Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 9th Nov 2013 18:44 UTC
Games

The recent news, pictures, and reports about the prototype Steam Machine got me thinking. Since the SteamOS platform is a simple x86 computer, without the kind of restrictions that regular consoles come with, you can simply build the prototype Steam Machine today. However, the big issue is that Valve has done some magic to make sure that the hefty processor and videocard are properly cooled in the tiny prototype enclosure.

For years now, I've been looking for a way to build such a powerful PC in such a tiny package. The problem is that building such a small, powerful PC yourself is not easy - especially not for someone like me, who doesn't have the time to keep up with the honestly irresponsibly large amount of options available in the processor, videocard, cooler, and case markets. It's a mumble-jumble of version numbers, and in the case of video cards, cooling designs, card lengths, and god knows what else.

So, I have a simple question. Say I want to build a small, powerful gaming PC like the Steam Machine prototype, using off-the-shelf parts, for a reasonable price (I would say EUR 600-800). It needs to be properly cooled and as silent as possible, and it needs to be a small console form factor - so a small, horizontal case. Building a powerful, cool gaming PC in a tower is easy. Building it small and console-like, however, is not.

So, if you were to build something like that, which components would you pick? I might - no guarantees! - take up the advice given here and actually build it, if I can justify the spending. Even if I don't - it seems like a nice exercise for the PC builders among us. The laptop, smartphone, and tablet explosion has pushed custom PC building to the sidelines, but I still think it's an incredibly fun and satisfying activity - and if you're good enough, it is, most certainly, an art.

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So...
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Nov 2013 16:49 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

So, I've been following some of the recommendations here, and I've got it down do this:

http://s12.postimg.org/fvnsef7v1/build.png

Any thoughts on the liquid cooling? Benefits vs. downsides?

There's no case here - I have a really good full-aluminium Lian Li case already, collecting dust because it isn't being used. I'd need to check if it has the space for the radiator/cooler from the liquid cooling system.

There's no way I can justify spending this amount of money right now (having just bought the iPhone 5S), but it does intrigue me that such a powerful system only costs a mere €700.

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