Phoronix: Hardware Expectations For Valve's Steam Box
Based upon my extensive Linux hardware testing of enthusiast and gamer grade hardware over the past nine years on Phoronix and immense amounts of performance benchmarking, plus having been involved with Steam on Linux, here's some of my thoughts, expectations, and hopes for the hardware comprising Valve's official SteamBox...
Obviously nvidia gpu is the only sensible choice at this time, but considering most next-gen games will already be better optimized for multi-treading due to PS4 and xbox720 octacore cpus and the price difference, I wouldn't discard an amd cpu, probably "octacore" piledriver.
I don't think an Optimus style is feasible or even needed, with current GPU's idle as low as it is, a mid-high -end card can be kept cool and quiet without taking much space, adding optimus adds complexity and very little gain. Maybe there's something I've missed, but how does the brand of the CPU affect OpenGL? Problem with Intel CPU's is you often have to pay out the nose to get what you suggest, while in most current games you don't need that much power.
I do hope AMD start putting more work into their Linux drivers, so far I've had positive experiences with them on my Llano based laptop, but I don't use it for that many graphic intense applications, and even to me it's obvious it's not quite as smooth as their Windows drivers currently are.
I think the main driving factor is going to be matching PS4 e XBox720 hw.
My guess for their middle tier
Graphics/CPU: AMD, something near PS4/XBox720. Despite current driver quality, it would be a cheaper solution.
Disk: Standard HDD 1TB. SSD are to expensive and games are taking 5-20GB. A 128GB SSD can hold something like 10 big games, it won't cut it.
You think they're going with NVidiad rather than with AMD, because of the better working drivers and then you guess, they might end up with an Optimus device?
Since AMD already delivers Hardware for the big two next generation consoles, they'll probably be able to provide a far better offer than NVidia. And I really wish Valve decided in favor of AMD just to kick some distorted heads back into reality:
If something is wrong with your AMD GPU setup, it's the Catalyst which sucks. If something goes wrong with an NVidia GPU it's just a particular case. Noticing anything?
I just got the game and are happy to have inferior AMD hardware :P
I think he was refering to the state of AMD's Linux drivers, AMD's hardware is without doubt amongst the best, but yeah their drivers on Linux aren't great. On Windows they in my experience work just as well as nVidia's drivers.