CES 2014: All Aboard The Steam Train!
By Brandon Boatman On 17 Jan, 2014 At 03:18 AM | Categorized As Conventions, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarCES holds big surprises every year and this year was no different. While Valve was expected to have some information on their vision for steam and the Steam Machines nobody expected for them to unveil 14 different machines all by third party manufacturers.

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            The list of manufacturers goes as follows: Alienware, Alternate, CyberPowerPC, Digital Storm, Falcon NW, GigaByte, iBuyPower, Maingear, Material.net, Next Spa, Origin PC, Scan, Webhallen and Zotac.

As expected with so many different makers all of the boxes come in different shapes, sizes and all sport different internal hardware. Some like the Digital Storm and Origin builds come with top of the line processors and great graphics cards and others like the Falcon NW Tiki are completely customizable minus the graphics card, but I’m sure that may change as well because it has to be compatible with the CPU. Some boxes also allow you to choose between an Intel and AMD CPU. Along with the builds prices will vary as well ranging from TBD/$499 to $6,000.

The one constant on each machine will be the new SteamOS. According to Valve, “SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience build for the big screen.” SteamOS also allows family sharing or what I’m sure will be “family” sharing. Anyone and everyone you want to have access to your games library can and you can also limit what games you want them to have access to.

Another great feature of SteamOS is the ability to play your Windows and Mac games on your old computer and stream them via you network to your Steam Machine and play them that way. Obviously we don’t know how well that’ll work but simply having it as an option is better than having to wonder how you’ll play your Windows/Mac only games on a Linux based machine.

Lastly, these machines should not be confused with Valve’s own Steam Machine. 300 beta units of their Steam Machine have already been shipped. The beta version came with an i7-4770, i5-4570 or an unknown version of the i3 processor and uses the Nvidia Titan, Nvidia GTX780, Nvidia GTX760 or the Nvidia GTX660. All of the units also came with 16GB of RAM and have a hybrid 1TB/8GB SSHD.

All of this, however, begs the question of worth. While the cheaper machines, i.e. the $499 ones, may be able to make a case for themselves I find it hard to believe that there is a pc worth $6000. Of course we can assume that won’t the major seller. The question comes to mind with the $499-$1,000+ builds.

The only advice I can think of is price out your own ideal build. Sites like Newegg and Amazon have deals all of the time. If building your own pc isn’t your thing and you really don’t like console gaming then this might be the route for you. Of course you can always mod the machine after you buy it anyway.

About - 22 year old college student with an unhealthy obsession with video games and anime. @Boatman_Taichou

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