Steam Machines revealed: Full details and pictures for every model

Valve's Steam Machine lineup is as varied in hardware as it is in price. Here's everything we know about all 15 models announced thus far.

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Steam Machines revealed

After a long delay, Valve’s bid to replace your living room console with a true-blue gaming PC is finally taking shape. Valve and its partners revealed a whopping 15 new Steam Machines during GDC 2015, covering virtually every price point and internal component configuration. (They’re all small, though—these are supposed to fit in a home theater cabinet.) Valve’s so serious that it even launched a new hardware section in the Steam store ahead of the scheduled November 10 launch for Steam Machines, and will toss in free copies of Rocket League and Portal 2 if you preorder a system.

If you’re looking for impressions and video of the new Steam Machines, Gordon Mah Ung has you covered. Here, we’ll take a peek at each and every new Steam Machine announced, from iBuyPower’s $450 SBX to crazy $5000 rigs from Falcon Northwest and Origin. PCWorld’s massive graphics card performance round-up can help you get up to speed with the various visual options offered.

Let’s dig in!

Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 6, 2015, but has been updated since then with additional information.

ibuypower sbx steam machine

iBuyPower SBX

IBuyPower’s SBX isn’t only the cheapest Steam Machine, starting at $460. It’s also one of the most console-esque in design—and check out that killer LED light bar wrapped around the system. It’s full RGB and offers “multiple preset lighting patterns.”

Like consoles, and unlike many Steam Machines, the SBX can sit both vertically or horizontally. The base version packs an AMD Athlon X4 840 processor, a Radeon R7 250X graphics card with 1GB of onboard memory, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive.

A quick word of warning: Steam Machines aren’t due to launch until November, which is eons away in technology time. Expect specific configurations for all these rigs to be slightly different at launch.

alienware steam machine

Alienware's Steam Machine

Alienware’s Steam Machine is available in several configurations, but its base model starts at $480 and bears a striking resemblance to the shockingly good Windows-based Alpha console Alienware launched last year.

The base system includes a Core i3-4130T processor, a custom 860M-like Nvidia GeForce GPU with 2GB of dedicated onboard GDDR5 memory, 4GB of system RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Beefier variants can be had for more cash, and all systems come with SteamOS and a bundled Steam Controller.

syber steam machine

CyberPowerPC's Syber Steam Machines

CyberPowerPC’s Syber division is diving into Steam Machines with full force, announcing no fewer than six separate models at GDC.

The most affordable, the $500 Syber Steam Machine A, packs an Athlon X4 850 processor, a 2GB Radeon R9 270, 4GB of memory, and 500GB of storage. At the high end, the $1,400 Syber Steam Machine packs a full-blown Core i7-4790K, a GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. It’s hard to find components more capable than that, folks.

Syber will also craft you a Steam Machine from the hardware of your choice if the premade models don’t cut if for you.

gigabyte brix pro steam machine

Gigabyte Brix Pro

Gigabyte’s $600 Brix Pro is different from other Steam Machines in that, well, it doesn’t come with SteamOS preinstalled. In fact, it doesn’t come with memory or storage preinstalled either, according to its Steam store listing—like other Gigabyte Brix models, the Steam Machine is an itty-bitty DIY rig.

You will find an Intel Core i7-4770R processor, Intel’s beefiest Iris Pro integrated graphics, and a PCI-E module that adds Bluetooth and 802.11ac Wi-Fi capabilities. The system supports a 2.5-inch SSD or traditional hard drive, as well as an mSATA SSD, and has two open 1600MHz SO-DIMM slots for RAM.

asus gr8s steam machine


The potential Steam Machine Asus teased at Computex last year has finally become the Real Deal. The Asus GR8S (yes, “Great S”) starts at $700, but Asus isn’t getting specific on specifications beyond saying it’ll have Intel Core i5/i7 processors and Nvidia GeForce GTX 900-series graphics. Other notable features: Speedy 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Asus’ ROG SupremeFX 5.1 HD audio, and 4K video output.

But the really notable thing about the ROG GR8S is its aggressive, angular design. Just look at the thing! It looks like an evil alien monolith.

digital storm eclipse steam machine

Digital Storm Eclipse

Digital Storm’s Eclipse, unlike the ROG GR8S, doesn’t start at $700—it is $700, with a single, set configuration.

While some of the diminutive Steam Machines pack mobile processors, the Eclipse sports a full-blown desktop chip and graphics card: Intel’s G3220 and a Nvidia GTX 960, specifically. They’re joined by 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. Feel like upgrading? The rig packs extra room and adjustable brackets for DIY hardware updates down the line.

nextbox steam machine

NextBox Steam Machines

NextBox will offer three distinct Steam Machines. The first, costing $800, packs a Core i3-4160, a GTX 750, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. A price-to-be-determined middle tier swaps out the GTX 750 for a more capable GTX 960.

The top-end $1,400 configuration keeps the 8GB of memory but upgrades everything else, with a Core i5-4460, a GTX 970 graphics card, and a 512GB SSD.

maingear drift steam machine

Maingear Drift

Maingear’s $850 and up Drift also brags about easy-peasy upgrade capabilities. This Steam Machine opts for some snazzy touches, like a unibody aluminum chassis and closed-loop liquid cooling design to chill your hardware without making a racket.

Specific configurations vary. Up to an Intel Core i7-4690K will be offered, along with graphics cards all the way up to the GTX 980 and Radeon R9 290X. The Drift tops out at 16GB of RAM, but offers abundant storage options, supporting up to two 1TB SSDs and a 6TB hard drive. Space like that is just begging to be filled during a Steam Sale.

material steam machine

Material.net Steam Machine

Like Digital Storm’s Eclipse, Material.net’s Steam Machine is locked to a single, $900 model. Inside you’ll find an Intel Core i5-4440, an overclocked GTX 960 graphics card, and as-yet-undetermined storage and memory. That Fractal Design case looks awfully darn slick, too.

origin omega steam machine

Origin Omega

Origin takes the opposite approach. While its Omega Steam Machine starts at $900, customization’s the name of the game here, and Origin will offer variants that cost north of $5,000—when you’re hand-picking your own hardware, the sky’s the limits.

Despite being a home theater-sized PC, the Omega can cram up to three GTX 980 GeForce cards into its chassis. (It looks like several cases will be offered, going by the Steam listing's images.) Processor support tops out with the Core i7-4770K, while up to 32GB of RAM and a whopping 14 terabytes of storage will be available. On the software side, Origin says it’ll have a SteamOS/Windows dual-boot option available—but we’ll have to wait and see how Microsoft reacts to that.

webhallen steam machine

Webhallen S15-01

Back in the land of set configurations, you know what you get with the $950 Webhallen S15-01. This build features a Core i5-4460 processor with a H97 motherboard, a GTX 960 graphics card, 8GB of 1600MHz memory, and a 1TB SSD/HDD hybrid dive, all enclosed inside a purdy Bitfenix Pandora chassis.

scan 3xs st steam machine

Scan 3XS ST Steam Machines

Americans may not have heard of Scan’s 3XS, but it’s racked up awards and earned a “Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen as supplier of High Performance Personal Computers and IT Hardware” distinction in the United Kingdom. Basically, these folks make PCs for the British Royal Court. Damn.

It’ll be offering three ST-series Steam Machines: A $1,000 system with a Core i3 and a GTX 750, a $1,160 system with a Core i5 paired with a GTX 960, and a $1,300 machine with a Core i5 and a GTX 970. All come with 8GB of RAM and a 120GB SSD, with larger SSDs also available as upgrades.

zotac steam machine

Zotac Steam Machine

Zotac’s itty-bitty $1,000 Steam Machine can fit in your hand, but the tiny box still surges with some big-time gaming power. (It’s also one of the few Steam Machines that doesn’t come in a black box.)

When it launches in November alongside the rest of the Steam Machines, it’ll pack a sixth-gen Skylake Intel processor—a series of chips that aren’t even out yet. That’ll be joined by a mobile GTX 970M GPU, along with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive, and a speedy 64GB M.2 SSD. The memory and storage will be upgradeable, but the GPU (and likely the processor) will not. Zotac’s rig has not one, but two Gigabit Ethernet ports and four HDMI outputs.

alternate steam machine

Alternate Steam Machine

Nope, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you: Alternate’s Steam Machine indeed uses the same chassis as Digital Storm’s. Unlike the Eclipse, however, Alternate offers a variety of internal configurations. Four of them, in fact.

The “entry”-level $1,100 rig marries a Core i3 processor and a GTX 750 Ti with a 500GB hybrid drive. Frankly, that firepower seems astoundingly paltry for its $1,100 price tag. Middle tiers offer a Core i5-4570 paired with either a GTX 960 or 970, while the “Ultra” configuration includes a Core i5-4670K, a GTX 980, and a 2TB hybrid drive.

falcon northwest tiki

Falcon Northwest Tiki

Finally, there’s a Steam Machine variant of Falcon Northwest’s iconic Tiki—one of the very first rigs to kick off the mini-PC revolution years back. The highly configurable Tiki doesn’t come cheap, starting at $2,000 with customization options available that can push the price all the way to $5,000.

But Falcon Northwest’s machine crams massive power in its tiny frame. It’s the only Steam Machine to offer Nvidia’s new Titan X super GPU as an option, and the Tiki’s processor—you can select anything up to a Core i7-4790K—is liquid cooled and available factory-overclocked. In a demo at GDC, that setup chewed through Unreal Tournament 2015 at 4K resolution and 60Hz.

steam controller

Steam Controller and Steam Link

Again, check out Gordon Ung’s eyes-on impressions of the new Steam Machines if you want more info. And if you’re wondering how Valve’s crucial Steam Controller or dirt-cheap $50 in-home streaming-only Steam Link box handle, you’ll want to read Hayden Dingman’s hands-on report of those two vital elements of the fledgling Steam universe.

As for the games you'll actually be able to play on Steam Machines, PCWorld's guide to killer Linux games can help you fill up your hard drive with quality titles in no time. Big-name games are no longer scarce on Linux.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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