Is Valve’s Steam Machine Prototype Really Overpowered?

Valve has revealed the specs of the Steam Machine prototype it will deliver to 300 lucky Steam users, and by the looks of it, the gaming station seems to be an overkill for basically every game out there.

Last week, when Valve announced that it would put together with various (yet to be disclosed) hardware manufacturers the Steam Machines, no one knew what to expect, neither in terms of specs, nor of the big names this game distributor would collaborate with. Things took an unexpected turn a few days ago when the Valve wrote down the specs of the Steam Machine prototype. Now people are concerned about the high-price that these machines will probably have, and about the fact that the most expensive model might be an overkill even for the latest games.

The specs of the Steam Machine prototype are the following, as quoted on the Steam website:

  • 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

Haswell CPUs are famous for how economical they are in terms of power consumption, but I don’t know how a 450W power supply would handle an Nvidia Titan GPU. Regardless of that, the one packing an i7-4770 along with an Nvidia Titan GPU, which would cost around $1,850, according to Kotaku, would be capable of playing modern games beyond FullHD. This might be the reason why the most powerful Steam Machine won’t really be an overkill. 4K TVs will become mainstream at some point, and Valve seems to think forward a lot here.

The American video game developer and distributor pointed out that Steam Machines are not mandatory for the ones who already own capable gaming computers: “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.”

If you liked this post, please check the initial announcement of Valve’s gaming revolution and the SteamOS, Machines, and controller.