GAMES HOUSE Valve has detailed the specifications of its Steam Machine concept.
A post to the Steam website said that Valve is close to shipping its prototype device to 300 lucky punters. This box will show what is possible. Valve said that it is not trying to replace the high end gaming PC, but wants to build an accessible machine.
"The Steam Machines available for sale next year will be made by a variety of companies. Some of those companies will be capable of meeting the demands of lots of Steam users very quickly, some will be more specialized and lower volume. The hardware specs of each of those machines will differ, in many cases substantially, from our prototype," Valve said.
"Valve didn't set out to create our own prototype hardware just for the sake of going it alone - we wanted to accomplish some specific design goals that in the past others weren't yet tackling. One of them was to combine high-end power with a living room friendly form factor. Another was to help us test living room scenarios on a box that's as open as possible."
The 300 beta testers will get a prototype Steam machine that the firm described as "something special". Built with off the shelf PC parts, it will be upgradeable and users will be able to swap out parts including its motherboard.
"Apart from the custom enclosure, anyone can go and build exactly the same machine by shopping for components and assembling it themselves," Valve added.
"And we expect that at least a few people will do just that. (We'll also share the source CAD files for our enclosure, in case people want to replicate it as well.)"
Pictures of the machine are not available yet, but its contents are identified. There are some differences, and some will ship with different GPU and CPU setups. Valve said that users should expect "NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660", and "some boxes with Intel [Core] i7-4770, some [Core] i5-4570, and some [Core] i3".
Prototype Steam boxes will have 16GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, 3GB of GDDR5 video RAM, and a 1TB/8GB hybrid SSHD. It will be boxy, and measure 12x12.4x2.9in.
That's how the prototype machines will leave Valve offices anyway, and upgrades are down to the recipient. µ
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