The Steam Machine prototypes going out to 300 lucky beta participants have been detailed in a post in the Steam Universe group (opens in new tab) . Quick catch-up: Last week, Valve revealed SteamOS , a free Linux-based operating system for living room gaming, and announced that multiple hardware manufacturers will be selling SteamOS machines next year. But first, Valve is testing its own prototype with 300 systems.
According to Valve's Greg Coomer, the 300 beta participants will receive one of the following builds:
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
These aren't necessarily the specs of the third-party systems being sold next year. "As we talked about last week, the Steam Machines available for sale next year will be made by a variety of companies," writes Coomer. "Some of those companies will be capable of meeting the demands of lots of Steam users very quickly, some will be more specialized and lower volume. The hardware specs of each of those machines will differ, in many cases substantially, from our prototype.
"Valve didn't set out to create our own prototype hardware just for the sake of going it alone—we wanted to accomplish some specific design goals that in the past others weren't yet tackling. One of them was to combine high-end power with a living-room-friendly form factor. Another was to help us test living-room scenarios on a box that's as open as possible."
The prototype isn't yet "finished enough" for a photo, says Coomer, but he teases upcoming details on SteamOS's streaming technology, which allows games to be streamed from a Windows PC to another PC running SteamOS, as well as the Steam Controller , Valve's custom solution for PC gaming on a couch.