Maingear Announces AMD-Based Steam Machines
The Spark Steambox PC is unbelievably tiny at just 4.5 x 4.23 x 2.34 inches (WxDxH) with a chassis that weighs less than a pound. The idea with the extremely SFF machine is that you can more easily incorporate it into any multimedia environment or take it with you to a LAN party--which is a nice change of pace for those who have ever schlepped a 20-pound beast of a gaming rig.
The Spark Steambox rocks a four-thread AMD A8-5575M (2.1-3.1GHz) processor with a discrete AMD Radeon R9 M275X graphics card. You can configure a Spark machine with up to 16GB of DDR3 (1600MHz) RAM, up to 256GB mSATA SSD with a 2.5-inch HDD tray (supporting SATA 6Gbps), and there are two expansion slots--an mSATA slot and a half-size mini-PCIe. The latter is host to an 802.11a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.0/3.0 combo module.
The Spark offers a gigabit LAN port, Realtek ALC269 audio, a 135W PSU, and runs both SteamOS and Windows. (You can opt for Windows 7, Professional, Ultimate, or Windows 8.1.) Ports include HDMI-out, mini DisplayPort, four USB 3.0, audio, and a Kensington Lock.
Maingear has not shared pricing information yet, but the company stated that among the various configurations, they will be “affordable”. The Maingear Spark Steambox will be available in mid- to late Q1 2014.
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