Steam Machines Worse Than PC Gaming Systems, Benchmark Reveals

Steam Machine

After years of anticipation, Valve has finally launched its Steam Machine, a Linux-based gaming console that is dedicated to running the games available on the Steam gaming network.

While the new console has been highly anticipated, benchmark results suggest that perhaps the console isn’t as high-tech as some users might have wanted. In fact, SteamOS, the software running on the console, is reportedly lacking compared to Windows 10.

“It seems that choosing SteamOS over a Windows box means sacrificing a significant amount of performance on many (if not most) graphically intensive 3D games,” reveals Ars Technica’s analysis. “That’s a pretty big cost to bear, considering that Alienware sells its Windows-powered, console-style Alpha boxes at prices that are only $50 cheaper than identically outfitted SteamOS machines.”

For the report, Geekbench 3 was used, showing that a Windows 10 PC came out on top in straight performance, but the site noted that SteamOS remained “within the same order of power magnitude.”

Of course, when it comes to gaming, the effects of the performance difference were much more pronounced.

Using a few fairly graphics-intense games, Ars found that frame rates were far lower on SteamOS. In fact, on SteamOS, there was as much as 21 to 58 percent fewer frames per second, which is a fairly significant hit. Even games developed by Valve itself suffered big hits in frame rate on the console.

There was only one game that showed a comparable performance, which was Left 4 Dead 2.

Ars also did not test newer games, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Fallout 4. These were not tested because Linux ports for the games have not been released yet.