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Steam Box Previews

There are hands-on impressions of Valve's prototype "Steam Box" PCs on Engadget, The Seattle Times, and The Verge, and there are separate articles on the new Steam Controller on Engadget and IGN (thanks nin). There are also impressions along the way of the nascent SteamOS running this all. Here's a bit on the hardware crammed into a box "a little bigger than an Xbox 360 and smaller than any gaming PC of its ilk:"

The secret is actually quite simple, it turns out: Valve designed the case so the parts can breathe individually. The CPU blows air out the top, the power supply out the side, and the graphics card exhaust out back, and none share any airspace within the case.

That might sound like common sense, but itís remarkably hard to find a case that does so while still making it easy to drop components in. Here, the key component responsible for dividing those three zones is a simple plastic shroud which unscrews in a jiffy. The box we touched was already surprisingly cool and quiet, but Valve's still tweaking the design: we saw Valve printing a couple of the shrouds as we walked through its rapid prototyping lab.

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7. Re: Steam Box Previews Nov 4, 2013, 14:35 Graham
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 4, 2013, 14:10:
How about getting the client up to date first? Remove the bloat, streamline it, make it faster, an offline mode that works, etc.

Yup, let's take the hardware guys and get them working on software. That'll do it!
 
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6. Re: Steam Box Previews Nov 4, 2013, 14:32 jdreyer
 
That might sound like common sense

It actually doesn't sound like common sense. Having a greater air space allows for a larger space to absorb the heating as well as more surface area for more fans for ventilation. The only thing that might make sense is if they optimized airflow within each of those smaller air spaces so it flowed with less interruption based on the orientation of the parts in each section.
 
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5. Re: Steam Box Previews Nov 4, 2013, 14:18 DangerDog
 
Corsair Carbide Air 540, heck even my old Antec 280 case is chambered for the power supply and hard drives split from the motherboard / cpu / graphics card.

They're forgetting one thing, dust - which kills performance and from looking at that case design won't be easy to clean out.

Blower fans on GPU coolers are loud, there's just no getting around it and I'm suspicious of there being enough air flow into the case to keep GPU temps down using just the fan on the GPU alone. You just know some people are going to put this thing into a shelf unit with their other (hot) stereo receiver and shut the glass door on it.
 
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4. Re: Steam Box Previews Nov 4, 2013, 14:14 ForgedReality
 
Cutter wrote on Nov 4, 2013, 14:10:
How about getting the client up to date first? Remove the bloat, streamline it, make it faster, an offline mode that works, etc.
It's not even using the Steam client; just the service. (But you're probably just suggesting they re-prioritize...)

What's bloated, non-streamlined, or slow about it though? None of those seem to apply to my experiences with it at all.
 
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3. Re: Steam Box Previews Nov 4, 2013, 14:10 Cutter
 
How about getting the client up to date first? Remove the bloat, streamline it, make it faster, an offline mode that works, etc.
 
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"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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2. Re: Steam Box Previews Nov 4, 2013, 14:09 ForgedReality
 
nin wrote on Nov 4, 2013, 14:00:
but itís remarkably hard to find a case that does so while still making it easy to drop components in.

Wonder if they'll (or whoever's doing the actual hardware) sell upgrades as well?

What would be cool is if you could use your existing PC hardware or anything from the current hardware catalog and build your own. That was my initial impression hearing about this a while back. They made it sound like all the hardware was meant to be interchangeable, although that kind of thing may prove difficult given that it's running on Linux. nVidia has certainly been throwing their weight into more support for that platform lately though. All it needs is more support like that once hardware vendors start to see the potential.

However, I've said it before: OpenGL just doesn't have the chops to compete with the likes of DirectX/Direct3D at this point. Hopefully this will bring the pressure required to finally bring OGL into the current gen.
 
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1. Re: Steam Box Previews Nov 4, 2013, 14:00 nin
 
but itís remarkably hard to find a case that does so while still making it easy to drop components in.

Wonder if they'll (or whoever's doing the actual hardware) sell upgrades as well?

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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