Steam Machines vs Xbox One and PS4

Steam Machines

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

Sources:
Cinema Blend
Extreme Tech
Futuremark
Extreme Tech

12 Responses to "Steam Machines vs Xbox One and PS4"

  1. Laurent   February 11, 2014 at 3:34 am

    I had Xbox One and now i use a PS4. I strongly recommend Sony’s platform, it’s stronger and easiest to use.

    Reply
  2. Richard A Todd   February 8, 2014 at 6:44 am

    I am not sure all the negativity is correct, these might essentially be PC’s but they are running a custom OS made for gaming so there is that to consider, the major issue with Windows and Mac gaming is the OS is so bloated, the Steam OS does not look like it will be that bloated and since it is built for gaming it will lack all the non-gaming stuff like Office and Adobe so there is a good chance these things will have real potential to take off. Also Steam does have a lot of games PS and Xbox do not, mostly older games and indie titles but still they do have exclusives at least in the console sense. I am not entirely optimistic this will be a big seller but it could have the side effect of taking down Windows as the premier PC gaming platform so things are going to be shaken up one way or the other remember Steam Machines are NOT running Windows, they can run whatever OS you want but they are shipping with the Steam OS, which has yet to be proven as a gaming OS but I know too many PC gamers who download hacked versions of Windows already to remove all the bloatware so I can see there being a market for a gaming optimized OS even for a normal PC gaming rig.

    Reply
  3. ABC   January 20, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Comparing XB1 & PS4 with 7770 & 7850 is lame although they have similar gpu ‘s at their heart but some Us are disabled, memory specs (bandwidths and interface) is different than discrete counterparts. PS4 has access to 8gb gddr5 memory, whereas XB1 has 32mb eSRAM. So a direct comparison is unfair w.r.t. Gpus

    However cpu’s are underpowered w.r.t. Desktop counterparts

    Reply
  4. PS3444566   January 20, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Nobody wants a steam machine, it’ll fail big

    Reply
  5. Rupz007   January 20, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Your forgetting platform specific exclusives!! No matter what and how powerful the hardware is.. if you don’t have that game then there really isn’t anything better than the PS4 or Xbox One. Sorry but you need to let of some steam!

    Reply
  6. Dannyps4   January 19, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Consoles are much better and they always will be yeah the steam might be better in performance wise but I love my ps4 and I will never use a pc to play my games ive always used a console and always will

    Reply
  7. Steam Machine Forum   January 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    In my opinion, the Steam Machines won’t really appeal to most gamers, no matter where they are playing their games currently.

    Reply
  8. Andrew Ihegbu   January 18, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    The truth is that this whole exercise shows that people are still willing to make disingenuous “tests” for money, no matter how blatant and obvious their flaws are to anyone decently informed.

    Let me explain. Does anyone remember when Steam released Half Life 2 and so forth for Mac? They took the same machines (Macs and Hackintoshes), ran both Apple and Redmond’s OS on it and Windows wiped the floor with OS X. Ars did an article 3 years later double checking that things were still the same, and they were. Why? Simple. Optimization.

    The reality is that for every 10 cycles of your processor in your PC, maybe 5 of them are processing your actual game, then only if you’re very lucky and have a well optimised system. The other 5 are doing everything from running one of the 120 processes idling in the background, to converting DirectX code into native GPU code, performing OS context switches (which allow the CPU to process admin commands in kernel mode etc etc), writing to logfiles, maintaining disks and checking that everything is still connected, digging through layer after layer of abstraction and many, many, MANY other things.

    I love my PC and am definitely a member of the master race but I already know that as Carmack once said “for every 2,000 draw calls a PC can make, a console can make 20 to 30 thousand”. Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity, and the lack of having to match up the mishmash of hardware means that it’s very likely that a direct port from the Xbox One would completely chug on PC. (And the reverse would fly on the Xbox).

    You can put numbers in my face all day long. The new gen consoles will take much, much heftier hardware to match from the PC front.

    Reply
    • Andrew Ihegbu   January 18, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      And to clarify. I don’t care what anyone says. Steam Machines are PC’s with pretty bows. Repackaged prebuilt systems.

      Reply
      • Rex   January 18, 2014 at 9:16 pm

        I agree honestly I do, but I am at least glad that gaming in general is spreading more and more into peoples lives, I am a console gamer I always have been (mostly due to financial reasons) and I would hate on PC gaming and vice versa with PC gamers. Hell I did that with the different consoles but I took a step back and appreciated them all for what they are. No matter if its a PC or gaming pc calling itself something else or console, Im just glad there are more options for us to spread and grow as one huge community. haha I know off topic I just really want to be on a comment feed where people aren’t fighting over whats better or worse.

        Reply
  9. streetsports   January 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Just one comment sums it up….”PC gamers already own and love PC’s” ….its like trying to sell a horse buggy to a guy that owns a lambo.

    Reply
  10. Rex   January 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I’m just curious to see how these will sell, the way many viewed Xbox One’s digital only proved that most (not all duh) don’t want an all digital system. I’m thinking these will sell to PC gamers primarily or people looking for a PC. Just don’t like the controller, I need my analog sticks haha.

    Reply

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