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After Alienware originally shipped out a Windows-based Steam Machine the Alienware Alpha, we now have them showing off and talking up their real SteamOS Steam Machine.

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It's nice to hear them clearly talk about it, and it seems the Windows-based unit they shipped a while ago gave them plenty of feedback on how to do better. One bit of feedback they have acted on is changing the hard drive from a 5400 RPM to 7200RPM. and that should make everything a little quicker to load.

They confirmed their Alienware Alpha with Windows will stick around, for anyone who doesn't want SteamOS. They are planning documentation and other things for people who want to "upgrade" (their words) to SteamOS on the Alpha. That's pretty good of them to be thinking like that, and maybe some people will.

They stated they have been in partnership with Valve for three years, so hopefully it works out for the both of them. It will certainly be helpful for us if it works.

Here's probably the most interesting thing about what the Alienware rep said:
QuoteMyself and a few colleagues have been around the world talking to all of the major game publishers, and I'll say that sharing news about Alienware Steam Machine and our plans and how it will be our flagship product, getting those publishers excited to get their content library whether it's a back catalogue or new games coming to SteamOS, you're going to see over the summer a lot more titles and software, big AAA titles, indies, things that are going to be your favourite are going to be coming to SteamOS.


That alone has me excited, and has made me like Alienware a lot more. It's not enough to announce a product, but to actually go around yourselves and try to get others on-board, that's worth cheering them on for.

Thanks boilingsteam for the video. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Hardware, Steam, Video
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sarmad Jun 19, 2015
Does anyone know how powerful the Alienware Steam Machine GPU is? We know it's a custom GTX 860m GPU, but what's custom about this? What did they get nVidia to modify in it? Wikipedia states that this GPU rangs in power from 1.2 TFLOPS to 1.8. Where in this range is the Alienware gpu sitting?
EKRboi Jun 19, 2015
Quoting: sarmadDoes anyone know how powerful the Alienware Steam Machine GPU is? We know it's a custom GTX 860m GPU, but what's custom about this? What did they get nVidia to modify in it? Wikipedia states that this GPU rangs in power from 1.2 TFLOPS to 1.8. Where in this range is the Alienware gpu sitting?

I wouldn't mind an answer on that as well out of curiosity. A PS4 pushes roughly 1.8 tflops so it is in the same ballpark, not bad at all, but not great. Certainly playable, especially if you can deal with 30fps if you like to keep some eye candy in recent games. A Nvidia GTX980 pushes roughly 5 tflops so an 860m is roughly 1/3 as powerful as it.
Cyba.Cowboy Jun 20, 2015
Quoting: IlyaHe's right though, Alienware is the one where the GPU is fixed on the motherboard (at least according to the steam forums). Not sure if you can add another one yourself.

I find it unlikely users already know that the GPU is fixed to the motherboard, considering that even those pre-ordering won't get their Alienware Steam Machines until October... Unless users in the Steam Forums are referring to the Alienware Alpha, which won't necessarily be the same as this Alienware Steam Machine (particularly given Alienware have made various hardware changes as a result of the "learning experience" that is the Alienware Alpha).

Either way, "Chris" from Alienware implies that the GPU can be upgraded ("fully upgradeable", he claims of this 'Machine in the video), being unable to change the GPU is no different to any laptop (including "gaming" laptops) and if you're really keen, there's no reason one can't remove the GPU from the motherboard... After all, this is almost certainly using a desktop GPU (considering it's using a desktop CPU), so it's not that hard to do a bit of soldering and exchange the GPU (though anyone going to this extent is probably going to building their own Steam Machine, anyway).
ElectricPrism Jun 20, 2015
So my brother wanted a Steam Controller for his Steam Linux PC for graduation. Whatever RedHat, Ubuntu and Valve do to benefit the Linux Ecosystem, I'll all game.

It's certainly a very exciting time to be on Linux and use a system that's community created and in the wild.
Cyba.Cowboy Jun 20, 2015
Quoting: ElectricPrismSo my brother wanted a Steam Controller for his Steam Linux PC for graduation.

Sony's DUALSHOCK 4 (i.e. the Sony PlayStation 4 controller) is natively supported by Linux-based operating systems... They added the support about a year ago - just pair it with the computer over bluetooth, and you're good to go!

I'm still not sold on the unique Steam Controller... But I might change my mind once I actually try one (at least, that's what everyone else has said once they've actually tried one).

The Microsoft XBox 360 controllers though?

Never liked them, and I could never get used to them... So it's nice to have alternatives that work just as well.
Keizgon Jun 20, 2015
Quoting: CybaCowboyI'm still not sold on the unique Steam Controller... But I might change my mind once I actually try one (at least, that's what everyone else has said once they've actually tried one).

The only criticism I hear is about the track pads because we all hate them for laptops. To be frank, I cannot even consider it valid criticism. Sure we all hate laptop based track pads, but I seriously doubt anyone ever really used their thumb on something like that (not that you physically and practically can with something based on a table/board design).

We really should stop this stigma that track pads are useless. They're just flawed in their current design (laptops). You can rotate your thumb, to some degree, unlike your other fingers. Think about it, would you just use your index finger (or any other one) for a joystick? Again, it's the same principle, and a missed opportunity no one ever caught on to.

I think the real question is this. Are you physically capable of precise drawing with your thumb (given the right hand held positioning)? That will be key to the success of the peripheral, not the track pads. Layout positioning and thumb dexterity/precision.

If I were to rate the mouse, I would say it has the best dexterity because of hand movement, but I would not consider it best for precision. A drawing tablet wins on that any day.
Pecisk Jun 20, 2015
About upgrading:
This particular machine has onboard GTX 850M so it won't be upgradeable (as far as I know). That card is equal to GTX 750, which can run huge list of 2014 games at 60fps with max settings. However everything else will be upgradeable.

About Steam Machines:
People is right who say that Steam Machines come with SteamOS, it seems also Allienware is very keen to push that distinguished too, as it carries certain promises of easy to use, and carries NO Windows OEM license.

As far as I know Allienware Alpha - Windows, Allienware Steam Machine - SteamOS.

About games:
Why would you want to hype upcoming SM with games during summer? From marketing POV, it's wasted dollars. Steam Machine campaign (especially for Alpha) will be sweet and short. It's first wave. they don't gonna burn tons of cash in marketing for first iteration model. It will target people who are aware about Steam Machines or who has interest in them.

If Alpha SM 1.0 is s success, then we will see more investments there.
Cyba.Cowboy Jun 20, 2015
Quoting: EKRboiI know Alienware overall has a pretty bad rap for being overpriced, however I think some people forget who owns them. Dell owns Alienware and is one of, if not the only big name PC maker who offers both desktops AND laptops pre-installed with Linux(Ubuntu) and has done so for a while now.

Yeah, in a list of countries I could count on one hand!

Just ask Dell Australia about Linux-based operating systems, and you'll quickly get the usual "We do not endorse or offer any form of support for Linux-based operating systems; we recommend and support only Microsoft operating systems"... Dell overseas may be enthusiastic about Linux-based operating systems, but locally (i.e. in Australia), they're still very pro-Microsoft.
tuubi Jun 20, 2015
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Quoting: CybaCowboyJust ask Dell Australia about Linux-based operating systems, and you'll quickly get the usual "We do not endorse or offer any form of support for Linux-based operating systems; we recommend and support only Microsoft operating systems"... Dell overseas may be enthusiastic about Linux-based operating systems, but locally (i.e. in Australia), they're still very pro-Microsoft.
Yeah, you Aussies get the short end of the stick once again. As far as I know, they offer Ubuntu on most of their business laptops and desktops in North America, most European countries and many Asian countries like China and India. I have no idea about the consumer side of things. Not that you can find a single Dell Linux offering on the shelves of your local retailer. At least I haven't seen any. Makes sense I guess, from a purely business perspective. You gotta sell what people use and want.

Personally I bought a Dell business laptop for work a couple of years back preinstalled with Ubuntu. Never ran it though before replacing the slightly outdated OS with a more recent Mint. Dell's customer support has been excellent thus far for the hardware, but I have no real experience with the software side of things. I wouldn't mind having other brands to choose from the next time I'm looking for a business laptop. The E6420 has been a bit disappointing in terms of hardware and build quality.
sarmad Jun 20, 2015
Quoting: EKRboi
Quoting: sarmadDoes anyone know how powerful the Alienware Steam Machine GPU is? We know it's a custom GTX 860m GPU, but what's custom about this? What did they get nVidia to modify in it? Wikipedia states that this GPU rangs in power from 1.2 TFLOPS to 1.8. Where in this range is the Alienware gpu sitting?

I wouldn't mind an answer on that as well out of curiosity. A PS4 pushes roughly 1.8 tflops so it is in the same ballpark, not bad at all, but not great. Certainly playable, especially if you can deal with 30fps if you like to keep some eye candy in recent games. A Nvidia GTX980 pushes roughly 5 tflops so an 860m is roughly 1/3 as powerful as it.

Absolutely, PS4 level performance is not acceptable 2 years after the release of PS4. Also, if the hardware is PS4 level the final performance of the games will be less than PS4 due to the extra overhead of OpenGL and the lack of console-like optimization. My hope is that the customization in the Alienware machine's GPU includes more cores.
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