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Steam Machine Prototypes Use Intel CPUs, NVIDIA GPUs

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the as-long-as-i-can-play-quake-3-on-my-tv dept.

Intel 187

An anonymous reader writes "Valve has revealed their first Steam Machines prototype details. The first 300 Steam Machine prototypes to ship will use various high-end Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs while running their custom SteamOS Linux distribution. The Intel Haswell CPU + NVIDIA GPU combination should work well on Linux with the binary drivers. Using a range of CPUs/GPUs in the prototypes will allow them to better gauge the performance and effectiveness. Valve also said they will be releasing the CAD design files to their custom living room console enclosure for those who'd like to reproduce them." Valve is careful to point out that these specs aren't intended as a standard: "[T]o be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase — those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package. Many others would opt for machines that have been more carefully designed to cost less, or to be tiny, or super quiet, and there will be Steam Machines that fit those descriptions."

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FR0$7 P&$$ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039177)

Suck it!

None use intel or amd for graphics? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039195)

So this is a big middle finger to the open source driver developers, I guess. If they wanted real world testing and feedback of their work, they should look elsewhere.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039299)

By using Intel or AMD, they'd be giving the finger to the GPU vendor with the clearly superior hardware. Some of use actually just want the best computing package and don't care so much about the open source religion.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039401)

But you are pretty happy otherwise to capitalize on all that open source "religion" aren't you. As usual, the population of smug entitled users far outstrips the population of people willing to do the development work we all benefit from.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039467)

This is why open source is a stupid idea. With closed source software, people have to PAY you for your WORK. With open source, everyone rips you off and you're left complaining about how they didn't contribute, with no recourse because you were dumb enough to work for free.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (2, Insightful)

Joviex (976416) | about a year ago | (#45039599)

This is why open source is a stupid idea. With closed source software, people have to PAY you for your WORK. With open source, everyone rips you off and you're left complaining about how they didn't contribute, with no recourse because you were dumb enough to work for free.

Man if I had points, you'd get em. Complaining about doing work (free), that everyone uses, is anathema to open source. Either get on the boat or off - straddling the middle just makes for a good youtube video.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (5, Insightful)

s13g3 (110658) | about a year ago | (#45039929)

Nice fallacy, namely your assertion that commercial vendors actually do any work, especially after-the-fact... you know, like all the updates MS has made to the registry editor over the years, or the extensive CLI functionality, and let us not forget their impressively powerful and flexible search/scheduling options they built into Outlook. /sarcasm

You keep using that word ("you")... but I do not think it means what you think it means. I believe the word you're looking for is "I", because if your assertion were true, Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, FreeBSD and many others wouldn't exist - or wouldn't exist as they do today - with a huge amount of software being continuously developed by people who are happy to keep doing it so they have the tools they want/need to do what they want to do.

Maybe *you* kept getting ripped off because you were doing it wrong. Meanwhile, I'm going to go have drinks with my buddies from Redhat who get paid perfectly well.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040187)

Ah I see, so the OP should rather code buggy shit and sell support?

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040063)

Everything Valve is doing is based on open source software. And yet you have the nerve to complain that open source is "stupid"?! It could never work, eh? Do you have even an inkling, even a smidgeon of intelligence, enough insight to notice that the very product your are bleating about would even be possible if it weren't using open source / free software? Even the site you are posting on uses it. The only complaining I hear is your own. The people who actually, you know, DO REAL SHIT THAT YOU USE AND BENEFIT FROM are not complaining. Just you. Idiot.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (1)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#45039727)

99 percent of us are utterly incapable of creating drivers or working on kernel and GUI enhancements, so you're right, we "far outstrip" the people who can do the work. Sorry, we're just going to benefit from other people's labor.

Re: None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040171)

well then pehaps you can stop bitching about the people who DO the work instead of insulting them as "zealots" or whatever the fuck the current anti-oss rallying cry is.

Re: None use intel or amd for graphics? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040221)

The free software people ARE zealots. Open source contributors just want to contribute without signing up to some cult.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040249)

Perhaps you might want to reconsider working for free if you don't like the idea of people using it without giving back.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#45039795)

Nvidia hardware isn't really clearly superior to AMD.. they rotate on who has the best hardware at various price points.

But sure, the point is that this hardware should do a specific job for gamers at a specific price point, if Nvidia GPU's are the best bet for that in this product price segment there's no reason to be an ideological crusader about it. The point is to be able to play games, not make the average couch potato start writing driver code on his TV.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (4, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45040161)

Nvidia hardware isn't really clearly superior to AMD.. they rotate on who has the best hardware at various price points.

But sure, the point is that this hardware should do a specific job for gamers at a specific price point, if Nvidia GPU's are the best bet for that in this product price segment there's no reason to be an ideological crusader about it. The point is to be able to play games, not make the average couch potato start writing driver code on his TV.

Not on Linux. nVidia consistently outperforms AMD, and is significantly more stable. And they have been actively working with Valve for quite some time to fix some show-stopping driver bugs.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040003)

And some of think leeches such as yourself, who happily gorge themselves on the end result of many thousands of people sharing uncountable hours of work in support of the free software ecology, while simultaneously giving them the finger, can go fuck themselves.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039309)

This is a big thumbs up to GAMERS, who this hardware is designed for. NVIDIA is simply the best GPU for gaming, and Intel is laughable in the serious gaming GPU space. Kudos to Valve for making this choice.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (2)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | about a year ago | (#45039333)

" NVIDIA is simply the best GPU for gaming". Where have you been?

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039377)

What GPU would be better for Valve's Linux based OS? Intel is irrelevant, AMD/ATI Linux drivers are far beyond terrible, and all the open source drivers have terrible performance.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (1, Interesting)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year ago | (#45039447)

last time i used AMD/ATI hardware in linux it was one the biggest headaches had I had in years. only 800x600 rez max and driver just screwed the machine to an unfix able state.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040523)

When was that? 1993?

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (1, Troll)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#45041029)

800x600, what kind of troll is that?

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (5, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#45039459)

If you've checked the latest benchmarks, Intel is becoming more and more relevant each iteration.

Intel GPU's are fairly decent midlevel performers these days AND the *official* Intel drivers are open source.

Personally, I can't wait until the GPU goes the way of the math coprocessor. Fuck dealing with Nvidia and AMD's awful driver support.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039593)

Intel is becoming more and more relevant each iteration.

They're still not relevant and people have said this continuously for over a decade. Valve needs something now, not "maybe a year from now."

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (4, Insightful)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#45039881)

Personally, I can't wait until the GPU goes the way of the math coprocessor.

Probably shouldn't hold your breath on that...

I think we'll see it in our lifetime (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#45040649)

It will be some time, but onboard graphics have gone from a joke to usable for games in a short time and are moving forward. As we keep making things more powerful, it becomes more possible. Intel thinks they will be able to scale to 5nm around 2020, with transistor density like that, it might just happen.

We'll see.

Re:I think we'll see it in our lifetime (4, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#45040711)

Intel is starting to plateau in the CPU business (they have no real competition), so I wouldn't be surprised if they looked at the current market and decided to put serious effort into the GPU biz.

They already have a loyal enthusiast following.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039461)

nVidia is the dad that works long hours, comes home tired, and doesn't play with his kid. AMD is the drunkard abusing his children. :(

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45039553)

I wouldn't consider drivers a serious issue. If Valve goes to AMD/ATI and says 'We'll buy a hundred thousand chips for the first production run, with potential sales of fifteen million to follow' I'm sure improved driver support would quickly follow.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (3, Interesting)

Shinobi (19308) | about a year ago | (#45039643)

It hasn't worked with the millions of chips purchased by OEM's such as Sapphire etc, why do you think Valve would succeed? Blind hope?

Hell, it took ages for them to fix some of the completely retarded requirements for accessing OpenCL interface on Linux, and that was with a lot of people in the HPC field(both users/potential customers and vendors/potential resellers) begging them on their bare knees. It's been almost a year since I last looked at AMD's GPU's for a client, but they might STILL have the completely idiotic requirement of having X running if you want to access the OpenCL interface(Something nVidia doesn't require....)

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040015)

Because Valve isn't planning on making the boxes. They will be made by typical computer manufacturers to Valve's specs.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (3, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45040179)

I wouldn't consider drivers a serious issue. If Valve goes to AMD/ATI and says 'We'll buy a hundred thousand chips for the first production run, with potential sales of fifteen million to follow' I'm sure improved driver support would quickly follow.

Actually, nVidia has been actively working with them for over a year now fixing some significant driver bugs. And they haven't bought anything yet.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040241)

Don't see the other major consoles having problems with their AMD GPU supports.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (3, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | about a year ago | (#45039337)

Their objective is to maximize and/or evaluate possibly maximal performance -- not make people feel good about the work they're doing for the open source/Linux community. Calm down.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039595)

We are calm, this is just a giant fuck-you to the people who want open drivers for good reasons. I get that there are all sorts of stupid (and Microsoft-driven apparently) contractual reasons why NVidia won't find it easy to open-source their drivers. This doesn't mean I can't be fucking disappointed about Valve choosing short-term thinking over long-term.
Valve *could* have done the long-term-good thing here and stood up for open driver development. That shit matters in the long term for interoperability, security, standards, and honest performance benchmarking. That security part in particular should have your attention if you've been paying attention to the Snowden releases.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (3, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | about a year ago | (#45040147)

That shit matters in the long term for interoperability...

Why?

That security part in particular should have your attention if you've been paying attention to the Snowden releases.

Yep, good point. That's why I use Nouveau at home. But again, remember, this is a gaming device -- and a beta release one at that. They're after benchmarks, and their primary objective is to legitimize the Steam Box as a viable gaming device to the gamers -- people who have a particular interest in performance, not long term open source altruism.

Re: None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040261)

long term open source "altruism" is the only fucking reason they can DO this at all for fuck sakes how hard is it to understand? if all those altruists working on the kernel and user space thought the same way as the lot of you entitled fucks then valve would be stuck on windows 8. I've said it before if open source ever dies out it will be due to you entitled fucks who think developers merely asking for feedback is somehow the worst thing in the universe.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45040199)

We are calm, this is just a giant fuck-you to the people who want open drivers for good reasons. I get that there are all sorts of stupid (and Microsoft-driven apparently) contractual reasons why NVidia won't find it easy to open-source their drivers. This doesn't mean I can't be fucking disappointed about Valve choosing short-term thinking over long-term.

Actually they chose performance over purity. And I agree, since I made the same choice. nVidia drivers are more stable than AMD, and the card perform better on Linux.

Besides, their business is selling closed source software. Not a big surprise that it does not offend them the way it does you...

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039369)

Is this a joke? Intel graphics are weak compared to nvidia, and AMD has invested so very little into Linux graphics. 2013 is the year of GNU/Linux in the living room (2012 was the year of Android/Linux in your pocket).

Because only nVidia drivers do the trick (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#45039521)

If you want Linux 3D graphics that are:

1) As fast as you get on Windows.
2) Support all the latest OpenGL features.
3) Have a full implementation of the latest OpenGL spec.
4) Are solid and stable.

Then the binary nVidia drivers are it. Nothing else comes close. Well for games, particularly new games, this matters. They are making use of the high end features modern GPUs have, they need high speed rendering, etc.

If another company wants to step up their Linux game then great, but right now it is go nV or go home. Their binary drivers are just head and shoulders above the rest. That may not matter for typical desktop use when the card is doing little else other than some desktop composition and maybe accelerated video playback but it matters a lot if you are trying to make a game render using the latest OpenGL 4.3/4.4 features and have it extremely fast and stable.

Re:Because only nVidia drivers do the trick (2)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#45040009)

I used to think that, but actually these days I've had more luck with the (binary) AMD drivers than the (binary) nVidia ones.
The biggest problems I have with AMD seem to be in things that use nvidia-intended extensions (like getting terrain mapping to work in Ogre)

Re:Because only nVidia drivers do the trick (2)

houstonbofh (602064) | about a year ago | (#45040209)

Go into the Steam support forums. You will see that most of the people having graphics issues are running AMD cards...

Re:Because only nVidia drivers do the trick (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040285)

Sorry, but "solid and stable" isn't /exactly/ the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the nvidia binary pieces of shit.

Yeah, they are fast. And indeed, they implement a whole lot of nifty stuff.

But I've seen a LOT more unexplained crashed with nvidia's drivers spewing stuff into dmesg than I have with nouveau, the intel drivers, or even amd's binary drivers (and this is across a decent number of different card models and computers).
And when you start wanting peculiar stuff (like a non 80x25 textmode / framebuffer, or triple displays), you are shit outta luck with nvidia drivers/cards; nouveau at least handles the framebuffer thing decently well.

Nouveau is a lot more solid and stable, albeit not nearly as fast. I'd cross out every other vendor of GPUs for Linux rigs if they got their collective heads out of their collective asses and made a proper effort to get nouveau up to snuff. Now though, AMD's GPU drivers are more stable (and 6-display-rigs are easier to make work without fuss), let alone the open-source-from-the-start Intel drivers, which, for desktop work, are more than enough most of the time.

For games the nvidia linux blob may indeed be nifty. Though with games, you don't exactly expect months of uptime, nor do you particularly mind if it crashes every now and then. For serious work their hodge-podge attempts at being useful are disgraceful, particularly considering they do have some pretty nice hardware.

Re:Because only nVidia drivers do the trick (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | about a year ago | (#45040571)

I've seen a LOT more unexplained crashed with nvidia's drivers spewing stuff into dmesg than I have with nouveau, the intel drivers, or even amd's binary drivers

Sure, but what distro/versions/other hardware are you running? At a guess, I think nVidia had little trouble ironing out all the bugs for a single targeted setup like this. One hardware spec and known OS/packages? Easy. It's supporting every frankenbox and smashed together OS that causes them ulcers.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#45039531)

Intel graphics are pathetic by gaming standards - they are more for office work. Being on the same package as the CPU puts serious constraints on heat dissipation, they they can't come close to the performance of a discrete GPU. The choice is between nvidia and ATI/AMD.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#45039767)

Sure. Want me to give you the finger in person?

Improve your result. Don't expect special consideration if your results aren't satisfactory.

Otherwise I will take a page out of the book of Linus.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (2)

prelelat (201821) | about a year ago | (#45039853)

It might have been a very large push in getting Nvidia to be more supportive of an open driver.
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/09/nvidia-seeks-peace-with-linux-pledges-help-on-open-source-driver/ [arstechnica.com]

They have also been putting out a better closed driver for linux for years in my opinion. I have never had anything but issues with the radeon amd drivers. Sometimes you want things to work more than you want them to be open. This could be very good for the opensource community.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (4, Informative)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45039855)

Valve's own statistics show that gamers tend to prefer nVidia hardware. Because this is going to run Linux there really isn't a good alternative anyway. Intel Graphics are still a joke and AMD's drivers are still terrible. As much as free software guys hate it, the nVidia binary blob driver is the best supported 3D graphics driver on Linux.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#45040495)

no, it's a big high five to the clearly superior hardware vendors.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#45040557)

Intel can't perform well enough to keep up with current gen and ATI has a long history of driver issues (sorry, but it's true).

For better or for worse Valve is stuck with nVidia.

Re:None use intel or amd for graphics? (0)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year ago | (#45040929)

So this is a big middle finger to the open source driver developers

If they had decided to ship the box with Windows, you might have a point. Otherwise, this is shaping up to be a huge expansion of Linux's presence in the non-server PC market. Definitely the opposite of the proverbial finger.

But AMD isn't out of the running yet. By "carefully designed to cost less" they strongly imply they have an AMD build in mind, either APC or discrete card or both. And when they say "be tiny or super quiet" they seem to be talking about ARM. By sticking with standard hardware they are in a position to deliver a wide range of options to satisfy the needs not just of hard core gamers, but casual users on a budget.

Not suprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039211)

No one is surprised by this choice. AMD could've had this one in the bag with their APUs if they just kicked themselves more in the ass when it comes to their drivers.

Re:Not suprised (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year ago | (#45039559)

Yeah, they kind of messed up treating Linux as a PR platform rather than a serious one to develop for.

They still have the 3 major consoles, or 3 out of 4 if steam box takes off big, but if they focused on real open source drivers like Intel did they could of had a big win here.

Especially with Valve basically saying "we love open source video drivers, it was great using intel GPUs to port our games".

Re:Not suprised (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039775)

I'm sure they are tossing and turning over losing out on the 1000 SteamBox units that will actually sell.

Re:Not suprised (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about a year ago | (#45040483)

No, they couldn't. APUs still aren't good enough for gaming. An A10-6800k on its own costs about the same and performs markedly worse than an Athlon x4 750k + Radeon 7750.

Intel i3 (1)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about a year ago | (#45039221)

Intel i3 is now a high-end CPU?

I think a more accurate characterization would be "will use various Intel CPUs".

16GB memory is pretty damn nice, though.

Re:Intel i3 (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#45039289)

An i3 is part of the premium family line. Its a solid chip with no real weaknesses compared to i5 other then processor count. i5s come with only 2 cores too.

Re:Intel i3 (2)

Shinobi (19308) | about a year ago | (#45039415)

Though the 2-core i5's support SMT instead, which makes them quite a bit faster than the i3's

Re:Intel i3 (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45039307)

Intel i3 is now a high-end CPU?

It runs some games faster than an 8-core AMD...

Re:Intel i3 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039329)

Sure, the games which run in a single thread.

Re:Intel i3 (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#45039355)

Sure, the games which run in a single thread.

Which is a lot of them. And it's presumably faster on games that use three threads or less (the i3 is hyperhreading, isn't it, so it won't be as fast as a real quad?).

Re:Intel i3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040359)

Watchdog PC requirement: Four core Intel or Eight core AMD (Recommended), Latest Six core Intel or Eight core AMD(Ultra spec) and Quad core Intel or AMD (minimum specs) http://ca.ign.com/wikis/watch-dogs/PC%20System%20Requirements

So they do use multiple threads. Also interesting to note that "we only support 64 bit OSs" and RAM 4GB (minimum) .
I would suspect that games that are ported or developed along with the next gen consoles would start using more and more threads and more resources. The current gen of ports are crippled because of the slower hardware in PS3 360 etc.

Re:Intel i3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040531)

AFAIK i3=Dualcore no HT, i5= Dualcore+HT or Quad no HT, i7 = quad or more with HT.

I series are just way faster per clock and efficient than current AMD chips.

Re:Intel i3 (2)

Shinobi (19308) | about a year ago | (#45039423)

Even most multithreaded games run faster on Intel. AMD didn't so much drop the ball as they dropped the soap......

Re: Intel i3 (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#45039615)

But not the i3. The 8350 fits between the i5 and i7 in both single and multi threaded games.

Where it loses is in power usage.

Re: Intel i3 (2)

Shinobi (19308) | about a year ago | (#45039705)

The 8350 is on equal footing with the Ivy Bridge i3-3220 in Civ 5, which is multithread friendly, and gets beaten slightly by the same i3 in Shogun 2 which is CPU intensive and fairly decent at using multiple threads... However, the Sandy Bridge i7-2600 convincingly beats it in both games.... That's a chip that's well over one and a half year older....

Not to mention that many of the Intel chips from the Ivy Bridge and Haswell series are more power-efficient than the AMD A-series, and coupled with a low-power 5x or later nvidia GPU actually gets better graphics performance AND still retain better power efficiency.

AMD are on the ropes...

Re: Intel i3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040755)

CPU muscle is just fine for pretty much every game on all recent chips. It's really a non-issue unless you like to argue about imperceptible differences between 80fps and 90fps. Gamers like to think they need extreme-edition intel chips to play at 300fps because what they really like to play is the e-penis show.

Where you need the extra power is in rendering and video encoding. AMD does just fine here, sometimes beating the i7-3770k at 2/3 the price.

Re:Intel i3 (1)

apcullen (2504324) | about a year ago | (#45039953)

It runs some games faster than an 8-core AMD...

Ouch. And probably true for most games, not just some of them. To be fair though, I think most game developers target intel chips and use intel compilers. I will bet that with both playstation and xbox going aggressively multi-core, developers will change that, and we'll begin to see it in benchmarks.

Quite a bit of hardware (2)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#45039325)

Isn't the Titan like a thousand USD? That's going to produce noticeably higher resolution than can be displayed on a 1080p tv at max settings on the most demanding games currently available. Are they future proofing for 3d 4k tvs with high refresh rates?

Re:Quite a bit of hardware (1)

LikwidCirkel (1542097) | about a year ago | (#45039383)

Who's to say one has to connect to a TV? LCD monitors at 2560x1600 or 2560x1440 are pretty common nowadays, and yes, something like a Titan or dual 760s in SLI mode would make a big difference with these kinds of resolutions.

Re:Quite a bit of hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039789)

With the goal of bringing Steam to the LIVING ROOM, you can pretty much rule out monitors since most don't have the physical size of a TV. People who are going to close enough to monitors are going to either be buying or building computers.

Re:Quite a bit of hardware (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#45039387)

It does seem to be overkill, especially when you realize that the majority of games will be getting played on and streamed from the windows PC elsewhere.

Maybe the titan ships separately for use in the PC (actually, I could see a custom video card for this streaming being a considerable boost, especially for anyone who's ever ran fraps and watched their framerate go to shit).

Re:Quite a bit of hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039405)

It's about framerate, playing GTAV the other day at 30 fps is PAINFUL, from what I hear the "next gen" consoles won't be any better (Watch_Dogs is gonna be locked at 30 fps on the XBone and PS4, so no thanks)

If SteamBox can deliver a 60 fps average I will be a happy consumer.

Re:Quite a bit of hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039743)

GTAV on PC better be able to go above the 30FPS lock. Dark Souls on PC was frame locked unless you use mods (and the mods break some things)

Re:Quite a bit of hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039911)

That's for GD sure

AMD is gonna get reamed (2)

Arkiel (741871) | about a year ago | (#45039427)

Nvidia has better openGL drivers, and has partnered with Valve to develop the streaming capability of SteamOS (Shield apparently uses the same tech). Now the prototype comes with Nvidia hardware. Suddenly, this longtime Radeon-head is feeling uneasy about the future of his $300 year-old videocard...

Re:AMD is gonna get reamed (2)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about a year ago | (#45039673)

AMD is going to be just fine. Remember, both the PS4 and XBone are AMD.

Re:AMD is gonna get reamed (4, Funny)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | about a year ago | (#45039703)

Whoa, you're right. AMD *is* screwed!

Re:AMD is gonna get reamed (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#45040641)

Whoa, you're right. AMD *is* screwed!

The real question is whether AMD is trying to use this to change gears or not. After all, the PS4 and XBone aren't going to be replaced for many years with something that might or might not be AMD so if they want to exit the performance market and enter the ... well, whatever they're trying to do with APUs and ARM like embedded and microservers and custom hybrids and whatnot then this would be the time. They've bagged the current generation fo consoles, exit stage right. They've been very quiet about any successor to FX-8350 and their server roadmap is more of the current Opterons so well... Kaveri is fine but it's nothing but the current Steamroller cores combined with GCN graphics, as a CPU it's no better than what's already here.

I guess we'll get another indication in two weeks when their Q3 earnings call comes out, the geek in me would like them to succeed but the economist sees very many big red blinkenlights in their last economic reports. People here like to point out how competitive their prices are but the reality is that AMD prices them the way they need to sell, they're losing money now but if they raise prices they lose sales and also lose money. Last time they were royally screwed and losing money they spun off their fabs and got huge external investors in GloFo, this time around they either stand or fall. They desperately need more profitable business and ordinarily I'd say Intel wouldn't squeeze them to bankruptcy but right now Intel is in a duel with ARM and if AMD is stuck in the crossfire, well....

Re:AMD is gonna get reamed (1)

Shinobi (19308) | about a year ago | (#45039747)

Except that AMD already has an uncomfortably small profit margin on their product, and Microsoft and Sony WILL have negotiated that down even more...

Re:AMD is gonna get reamed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039763)

I disagree. AMD has a lock on the next generation of consoles - they've made it easy for developers to port their software between PC, XBOX1 and PS4, and then optimize all three through Mantle for AMD chips. SteamOS and NVidia are on the outside looking in for scraps.

NVIDIA Binary Blob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039573)

Can they legally distribute NVIDIA Binary blob with the Linux kernel? If it becomes part of the distributet kernel, won't it violate the GPL?

Re:NVIDIA Binary Blob (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039733)

It will be part of the root filesystem and exist as a .ko file. There is no GPL violation here.

I still don't understand... (2, Insightful)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#45039803)

A week of news on this, and I still don't get it.

Other than promoting Linux, why do I want a new "Steam Machine" rather than simply upgrading my desktop, and running an OS that a larger percentage of the AAA games run on? I've already got HDMI out. Can't I just buy a controller? What do I actually GAIN by running this machine over just downloading the next Steam title to my existing desktop -- or building a machine of my choice (on Windows) and putting it in one of a dozen cases that look nice next to the TV?

A prettier case?
Fewer native games?

I'm not nagging. Help me understand what I get here...

Re:I still don't understand... (3, Informative)

jandrese (485) | about a year ago | (#45039877)

If you have a gaming PC already, then just run steam and put it in Big Picture mode if you want the same experience. This is for people who don't have gaming PCs and/or want to play in the living room on their TV.

Re:I still don't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45039943)

For you: nothing to be gained here, Steam on Windows will remain your best option.

But for those gamers who prefer consoles over PCs... this could be big. It's a console with Steam!.

Re:I still don't understand... (4, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about a year ago | (#45040051)

Other than promoting Linux, why do I want

I'm gonna stop you right there -- you're assuming this is for you. Well, it's not. It's for people who do have a use for this stuff, like e.g. people who want a good PC to play PC-games on and want it to be useable from the couch with a controller, but who don't want to have to go through the hassle of building one themselves.

Re:I still don't understand... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040157)

I think it's more of a long term thing.

Valve is threatened by the way Microsoft is heading. The signs point to MS trying to build a walled garden around Windows, e.g. all software sold via the Windows Store. That doesn't leave much room for Valve's Steam, so they try to diversify in order to survive.

Not sure what the killer argument for gamers is, though. Sure, less dependence on MS and the way they're heading would be nice, and a competitor to Windows as far as PC gaming goes can't hurt. Then again, Valve runs just another walled garden where it dictates who gets in and who doesn't. Plus it has one of the most restrictive DRM schemes out there.

I guess it's hoping for the lesser of two evils in the face of an uncertain future kind of thing?

Re:I still don't understand... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#45040283)

Quite simply, this product is not for you. This product is for people who want a console-like simplicity of installation and use, but want the power and library of a PC and are willing to pay for it.

I do not think the high-end ones are going to be at all successful. I think the low-end ones may be useful for streaming games to a TV, since most Steam gamers already have a powerful desktop, and this will bypass the Windows/Linux incompatibilities. And, since it's there, it will probably see more and more ports coming out. But it's not going to be a huge success, at least at first. They're trying to topple Windows - we've been trying to do that for how long now?

Now, the controller is more exciting. I'd buy one of those. But the Steam Machines, even SteamOS, have minimal initial utility.

Re:I still don't understand... (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#45040317)

The whole "Steam Machine" thing is designed to penetrate the living room. It's basically just a PC masquerading as a console. There's a good chance you're probably not their target market if that is meaningless to you.

Re:I still don't understand... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040839)

It's basically like xbox, but running linux and steam.

Yay (2)

Windwraith (932426) | about a year ago | (#45039977)

Glad they are using nvidia video, it always worked the best on linux. I kept hearing rumors about them having AMD video and it was really making me not want a Steam Machine, but now I am willing to give it a go!

Now go back and fix the damn Steam! (1)

UneducatedSixpack (2829861) | about a year ago | (#45040031)

Steam engine keeps updating for 10 minutes every time I boot my laptop. It is the new Norton Antivirus. I friggin hate it.

Wierd (0)

hackus (159037) | about a year ago | (#45040259)

Microsoft announces crushing license restrictions for Windows 8, Surface etc.

Steam then decides to support LINUX to free itself from restrictive software, while at the same time beginning the port of LINUX games even publishing the glowing reviews of how much better a game can be designed if the 3D drivers are opened.

Then they announce the default hardware they will sell is Nvidia based with some of the worst drivers and restrictions in the history of LINUX.

Two face bastards, I won't buy a single piece of software or hardware from them ever again and NEITHER will my family members.

I want open hardware as DEFAULT, and if dumb asses want to buy Nvidia closed shit, then rip out the AMD card and put your crappy Nvidia video cards in there.

I mean seriously, WTF?

-Hack

Re:Wierd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040597)

well, some people value performance over openess :S

mod3 3own (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040301)

recruit68ent, but

nvidia just announced... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040455)

surprised no one mentioned that nvidia promised more documentation for the nouveau driver http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTQ2NzY

Hardware politics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040469)

It's not hard to imagine Intel and Nvidia offering Valve incentives to use their hardware over other's, seeing as the "next generation" consoles are using hardware from manufacturers in competition with both Intel and Nvidia.
It's obvious that they want to assure their relevance as more and more games are ported to PC after the console versions are created, it would be catastrophic for Intel for instance if suddenly most pc games ran much better on AMD processors because that's then what savvy pc gamers would buy.

you didn't need my sales anyways (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45040937)

i really was hopeful that valve would have used this as another excuse to force the hardware vendors to help get the open source drivers up to snuff. maybe amd couldn't deliver? nvidia wouldn't, obviously. instead i'm supposed to start buying nvidia again because they release a tiny bit of docs? i guess linux and it's users are supposed to be grateful? Fuck you nvidia and no sale on the steam box.

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