Alienware reveals the specs of its Steam Machine

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E3 isn’t just about the game announcements, it’s also about the hardware we play those games on so it’s fitting that Alienware has finally revealed the specification for its Steam Machine, despite Valve delaying its controller until next year.

The Steam box will be called the Alienware Alpha and it will cost $550, which is now around $100 more expensive than the Xbox One without Kinect. Inside the low end machine you’ll find an Intel Core i3 processor and a custom made Nvidia Maxwell GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 Vram.

Alpha top 610x343 Alienware reveals the specs of its Steam Machine

Ultimately, the machine doesn’t seem very well thought out as most games coming out now require 6GB of ram but the Alienware Alpha only ships with 4GB. We are also starting to see games eat up more Vram. 2GB of GDDR5 used to be fine for 1080p gaming but the next gen consoles have unified memory which has led to greater demand on the GPU for some newer games.

Valve recently delayed the Steam controller and many of us assumed that the Steam Machines would also be delayed as every unit was supposed to ship with a controller. However, Alienware will be including an Xbox 360 controller and receiver instead.

Those willing to spend a bit more will be able to upgrade the specs a bit with Core i5 and Core i7 options available.

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KitGuru Says: I’m not as impressed as I was hoping I would be, the specs seem a bit low even compared to the new consoles. However, we don’t know how powerful this custom Nvidia GPU will be so it might still perform well in comparison. It seems like Valve’s vision is slipping away from them. What do you guys think of the Alienware’s specs?

Source: PCG

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  • Nicola Peluchetti

    The first Maxwell gpu was perfectly able to handle 1080p at good detail settings, if i remember the reviews correctly. Let’s remember that steam machines are for the TV screen which is 1080, no need for a geforce 780. Also maxwell is very low on TDP.

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  • stu

    Considering the form factor, bang for the buck rating, and the fact that it needs to compete the console’s price point it’s a very logical choice of components..aside from the RAM. It’s just impossible to fabricate a high-end pc system for less than $500. Also, it’s pretty normal for consoles to be sold without profit since e.g. Sony makes most of it’s money from games

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  • Jay Ford

    I agree completely with Matthew. It’s overpriced and the components are poorly chosen. That i3 will struggle, and isn’t the logical choice for a gaming processor at that price point – same for the Maxwell. Yes, it might be a custom card with special specs but somehow I doubt it’ll make up for the 2gb vram combined with the i3. Put that alongside the 4gb ram and it’s a total mess – there are games being released that require 4gb as a minimum, and some with 6gb now.

    The parts choices of Intel/Nvidia and their need to release before the steam controller release date makes me suspicious. I’m guessing there have been deals made, and possibly even that MS and Sony ensured they wouldn’t be able to use AMD (which would have been much more logical at that price point). Seems like a cash-grab to me, which is totally expected.

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