“The hardware can deliver a great gaming experience”, says Nvidia

Valve partners confident of Steam Machine success

PC experts working with Valve on its upcoming Steam Machine mini-form factor PCs are confident they will be a hit with gamers.

Valve’s initial details about the prototype machines – of which 300 will be sent to randomly selected users of PC gaming platform Steam this year – state that only Intel processors and Nvidia graphics cards would be inside the boxes, with AMD Machines to launch in 2014.

Both partners for the prototypes say that they are also working with Valve on optimising Valve’s Linux-based SteamOS operating system.

Mark Smith, senior technical evangelist at Nvidia, told PCR: “Valve has selected Nvidia for the 300 beta units due to our graphics performance, acoustic characteristics, and power efficiency.

“Nvidia and Valve engineers have focused efforts on improving driver performance for OpenGL, optimising performance on Nvidia GPUs, porting Valve’s content library to SteamOS and tuning SteamOS to provide lower latency.

“The hardware is capable of delivering a great gaming experience. It is only a matter of writing the software to make it happen.”

Principal engineer and visual computing engineering technical director at Intel, Mike Burrows, added: “Intel’s CPUs are the defacto gamer choice due to their industry-leading performance. The fact that Valve has chosen them as the CPUs for their initial wave of prototypes is another great proof point.”

Both companies are enthusiastic about the open-source nature of SteamOS, and are positive about giving gamers the choice of hardware from other vendors.

“Intel embraces the open eco-system approach Valve is taking with SteamOS,” said Burrows. “Linux open-source drivers will ensure a great consumer experience for these prototypes, as well as strengthening SteamOS’ eco-system.”

Smith agreed: “We are in favour of any initiative that promotes open-platform gaming.”

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