Valve announce Steam Machine prototype specs

Steam box, SteamOS, Valve,

Valve have started to pull a little of the curtain away on the Steam Machine, revealing the specs of the 300 prototype systems they will be shipping out to lucky boys and girls later this year. The big news is that all 300 will not be identical, but instead a variety of system builds from budget right up to high end – we’re talking NVidia Titan here. It’ll also be barely bigger than a DVD player in footprint and height; perfect for that TV stand you’ve got. 

The specs released by Valve today are:

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

The variety of specifications will no doubt feed Valve with some impressive data to see how each configuration works with the massive Steam catalogue. But whilst the promise of i7 processors, 16GB DDR3 and a Titan purring away under the hood is pretty impressive, it’s the hood itself that’s the wonder element. At almost 12” square and under 3” high (75mm for you metric people), it works out almost the exact same size as an original-spec Xbox 360. So unlike your standard PC that uses an ITX motherboard with cards slotted vertically into it, the Steam Machine must use some kind of bespoke board that allows for the hardware to be laid flat, like some kind of electronic jigsaw puzzle.

Yet despite the seemingly magic motherboard, Valve promise both the main board and every other component will be changeable, so prototype users will be able to test out their machines using other configurations.

There’s no images of the actual fabled box just yet, but they’ll be around soon. Valve also promise that they will release the CAD design documents for the case to the public, so if you want to make your own Steam Box without actually buying one complete, you can get the same look even by going down the DIY path.

If you want in on a prototype Steam Machine, it’s not too late to get yourself signed up for the beta. But don’t hang around, you only have until October 25th.

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