Steam boxes finally officially announced

Mobile phones, PDAs, desktops, peripherals or anything else which doesn't fit in the laptop category
User avatar
Johnmcl7
Daemonhunter
Daemonhunter
Posts: 8133
Joined: 07 May 2008
Location: Inverness
Contact:

Re: Steam boxes finally officially announced

Postby Johnmcl7 » 26 Jan 2014, 14:12

My Steambox X51 is finally up and running with its Nvidia 760. So far it's running fine, I was expecting either a roaring fan or overheating as it sits right on top of the hard drive but so far it's fairly quiet and no temperature issues.

I'm quite amused as it's 'a good sign when you wish the software had certain features then found it they're actually there already. On firing up the PC, holding the guide button on the controller fires Steam up into the big picture mode. On looking through the list of games I was thinking it would be handy if you could only display games that were enabled for the controller. Turns out you can choose that option from the drop down list which is good although it doesn't show which games are installed and which aren't. No problems installing games though, they install fine using just the controller and big picture interface.

It feels a little strange as it's like I'm using the Xbox as it's the same controller and the same TV, I'm obviously used to the Xbox level of performance so it was weird seeing the games looking so stunning - running at full resolution with AA and AF with a solid framerate the graphics were crystal clear. Although the 760 is only a mid range card, it's still highly capable for 1080p gaming although I was amused at the size and complexity of the card. I remember it seemed strange having to connect the ATi 9700 Pro to the power supply directly, that was obviously a top end card in its day and it had a tiny single slot cooler. The 760 is a beast by comparison with its huge dual slot cooler running longer than the card itself with a powerful fan.

When finished I thought I was going to be stuck as I'd need the mouse or keyboard to shut down the PC but no, you have the option to shutdown or restart the PC within Steam again just using the controller. What it feels like it's particularly missing is some sort of media player as the consoles have and access to the TV catchup services which would be handy again usable with the controller.

I need to have another look at the Roccat software or whatever it was called as I think it offered some clever control options to use media software and similar.

I think I saw a headline that SteamOS now supported dual booting officially which I maybe need to look into, my initial plan was just to swap over drives in the X51 as I have spares but the hard drive is not particularly accessible as it sits under the graphics card. So it's a fiddle to get in and out as the graphics card has its own cage and its power leads don't stretch very far.

John
We are outnumbered by enemy titans, recommend aggressive sustained counterfire
User avatar
Tappy
Master of the Salmon Slap
Master of the Salmon Slap
Posts: 2234
Joined: 16 May 2008
Location: London, UK

Re: Steam boxes finally officially announced

Postby Tappy » 26 Jan 2014, 22:19

Are you running it as a Steambox or a Windows PC with Steam Big Picture? I imagine the latter, since you mention expecting to need a mouse and your pleasant surprise with the controller experience sounds a lot like mine!

Now you've done all the leg work, I need to start looking for X51s on the outlet!
Gengar Intel i5 4690K @ 4.6Ghz, 16GB DDR3, Samsung 256GB M.2, NVidia GTX 970
Wigglytuff Microsoft Surface Book | Raichu Microsoft Lumia 950 XL | Bulbasaur Nvidia Shield Tablet | Arbok Microsoft Band 2
User avatar
Johnmcl7
Daemonhunter
Daemonhunter
Posts: 8133
Joined: 07 May 2008
Location: Inverness
Contact:

Re: Steam boxes finally officially announced

Postby Johnmcl7 » 26 Jan 2014, 23:46

Yes, just running a Windows machine with the controller big picture mode. I'm pleased with it so far to the degree I've changed my mind about its use, I was going to move it to the bedroom but now I'm thinking of moving the 360 upstairs and the X51 in its place. It looks particularly good on the big TV and it can connect to the server (where all my Steam content is stored) at gigabit speeds making it easy to get games installed.

I need to spend more time to see how useful it actually is, I think it was the ideal machine to get - a scratch and dent with the i3 but the higher rated PSU and power connectors. The prebuilt X51's only have the 760 with the top rated spec which would expensive, the i3 and fitting a 760 is ideal although still works out a fairly pricey £580 in total. At least the machine is flexible and can take a newer graphics card in time and it can take a beefier Haswell processor although probably not Broadwell (same socket but probably not compatible due to chipset).

I was reading about the streaming with SteamOS although I think you need to be part of the beta. I was thinking of suitable machines and then realised the Studio Hybrid would be ideal for streaming, I think its hard drive is easily accessible and I have a spare so I could pop SteamOS on it and try streaming a game. The X51 would be a better source for streaming as it's a lot less power hungry than the Aurora.

John
We are outnumbered by enemy titans, recommend aggressive sustained counterfire
se99paj
Rising from the depths
Rising from the depths
Posts: 135
Joined: 17 May 2008

Re: Steam boxes finally officially announced

Postby se99paj » 03 Feb 2014, 21:51

Just been added on the streaming beta, had a quick play but might wait until the weekend to see how it works, might even need to get a wireless controller as well to make the most of it.

The added bonus is you don't need steam os, I have steam installed on a windows and Ubuntu PC.

Early days at the moment but I'm now very confused what to do with my my ideal home setup, what else could be streamed? Can I hide the gaming PC and have a few thin clients on show instead.
User avatar
Tappy
Master of the Salmon Slap
Master of the Salmon Slap
Posts: 2234
Joined: 16 May 2008
Location: London, UK

Re: Steam boxes finally officially announced

Postby Tappy » 10 Jun 2014, 12:33

A report that Alienware are just going to release their Steam Machine as a Windows 8.1 machine for the moment since SteamOS isn't forthcoming. It's using their own custom GUI overlay for controller friendliness:
http://uk.ign.com/articles/2014/06/09/e ... ed-console

I am curious...
Gengar Intel i5 4690K @ 4.6Ghz, 16GB DDR3, Samsung 256GB M.2, NVidia GTX 970
Wigglytuff Microsoft Surface Book | Raichu Microsoft Lumia 950 XL | Bulbasaur Nvidia Shield Tablet | Arbok Microsoft Band 2
User avatar
Johnmcl7
Daemonhunter
Daemonhunter
Posts: 8133
Joined: 07 May 2008
Location: Inverness
Contact:

Re: Steam boxes finally officially announced

Postby Johnmcl7 » 10 Jun 2014, 20:03

It makes a lot of sense particularly given they don't need to do much, most of Steam's big picture mode will do it for them. It makes Valve's Steambox announcement all the stranger given it seems SteamOS is nowhere near retail release. I'm hoping they release the interface for the X51 as well although admittedly that's just gathering dust, not sure why I don't use it - I guess it's just because it's more convenient to use the main PC.

John
We are outnumbered by enemy titans, recommend aggressive sustained counterfire

Return to “Other Technology”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests