Valve Corporation dropped details Friday on the what kind of hardware the SteamMachines prototypes will be packing when they are shipped out to beta testers later this year.
While Steam Machines will be created by a variety of manufacturers, Valve designed the prototypes 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 actual design of the Steam Machine prototype case has not been revealed but the dimensions released should give you an idea. It's a relativity square box measuring 12 inches long by 12.5 inches wide and is just a hair under 3 inches tall.
The 300 prototype units will ship with the following components:
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
All of the parts in the Steam Machine case can be swapped out or upgraded to something more powerful down the line. The prototype will ship with a Steam Controller as well.
The company concluded its update by further explaining that the concept of the Steam Machine is meant to expand PC gaming and not replace the traditional gaming machine sitting at a gamer's desk.
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.
Those interested in taking part of the beta should register before Oct. 25 by joining the Steam Universe community group, agreeing to beta terms and conditions, have at least ten friends on Steam, create a public Steam Community profile and play a game using a gamepad in Big Picture mode.
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