Futuremark Studios has just published their benchmarking results from testing the latest Steam Machines allowing a comparison to the latest gaming systems from Microsoft, the Xbox One, and Sony’s Playstation 4 (PS4). Futuremark develops the première 3DMark software suite that logs data while putting hardware through its paces by running a series of tests.
The published tests did come with a disclaimer issued by Futuremark stating that the company estimated 3DMark Fire Strike scores for every configuration and confirmed hardware specifications. Their estimates were also based on PCs running the Windows OS with each machine running similar hardware. Futuremark also made it known that slightly different performances may occur under the Linux-based Steam OS hardware drivers, but any relative differences should be the same.
The results of the test on any Steam Machines that have prices allowed Futuremark to calculate the value a consumer would receive in performance vs. the price that a consumer pays for the machine. The numbers that are published on Futuremark’s web site are summarized and will be updated on a regular basis as new hardware details are revealed to the company.
In order to compare the Steam Machines to the Xbox One and PS4, one can compare the benchmarking of two of the configurations for the CyberpowerPC. To compare the AMD-equivalent Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) specifications, the CyberpowerPC that ran the 7770 video card can be compared to the Xbox One, and the CyberpowerPC running the 7870 can be compared to the PS4. Priced at $120, the 7770 had a 3DMark score of 33, while the $200 7870 landed a score of 40.
The numbers published by Futuremark are consistent with other benchmarking companies such as Extreme Tech. Extreme Tech’s data shows the PS4 being nearly 50 percent more powerful than the Xbox One based on the GPU. In some cases the PS4 out-performed the Xbox One by having double the pixel resolution. In some cases this was due to the PS4 running a game in 1080p, while the Xbox One running the game in 720p. In some rare instances the Xbox One ran the game in a bizarre 900p resolution.
The Steam Machines obviously still out-perform the gaming consoles in an equivalent GPU comparison, but the Central Processing Unit (CPU) benchmarks set the consoles even further apart. The CPUs in the gaming consoles are eighth generation CPUs and they cannot come close to the performance of the latest i7 processor. Intel’s i7 CPU is nearly double the performance of the CPUs in the Xbox One and PS4, and that comparison is only a single core of the i7. The latest codename Haswell or Ivy Bridge-E i7 family of CPUs contain either 4 or 6 cores making the i7 CPU 8-12 times faster than the CPUs in the consoles.
Many gaming enthusiasts will likely complain that the benchmark results of the Steam Machines being compared to the Xbox One and the PS4 are like comparing apples and oranges with the Steam Machines winning hands down. However, when it comes to performance vs. price, the Xbox One and the PS4 still offer the highest ranking for value for what the consumer receives in their gaming investment.
By Brent Matsalla