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Hardware  » System spec's for valve's Steam Machine (Beta)

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42 posts found
  Halandir

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 741

10/05/13 3:31:25 PM#21
Originally posted by Edli
Originally posted by lizardbones

It's Linux. 

Linux is a kernel. You can take Linux and make an extremely powerful OS if you can or a really limited one. Ubuntu is Linux and so is android. They share the same kernel but they're not like each other in terms of functionality whatsoever. They're different OSs. 

I doubt steam OS, that particular distro will match windows in desktop functionality. 

 

In my case: Not important. There are VPN clients, even Cisco Anyconnect, available for Linux. Cord for my RDP sessions so basically I do not need Windows for working at home...

 

We dont need casuals in our games!!! Errm... Well we DO need casuals to fund and populate our games - But the games should be all about "hardcore" because: We dont need casuals in our games!!!
(repeat ad infinitum)

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3166

10/05/13 3:33:10 PM#22


Originally posted by Edli

Originally posted by lizardbones It's Linux. 
Linux is a kernel. You can take Linux and make an extremely powerful OS if you can or a really limited one. Ubuntu is Linux and so is android. They share the same kernel but they're not like each other in terms of functionality whatsoever. They're different OSs. 

I doubt steam OS, that particular distro will match windows in desktop functionality. 


This is true, Linux is a kernel.

However, given that you have the proper libraries, along with the kernel, there is nothing stopping you from compiling the same OpenOffice that runs on x64 Unbuntu and running that on Android for ARM.

That is part of why Open Source code is such a big deal.

  syntax42

Elite Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 980

10/06/13 7:40:58 AM#23
Originally posted by Edli
Originally posted by lizardbones

It's Linux. 

Linux is a kernel. You can take Linux and make an extremely powerful OS if you can or a really limited one. Ubuntu is Linux and so is android. They share the same kernel but they're not like each other in terms of functionality whatsoever. They're different OSs. 

I doubt steam OS, that particular distro will match windows in desktop functionality. 

Why can't they make it match Windows in desktop functionality?  Please elaborate.

Have you tried Ubuntu, Debian, or Mint?  Those are very close in terms of having a GUI that allows you to do as much as Windows can do.  The biggest difference is the lack of software and driver support.  SteamOS could easily be as good as, or better than those three, if they put the time into it.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6341

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

10/06/13 8:08:20 AM#24

I don't understand the big picture here,it just sounds like Dell making PC machines.Fully upgradeable is again a PC feature,so why would Valve get into this market?

They claim this is not to compete versus people with already good gaming PC's.Tehy also mention that for those that don't have great gaming machines,you won't have to spend a lot of money,that part we will have to see to believe.I guess since my machine is now outdated,i will be buying a new one soon,so i guess this type of purchase if cost is reasonable,is well suited for myself.

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Edli

Novice Member

Joined: 4/03/10
Posts: 799

10/06/13 8:16:55 AM#25
Originally posted by syntax42

Why can't they make it match Windows in desktop functionality?  Please elaborate.

Valve is a gaming company, they have zero experience making OSs. It took them years to fix the mess that was one piece of software they made, steam. 

Hell they're not even trying to make a desktop OS. All you have to do is look at what they're advertising it for. They use words like living room, controller, TV, big picture. They're making an OS for the TV that is comparable with PS4 and Xbox OSs and is navigated with a controller. This is not something that is trying to compete with windows and OSX. 

 

  Edli

Novice Member

Joined: 4/03/10
Posts: 799

10/06/13 8:20:35 AM#26
Originally posted by Wizardry

They claim this is not to compete versus people with already good gaming PC's.

 

 

And is not. This is Valve trying to expand steam in the console market, the living room one. It has little to do with the traditional desktop with monitor and kb/m setup. 

This is basically a box you buy and put it near the TV with an OS that is entirely focused on gaming and controlled by a company's store. Is awfully similar to a typical console. 

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 9942

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

10/06/13 10:39:18 AM#27


Originally posted by Edli

Originally posted by lizardbones It's Linux. 
Linux is a kernel. You can take Linux and make an extremely powerful OS if you can or a really limited one. Ubuntu is Linux and so is android. They share the same kernel but they're not like each other in terms of functionality whatsoever. They're different OSs. 

I doubt steam OS, that particular distro will match windows in desktop functionality. 




?

And why is that? I'm typing this up on Linux running on an ancient laptop. I've typed up two English papers, played Don't Starve, pass a couple online tests for Economics, watched videos on Youtube, and shared files with my phone. What bit of Windows functionality am I missing? Is it having to run a resource hogging anti-virus, firewall and intrusion detection software? Because I can live without that.

Also, "Linux" is an operating system, which is more than just a kernel. The kernel is its own separate thing.

What is Linux?

Linux Kernel

That's why Android can run a modified Linux Kernel, and not be "Linux".

Anyway, the only functionality that's been missing from Linux is support for gaming. One or maybe two smaller companies have tried to bridge that gap, but the efforts failed. There weren't enough people who ran Linux, and there weren't enough companies willing to write Linux specific ports of games. Valve is not a tiny company. They have a very large audience, and can really push something like this. Developers can benefit from getting behind this. For any developer writing a game that will run on the PS4, which will be running a modified version of FreeBSD, the port to Linux will be trivial, so the extra effort can pay off in dollars.

I think the biggest roadblock for the console is going to be the price. They are pushing this as a living room console, so it's going to be compared to the XB1 and the PS4. That means it's going to have to be in the $400 to $500 price range to be competitive.

The second road block is obviously the games that are available. Launching in 2014 with a few dozen titles, compared to the hundreds of titles, including lots of legacy titles available on the other console is going to be a tough sell. Valve needs any major or relatively major new title released that's on the XB1 and PS4 to also be on the SteamMachine.

Third is functionality. For all my talk of Linux being on par with Windows, there are some things that don't exist. For instance, NetFlix is a popular service, but it's tied to Windows Silverlight online (right now), and there is no native Linux client. The PS4 will offer these types of things out of the box, for free. Valve will have to do the same. Valve will also have to ensure that the social networking cr@p is built in too. I know, I know, but there are a lot of people who like that stuff.

There is a fourth issue, related to the games themselves. I've gotten three games through Steam that worked like @ss until I fiddled around with the configurations, added some registry entries or ran the games in full screen windowed mode. The games were awesome once I got them running, but until then, I wanted my money back. This kind of thing can't happen with a living room game console. It just can't. A lot of people won't even have keyboards hooked up to them.

What are their advantages? It sounds like they are building some powerhouse machines. Performance should be competitive or better than the other consoles. It doesn't sound like they are going to have a subscription option. Whatever the cost of the console is, the players will get everything except the games. Finally, there's Valve themselves. Valve has built up a ton of good will with a lot of people. The brand will be the biggest selling point. Now if they would just release Half Life 3.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3166

10/06/13 12:45:13 PM#28

There would be nothing stopping them from pulling a Microsoft/Halo... and making Half-Life 3 a SteamOS exclusive.

If they include the tools to easily dualboot/virtualize the OS - like Apple BootCamp (and such tools do exist for Linux, albeit maybe not as user friendly), really this would be a win-win for them. People who would have played it on the PC anyway still can, and people who'd rather go get a SteamBox can do that.

  Hokie

Elite Member

Joined: 1/11/04
Posts: 945

Hey Devs, just so you know. The more you give us to play with, the more we play.

10/06/13 1:04:06 PM#29

Price point is kinda high, but then again look at what some people fork-over for a Dell "gaming" computer, and they're shit.

But that being said, are they shooting for the PC market or the console market?

Most PC enthusiasts can look at that and see that its currently high-end hardware. But most console users are pretty ignorant about internal hardware unless its a side-by-side comparison of specs.

 

I think if they are going to try and appeal to the consolers then they need to offer something the current big three dont. Maybe something like free labor and a discount for upgrading to the next "tier". Then Steam could resale the "Boxs" as referbs at a nice discount and really ballsmash the market.

"I understand that if I hear any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, Ill have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

  Arakazi

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/23/09
Posts: 760

10/06/13 1:34:59 PM#30

I still don't know what this is for. If they wanted to make PC's more accessible to gamers, well that ship sailed long ago. Anyone who is interested in PC gaming has probably already tried it. But more than that, the price (at least $800) of the console will put a lot of people off and that just leaves the curious and the hobbyist as their market.

I can't see a reason for me to dump my PC for it and can't see a reason to not buy a PS4 to get this. If it's all about the OS I think most gamers are like me in that we don't really care that much about a systems OS until it stops functioning or becomes a straightjacket. But Windows 7 is ok for me and it has become like a comfortable pair of slippers, There might be a better OS out there, but windows 7 is familiar and comfortable.

I really don't get it...

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 9942

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

10/06/13 1:37:08 PM#31


Originally posted by Hokie
Price point is kinda high, but then again look at what some people fork-over for a Dell "gaming" computer, and they're shit.

But that being said, are they shooting for the PC market or the console market?

Most PC enthusiasts can look at that and see that its currently high-end hardware. But most console users are pretty ignorant about internal hardware unless its a side-by-side comparison of specs.

 

I think if they are going to try and appeal to the consolers then they need to offer something the current big three dont. Maybe something like free labor and a discount for upgrading to the next "tier". Then Steam could resale the "Boxs" as referbs at a nice discount and really ballsmash the market.




I just read the article, and I don't see where their niche is. The lowest priced SteamMachine is $800ish dollars. This is for a box that's going in the living room, so it is in addition to any existing machines they already have. What is the compelling reason to buy a SteamMachine over buying a PS4? If they aren't competing on price, and they probably aren't going to compete on the available titles at launch, what are they competing on?

**

Their hardware independent streaming box seems like it would have a bigger market than a regular SteamMachine. Though, being able to stream games to any machine in the house running SteamOS might be cool. My cr@ppy little laptop won't play games, but if it could handle the streaming, I wouldn't have to spend $1,200 to game wherever I was in the house.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3166

10/06/13 1:48:33 PM#32

Given that they say SteamOS will allow for video streaming from another PC running Steam (presumably via some optimized VLC or something)...

Then you get basically the same thing nVidia Shield is trying to do, but instead of the native Android/ARM, you get SteamOS/x86 as the host system. If that's what your trying to do, you don't need much hardware at all (an ARM CPU is doing it for Shield, after all).

Also, keep in mind these are prototype machines: they may just be seeding this out there to help optimize the OS, rather than pushing these as the real retail box they will be selling. It looks like they are just shooting a wide spectrum of performance options right now, so they can see what their Linux optimizations are doing in the OS under static conditions (pre-build hardware they control, rather than just letting everyone download the beta and have to deal with a huge mess of driver problems across thousands of various hardware combinations). The fact that they are all shipping with 16G of RAM more or less clues us into these are development boxes, not retail prototypes - even on Linux your not going to need 16G of RAM for modern games.

I would be surprised if the real SteamBox looks anything remotely like what we are seeing in these prototypes. If your doing it at large scale, you could make the lower end one somewhat competitive with consoles as long as your willing to accept no profit margin. But there isn't much need to do that.

  Cleffy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/09/04
Posts: 5362

10/06/13 3:27:38 PM#33

Considering many large publishers apathy for the PC gaming market, and Microsoft ignoring this market; it will position steam in a place where they can take the existing PC gaming market. It baffles me why publishers continue to ignore PC gaming considering its the largest earning sector of Video Games at $20 billion annually.

It seems Microsoft's idea of selling to PC gamer is giving us leftovers of mobile games. I have no idea why they are using such an idiotic strategy and weakening their position in this sector. PC gamers want games geared to them, and they want to play the latest and greatest.

When it comes to current retail markets for PC games, the leader is steam because you can't find anything good on the Windows Market place and with origin you have to deal with EA.

I do find the specs alarming. Its not including AMD which is a bad sign for future success. Neither NVidia or Intel will be the cutting edge in a year or two. They have started to decline in terms of innovation. As broader support for AMDs architecture is achieved, it will only be a matter of time before Intel and NVidia are playing catchup again like they did a decade prior.

  SirFubar

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/21/11
Posts: 398

10/06/13 3:57:17 PM#34
Originally posted by Edli
Originally posted by syntax42

Why can't they make it match Windows in desktop functionality?  Please elaborate.

Valve is a gaming company, they have zero experience making OSs. It took them years to fix the mess that was one piece of software they made, steam. 

Hell they're not even trying to make a desktop OS. All you have to do is look at what they're advertising it for. They use words like living room, controller, TV, big picture. They're making an OS for the TV that is comparable with PS4 and Xbox OSs and is navigated with a controller. This is not something that is trying to compete with windows and OSX. 

 

This exactly. Also, just look at how valve is having a hard time to port their games to linux correctly and make it so that every distro could run them flawlessly. If you don't run ubuntu with some very specific stuff, you're more likely to encounter problems when trying to run/install steam games for linux natively. And now they want to make an OS that won't run 90% of the games on steam.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 12766

10/06/13 4:29:04 PM#35
Originally posted by Cleffy

Considering many large publishers apathy for the PC gaming market, and Microsoft ignoring this market; it will position steam in a place where they can take the existing PC gaming market. It baffles me why publishers continue to ignore PC gaming considering its the largest earning sector of Video Games at $20 billion annually.

It seems Microsoft's idea of selling to PC gamer is giving us leftovers of mobile games. I have no idea why they are using such an idiotic strategy and weakening their position in this sector. PC gamers want games geared to them, and they want to play the latest and greatest.

When it comes to current retail markets for PC games, the leader is steam because you can't find anything good on the Windows Market place and with origin you have to deal with EA.

I do find the specs alarming. Its not including AMD which is a bad sign for future success. Neither NVidia or Intel will be the cutting edge in a year or two. They have started to decline in terms of innovation. As broader support for AMDs architecture is achieved, it will only be a matter of time before Intel and NVidia are playing catchup again like they did a decade prior.

And what exactly should Microsoft be doing for the PC gaming market that they aren't doing now?

What makes you think that neither Nvidia nor Intel will be cutting edge in a year or two?  Unless you're assuming integrated graphics (which only makes sense on a severe budget or a tablet-like form factor), AMD has no real hope of catching Intel in CPU performance until 2015, and likely won't catch Intel even then.  As for Nvidia, Hawaii showing up to rival Titan next week will basically mean that AMD and Nvidia are competitive all up and down the lineup.  Naturally, a die shrink to 20 nm with AMD's Pirate Islands competing with Nvidia's Maxwell in a year or so could shake things up, but I see no reason to be certain that either particular vendor will have a clear win in that generation.

Valve going with Nvidia hardware could easily be as simple as Nvidia offering to donate hardware and AMD refusing.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3166

10/06/13 4:42:28 PM#36

That, and your forgetting that PC gaming is by and large a very niche industry.

You can't forget that while the PC market is very very large, a big share of that comes from games like Farmville, The Sims, and other games that don't require a lot of computational power, don't require dedicated GPUs, and aren't what you would typically consider a "PC Game".

In order to get into the kind of gaming you and I are accustomed to, it takes around a $600-800 PC minimum, and that budget goes all the way up to as much as you want to spend. Most people open their Sunday adverts, see PC's on sale for $199 at K-Mart- and that's what they are willing to spend. It will play Farmville and Cribbage and Plants vs Zombies , and just maybe, at the high end of that spectrum a game like WoW, just fine.

That is the "PC Gaming" industry. Big budget games like Battlefield 4, ARMA3, and nearly every PC MMO out there are mostly just niche entries because of the much higher barrier to entry in needing a decent amount of hardware to run.

Yes, people want great graphics and special effects. Most aren't willing to upgrade their $250 video card every other year to keep them, nor are they technically astute enough to know that the $199 Blue Light Special isn't going to be able to run it either.

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3166

10/06/13 4:47:49 PM#37

The one thing Microsoft could have done for the PC industry, but didn't, was Make Xbox titles run under Windows. This would have been pretty trivial back on the original XBox, and even with the upcoming XBone. After all, there have been rumors that the consoles either have very slim margins or even take a loss on hardware sales early on in their cycle -- why even fool with the hardware if you can get the gamer to buy it for you?

But they won't. And there are a lot of reasons why they won't. And there are a lot of reasons why the developers don't want them to do that either. If a developer wants to publish on Windows, they are free to do that, but they love the added protection that going on a Console allows for: largely the anti-piracy measures, the dedicated and standard hardware, the consistent interface availability, and the margins tend to be a lot higher. And Microsoft won't do anything that loses the support of the developers; your own gaming studio can only carry you so far (as Nintendo keeps forgetting every other console cycle).

  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 829

10/06/13 6:53:26 PM#38

Honestly, I am surprised nobody has tried to make a console PC before.   Mass produce a PC that could be optimized hardware point for PC developers.   Make the console dummy proof to upgrade yearly even.   Have built in hardware protection from piracy similar to consoles.   A windows 8 RT like platform that could even be made lite for gaming.

 

 

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 12766

10/06/13 7:50:12 PM#39
Originally posted by Vermillion_Raventhal

Have built in hardware protection from piracy similar to consoles.

That right there is why no one would buy it.  The anti-piracy protection of consoles is that it's a closed platform, meaning that no one can run any software on the console unless the console vendor says so.  Given your choice of a computer that can only run a particular list of programs and one that is identical except that it can run anything you want, why would you pick the former?

  Vermillion_Raventhal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/01/04
Posts: 829

10/06/13 8:00:21 PM#40
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by Vermillion_Raventhal

Have built in hardware protection from piracy similar to consoles.

That right there is why no one would buy it.  The anti-piracy protection of consoles is that it's a closed platform, meaning that no one can run any software on the console unless the console vendor says so.  Given your choice of a computer that can only run a particular list of programs and one that is identical except that it can run anything you want, why would you pick the former?

The true bennies is the optimized software/hardware.  Do you really think GTA 5 could run on a comparable PC?  You have to wonder how much of PC's power is lost to the heavy Windows in the background and vast compatibility programing done.

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