Xi3 Begins Taking PISTON Pre-Orders For AMD Powered Steam Box Starting At $899

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PCLinuxguy

I remember quite some time ago when Google first came out with Chrome OS and the very first Chromebooks, I found an article about a Chrome OS "desktop" and the photo showed this exact same Xi3 case photo, but I don't recall if it had a spec sheet for the internals. Never heard of it again after that so I'm guessing the idea of a very small Chrome OS desktop got tossed.

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theabsinthehare

Fun fact: The specs that have been released (The CPU speed, brand, core number and serial number) make it an AMD A10-4600M. This is a processor that averages 27 frames per second on Battlefield 3 at medium settings and 33 frames at low settings at a resolution of 1366x768. What the hell is the point in hooking this up to your big tv if you can't even play games at the native tv resolution?! That kind of performance is literally barely scraping past the current gen of consoles, with the only difference being consoles don't use DX11 and the A10 does. Nobody who knows anything about computers is going to pay $1000 for 7 year old console graphics because "it's small!"

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PCLinuxguy

Cut them some slack. this is a whole new type of system. We're talking about something roughly the size of Intel's NUC that's supposed to be a gaming box. It's not an easy feat, nor it is a cheap one. When/if these are "mass produced" the price will drop quite a bit, as mainly the Xi3 piston "case" and what I'm assuming is a pico-itx motherboard could be part of the high cost. Granted Intel's NUC is fairly cheap by comparison.

Also the "7 year old console graphics" comment is rather outlandish mainly due to the vast majority of games out there are developed for console first, and then ported to the PC with little to no updates on the graphics to make the PC version look better. So even if the graphics were no better than a console no one would really care, because if they did care, they're already running a $1,000+ gaming rig with multiple monitors or hooked to their big screen TV anyway.

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West996

All other problems aside, the thing is still ugly.

I mean the only reason somone would be in the market for something like this is if they couldn`t stand the thought of putting a normal mid tower case in their living room. Hiding it behind the TV console, or having it visable.

I know for a fact if I showed this thing to my girlfriend she still wouldn`t want people to be able to see it in the living room, so I still have to hide the case. In that case I might as well come up with a clever solution to hide a mid tower case. At least then I can build it myself and get top components at fair prices.

I`d rather buy a Falcon NorthWest tiki computer. Sure it is going to cost me double, but at least I`ll get some power and the thing looks cool.

Rather then spening all this R&D and sacfricing power while increasing cost to make this thing so small, make a living room PC that the wife is going to be OK with me putting in the entertainment center and we`re golden. Disguise it a Vase or make it look like it is 5 or 6 hardcover books on a shelf.

Get creative like PC modders have been doing before I was born and you might have a product to sell.

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Professor_Marvel

Considering the parts inside, I would not expect a $900 price tag. I can buy my own (better) parts and build the thing flawlessly for a far cheaper price.

However, I am not one of the naysayers about AMD hardware. They went with AMD obviously because they wanted to use an integrated GPU, of which there is none better than the AMD A10 APU. It's a little more than a 3rd the power of an HD 7770, but it's nearly twice as powerful as Intel's HD 4000 integrated "graphics." The piston is not trying to compete with your $1000 power rigs (despite its price), they're putting this thing in the LIVING ROOM for god's sake. This is to make PC games more accessible to the more casual Xbox/PS3/Wii crowd. I wouldn't be surprised if this came bundled with some controller, too (or instructions/drivers for Microsoft's Xbox controllers).

TL;DR: if you think you can build this yourself, then you aren't the target audience for this machine.

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Hilarity

What a fucking rip. Seriously. Shitty AMD APU and only a 128GB SSD? When most PC games easily crack 10GB in 2013? I can picture some rich idiot buying this, trying to max out Crysis 3 and then piss and moan. Then buy a $3000 Alienware rip off. TV's are 1080p and this can barely do 1080p at maximum ugly settings. Am I missing something?

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Master__shake

it's ugly and it's going to be very expensive to upgrade, because you have to buy proprietary add in daughter boards.

i would rather a nice m-itx case and a decent gpu with some actual cpu horse power.

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limitbreaker

I bought an a10 4600m laptop with similar specs for 480$, the only difference is the 250gb ssd which I bought separately which amounted the cost to 630$ and left me an extra 750gb spare hdd. I don't see why anyone in their right mind would pay 900$. All you need to do is put your laptop upside down for better cooling and it magically becomes a steam box you can unplug and take with you if needed.

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Kasper56

Suddenly Sony's mistake of pricing the PS3 for $599 at Launch doesn't look so bad.

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PCLinuxguy

I understand everyone hating on the price of this thing. However, it's a device that size-wise is better suited for Tablet or Smartphone guts and they're stuffing desktop grade parts into it. Remember, this thing is very small. Cut them some slack.

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theabsinthehare

What desktop grade parts? The CPU is an A10-4600M, a mobile part that can barely play games like Battlefield 3 on low settings at 1366x768. It's small for the sake of being small, over-engineered, incredibly weak, and a system far more powerful could be built for less than half the price and only a few inches bigger.

A miniITX system with a better CPU, room for two hard drives, twice the RAM and the option to add a discrete video card can be built for ~$425, the difference being the miniITX system would be 6"x8"x10" instead of 4"x4"x6"

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Paper Jam

+1

Truth be told, if MS and Sony weren't huge corporations the next PS and Xbox would probably come in close to the same price. But they are, and so they subsidize the cost with the intention of making it up in software and licensing fees. The Piston is a full fledged PC in a small form factor, so Xi3 has to make their money up front. There's no way for them to make money on the back end. I don't think they'll sell many at this price, but it is a cool looking device. I wish them well.

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Jack1982

I see Newegg has a build-it-yourself system right now for $496.99 with an A10, 8GB memory, and 120GB SSD. Add another $90 for Windows and that leaves $300 for an HD 7950 before you reach the price of this thing LOL.

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AFDozerman

Hey guys, I think it might be overpriced. Just sayin.

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Slowman

I'll give them one break on the price. Ok a small one. They use a nonstandard case and motherboard which hasn't been produced enough to lower the prices. It'll look good but at the price it will be DOA. Especially considering it has no mouse and keyboard,no game pad, no wifi. If people want to make it a stand alone system wil have to use external storage. I'll even go on a limb and guess that they'll disable turbo mode and under clock it to keep thermals in check. A quick read on their site shows they like to keep their systems under 40 watts.

I don't think Valve has anything to do with this and probably regrets now even talking with these guys.

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steven4570

I'd expect this kind of pricing from someone like Apple, but really? This is ridiculous.

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lordfirefox

You know what I priced these same components on NewEgg and it didn't even come close to $800. They're using expensive SSD's to inflate the price.

Also. This is not the Steam Box GabeN was referring to when he said that prototypes would be shipped in 2-3 months.

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chelem

They should change the name to iPiston; even if they don't know what Steam is, the sheep will buy it at that price.

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LatiosXT

Selling a maybe $500 in parts for $900.

I see this going well.

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azuza001

Wow, I've been trying to figure out for a few months now the cheapest setup that would be able to run as a Valve Box in the living room and constantly trying to balance everything to be at most 350$. I mean, I can't see this being popular or going anywhere if it's above this price at this point, maybe 400$ but still.... 1000$ is nuts. Look at what kind of computer you can buy for 1000$, then look at all the places you can cut the budget down and still have a good gaming machine.

I still have hopes for the real Valve Box, but this thing by Xi3 is too much for too little. They really are banking on people wanting a computer as tiny as possible here aren't they?

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andrewc513

People are still spewing misinformation everywhere. (comments at least, the article is correctly not making a stance)

This is not THE Steam Box. It's "a" Steam Box. This is XI3's take at a console-sized gaming PC that will push the Steam client and big picture, yes, but this is not Valve's baby. Stop bitching about Valve when this is not Valve at hand.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2013/01/09/xi3-steam-box/1

The analogy as the article mentions: "Steam Box" will be a class of systems pushed under an initiative, much like "Ultrabooks".

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Sparx10

So you're telling me that I can get an A10 APU, a proprietary motherboard and case, probably like 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD for JUST $899?

Hm, let's break this down here:
A10-5800K APU (assuming it's even that good) - $134.99
128GB SSD - $140ish
4GB of some value RAM (what, you think they're actually throwing some high quality stuff in there?) - $25

which leaves the case and motherboard at $599.01

except if you assume that the case costs as much as a mini-ITX case at $50 and the motherboard is no more than $150 you're still paying a $399.01 premium for a pile of garbage

What's that? This is an Xi3 product and not an Apple product? Could've had me fooled

I won't even bother doing a price breakdown of the 512GB SSD upgrade

edit: just checked the Xi3 website and it appears it has a whopping 8GB of memory, however the A10 CPU is in fact an A10-4600M, so you can only imagine the amazing performance you'll get out of a mobile APU.

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iceman08

So wait, this is supposed to compete with the next batch of consoles being released this year? this is like Microsoft's $999 surface competing with Android and iOS

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SongEmu

SSD upgrade on the steep side???
Bro. That's on the APPLE SIDE. That's disgustingly bad. I had little interest in Xi3 before, I have less now.

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ronmccord

I went to xi3 website and very little info there. Most glaringly is how will this play games on steam without discrete graphics or is the graphics built into the cpu therefore not being very powerful.
I emailed them to clarify who knows if they will respond. I would be interested in this system primarily because it is pretty neat that you can attach it to the back of your monitor. In my case I have a 30 inch dell monitor and love the idea of an All in One but so far no good options. If this " Steam Box" can handle my gaming needs and has good warranty and support I could see spending 1250 on this vs say an X51 from Alienware or 1500+ systems from Maingear, Digital storm etc and not of of the other boutique builders has a system that will bolt onto the back of my monitor. I love an uncluttered desk so adding a blue tooth mouse and keyboard would be cool. Not everyone wants to build their own system and for me I need warranty and technical support. I like the idea of seperating my gaming system from my work system laptop. Will wait and see what benchmarks and reviews are forthcoming from this box and of course the avalanche of build it yourself comments. If everyone wanted to build it themselves you would not have Alienware, Dell, Falcon Northwest etc. The Reality is most people dont build things themselves but many love technology anyways. I love to read Autoblog and buy new cars but I dont want to build a car myself or maintain the car myself.

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compguytracy

Really Valve, 300 plus for a 256 upgrade? fuck off, i will never buy your closed box system, i built my own thank you very little, oh yeah, a corsair 256, tiger direct,? 150 plus shipping.

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Slurpy

Valve is not involved in this in any way, beyond telling PC manufacturers, "Hey, we're making Steam easy to use on TVs, make some HTPC/gaming boxes!"

Valve isn't building this. Valve isn't subsidizing this. Valve didn't design it, or set the specs. It's not even a "Steam Box." It's just another small form-factor PC.

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compguytracy

Really, cuz Valve didn't green light this, like, hey we're going to build a htpc that is specific to steam without their ok? Right, keep dreaming, Valve had to have some say in this overpriced toy.

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HiGHRoLLeR038

edit:
900 bucks must get you the fancy form factor, because that hardware aint worth the price.
Pardon me, but I would actually prefer a large mechanical hard drive. They should have the option to have mSata SSD caching paired with a 1tb 2.5" HDD. The games I have take up like 400 gigs!

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Sparx10

Didn't you read the article dummy? You're supposed to fork out another $750 to get a 512GB SSD upgrade. /Then/ you can fit your games on there

/sarcasm (and no I'm not calling you a dummy lol)

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kixofmyg0t

This is supposed to save the "glorious PC master race" from the consoles?!?

Even as a AMD I have to say this isn't worth it....

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Peanut Fox

They're asking an awful lot for a setup without a discrete GPU. Not sure who they're trying to appeal to with that price. Someone like Main Gear or Digital Storm could offer a much better product with off the shelf parts in a Mini ITX form factor.

The modular drop in "back plane" is pretty cool.

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Duck Dodgers

Pass...

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GusMaX

that prices and specs, are a joke right for 800+$? right? :O

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