Steam Machine prototype specs revealed

The Steam Machine prototypes going out to 300 lucky beta participants have been detailed in a post in the Steam Universe group . 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.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.