Steam Machines are officially less than two weeks old, and you can already pick one up for a 40 percent discount. That uh…that doesn’t seem like a great sign, although maybe Valve and Syber are simply trying to get a jump on rock-bottom console prices for Black Friday. Hard to tell.
Regardless of intent, you can buy a fully-fledged Syber Steam Machine today for just $300. Yes, a $300 gaming PC. Who said this hobby needs to be expensive?
Okay, so it’s not exactly a powerhouse of a PC. The baseline Syber Steam Machine, which typically retails for $500, features an Intel i3-4160 processor and an Nvidia GTX 750 with 1GB GDDR5, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. You won’t be running the year’s hottest new games at ultra settings and 60 frames per second on that sort of setup, but the GTX 750 is still no slouch at the 720p and 1080p resolutions common on televisions, as you can see in PCWorld’s massive graphics card roundup. You should easily clear the 30fps rates common on modern consoles, though you may need to tone back some graphics options in the most demanding games.
But it’s a pretty great deal as far as the hardware is concerned. The 750 is a $100 card, the i3-4160 another $100. Combine that with $50 for the Steam Controller and maybe another $50 for RAM and the hard drive? Yeah, you’re pretty much getting the machine for less than the cost of parts, given I haven’t even factored in the case or motherboard. If you wanted to you could even install Windows on it and you’d have a pretty solid introductory-level computer in a small, portable form factor. Not too bad.
Will it beat out spending $300 on an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 on Black Friday? Probably not. Both those systems are designed to be viable gaming platforms for at least another five years, whereas Syber’s Steam Machine is already running borderline outdated hardware. If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly computer though, or don’t mind dialing back the eye candy in more modern games, this might be the cheapest you’ll ever find a preassembled gaming PC.
You’ll have to hurry if you want to take advantage though. Syber warns the deal only lasts until midnight tonight.
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Computers and Peripherals
Hayden writes about games for PCWorld and doubles as the resident Zork enthusiast.
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