Steambox Part 3 – Installing Windows 8.1 and General System Performance

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Steambox Part 3

Last week we took some time and built a sub-$400 system that was to be dedicated to gaming with the SteamOS, a Steambox if you will. Later in the week, we took a look at the SteamOS, what it takes to install it, and a look at some of the capabilities of the SteamOS. While the SteamOS has some potential for gaming, there are just a number of things holding it back at this point. The two biggest issues I see the SteamOS facing right now are lack of games support, and the lack of additional features. The complete steam library consists of over 9000 game titles which is quite a few games, the SteamOS & Linux however, support only 1495 games at this point. Unfortunately, many of the games that aren’t supported are the more popular series like Call of Duty (love it or hate, it’s a popular series).

I was also disparaged by the lack of features in SteamOS, I wasn’t able to stream videos from Netflix or my cable provider. Nor does it look like there is a simple way to watch Blurays on Linux So I wouldn’t be able to use the Steambox as a HTPC, since I wouldn’t be gaming 24/7 I was hoping for a little bit more functionality from it.

The hardware that I used for the Steambox looks pretty solid per the specifications, but there is limited testing that I can do in the SteamOS and Linux. I was able to run the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark in the SteamOS article here, but that was about it. So to test the hardware I’m going to toss on a Windows 8 install and run the system through an array of gaming benchmarks.

SteamOS SteamBox Build

Component Amazon.com Newegg.com
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-B85M-DS3H  $55.99  $45.99 AR ($10)
Processor Intel Pentium G3258  $69.99  $69.99
Graphics Card GIGABYTE GeForce GTX750OC 2GB  $109.99  $94.99 AR ($15)
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X 4GB (F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL)  $48.96  $38.24
Hard Drive Western Digital Blue 1 Terabyte HDD  $54.99  $54.99
Chassis GIGABYTE GZ-F3HEB PC Case  $29.99  $29.99
Power Supply Corsair CX430M Modular Power Supply  $44.99  $24.99 AR($20)
Total Cost: $414.90  $359.18 AR($45)

The parts list above, should make for a pretty decent system for under $400. By no means is it going to the fastest system out there, but it should be more than enough to provide hours and hours of quality gaming! If you’re interested in the build and more details on the parts or the SteamOS, you can find the links below.

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  • William Kendrick

    not a bad setup but its not so much a box as a normal everyday built pc.

  • Edward Crisler

    Gonna disagree on some build choices. The idea of a steam box is cool but I would have gone ITX and made it fit next to the TV or a desk easily. Doing so with the Newegg list only increases the cost by about $60 but gives you a much smaller form factor as well as built in Wireless for networking without the need to run cables.

    I would also have swapped out the 750 for about $30 more and got the R9 270, found a couple at the $130 price range.