Steam Machines are being announced

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Mar 27, 2009
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#51
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.
How do you feel about this HD5450 video card for decoding in Linux (It's an AMD card):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...rebbr=1&cm_sp=



It is normally goes on sale (on a regular basis) for $9.99 After rebate with free shipping. Has HDMI port too (which, of course, is necessary for TV)

P.S. The noise on my Optiplex 755 is not bad....other Core 2 SFF boxes are quieter though. Idle and active is power consumption is higher than any streaming box (by quite a bit!), but 95+% of the time mine is sleeping with a power draw under 2 watts.
 

Haserath

Senior member
Sep 12, 2010
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#52
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:



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
SteamOS requires a UEFI for installation. Do any boards from the Core 2 era have this?

I believe UEFI only became prevalent for Sandy Bridge and later processors.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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#53
SteamOS requires a UEFI for installation. Do any boards from the Core 2 era have this?

I believe UEFI only became prevalent for Sandy Bridge and later processors.
Some Core 2 boards had UEFI.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#54
SteamOS requires a UEFI for installation. Do any boards from the Core 2 era have this?

I believe UEFI only became prevalent for Sandy Bridge and later processors.
Apparently there is a workaround for computers that lack UEFI:

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648814395987401860/

But I would hope Valve would fix this officially as using an old SFF computer IMO makes a lot of sense for this application. (Just think of the Core 2 SFF machines that used to run XP that no longer have a supported OS. Same goes for Vista, which MS will drop support from in 2017. A lot of potential cheap hardware floating around out there looking for a home).
 
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Face2Face

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2001
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#55
I'm not sold on the idea of having two gaming PC's in my house, so I've been using Steam's In-home streaming and been enjoying it very much thus far.

I bought A Zotac PI320, which comes with Windows 8.1 with Bing. When setting it up, I installed Steam and setup the box to boot directly into the windows desktop; then start Steam big picture. I don't need a mouse or keyboard either.

I use the 10/100 ethernet port, and I play my games @ 1080p 60FPS, with minimal latency and frame loss. The Atom Z3735F doesn't support Quick Sync, but the DXVA decoder does a decent job, as far as I can tell.

I have this tiny box attached to the back of my 65" using Velcro, so you cant even see it. I use Xbox 360 controllers with the USB receiver.

 
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Mar 27, 2009
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#57
Cheapest one is $459.99 (iBuyPower SBX) with the Alienware Alpha at $479.99.

Specs listed under iBuyPower SBX:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/353460/

AMD Athlon™ X4 840
Radeon R7 250X 1GB GDDR5
4GB Ram (Up to 8GB Ram)
500GB HDD (Up to 1TB HDD)

Specs listed under Alienware Alpha:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/353390/

Specs start at Core i3, 4GB DDR3L, 500GB HDD, Nvidia GTX and move up to Core i7, 8GB DDR3L, 2TB HDD, Nvidia GTX
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#58
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TougeMonarch

Junior Member
Mar 6, 2015
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#59
If Steam Machines won't allow consumers to add Windows, then they would pretty much be futile unless a ton of game developers suddenly made their games compatible with Linux, and I'm not even talking port quality.
If these things receive a ton of hype, maybe development will start, but I'm still not sure how well the games would turn out in comparison to their Windows counterparts.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#60
Regarding SteamOS vs. running Windows + Steam client or Linux + Steam client, one advantage I can think of would be to save storage space on the HDD, SSD or eMMC. (This, if SteamOS takes up less space than either OS + Steam client)

But for this to have any serious impact, I'm thinking the storage space would have to be pretty small.
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
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#61
How do you feel about this HD5450 video card for decoding in Linux (It's an AMD card):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...rebbr=1&cm_sp=



It is normally goes on sale (on a regular basis) for $9.99 After rebate with free shipping. Has HDMI port too (which, of course, is necessary for TV)

P.S. The noise on my Optiplex 755 is not bad....other Core 2 SFF boxes are quieter though. Idle and active is power consumption is higher than any streaming box (by quite a bit!), but 95+% of the time mine is sleeping with a power draw under 2 watts.
this card would probably handle the video decoding well enough but it adds cost and complexity, unless you need to run native windows software alongside streaming games, I think the steam $50 box is a lot more attractive than a huge old PC.

now it would be interesting to know if the $50 steam stream box can be used for video streaming and web browsing or not.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#62
Regarding SteamOS vs. running Windows + Steam client or Linux + Steam client, one advantage I can think of would be to save storage space on the HDD, SSD or eMMC. (This, if SteamOS takes up less space than either OS + Steam client)

But for this to have any serious impact, I'm thinking the storage space would have to be pretty small.
Yea, but one AAA game can take 30-50 gb. Isnt that more than a full windows install?

I have said it before, I just dont see what a steam machine can do that a windows machine cant do better. You save a bit of disk space, and the price of windows, but it just doesnt seem worth it, especially for the price of the pre-built steam machines.

Maybe I could see it for a super low budget DIY though. But I think for the vast majority of users, the added functionality of windows will be worth the cost.
 

Qwertilot

Golden Member
Nov 28, 2013
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#63
You do have a full power Debian distribution underneath and available, so mostly all windows would be getting you is the difference in games libraries.
(No idea if it uses much less disk space once you've got a full desktop etc in there though, I wouldn't imagine it'll be a big difference.).
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#64
Yea, but one AAA game can take 30-50 gb. Isnt that more than a full windows install?

I have said it before, I just dont see what a steam machine can do that a windows machine cant do better. You save a bit of disk space, and the price of windows, but it just doesnt seem worth it, especially for the price of the pre-built steam machines.

Maybe I could see it for a super low budget DIY though. But I think for the vast majority of users, the added functionality of windows will be worth the cost.
I was thinking the major impact would be for applications where there is streaming only.

For a little box like the one described in post #55 it would be lower cost to have just SteamOS rather than Windows 8.1 + steam client if SteamOS had a substantially smaller install footprint. Then a pure steam OS streaming machine could get by with a smaller amount of eMMC.
 
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erunion

Senior member
Jan 20, 2013
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#65
I have said it before, I just dont see what a steam machine can do that a windows machine cant do better.
In the short term, nothing. But steamOS is necessary to the future of PC gaming. Valve is single handedly attempting to build a Linux gaming platform to free PC gaming from dependence on microsoft/windows.

Its no secret that Microsoft has abandoned PC gaming. And the several recent attempts they've made to monetize/influence PC gaming have been terrible. Games for Windows Live was worse for PC gaming then if they had simply done nothing.

Maybe Microsoft will never end legacy support for PC gaming and we'll just continue on with the status quo. But valve has a back up plan if Microsoft tries to force developers onto its app store.
 
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Mar 27, 2009
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#66
Valve is single handedly attempting to build a Linux gaming platform to free PC gaming from dependence on microsoft/windows.
IMHO If Valve wants that (ie, go beyond streaming from a Windows machine) I think they should try to make their SteamOS more compatible with "orphaned from Microsoft" hardware.

And that means optimizing around Core 2 quad based machines (running XP and soon Vista) as well as the really low cost DIY hardware that is too cheap to put a full retail Windows license on.
 
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erunion

Senior member
Jan 20, 2013
768
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#67
If Valve wants that (ie, go beyond streaming from a Windows machine) I think they should try to make their SteamOS more compatible with "orphaned from Microsoft" hardware.

And that means optimizing around Core 2 quad based machines (running XP and soon Vista) as well as the really low cost DIY hardware that is too cheap to put a full retail Windows license on. Example: BGA Mini-ITX/Micro-ATX boards found at Newegg in embedded solutions --> http://www.newegg.com/Embedded-Solut...ategory/ID-446
I dont see your point. SteamOS can run on any PC that can run linux. Just install it.

Edit: Haserath seems to think it won't install on older systems. I've only installed it on a haswell rig. I'll try it on an old Dell Pentium 4 later.
 
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Mar 27, 2009
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#68
I dont see your point. SteamOS can run on any PC that can run linux. Just install it.
Apparently it needs UEFI, and many Core 2 machines don't have this.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#70
If Valve can optimize games around a cheap Core 2 quad (or other low end hardware), they might do pretty well.

A good example is how Titanfall (released 2014 and uses Valve's Source engine) already works well with Core 2 quad.

So if Vulkan can further enhance the multi-threading, maybe Valve stands to gain even more mileage out low end hardware.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#72
You do have a full power Debian distribution underneath and available, so mostly all windows would be getting you is the difference in games libraries.
(No idea if it uses much less disk space once you've got a full desktop etc in there though, I wouldn't imagine it'll be a big difference.).
Plus the ability to run Windows apps, which is primarily what I meant in the first place.
 

Qwertilot

Golden Member
Nov 28, 2013
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#73
The only potentially killer Windows apps for this sort of gaming PC are going to be games. Basically everything else is nicely covered in Debian. Some things are a bit better, some are slightly worse but there's definitely nothing critical.
(Or if there is they'll make sure to get it ported.).

The computers themselves are I think basically identical price wise to full built windows PCs from the same people? Which is what an awful lot of the early steam machines will be and how they'll be used too, just a linux desktop when needed.

Anything that's principally aimed at fighting vs consoles in the mass market will need to be somewhat different of course.
 
Apr 27, 2000
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#74
SteamOS requires a UEFI for installation. Do any boards from the Core 2 era have this?
I find that bizarre if true. Every Ubuntu distro up to 14.10 supports installation on mbr or gpt partitions. Reading that linked workaround, it looks like someone at Valve got stupid and replaced the boot manager or just cut out the old-school Grub version that will work in a "legacy" boot configuration.

Cheapest one is $459.99 (iBuyPower SBX) with the Alienware Alpha at $479.99.

Specs listed under iBuyPower SBX:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/353460/

AMD Athlon™ X4 840
Figures, though I was surprised to see the 250x card in there. Yet another OEM bravely putting an AMD card in a Linux machine. I hope they have good customer service!

Regarding SteamOS vs. running Windows + Steam client or Linux + Steam client, one advantage I can think of would be to save storage space on the HDD, SSD or eMMC. (This, if SteamOS takes up less space than either OS + Steam client)
I haven't run SteamOS, so I can't say for sure how the install size compares to something like Lubuntu or Xubuntu. It doesn't get a whole lot smaller than that in Ubuntu-land. One of the major advantages I see to SteamOS is that maybe, just maybe, Valve could get a handle on the stupid library redundancy crap that makes Steam such a PITA to run with the open-source radeon drivers (the Steam client ships with a bunch of libraries that games might need to install or run on the off-chance that the host machine doesn't have them). That little "feature" makes Steam problems on Linux some arcane and twisted crap. Having to rename or delete lib<somenonsense>.so (or whatever) in a hidden subdirectory created by the Steam client is just a barrel of monkeys let me tell you.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#75
The only potentially killer Windows apps for this sort of gaming PC are going to be games. Basically everything else is nicely covered in Debian. Some things are a bit better, some are slightly worse but there's definitely nothing critical.
(Or if there is they'll make sure to get it ported.).

The computers themselves are I think basically identical price wise to full built windows PCs from the same people? Which is what an awful lot of the early steam machines will be and how they'll be used too, just a linux desktop when needed.

Anything that's principally aimed at fighting vs consoles in the mass market will need to be somewhat different of course.
The big one is MS Office. And for me, any several hundred dollar computer has to have that capability. And I mean "real" office, not some google docs or libre office. Linux is fine for those that want to fine tune it and are willing to sacrifice some programs, but if it is so great, why isnt the vast majority of users using it. Anyway, why would one want to give up having windows, when Linux/Steam OS machines(prebuilt I mean) are seemingly no cheaper? As I said, I could see Steam OS for an ultra budget gaming only build it yourself machine, but that is about it.
 


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