CPU for steam machine?

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CPU for steam machine?

Postby Torvalds » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:04 am

Hi. I'm going to build my own steam machine for the living room/bedroom. The CPUs in the ones you can buy made seem crap which may save me some money.

1. Why is it okay to have a crappy cpu in one of these?
2. Can you please recommend me a crappy cpu for mine?

Cheers :D
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Re: CPU for steam machine?

Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:25 pm

Welcome to Motherboards.org.
Some more details on what you want your system to do.. just be a 'terminal' or a ''server' unit?
The choice of an AMD or Intel processor?
How large do you want the unit to be? (Case size)
Video on board or a video card? How many HDMI feeds?
And what is the budget?
Any CPU is not really 'crappy', more tailored to an application or use. There are great differences in a CPU line.. from single-core to multi-core, and the amount of L2 cache memory.. plus optimal speed.
The L2 cache stores program instructions to reduce the frequent reads of programming commands. The more, the better.
A multi-core CPU at slower speed can usually perform better than a single-core CPU at higher speed.
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Re: CPU for steam machine?

Postby Torvalds » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:14 am

Hello!

Well I want it for a gaming mini itx gaming computer for the living room. I have a GTX 970 at home here already for it. It's a full size card but there are definitely small cases that it will fit into .

From what I've seen steam machines generally have lower end cpu's which is why I'm wondering why that is? Mostly Core i3 and core i5. And will I be able to use one in mine or go up a bit higher. This will only be used for gaming.
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Re: CPU for steam machine?

Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:48 am

That GTX 970 card will need a lot of PSU power. And gives off a lot of waste heat. The PSU should be no less than 600 watts, considering an ITX setup. But the case may have insufficient air flow, and could be borderline as to temperature limits. The CPU and hard drive also give off a lot of waste heat.
As to using a better CPU in the setup, check with the manufacturer's QVL (qualified vendor list) as to CPU compatibility and BIOS versions. Memory the same. Gaming does put a heavier work load on a system.
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Re: CPU for steam machine?

Postby Mr T » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:32 pm

As Karl said get a beefy PSU, and yes it will fit in a decent Mini itx case such as this or this - both take a full size ATX PSU, which is handy running a decent video card for a) output power b)connections (Modular is good as you can ditch unwanted cables) and c) are easy to replace.

Onto the CPU SteamOS thing... SteamOS is not windows, it doesn't have the overheads that M$ windows needs to run, it puts a lot out to the GPU, so you can use a crappy CPU. I am running Steam very adequately on an AMD Athlon 5350 and it runs very well with an AMD R7 250. It runs fine on an old AMD 939 setup (cannot remember CPU, but GPU is an nvidia 550). And I also have it running on a Celeron 2Ghz with another R7 250. So to me a big CPU is not the big issue, the video card is. If you want to keep costs down look at an FM2+ setup. If you want to move up, look at an intel i3. My main Steam machine is and AMD FX4100, 8Gb of RAM and a GTX 650 - runs Metro fine with all the bells and whistles.. And it is very much wothwhile getting a steam controller, very good.
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