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Ars slams SteamOS over issues with a single machine and a 4K monitor

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Ars Technica are usually quite interesting, but this latest SteamOS post bugged me a bit. The author tried out a Zotac's SN970 and had an issue with it.

Honestly, it sounds like he got sent a duff unit to review by Zotac, or his TV has a setting somewhere for low resolution inputs which is messing with the HDMI. The author didn't even mention those could be an issue either, which is a little alarming for a writer on such a well known and respected website.

The whole issue is this:
QuoteThe graphics, however, were interlaced, with distracting artefacts that occurred every time I moved the mouse pointer with the Steam Controller.

For which the article gained the headline "Hey, Valve: What’s the point of Steam OS?". So the author is slamming an entire ecosystem due to issues with this one unit and a 4K monitor, monitors with that resolution aren't even close to being normal right now.

QuoteThat, however, was easier said than done. Trying to type using the Steam Controller and the on-screen keyboard with its weird split layout is difficult enough at the best of times, but the visual artefacts made it nigh on impossible. I gave up and fetched a USB keyboard and mouse from the cupboard.

I get the visual issues are annoying, but how did he not realise you can use the stick normally to select letters, like you can on the Xbox, WiiU and PS4?

I do hope they try it with a more standard monitor or TV, and be honest about their results with it then. It's one thing to slam something, it's another to try it properly and admit if you're wrong, or show if the unit itself is in fact broken.

The comments on the article are also not in the authors favour by the looks of it.

The author also tweeted out:
QuoteFYI: do not fuck with Linux guys. And I thought games was tough.

I won't link to him directly, or comment on that as we all know my thoughts on people's silly remarks by now.

Update:
As I suspected, a hardware issue as pointed out by a comment on their website.
QuoteTo bang on the "try a different monitor" issue, looks like the monitor he was using has known issues with hdmi connections and requires 2 hdmi cables to display at 4k. That's hardly a mainstream situation. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-pq321q-4k-monitor-review,3698-4.html

If only the author of the article at Ars did a bit of research. The monitor is technically two monitors stitched together, so it's not surprising it has issues. Even with one cable for below 60HZ and 1080p it's not a normal monitor, and nothing close to what most people will be using. There's 4K, and then there's a 4K monitor that's actually two together. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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41 comments
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calexil 28 January 2016 at 6:06 pm UTC
one 4k monitor didnt play nice with one steambox

SteamOS is POINTLESS!!!!!!!!

lolwut

also, saved screenshot of article in case author tries to change it https://u.teknik.io/XXvaPW.png

EDIT: Liam added it to main article.


Last edited by calexil at 28 January 2016 at 6:14 pm UTC
jedidiah_lnx 28 January 2016 at 6:12 pm UTC
calexilmy 4k monitor didnt play nice with a gpu that can barely handle 4k:

SteamOS is POINTLESS!!!!!!!!

lolwut

Wasn't this some strange old monitor that had some funky dual cable method of dealing with the 4K signal?

OTOH, TVs are well known for not playing nice. SteamOS definitely needs to have a manual fallback setting for TVs that send bogus EDIDs. I've dealt with this myself with MythTV. Some older HDTVs generated all kinds of gibberish that would confuse a PC video card.

...and some of the MythTV crowd are also playing with 4K and h265. I've been contemplating the nv960 myself because of it's h265 decoder.
BTRE 28 January 2016 at 6:17 pm UTC
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Can't say I'm too surprised. I've never regarded Ars a good source for tech news. Sadly, the tech news world is in a very sorry state.
Keyrock 28 January 2016 at 6:35 pm UTC
This doesn't surprise me one bit. This is the latest in a string of articles from Ars centered around gaming where it was readily apparent the person writing said article was woefully underqualified/underinformed and they've been dipping into click-bait territory with their article titles.
Foxv71 28 January 2016 at 6:48 pm UTC
Wonder how much they get paid to make something look bad? The sad part is most people make choices based on these jokers thoughts.
Mountain Man 28 January 2016 at 6:58 pm UTC
It sounds to me like he was using a standard HDMI cable instead of a high speed HDMI cable. The fact that he was apparently unable to troubleshoot this doesn't give the author much credibility as a tech writer.
Liam Dawe 28 January 2016 at 7:04 pm UTC
Updated, it actually requires two HDMI cables, see the bottom. The "reviewer" on Ars didn't do his research.
Perkeleen_Vittupää 28 January 2016 at 7:11 pm UTC
BTRECan't say I'm too surprised. I've never regarded Ars a good source for tech news. Sadly, the tech news world is in a very sorry state.

Instances are increasingly getting manipulated, controlled by money (surprise), now that Linux has gotten more of a foothold. Certain "players" behind the curtain are using all means necessary trying to make it slip. The easiest targets are young writers with enough reputation to be used as tools, who knows what they're being offered.

The change is a start of a path towards losing power for some. Valve and Gaben are such important allies for us in these winds of change. Tinfoil not required here either :-)
Mountain Man 28 January 2016 at 7:12 pm UTC
QuoteUpdate:
As I suspected, a hardware issue as pointed out by a comment on their website.
QuoteTo bang on the "try a different monitor" issue, looks like the monitor he was using has known issues with hdmi connections and requires 2 hdmi cables to display at 4k. That's hardly a mainstream situation. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/asus-pq321q-4k-monitor-review,3698-4.html
Well, that's embarrassing.


Last edited by Mountain Man at 28 January 2016 at 7:12 pm UTC
Nyamiou 28 January 2016 at 7:12 pm UTC
What an idiot! But it summarise a lot of the negativity (some was legitimate) that went toward SteamOS : idiots with an audience claiming things that aren't true or exaggerating the facts to make their articles more provocative and get more clicks.

This guy don't deserve to be a journalist, he can't even do a Google search.


Last edited by Nyamiou at 28 January 2016 at 7:16 pm UTC
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