CES 2014: CyberpowerPC’s $500 Steam Machine Unveiled

Its price tag is the same as Microsoft’s Xbox One, but it’s packing slightly more powerful components. It’s CyberpowerPC’s $500 Steam Machine.

The console wars appear to have a serious new contender.

In a press release ahead of its official CES 2014 unveiling, CyberpowerPC provided the following info on its Steam Machines, which it says will arrive in the second half of 2014:

The entry level system follows closely in the footsteps of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 in terms of components. All three have AMD Jaguar processors, AMD Radeon GPUs, 500GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM.

But a closer examination reveals the Steam Machine has a distinct advantage. The AMD A4-5000K chips in the PS4 and Xbox One have 8 cores but top out at 1.75GHz. That’s compared to the A6-6400K 3.90 GHz, dual-core chip in CyberPowerPC’s entry level Steam Machine. Further, the AMD Radeon R9 270 GPU in the Steam Machine contains 2.69 TFLOPS compute power compared to the PlayStation 4′s 1.84 TFLOPS and the Xbox One’s 1.31.

To be sure, this is no high-end PC, not even close. But if you’re considering the PS4 or Xbox One in 2014, it appears you should add the Steam Machine to your decision (even if this one in particular does look like a silly futuristic suggestion box). Slightly better hardware, but with Steam plugged in from the get go.

Stay tuned. There are reportedly 12 different companies working on Steam Machines, and we’re expecting to see a bunch of them at CES 2014 this week. We’ll keep you posted.

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2 Comments on CES 2014: CyberpowerPC’s $500 Steam Machine Unveiled


On January 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Why doesn’t STEAM just get the hell out of the PC now its got its console device! It’s just a Monopoly using PC players to collect to add to its new system.
The PC is what the PC is, not a tied up n’ forceful system, Steam is not needed on the PC. It’s a user and it Sucks!


On January 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Interesting. Curious to see what’s presented at CES, but I can see a long term benefit in going this direction. The box is likely not easily upgradeable (if at all), but if there are Steam Machine versions that ship stock with high-end components rivaling a standard gaming rig for under $1000, does that really matter?

The days when we had to upgrade our PC’s every 6 to 12 months to play the latest titles at max graphics are long gone. Things started to plateau around the time Crysis (the first one) came out; if your rig could run that game at max details and keep it over 60 fps, it will still run anything that exists today (although you might have to dial it down to medium in a few cases). You can also get the job done just fine today with 4GB of DDR2 on pretty much everything besides an absolute resource log like Crysis 3, and 8GB+ of DDR3 will be more than sufficient for a very long time to come.

My point is that the majority of upgrades PC gamers will make to their systems going forward are probably going to be limited to the GPU, with maybe another HD thrown in. Unless something unforseen happens in terms of computational power requirements in games, a good gaming rig bought today will probably give you at least 5 years of service without needing anything beyond a GPU swap. Furthermore, when the time comes that you’re finally forced to upgrade the mobo/CPU, you’re probably going to have to change everything else besides the case too.

Gee, that sounds an awful lot like buying a new rig. In terms of cost, it is. So, again, what’s the difference between that scenario and buying a new Steam machine after five-plus years? Honestly, not much.

There’s a huge elephant in the room that, as PC gamers, we need to address. That elephant is Windows, or more specifically, the utter $hit that Microsoft is turining Windows into. Honestly, I will give up PC gaming before I allow Win8 to be loaded onto anything I own, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that sentiment. We have Win7, which is wonderful, but i’ve got a very bad suion that Win7 is the last OS of its kind we’re going to see from Microsoft. When Win7 starts reaching the end of service life, we’re going to need a viable alternative OS to Windows in general. Mac is out of the question, so what are we left with? Linux?

If the Steam OS proves to be a solid, and especially if it will allow programs other than Steam games to run (OpenOffice and Adobe, for example), I will happily tell Microsoft to shove the buring trash pyre that is Win8 and its following spawn up their @ss. We need to start planning out how we’re going to do mainstream gaming on a PC that has no Microsoft products loaded, and hopefully the Steam OS will be a good place to begin that conversation.