This article features a brief look at 13 different models of steam machines from a wide range of companies. I’m surprised so see some big names on the list, including Alienware, Scan, Gigabyte, Zotac and Maingear, which shows that big companies are taking interest in the whole steam machine idea, as well as those I haven’t heard of before such as ibuypower or materiel.net. The fact that there are so many names I recognise on the list means that the idea seems to be successful with manufacturers, and could also be a sign that it will be equally as popular with consumers, since they have faith in the model.
There are some rather interesting configurations on the list including a model running Intel’s Iris Pro graphics instead of a dedicated GPU. This isn’t something I really approve of for a gaming machine, however it shows that integrated graphics might start improving on their reputation as gaming class alternatives to dedicated cards, and if it helps to lower the price of the model which features it, people might still go for it. The case designs are also quite interesting to look at. Some appear, in the images at least, to be incredibly small yet containing a vast amount of power, and some feature cases from brands familiar to PC builders, such as Bitfenix, or the branded Alienware case.
I’m still not entirely happy with the fact that the steam machines won’t be able to run a lot of the games on steam, due to the linux OS, but I’m hoping that this could be remedied by some software development by Valve, although it might be a bit of a far cry. If this is done and pricing is competitive, then I think they will have a good chance in the console market