Valve recently made its Debian Linux-based SteamOS available to download free of charge in beta form and though it's only been available for a short time, there are already some benchmarks to digest. The benchmarks come courtesy of the folks at Phoronix who tested more than half a dozen Nvidia graphics cards ranging from the GeForce GTX 550 Ti on up the GeForce GTX 780 Ti.
An Intel Core i7 4770K sets up the foundation of the testbed, which also includes an ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme v1.0 motherboard, 16GB of RAM, 150GB Western Digital hard drive, and onboard audio.
While it's early, the preliminary results look pretty impressive. In Unigine Tropics v1.3 running at 2560x1600, the testbed benched anywhere from 32.2fps (GeForce GTX 550 Ti) to 170.55fps (GeForce GTX 780 Ti). All in all, the testbed put up some high numbers across the board, serving as an indication that SteamOS isn't gimping performance.
These are just some reference benchmarks, however, and over the course of the next few days, Phoronix will look to compare the results with other platforms. That's when things should really get interesting.