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Valve's prototype Steam Machines dump AMD for Nvidia

Mark Hachman | Oct. 7, 2013
Valve Software has revealed that 300 lucky beta testers will receive Steam Machines in a variety of configurations -- all based upon Nvidia graphics hardware.

The Steam Machines themselves will measure 12 inches by 12 inches by 2.9 inches, and contain a 450-watt power supply.

On the high end, the combination of just the Nvidia Titan GTX 780 (a $649 part) plus the Core i7-4770 (about $300 or so) means that the prototype game machines should easily top $1,000. The lower-end machines will still feature a nice selection of game hardware, compliments of Valve.

"We're still not sure if it's a competitor to our Tiki, or a huge endorsement of the Micro-Tower with almost identical specs as the ideal Steam Machine," Kelt Reeves, chief executive of Falcon Northwest, said in an email.

What's unusual, however, is that the prototypes exclude AMD, a minority player in the CPU market but the second-ranked vendor in the GPU market. Viewed another way, AMD is the largest GPU vendor besides Intel, whose dominant market share in the CPU market (and whose Core chip integrate graphics hardware) have pushed it to a 62 percent share, according to Jon Peddie Research. AMD is next with a 21.9 percent share, followed by Nvidia at 16.1 percent.

Valve representatives did not immediately respond to PCWorld's request for comment. But the issue is slightly more sensitive, given that Origin PC said Friday that it would forgo AMD GPUs, because of "many factors including customer experiences, GPU performance/drivers/stability, and requests from our support staff," that company said in a statement to PCWorld.


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