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Thread: Steam Machines Prototypes: Intel CPU, NVIDIA GPU

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  1. #1
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    Default Steam Machines Prototypes: Intel CPU, NVIDIA GPU

    Phoronix: Steam Machines Prototypes: Intel CPU, NVIDIA GPU

    After last week announcing Steam Machines as the Valve-backed Steam "living room consoles" (a.k.a. Steam Box) powered by the Linux SteamOS, today Valve has released the prototype hardware details that they will be shipping to 300 beta testers...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTQ3NzQ

  2. #2
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    The low end among these machines will probably beat the PS4 on all ends. The high end one will blow it out of the water. Can't wait.

  3. #3
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    No one is surprised by this choice. AMD could've had this one in the bag with their APUs if they just kicked themselves more in the ass when it comes to their drivers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xeekei View Post
    No one is surprised by this choice. AMD could've had this one in the bag with their APUs if they just kicked themselves more in the ass when it comes to their drivers.
    exactly, their upcoming apu's are supposed to be getting 20% cpu improvement, they could stick a highend gpu on the chip too and we would have a terrific chip. AMD's lack of funds results in lower quality linux drivers though.

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    Great. A bloated PC with super-expensive hardware - for what?. Yes, this is sooo killing the PS4 :P

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    So, with these machines having two GPUs (intel + nVidia), can games make use of this somehow? i.e. can the two GPUs work together to render a single frame? I'm talking Linux software wise. Does Linux currently support such thing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarmad View Post
    So, with these machines having two GPUs (intel + nVidia), can games make use of this somehow? i.e. can the two GPUs work together to render a single frame? I'm talking Linux software wise. Does Linux currently support such thing?
    Since they are different vendors I'm 99% sure they can't. I am wondering though if they can squeeze a tiny bit more performance out of this by only rendering on the discrete GPU and using the iGPU to display. I know that work was either upcoming or merged.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarmad View Post
    So, with these machines having two GPUs (intel + nVidia), can games make use of this somehow? i.e. can the two GPUs work together to render a single frame? I'm talking Linux software wise. Does Linux currently support such thing?
    Is there any device out there able to do this (in general, not linux-specific)? Afaik no. Even if it was, it'd very difficult to utilize (see heterogeneous parallelism). You'd have to find a balanced workload for different devices with different strengths and weaknesses. And now imagine, users could freely combine as many heterogenous devices for rendering, as they wanted - that'd be a pure nightmare for devs. Remember, they're already struggeling to supporting several single-GPU devices (compare the level of optimizations console- and pc-games get) :/

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hajj_3 View Post
    exactly, their upcoming apu's are supposed to be getting 20% cpu improvement, they could stick a highend gpu on the chip too and we would have a terrific chip. AMD's lack of funds results in lower quality linux drivers though.
    As a user, who recently bought a Radeon 7850, I have to confirm that. I did buy an AMD graphics card with the hopes to use the open-source driver rather sooner than later, but I have to admit that serious gaming is impossible with the radeonsi driver at the moment. So, now I'm left with a sub-par closed source driver, which doesn't work well regardless if I use Windows or Linux. Sometimes the frame rate completely breaks down to a few frames per second...I have to alt+tab the game and afterwards it often works again (recently played: Dota2, Risen). The Catalyst Control Center offers fewer options than under Windwos...I can only hope that AMD can improve the driver situation soon
    IMHO, your choices for Linux gaming at the moment are: Intel Iris Pro, AMD R600 based (both Open source drivers), or Nvidia (Closed source). All 3 drivers have good support under Linux. Considering the raw power, the Nvidia route does make the most sense and I think Valve made the right decision here. Now, if AMD can improve their open source driver for newer generation graphics fast, things could change...

    Quote Originally Posted by sarmad
    So, with these machines having two GPUs (intel + nVidia), can games make use of this somehow? i.e. can the two GPUs work together to render a single frame? I'm talking Linux software wise. Does Linux currently support such thing?
    There are also Intel CPUs without integrated GPU (for example Intel i5-3350P). There's no need for a integrated GPU + dedicated GPU in a SteamBox in my oponion.

    But I really like that Valve plans to publish even the CAD files for the casing. Let there be as much user input as they get for their games.

  10. #10
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    So this gaming machine won't work out of the box? I'm guessing that since it's illegal to distribute a Linux kernel with Nvidia's binary drivers, when you get your new box you'll have to connect to the Internet and, under your own responsibility and at your own risk, download and install Nvidia's drivers after accepting the license terms. If you don't do this, then your gaming machine will work using the Intel GPU and disabling the Nvidia GPU to avoid unnecessary power consumption and heat? Or will it actually attempt to offer you a gaming experience with Nouveau drivers?

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