Now that Steam Machines exist (in theory at least), Valve Software is getting ready to unleash beta versions of the box on 300 ridiculously lucky users. The company’s latest update runs through the hardware specs for what will amount to high-end gaming PCs that have been specifically built to live in your living room’s media center. There’s a somewhat stock build for the beta Steam Machines, but the parts that matter – CPU and GPU – will be variable.
All will be fitted with 16GB DDR3-1600 of RAM, 3GB DDR5 of GPU RAM, and a 1TB/8GB hybrid solid-state hard drive. All CPUs will come from Intel, but the 300 boxes will be fitted with a mix of i7, i5, and i3 chips. Similarly, NVIDIA supplies all of the GPUs, but you might get a GTX660, a GTX760, a GTX780, or, if you’re really lucky, a $1,000 Titan. There’s no standard build because there won’t be a standard set of specs for Steam Machines, and even this group of 300 prototypes is built to be upgradeable. So if you’re the poor sap that ends up with an i3 and GTX 660 build, don’t despair too much. You can also comfort yourself with that fact that you and 299 other people are effectively better than any other Steam user, because you were lucky enough to score a prototype. Shut up and stop complaining.
The only missing piece at this point is a look at the custom case, and that’s because Valve hasn’t finalized it yet. All of the parts that will be in the beta machines are available now – in other words, it’s not exactly difficult to assemble your own little Steam Machine. We actually did it not long ago for under $500. Since Valve is going to release the CAD files for the case, you’ll even be able to mimic the form factor of the beta machines if you want. All you’ll be missing is the Steam Controller. Valve ends the update with a promise to show new looks at the inventive input device soon, so stay tuned for more when we hear it.