iFixit: Valve's Steam Machine prototype has high repairability rating

Valve only made 300 of its prototype Steam Machines that were sent out to beta testers last week, but somehow the folks at the iFixit website managed to get their hands on one of them. As they did with the Xbox One and PS4 consoles, the team used their screwdrivers and tore down the Steam Machine to see what was inside and how easy it might be to fix.

Unlike the Xbox One and PS4 units, which have the same hardware inside, Valve has three different versions of its Steam Machine that it has sent to be tested. Inside the unit that iFixit got to check out, there's an Intel Core i5-4570 processor, 16 GB of RAM, a Zotac NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 graphics card with 3 GB of video RAM and a hybrid storage drive with 1 TB of hard drive space combined with an 8 GB SSD.

iFixit estimated that the total cost of all of the parts of this particular Steam Machine was about $1,300 if someone were to buy all of the pieces separately. In other words, this unit is a pretty solid gaming PC. IFixit gave it a 9 out of 10 repair-ability score, saying, "Modular design with off-the-shelf components makes it easy to remove and upgrade the hard drive and video card."

Of course, this unit is not for sale and will never be found inside a Walmart or Best Buy; Valve made these prototypes for its own SteamOS testing purposes. However, a number of third party companies will be releasing their own Steam Machines, with plans for a public launch sometime in 2014.

Source: iFixit | Image via iFixit

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16 Comments

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The point of steam machine is to compete with the "ready made" era, people don't buy consoles because of the OS, they buy them because they're hassle free. Buy a box, plug it in. Go. Specs are clear and it doesn't go "out of date" with the next game release.

Hence the point of steam machine, a Gaming PC platform, designed and build around the merits of consoles. Eventually I'd expect to see it transition to a console type device. Given the rate at which our processing power expands, I don't think that a steam machine will be that quickly out dated. A high mid range PC can stay relevant for about 5 years atm.

well, it's just a PC with an OS that is more locked down than just about anything. essentially valve's Trojan horse to stay relevant...

Cyborg_X said,
Pretty blah except for the GPU.

In terms of performance, it is going to perform rather well for gaming. The i5 being used isn't the fastest, but is close to the upper range when looking at single and multi-core performance.

When it comes to gaming, 4 cores are adequate, and the single core performance is far more important than having additional cores. This is why a cheaper i3 with fast single core performance can best most AMD CPUs in gaming tests.

The GPU is what I would consider to be a concern for a traditional PC, but more than adequate for what SteamOS is going to be able to provide.

The 780 has good performance, but it lacks features that game developers are starting to use. Today, this isn't a problem, but it will slow the adoption of the newer DX11.1 and pending OpenGL 4.x features that depend on these missing features. With developers starting to optimize for the DX11.1 level features on the Xbox One, it is important that NVidia starts providing these features in their PC GPU lineup. (These features should also become a part of PS4 development as the Sony framework catches up, since its GPU hardware also supports them.)*

I say DX11.1 'level' features to establish the hardware necessary to support the DX11.1 feature set, but it is not limited to being used by just DX11.1.

$1,300

a bit higher then expected. at that price, i can build a machine myself that will be as good, no?

what is the point of going with "steam" branded one?

panacea said,
$1,300

a bit higher then expected. at that price, i can build a machine myself that will be as good, no?

what is the point of going with "steam" branded one?

I am not sure if there is one. You could just get a mini tower, build a custom computer and install the SteamOS and it would be the same I think. Basically.

I heard SteamOS is basically a Debian distro with Steam Big Picture Mode on it. We will see how well it takes off. I think for any linux distro to be successful they will have to put a lot of time, money, and resources to get what it needs to actually function for most of the people out there. Driver support is hard to keep up on and linux has never really nailed it down yet. But we will see =).

Shadowzz said,
If they're using Debian they have a chance though. IMO Debian is a great distro for a stable and good supported Linux.

I agree. They have a chance. A good one if Valve wants to put a lot of money behind it. I will be interested to see if Valve really supports it head on or if this is a sort of hedge. Like a, try to get a foot in the living room for the future. Also, a foothold against a Windows environment they arent sure about yet.

We will see though =).

MDboyz said,
Because they want to make Stream Machine sounds special like Xbox One or PS4 ... lolz ...
'
You haven't seen the iFixit's of the PS4 and XBO then I assume.

I guess you do not understand my point. PS4 and XboxOne are not made by PC components that you can buy on store like ones in Steam Machine.

Shadowzz said,
'
You haven't seen the iFixit's of the PS4 and XBO then I assume.