iFixit Teardown of Steam Machine: Holy Mother of God its Beautiful
The guys over at iFixit are renowned for their high def step by step disassembly guides and awesome teardowns to look at the inside of tech you might not otherwise want to pull apart. Somehow they got their hands on one of the 300 beta machines sent out and so all you hardware junkies out there… commence drooling.
1 TB SSHD seagate 2.5” drive
Nvidia GTX 780
16GB of low voltage 1600Mhz RAM
Mounting larger graphics cards has always been a problem for keeping case size down. Since they’re mounted at a 90 degree angle they directly increase width when there’s often a lot of length to use. This Steam Machine solves the problem by using a PCIe riser. It’s a simple add on that simply allows for you to mount the graphics card parallel with the motherboard. Not a lot of cases support this mounting solution but as you can see, it goes a long way towards matching console form factor with a kickass gaming pc.
Pairing a 500$ graphics card with a 200$ cpu might not make a lot of sense according to conventional wisdom, but is actually smart considering the direction games are going in these days. When it comes to maxing out game settings, developers have found a lot more ways to utilize the GPU than the CPU. More advanced anti-aliasing and particle effects are gaining popularity and need a ton of graphics power to reach their full potential, not to mention the GPU effort it takes to drive the newest wave of 4k displays.
For something aiming to send a death blow to consoles, you need to look sexy yet unobtrusive (something often overlooked in gaming PCs nowadays. Looking at you LEDs). IMHO this Steam Machine nails it. Cool front lit power button and even the I/O panel is colored to match the rest of the case perfectly. The Alienware Steam Machine was announced, and looks pretty good too. With a smaller size its probably going to be packing a mobile GPU but hey, still more powerful than a console.
The jury is still out on the Steam controller but one thing is certain, no wireless function so far. At least when it comes to my gaming setup, if someone is walking over my controller cable then they’re walking in front of my tv and we have a bigger problem. The cables are really long and removing wireless interference in your home is never a bad thing.