Categories
Console Gaming PC Component Deals PC Gaming

Cautious Optimism – Steam Machines Revealed

At CES 2014 Valve unveiled a whole new bunch of Steam Machines associated with a number of different hardware manufacturers. Some of these machines are absolute monsters, while almost all are more powerful then PS4/XB1. So why am I slightly concerned?

Well when Valve first announced that they wanted to push Gaming PCs into the living room, one of the things you expect is a similar price to consoles. With the Xbox at £449 and the PS4 around the sub £400 mark, most people expected Valve to push low end (for PC, but still console beating specs) and on the side offer high spec options. If you own a PC and are a heavy gamer, chances are you will want a PC customised to you and you will build yourself to your specification, whether you have a £400 budget or a £2000.  These type of people are not who Steambox is aimed at. At CES, Most of the companies were showing PCs at the top end, including up to $6,000! Anyone with $6,000 to spend on a PC will build it themselves. On top of this, the companies aren’t building anything you cant do at home. This is a worrying trend, as although PC gaming is cheaper in the long run (cheaper games, no online fees, backward compatibility etc.), it would of been nice to show console gamers PC gaming doesn’t have to be expensive to be superb, which is doesnt. If you just want 1080p (Something the majority of XB1 launch games have massively struggled to do) you dont need more than a £120 graphics card, nevermind dual GTX Titans like Origin PC Chronos is offering in their Steambox.

So What Would We Like To See?

It needs to be a simplified PC experience. Give consumers a couple of option levels, like Normal, High, Ultra. And have two options (AMD and Intel/Nvidia based) for each tier to keep the main component manufacturers happy.

Normal costing a console matching £4-500. Featuring something like R9 270.

High costing £600-700 Featuring a R9 280x/ 760 GTX

Ultra being £800+ with Minimum R9 290X/780 GTX

 

This can easily be achieved if you buy the components yourself, so with manufacturer discount to offset the warranty/build time something around these numbers is feasible.  Obviously you will need to add in the cost of a Steam Controller to these, but with even the bottom end beating consoles graphically, it should be easily achievable.

Standardisation is the best thing about consoles. If there were a couple of options which took off sales wise, it would mean game publishers could optimise for these, which would in turn bring performance bonuses for any PC with these main graphics cards in the same way consoles got better overtime as publishers got used to the hardware.

One of the major hurdles is Steam OS itself. Back catalogues will mostly never be converted to Linux, and it will take a huge effort on Valve’s and other publishers to start releasing every new game as Linux compatible at launch, otherwise a Windows license is going to have to be added to that price..

alienware steambox

So What About the Streaming Steambox?

When they were first announced, one of the major features of Steambox is the ability to use one as a streamer for your main PC in a different room. The Steambox Streamer could just be a low power device, which something like an AMD APU which can process the streamed data fast enough and come in at a very reasonable price (sub £150). This would be attractive to people who already have their PCs, but they dont want the noise/size in their lounge all the time. This would also get over the whole Linux issue while most games are not compatible.

 

OVERALL IMPRESSION

It is an exciting time for PC gamers. With more ad more people using Steam (over 65 million users now), and all these Steamboxes have created new smaller factor cases which you can buy or build your own living room gaming PC. Competition is always a good thing. While 1440p and UHD monitors are rapidly coming down in price, most people while only have 1080p TVs for a number of years yet. This means living room gaming PCs will become VERY cheap for even maximum settings. This is where Steam Machines could make consoles look very old indeed.

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Asus N55SL 15.6 inch Laptop – Black (Intel Core i7-2670QM 2.30GHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Blu-Ray Combo, LAN, WLAN, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit)

Asus N55SL 15.6 inch Laptop – Black (Intel Core i7-2670QM 2.30GHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Blu-Ray Combo, LAN, WLAN, Bluetooth, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit)

Asus ASUS N55SLS2019V Core i72670QM Windows 7 Home Premium 156 HD NV GT 635 6 GB RAM 750 GB HDD BD Combo 80211 BGN 6 Cell Battery 1 Year Warranty N55SLS2019V Laptops Notebooks

List Price: £799.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B007JBBGD8″]

[wpramareviews asin=”B007JBBGD8″]

More Asus Laptops Products

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Acer Aspire 5733 15.6 inch Laptop (Intel Core i3 380 2.53GHz, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, DVDSM DL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit)

Acer Aspire 5733 15.6 inch Laptop (Intel Core i3 380 2.53GHz, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, DVDSM DL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit)

  • Product code : MICACENXRN5EK004
  • Brand : Acer
  • Manufacturer part number : NX.RN5EK.004
  • PLEASE SEE PRODUCT DESCRIPTION BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION

Acer ACER 5733 Core i3380 Windows 7 Home Premium 156 HD 8GB RAM 750 GB HDD DVD Dual Layer NXRN5EK004 Laptops Notebooks

List Price: £449.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B007NHP3PU”]

[wpramareviews asin=”B007NHP3PU”]

More Laptop Products

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Acer Aspire 5750 15.6 inch Laptop – Black (Intel Core i5-2450M 2.5GHz, RAM 6GB, HDD 500GB, DVD-Super Multi DL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

Acer Aspire 5750 15.6 inch Laptop – Black (Intel Core i5-2450M 2.5GHz, RAM 6GB, HDD 500GB, DVD-Super Multi DL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

DescriptionThe Acer Aspire 5750 gives you the rapid performance graphics and communication tools to step up your digital entertainment go around your daily computing tasks and stay in touch with everyone you know whether you are at home or away.SpecificationScreen Size: 15.6″ LED BacklitCPU: Intel Core i5-2450M (2.50GHz)Hard Drive: 500GBMemory: 6GB DDR3Graphics: Intel GMAMax Resolution: 1366 x 768Network: Wireless 802.11b/g/n Audio: Optical Drive: DVDRW Super-multiOperating System: Windows 7 Hom

List Price: £499.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B006UCNYDC”]

[wpramareviews asin=”B006UCNYDC”]

Laptop Adapter for Acer Aspire 5315 5742 5732z 5735 5332 AC Adaptor Charger PSU Power Supply “Laptop Power” (TM) Branded (Supplied by Cambridge Accessories – includes UK P/cord & 12 month warranty)

  • The highest quality replacement adapters available
  • Brand New, safely packaged, guaranteed to be in stock
  • 12 month warranty
  • FREE UK Powercord with every adapter

Compatible with the Acer Aspire 5315 Laptop.

List Price: £11.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B001TJYH0A”]

[wpramareviews asin=”B001TJYH0A”]

Related Acer Laptops Products

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Sony Vaio EH2P0E 15.5 inch Laptop (Intel i5 2.4GHz Processor, RAM 4GB, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) Hard Drive Capacity 320GB- Black

Sony Vaio EH2P0E 15.5 inch Laptop (Intel i5 2.4GHz Processor, RAM 4GB, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) Hard Drive Capacity 320GB- Black

  • SONY

Sony EH2P0E Core i52430M 240GHz Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 155 WXGA HD Graphics 3000 4 GB DDR3 RAM 320 GB HDD DVD SuperMulti 80211 bgn Webcam Bluetooth VPCEH2P0EBCEK Laptops Notebooks

List Price: £598.94

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B005MOSIAI”]

[wpramareviews asin=”B005MOSIAI”]

More Sony Laptop Products

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s 13.3 inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 2467M 1.6GHz, RAM 4GB, 128GB SSD, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit)

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s 13.3 inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 2467M 1.6GHz, RAM 4GB, 128GB SSD, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit)

  • Product code : MICLENIPM6845UK
  • Brand : Lenovo
  • Manufacturer part number : M6845UK
  • PLEASE SEE PRODUCT DESCRIPTION BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION

Lenovo IDEAPAD U300 CI52467M16G 128GB SSD 4GB 133IN NOOPT W7HP EN M6845UK Laptops Notebooks

List Price: £899.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B005TPRWYS”]

[wpramareviews asin=”B005TPRWYS”]

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Sony Vaio EH2F1E 15.5 inch Laptop (Intel i3 2.2GHz, RAM 4GB, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) Hard Drive Capacity 320GB- Black

Sony Vaio EH2F1E 15.5 inch Laptop (Intel i3 2.2GHz, RAM 4GB, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) Hard Drive Capacity 320GB- Black

  • Processor clock speed: 2200 MHz
  • Processor family: Intel Core i3
  • Processor model: i3-2330M
  • L3 cache: 3 MB
  • Motherboard chipset: Intel HM65 Express

Sony EH2F1E Core i32330M 220GHz Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 155 WXGA HD Graphics 3000 4 GB DDR3 RAM 320 GB HDD DVD Super Multi 80211 bgn Webcam Bluetooth VPCEH2F1EBCEK Laptops Notebooks

List Price: £547.19

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B005MOSIIU”]

[wpramareviews asin=”B005MOSIIU”]

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Samsung RF511 15.6 inch Notebook – Black (Intel Core i5 2450M 2.5GHz, RAM 8GB, HDD 1TB, DVD-SM DL, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

Samsung RF511 15.6 inch Notebook – Black (Intel Core i5 2450M 2.5GHz, RAM 8GB, HDD 1TB, DVD-SM DL, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

  • Product code : MICSAMRF511A01CLR
  • Brand : Samsung
  • Manufacturer part number : NP-RF511-A01UK
  • PLEASE SEE PRODUCT DESCRIPTION BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION

Samsung BLACK INTEL CORE i52450 8GB 1TB SHARED GRAPHICS CAM BT DVD SM 156 INCH WINDOWS 7 HP NPRF511A01UK Laptops Notebooks

List Price: £649.00

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B006UCNSBU”]

[wpramareviews asin=”B006UCNSBU”]

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Asus K53E 15.6 inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 2450M 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, DVD Super Multi DL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit)

Asus K53E 15.6 inch Laptop (Intel Core i5 2450M 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, DVD Super Multi DL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit)

Asus K53ESX1585V CI52450M 750GB 4GB 156IN DVDRW W7HP IN K53ESX1585V Laptops Notebooks

List Price: £499.00

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B007B91C32″]

[wpramareviews asin=”B007B91C32″]

Categories
Laptops and Netbooks

Asus X54C 15.6 inch laptop (Intel Core i3 2350M 2.3GHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, DVDSMDL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

Asus X54C 15.6 inch laptop (Intel Core i3 2350M 2.3GHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, DVDSMDL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

Asus X54C 15.6 inch laptop (Intel Core i3 2350M 2.3GHz, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, DVDSMDL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

  • Processor clock speed: 2300 MHz
  • Processor family: Intel Core i3
  • Processor model: i3-2350M
  • Processor number of cores: 2
  • System bus: 5 GT/s

Asus X54CSX282V CI32350M 750GB 6GB 156IN DVDRW W7HP IN X54CSX282V Laptops Notebooks

List Price: £429.99

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B007C16VJE”]

[wpramareviews asin=”B007C16VJE”]