTX 750 Ti 2GB LP is off to the side)
Nice rig! I've considered doing something similar in an ML07. How do you find the noise?
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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#41
Wait, the low end box has and AMD APU with discrete nVidia graphics?!?
 

jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
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#42
Nice rig! I've considered doing something similar in an ML07. How do you find the noise?
Noise is fine with the huge heatsink I put in.

The video card is super quiet.

I originally had a stock copper heatsink and fan from a FX-8350 on it and the fan was pretty much always audible.

I then put the 4 side fans in and it helped quiet it down a lot but I could still hear it at times even when playing video. I was kinda OCD about it. So I bought the big Heatsink and Fan you see in the pic.

Now when its idle or doing something small like video play back (What its primarily used for) I never hear it. When gaming the fans kick in more but I don't hear it over the audio unless I sit literally right in front of it.

Basically when on the couch or chairs I never hear it running.
 

Smoblikat

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 2011
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#43
Isn't the cost of a Windows license like $15 for OEMs?

I have less than $500 into my HTPC and it plays games on my couch just fine. Its even low profile.

Pic was before Cable management. Video card (Zotac GTX 750 Ti 2GB LP is off to the side)
Thats a nice rig. How many of the parts did you buy used though? I think the main thing will be the OS, not the box itself. Hopefully most people will just build their own systems and throw SteamOS on that.
 

PhIlLy ChEeSe

Senior member
Apr 1, 2013
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#44
Not all



I really hope steam boxes take off, I would be interested in one as an HTPC/gaming machine, but as already noted, it's got a ways to go to be a competitive product. Maybe if Valve was willing to subsidize the hardware cost like MS/Sony did with previous consoles that could be a good way to get solid hardware besides just the steamOS box and then install Windows on another hard drive or something, probably won't happen though as obviously Valve isn't even making the boxes.
Why spend top dollar, when you could just built it yourself?
 

jacktesterson

Diamond Member
Sep 28, 2001
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#45
Thats a nice rig. How many of the parts did you buy used though? I think the main thing will be the OS, not the box itself. Hopefully most people will just build their own systems and throw SteamOS on that.
I had the SSD, DVD Burner and 750GB Hard Drive. (The 750GB Drive is under the DVD Burner)

Everything else I purchased on sales over a month or so period.

I also parted out a more powerful desktop earlier so it didn't really cost me anything new. I got a new TV/TV stand and wanted a smaller case to blend in with the setup.

I hardly ever PC Game as life is busy and PS4 keeps me occupied for my gaming needs.

I wanted a small PC that could game casually, but more importantly, run MadVR on the highest settings, while being quiet.
 
Apr 27, 2000
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#46
Wait, the low end box has and AMD APU with discrete nVidia graphics?!?
Yes. Not sure but Valve may be counting on stuff like Vulkan to introduce GPGPU for the iGPU on the APU while they use the Nvidia card for graphics. Though it may not be an APU at all, it may be something like an 860k.

In any case, most people who are serious about making graphics work under Linux for games choose Nvidia hardware just on account of the drivers. You CAN make AMD drivers work in Linux, and they aren't anywhere near as bad as they used to be, but it's still an adventure.

Why spend top dollar, when you could just built it yourself?
If you're able to do that, I see little point to SteamOS at the present. Just use some Ubuntu variant + Steam and there you go.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#47
From Anandtech:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9054/...-os-steam-link-and-steam-machines-at-gdc-2015

Picture of the Steam Link, a steamOS streaming device priced at $49.99:



And the question Jared Walton reminds us of:

Wrapping up the Steam OS related announcements, there’s still that lingering question of why anyone would want to get a Steam Machine running Steam OS as opposed to a Windows PC running Steam. It remains to be seen if games can be made to run faster/better under Steam OS than under Windows, and while the cost of the OS can be a factor it may not be enough in savings to make Steam OS preferable to Windows. We should have some better answers come November, when most of these products will launch.
Regarding the concept of a really low cost Steam machine that bridges the cost of Steam Link and a full power Steam Machine, I have wonder how much something like a Rockchip x86 powered Micro console would cost? Perhaps something with 16GB of eMMC 5.0 that could actually play some Indie titles in addition to just streaming. Would this be priced low enough that it actually makes saving the money on the Windows license worth it?

Then, of course, there is always the idea of using an old SFF Core 2 machine like the one below and converting it from Vista to SteamOS:



These machines can be very cheap, even my Dell Optiplex 755 which looks exactly like the machine shown in the picture above with Windows 7 64 bit was only $51.75 shipped. And I've seen machines like mine without the OS (or Vista) for even less money, here is one example ---> http://forums.anandtech.com/showpost.php?p=36985125&postcount=16

P.S. If anyone wants to attempt their own super cheap Steam machine, here are some resources:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2404864 (A thread specific to SFF Core 2 Pre-builts)

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?p=36785929#post36785929 (The entry level hot deals video card thread. For gaming, I would suggest Nvidia as last time I checked AMD still needed improvement on their Linux driver.)
 
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Mar 27, 2009
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#48
In any case, most people who are serious about making graphics work under Linux for games choose Nvidia hardware just on account of the drivers. You CAN make AMD drivers work in Linux, and they aren't anywhere near as bad as they used to be, but it's still an adventure.
I remember seeing posts last year about AMD allowing the OpenGL Next full acess to Mantle as a starting point ---> http://forums.anandtech.com/showpost.php?p=36619640&postcount=116

It appears this became true as I am reading thru some of today's tweets from storify (see link at the bottom of the following techreport page) :

http://techreport.com/news/27919/we-learned-more-about-vulkan-at-valve-glnext-presentation

Vulkan standardizes & replaces Mantle. "Best possible starting point we could have had, although I am really biased."
So with Vulkan "standardizing and replacing Mantle" as well using it as a starting point, let's hope AMD will be in much better shape for future Linux drivers. (Crosses fingers)
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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#49
core 2 machine might not be able to handle the video decoding all that well, considering many have no hardware acceleration for that (if we are talking really basic Intel IGP stuff), not to mention power and noise... I think the steam link is quite interesting, $50 is an easy choice, and it's probably going to work pretty well, I'm interested for sure...

as for the steam machines... they seem all a little to expensive, but I can see the appeal of a small box capable of PC gaming... even the current Alienware Alpha, I find it quite attractive, and the price is not to bad...
 
Apr 27, 2000
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#50
So with Vulkan "standardizing and replacing Mantle" as well using it as a starting point, let's hope AMD will be in much better shape for future Linux drivers. (Crosses fingers)
Unfortunately, Mantle and Vulkan are APIs, not drivers. AMD is still responsible for producing drivers for their own hardware. They are making a change in the Linux driver distribution format soon by effectively consolidating the open-source radeon driver with fglrx (Catalyst for Linux), thereby producing what will be known as AMDGPU. That should allow the AMD proprietary driver teams to (sort of) work in concert with the open source driver developers on one driver package instead of working independently of one another.

But that hasn't happened yet.
 

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