Valve has announced that their Steam Machines initiative, which certifies a level of hardware for use with SteamOS for a good baseline experience, will also certify AMD and Intel graphics cards.
Valve’s spokesperson, Doug Lombardi acknowledged that the initial 300 Steam Machine prototypes were running on Intel and Nvidia hardware, but later on Valve would be certifying solutions from Intel and AMD as well. The delay is due to Valve’s continued work in optimising driver and game performance for SteamOS.
“Although the graphics hardware that we’ve selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of Nvidia cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are Nvidia-only. In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, Nvidia, and Intel. Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future,” says Lombardi.
Which graphics cards could pass the certification? Intel’s HD4600 and Iris graphics would be the first for the processor giant, as both of these solutions come with the new Haswell processors and offer up much more performance than previous products on Sandy- and Ivy-Bridge. They will also both appear in a large spread of both desktop and mobile products.
On the AMD side we may see certification starting with their integrated graphics in the A-series APU family, beginning with Trinity processors. These processors generally offered up a lot more graphics performance compared to Intel’s previous solutions.
In September, the company said that they are working with multiple hardware partners to bring a variety of Steam Machines to market in 2014.
“To be clear, this design is not meant to serve the needs of all of the tens of millions of Steam users. It may, however, be the kind of machine that a significant percentage of Steam users would actually want to purchase – those who want plenty of performance in a high-end living room package,” said Valve.
These are the specs which will be featured in the 300 machines which are sent out to lucky testers in late 2013:
- GPU: Some units with NVidia Titan, some GTX780, some GTX760, and some GTX660.
- CPU: Some boxes with Intel i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3.
- RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU).
- Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD.
- Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold.
- Dimensions: Approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high.