iBuyPower’s $499 Steam Machine

posted in: Game News 0


iBuyPower, a boutique builder of PCs, unveiled their $500 Steam Machine today.

I’m not fan of the case but I am fan of the price. Apparently $500 will net you the following specs:

Processor:  a multicore AMD CPU
Graphics:  AMD Radeon R9 270
Communications: Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
Storage: 500GB hard drive
Operating System: Steam OS

Peripheral: Valve controller

The Radeon R9 270 can run Battlefield 4 at 1080p 60FPS and is easily the most costly component of this build at $180 MSRP.

At first I was pleasantly surprised by this revelation but then I took a closer look at these parts. Building a competitive build like this for under $500 is certainly possible if you sacrifice performance and choose lower tier motherboards, memory and storage. They didn’t mention which CPU they’re including in this box which should be an indication of something cheap.

This iBuyPower Steam Machine is a step in the right direction but I can’t help but think people would be better off building a $700 – $900 machine that’s far more powerful and capable. How about something with and Intel CPU, more sizeable hard disk and solid state drive?

It’s fantastic to know you could play Battlefield 4 at 1080p 60FPS with this but how long will that last? How long before this box is outdated by unoptimized console ports? At least with a console, you’re guaranteed performant games for half a decade.

A New King: The AMD Radeon R9 290X

posted in: Technology News 0

If you want the sales, you win the one price/performance ratio war. If you want to win the price/performance war, you put out a blazing fast product at a substantially lower price point.

AMD’s candidate is the Radeon R9 290X. It’s the fastest video card in their lineup and one of two that is not a rebadge. At $549.99 MSRP it is an absolute steal compared to the Geforce Titan which is competitive with. If NVIDIA doesn’t answer back with a few price cuts, AMD will be selling gangbusters.

Unfortunately the new video card isn’t without compromises. Compared to the Geforce Titan, it runs a little hotter (upwards to 95 C), it runs a tad louder and it also drains more power. If those issues are holding you back from purchasing one, that’s alright. Even though it is flawed, the fact that AMD was able to mount pressure against NVIDIA is welcomed.

Now if only they could do the same thing on the processor front.

So RemoteFX didn’t work

windows-logoI missed the small fact that RemoteFX required Enterprise versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8. All the YouTube videos and forum posts that I encountered didn’t explicitly specify that I needed the Enterprise versions. And thus I wasted my time futzing with all this RemoteFX and Hyper-V nonsense.

I could get my hands on a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate but RemoteFX isn’t worth the cost of that.

So what’s next? I have no idea what to do with that Radeon HD 5770 that I have installed in my home server. I could go ahead and do some digital currency mining. I hear PrimeCoin is the new hotness.

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