What CPU do you plan on using for your DIY Steam Box?

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Mar 27, 2009
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#26
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deanx0r

Senior member
Oct 1, 2002
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#27
The Ncase M1 is a fantastic case, 1.5mm thick aluminum no plastic garbage. How are the gpu temps with those 2 intake fans?
I bought so many cheap cases over the years that I was never really satisfied with, and it all comes down to build quality and feel.

My GPU temps never get past 70C during gaming, however the fans (NF-P12) dont provide an efficient air flow (due to the graphic card completely blocking them) and can be very noisy under load.

An open air cooler was a really bad idea for this case, but the reference GTX970 blower wasnt available at launch. I might snatch one of those R390X WCE edition if the price and performance are right.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#29
Here are some informal testing notes I did on the A6-5400K APU (using single channel DDR3 1866 RAM):

http://forums.anandtech.com/showpost.php?p=37675951&postcount=73

I just finished informal testing of CS:GO With Linux Mint 17.2 and the proprietary AMD driver. The game appears to average around 45 FPS (estimated) @ 1280 x 1024 low using the A6-5400K with 4GB stick of DDR3 1866 (single channel).

P.S. CS:GO is IMO the most demanding game (on hardware) Valve has released so far. The other Valve games should have equal or better performance.
Increased resolution on CS:GO from 1280 x 1024 low to 1920 x 1080 low, game play stayed smooth and I would estimate average FPS somewhere between 35 and 40.

I also played Borderlands 2 using the same set-up. Through the first few levels average FPS was over 30 (smooth) at a resolution of 1280 x 1024 low.
So I got to thinking maybe the Carrizo A6-8500P (dual core @ 1.8 Ghz base/3.0 Ghz turbo and 256sp iGPU @ 800 Mhz) BGA processor on Mini-ITX board might be a good idea (for Valve games on a casual level) as well.

However, the board makers would need to find a way to implement the BIOS/power management in such a way that the CPU could run at @ full turbo with the iGPU at full load.

P.S. For games that are too demanding on the CPU and iGPU there is always game streaming.....and Carrizo does come with H.265 decode. So that should be nice, although I have no idea how well AMD's decode (even H.264) is supported in Linux Mint 17.2 or SteamOS yet.
 
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Boze

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#30
I imagine I'll take my i7 5960X and buy an X99 mini-ITX motherboard, throw 16 GB of high speed DDR4 in there, and then try to sell off my X99 ATX board when it comes time to upgrade to Skylake-E.

I don't see any compelling reason to build a dedicated Steam Box just yet, but I believe by the time Skylake-E is available, Q4 2016 / Q1/2 2017, that will have changed dramatically. More and more titles that I've bought on Steam are popping up on my Linux Steam install. Developers are going to have to embrace Steam whether they want to or not.
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#31
Steam Link became available for purchase today.

Specs (based on a teardown) posted in the OP.
 

Gikaseixas

Platinum Member
Jul 1, 2004
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#32
Skylake i5 should do the job for me
 
Aug 11, 2008
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#33
Dont really see the point of a Steambox. I suppose there are use cases for it, but for a hundred dollars more, you get so much more functionality with a full windows system for general use and even gaming.
 

Essence_of_War

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2013
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#34
Unfortunately after doing level 1 and 2 updates via Mint's update manager I now only have 714 MB free space left (which is just too low for my liking).
Which filesystem are you using? It's also probably much too low for your filesystem's liking. What's the point in having filesystems with all of the useful, advanced features of something like ext4, that uses allocate on flush, multiblock allocation, and large extents if you have no free space to take advantage of these things?
 
Mar 27, 2009
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#35
Assuming Valve releases a Steam Link II, I wonder what SoC would be used for that box?

The current SoC is the Armada 1500 mini (88DE3005) which also used in Chromecast (released 2013) , but there are three other multi-media SoCs from Marvell listed on the same page:

http://www.marvell.com/multimedia-solutions/

ARMADA 1500 Ultra (88DE3218) http://www.marvell.com/multimedia-solutions/armada-1500-ultra/
ARMADA 1500 Pro (88DE3114) http://www.marvell.com/multimedia-solutions/armada-1500-pro/
ARMADA 1500 Pro4K (88DE3214) http://www.marvell.com/multimedia-solutions/armada-1500-pro/
ARMADA 1500-mini (88DE3005) http://www.marvell.com/multimedia-solutions/armada-1500-mini/

I'm thinking if they stay with Marvell the next step would be Armada 1500 ultra. (re: it supports 2160p60 10 bit HEVC & VP9 Video Decode.)

 
Mar 27, 2009
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#36
Dont really see the point of a Steambox. I suppose there are use cases for it, but for a hundred dollars more, you get so much more functionality with a full windows system for general use and even gaming.
I think if the hardware ends up being too expensive.... then yes, there will be those that question typing tying up such a costly investment with Linux.

But if Valve can add some native gameplay capability to the low end $50 streaming hardware then there is a chance the Stream Link might gain traction as a console. This would require titles with good gameplay though not necessarily good graphics. For me such a title would be Medieval total War ( a great game that actually has an educational component through a historical narrative and geographical and cultural elements which are part of the gameplay).
 
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Mar 27, 2009
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#37
For Steam Link II, I think a really good choice would be a Skylake Celeron Core M. This with Quicksync enabled so it would have the H.265 decode.

Give it a single core (possibly with hyperthreading), 12 EUs, eMMC 5.0, 4.5WTDP for fanless operation and I think it would be a good chip for attracting indie games (or AAA games from the past with good gameplay as I mentioned in post #36) for native gameplay.

EDIT: Here is a thread I started on this topic --> http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2456204 (In a nutshell, it would be great to see a 4.5W Core based Celeron replace the 4W dual core Braswell. Then bin Braswell at 6W and above.)
 
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Mar 27, 2009
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#38
Mar 27, 2009
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#39
For Steam Link II, I think a really good choice would be a Skylake Celeron Core M. This with Quicksync enabled so it would have the H.265 decode.

Give it a single core (possibly with hyperthreading), 12 EUs, eMMC 5.0, 4.5WTDP for fanless operation and I think it would be a good chip for attracting indie games (or AAA games from the past with good gameplay as I mentioned in post #36) for native gameplay.

EDIT: Here is a thread I started on this topic --> http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2456204 (In a nutshell, it would be great to see a 4.5W Core based Celeron replace the 4W dual core Braswell. Then bin Braswell at 6W and above.)
Forgot to mention there are also some fairly large and popular free games like War Thunder that only use one core.

And just for the record War Thunder does run on Linux, so the low cost console/streaming device could get by with less storage than one running Windows.
 


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