Top 5 Steam MachinesSteam has grown in the last three or four years exponentially, readying itself to take on the big boys of the console world, Microsoft's Xbox, Sony's Playstation and Nintendo's Wii U. As a result of their growth, Steam have started to add a few additions to their already incredibly successful cross platform gaming experience. By allowing other third party vendors to build consoles around Steam, Consoles are piping up everywhere and none more so than the very recent CES 2014. This will allow gamers to purchase a single console and have access to thousands of games, all interconnected to the internet. Although the other consoles offer this similar experience, Steam may just have the edge in a few fundamental areas. After looking around this is my Top 5 Steam Machines that are either currently available or soon to come.
Alienware Steam MachineI think a lot of people will agree with me in saying that most of the Alienware stuff looks pretty awesome, and with the name Alienware comes the expectation of big performance and high quality materials, needless to say that the same can be said for their Steam Machine.
Although Alienware displayed their Steam machine at CES 2014, they held a lot of the specs and pricing close to their chest. A few things that are known is that Alienware Steam Machine will use an Intel processor and Nvidia graphics, as previously mentioned there is no word on pricing but the release date is set for September 2014. The unit itself looks awesome, absolutely typical of Alienware products.
iBuyPoweriBuyPower is the next Steam Machine on my list, another company showcasing at CES 2014. The thing I love about this unit is the design. I know it is wrong to select a device on design, its all about spec, but this device really looks cool. Round the centre of the box is a bright green light, which you will apparently be able to change via an iOS / Android App, which I am not sure if that means you can change the colour or brightness.
The specs for the iBuyPower are a Quad Core Athlon X4 740 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD and a Radeon R7 260X graphics card. The iBuyPower is due to be released in June 2014 and a price tag of £300 has been placed on it.
Digital Storm Bolt IIThe Digital Strom Bolt II is at the very high end of the Steam Machines that I have seen and read about, this will be more aimed at your Pro Gamer. Just looking at the Digital Storm Bolt II and you will instantly know it is a high powered unit and gaming on this machine is going to be an experience.
The specs are an Intel Core i7 -4770k processor, Nvidia GTX 780 Ti graphics card, a whopping 16GB RAM and a perfect 128GB SSD HDD combined with another 1TB Hard Drive. Obviously for a high performing system like this, you know the price is going to be high, and so for me you really need to know if you want a Steam Only machine or a big powered PC. U.S price is set at $2,584 and UK price is £1,574. For the Digital Storm Bolt II, there is not much longer to wait as it is available this month, (Jan 2014).
Valve's Steam MachineValve are the company that developed Steam and so this is their very own machine, all the other consoles in this list are third party vendors who have purchased the licence to run Steam on a console. The design of the Valve Steam Machine is very stylish and minimalist, just perfect for fitting in with other entertainment equipment in your living room.
The spec for the Valve Steam Machine is not too shabby either, not up with the Digital Storm Bolt II, but never the less and worthy system. You will have the option of Intel's Core i3, i5 or i7 processors and the graphics card will be the Nvidia titan, GTX660, GTX760 or the GTX 780. So as you can see there is a wide choice to chose from.
Cyberpower PCThe CyberpowerPc at first glance looks a bit like an Xbox, but when you get a closer more detailed look at the system, it really does look very stylish, something that wouldn't look out of place on any Geeks setup. Again the CyberpowerPC is not a high end system in terms of spec, but it is certainly a good choice to dip your toe into the world of Steam if you haven't already.
The CyberpowerPC has two models available, so specs for the lower end model are as follows, 8GB DDR3 RAM and 500GB HDD, 3.9GHz dual core AMD processor and 2GB AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card, which will cost you £305 or $499. The higher end model is 8GB DDR3 RAM and 500GB HDD, 3.5GHz Intel Core i3 processor and a 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 graphics card, this model will cost £425 or $699. Both models however will not be available until the second half of 2014.