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Steam Hardware Available Now

Valve today announces the official launch of its line of Steam Hardware devices in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. A leading platform for PC, Mac, and Linux games, Steam offers more than 6,000 titles to millions of gamers around the world. The Steam Controller, Steam Link, and Steam Machines are a collection of hardware devices designed to expand the Steam gaming experience into any room in the home.

Earlier this fall, Valve announced dedicated Steam Sections in most GameStop, GAME UK, and EB Games stores. The sections will feature the Steam Hardware devicesas well as a variety of Steam prepaid cards. In addition, Steam Machines will be available from their respective PC manufacturers, and the Steam Controller and Link are available via Amazon and directly from Steam.

ZOTAC Unveils the NEN Steam Machine

ZOTAC International, a global innovator and manufacturer of graphics card and ZBOX Mini PCs, makes the case for small form factor gaming with NEN, the most powerful small form Steam Machine. ZOTAC taps into NEN to draw out a truly powerful Steam Machine with minimalism, portability, and an all new design for a new way to game.

ZOTAC, the original Mini PC manufacturer, has been producing Mini PCs since 2008 and are continuing to innovate with more power, higher efficiency and smaller size. With the recent release of the MAGNUS, the most powerful small form barebones Gaming Mini PC, ZOTAC is pushing their momentum forward to unleash an even more potent machine.

NVIDIA Announces "Two Times The Adventure" Game Bundle

NVIDIA announced its latest game bundle for buyers of its GeForce GTX 900 series graphics products. Called "Two Times the Adventure" bundle, it includes two of the year's most anticipated PC titles - "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt," and "Batman: Arkham Knight." New buyers of GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970 graphics cards, from participating retailers, will receive game coupons to both the games, which can be redeemed on Steam. New buyers of GeForce GTX 960, and notebooks with GeForce GTX 980M and GTX 970M, will receive game codes to just "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt."

Codes for both games, if activated on Steam before their launch dates, will count as pre-orders, so you can pre-load and start playing on the launch dates. Both games come with NVIDIA's GameWorks varnish, which enables a few GeForce-exclusive eye-candy, such as HairWorks (GPU-accelerated hair effects) in The Witcher 3, PhysX-accelerated destruction and cloth effects, and HBAO+ in both games. The Witcher 3 releases on May 19, and Batman: Arkham Knight on June 23.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces GR6 Gaming Desktop

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the ROG GR6 ultra-compact desktop, a console-inspired 2.5-liter PC with supreme gaming performance. GR6 is powered by a 5th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics for Full HD gaming. It features 8GB of DDR3L memory (upgradable to 16GB), and hard disk or solid state drives (SSD). GR6 also has built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1. GR6 features a matte-black finish, Mayan-inspired detailing, and a pulsing ROG logo. It is ideal for gaming in the living room or bedroom, and is portable enough to take to LAN parties.

AMD's Excavator Core is Leaner, Faster, Greener

AMD gave us a technical preview of its next-generation "Carrizo" APU, which is perhaps the company's biggest design leap since "Trinity." Built on the 28 nm silicon fab process, this chip offers big energy-efficiency gains over the current-generation "Kaveri" silicon, thanks to some major under-the-hood changes.

The biggest of these is the "Excavator" CPU module. 23 percent smaller in area than "Steamroller," (same 28 nm process), Excavator features a new high-density library design, which reduces die-area of the module. Most components are compacted. The floating-point scheduler is 38% smaller, fused multiply-accumulate (FMAC) units compacted by 35%, and instruction-cache controller compacted by another 35%. The "Carrizo" silicon itself uses GPU-optimized high-density metal stack, which helps with the compaction. Each "Excavator" module features two x86-64 CPU cores, which are structured much in the same way as AMD's previous three CPU core generations.

DeepCool Announces the Captain Line of Liquid AIO CPU Coolers

DeepCool launched the Captain series of liquid AIO CPU Coolers, under its GamerStorm brand. The series debuts with the Captain 120, featuring a 120 x 120 mm radiator; and the Captain 240, featuring a 240 x 120 mm one. The cooler is characterized by a unique pump-block design that lets you visualize the coolant flow. The pump-block's design appears to be in-line with that of DeepCool's SteamCastle series of cases. Its block features a copper 0.2 mm micro-fin lattice. A 120 mm FDB fan with PWM control, is included, and ventilates the radiator. The cooler supports all modern CPU socket types, including LGA2011v3, LGA1150, AM3+, and FM2+. The company didn't reveal pricing.

New 3DMark Sky Diver Benchmark Available

Hot on the heels of all the hardware announcements at Computex, our new 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark test is ready to download and use today. Every single 3DMark user - more than a million and counting - will get Sky Diver as a free update. For new users, Sky Diver is unlocked and ready to use in all editions of 3DMark. And for a limited time, you can buy 3DMark Advanced Edition, which includes more tests, custom settings and other features, from Steam for only $9.99 (60% off).

Sky Diver is a new DirectX 11 benchmark test for gaming laptops and mid-range PCs. It's ideal for testing mainstream graphics cards, mobile GPUs, integrated graphics and other systems that cannot achieve double-digit frame rates in the more demanding Fire Strike test.
DOWNLOAD: 3DMark v1.3.708 with Sky Diver

In Win Designs Chassis for Komplett Steam Machine

In Win showed off its big OEM catch at Computex. The company supplies the case for Norwegian online retailer's own 2014 Steam Machine. The case, built mostly with brushed metal, is roughly the size of next-generation game console. Under its hood are an Intel Core i7-4790 quad-core prorcessor, MSI B85I motherboard, NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Black graphics, 16 GB Kingston-made DDR3 memory, 480 GB Kingston-made SSD storage, 802.11 ac WLAN, gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF output, dual-link DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI from the graphics card, and pre-installed SteamOS operating system.

Single R9 295X2 Handles Lichdom: Battlemage at 3x Ultra HD Eyefinity

One of AMD's lead testers, Jason Megit tweeted these pictures of a gaming PC build running Lichdom: Battlemage at "super high resolution." How high? 11520 x 2160 pixels, or a 3-display Eyefinity setup using Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) monitors. You might think the system must be running three or four top of the line cards, given that Lichdom: Battlemage is driven by CryEngine 3, the same one that powers Crysis 3, from the makers of some of the most GPU-intensive games; but it isn't. The game was running on a single Radeon R9 295X2 dual-GPU graphics card. Lichdom: Battlemage is currently available as a pre-alpha, if you pre-order the game for $19.99 on Steam. From the looks of it, Lichdom: Battlemage is shaping up to be a modern-day Hexen.

Crytek to Unveil CryEngine 3 for Linux at GDC'14

Linux fans could soon cross the biggest checkbox on their lists, which reads "can it run Crysis?" Game developer Crytek is poised to reveal a variant of CryEngine 3 with native support for Linux, at GDC 2014, slated for next week. The move should pave the way for Linux (catalyzed by Steam OS) ports of games such as Crysis 3 and Nexuiz. It remains to be seen how its publisher EA handles the development.

While Nexuiz developer IllFonic won't have problems distributing their game over Steam, perhaps even with SteamPlay support, Crytek has to deal with EA. Crysis 3 is distributed over EA's Origin platform, and the publisher has no concrete plans for an Origin client for Linux. So what's the big hurry in porting CryEngine 3 to Linux? Perhaps Crytek's other, non-gaming clients hold the answer. CryEngine 3 powers "serious games," military combat simulators, civil aviation simulators, etc. Of these, the military would want to run simulators on open-source operating systems (so it could scrutinize the code). It could hence help Crytek to have a Linux version of CryEngine 3.

Source: Crytek

Mantle supporting Nitrous Engine Demo Released on Steam

While you are waiting patiently for AMD to get their Mantle drivers out of the lab and into gamers' hands, you may want to head over to Steam as Oxide Games and Publisher Stardock have released a free demo of their Nitrous Engine there, which supports Mantle.

The demo is called "Star Swarm Benchmark", and is a real-time showcase for what the engine is capable of doing. The demo shows two artificial intelligence controlled fleets of starships battling it out. The developers want you to know that the demo is not a deterministic simulation, and repeated runs may produce varying benchmark results due to the highly threaded nature of the Nitrous Engine.

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition gets Online Deathmatch and Coop Modes

Hail to the King, Baby! PC gamers, which include all you Mac and Linux folks, can get your game on as the most recent update for Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition now brings both online multiplayer deathmatch (Duke Match) and a cooperative online mode for up to eight players to the first-person shooter. The game also now supports cross-platform play on the PC, Mac and Linux versions.

Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition includes the Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition, which is all four officially released episodes, Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach, Duke it Out in D.C, Duke: Nuclear Winter, and the classic version of Duke Nukem 3D which runs in DOSBox.

Gigabyte BRIX Pro Detailed

Picture this - an NUC-like desktop so powerful for its size, that it qualifies to be a Steam Machine by Valve. The new BRIX Pro from Gigabyte is its most powerful BRIX desktop. Measuring all of 114.4mm x 111.4mm x 62 mm, the BRIX Pro tucks in some powerful hardware. To begin with, it features an off-spec 100 x 105 mm motherboard, which seats an Intel Core i7-4770R quad-core processor. Based on the big 22 nm Haswell silicon, it features Intel's Iris Pro 5200 graphics, which runs 40 compute units, and an L4 cache.

The Core i7-4770R chip inside the BRIX Pro is wired to up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3-1600 memory. The only internal storage option is an mSATA 6 Gb/s slot. Network connectivity includes gigabit Ethernet, and Wi-Fi + Bluetooth using an optional mPCIe card. The rest of its connectivity includes a total of four USB 3.0 ports, mini-DisplayPort and HDMI display outputs, and 6-channel HD audio. Gigabyte didn't finalize pricing.

iBuyPower Announces SBX Steam Machine

There are very few instances where one product category can leap frog over to another and make a profound impact. Today, iBUYPOWER, together with Valve, is making one such leap. Introducing the iBUYPOWER SBX Steam machine, an ultra-simplified system designed to do one thing: entertain. Melding together the simplicity of a traditional game console, but harnessing power usually available to only high-end desktop PCs, iBUYPOWER is able to usher in both performance and content unheard of in the living room space.

Designed in Los Angeles, iBUYPOWER labored to create a highly tuned and optimized system that would deliver a sustainable 60 frames-per second gaming experience at true high-definition resolutions. Powered by multi-core processors in both AMD and Intel flavors and paired with the latest in graphics technology from AMD, customers will be able to jump a full generation ahead of the latest game consoles.

Alienware and Valve Revolutionize PC Gaming with Alienware Steam Machine

Alienware, a pioneer in specialty high-performance PC gaming systems, is once again driving innovation in PC gaming. Alienware and Valve, the developers of the world's largest online gaming platform and the creators of the Half-Life franchise, have been collaborating on designing the first dedicated Alienware Steam Machine gaming console.

Alienware designed its upcoming Steam Machine to deliver the benefits of PC gaming in an incredibly small footprint, providing the best balance between size, performance and aesthetics for the living room gaming experience. Its sleek design is both distinctively Alienware yet unobtrusive in a media cabinet. The Alienware Steam Machine echoes the build quality and advanced engineering that are the hallmarks of the brand including a custom-built chassis to provide optimal thermal and acoustic management for a gaming console destined for the living room.

Valve Releases First Generation Steam Machines

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Dota 2, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced over one dozen Steam Machine designs now in production from leading manufacturers and targeted for release in 2014. The lineup of Steam Machines announced today offers a wide variety of price and performance options made possible by the Steam Machine's open design, with systems starting as low as $499 and top end systems rivaling today's bleeding edge gaming PCs.

Every Steam Machine includes an innovative Steam Controller designed for use with a wide variety of game genres, and is powered by the SteamOS, a custom OS built atop Linux. "The first generation Steam Machines offers something for every gamer, which is a critical part of extending Steam into the living room," said Gabe Newell of Valve. "With over 3,000 games and more than 65 million gamers on Steam, it's important to offer gamers a variety of Steam Machines that allow them to select what makes the most sense for them."

CYBERPOWERPC Debuts Steam OS Powered Gaming System at CES

CyberPower Inc., a global manufacturer of custom gaming PCs, promises your living room will never be the same in 2014 when it debuts its stylish Steam Machine series at CES.

Powered by Valve Corporation's Steam OS, the CYBERPOWERPC Steam Machine will feature full desktop PC performance in an advance stylish form. The revolutionary Steam OS will give you full control over your Steam game library straight from your living room. All Steam Machines will run the latest version of Steam OS, an open source Linux-based operating system developed specifically for gaming and other entertainment. The new systems will be capable of running hundreds of games currently in the Steam catalog, as well as upcoming titles from other developers.

Digital Storm to Showcase Steam Machine at CES 2014

Two weeks after iBuyPower announced that it is building a Steam Machine another custom PC maker has revealed plans to release a gaming solution running Valve's Steam OS. Fremont-based Digital Storm is the latest Steam OS recruit and its plan is to unveil a Steam Machine next month at CES 2014.

Digital Storm's first Steam Machine is supposed to start at $1,469 (iBuyPower's offering has a base price tag of $499) and it will feature a liquid cooled Intel processor, an NVIDIA graphics card (up to a GeForce GTX Titan), and up to a 700 W power supply. As an option, Digital Storm will turn the Steam Machine into a dual-boot solution, loaded both with Steam OS and Microsoft Windows. More info coming at CES.

Source: The Verge

PCMark 8 Now Available on Steam

PCMark 8, the latest release in our series of popular benchmarking tools, will be available to download and buy from Steam within the next few hours. PCMark 8 combines performance benchmarking, battery life testing, a dedicated benchmark for SSDs and HDDs, and real-world tests using popular applications from Adobe and Microsoft. It's an essential tool for anyone who wants to get the most out of their hardware.

PCMark 8 includes five new benchmark tests, each designed around a typical use scenario. Choose the benchmark that best matches your needs, or run all five for a complete picture of your PC's performance. Each benchmark produces a score you can use to compare systems as well as detailed results you can use to gain a deep understanding of system performance.

NVIDIA Metro: Last Light Offer Goes Live

NVIDIA is giving away free copies of the upcoming survival horror FPS Metro: Last Light, with select performance-thru-extreme segment GeForce GTX graphics cards. These include the GeForce GTX 660, GTX 660 Ti, GTX 670, GTX 680, GTX 690, and GTX TITAN. The offer is valid on participating NVIDIA add-in card partners, and is valid only on qualifying graphics cards purchased on or after today (Apr 16, 2013). Partners will be including coupons either inside the product package, or with the retailer invoice, which can be redeemed on Steam to count as a pre-order. At some point as the game's May 14 launch date approaches, you should be able to pre-load the game, and begin playing once it's released.

Xi3 and Valve to Unveil a Xi3 Development Stage Computer Game System at CES 2013

Xi3Corporation today announced a development stage system optimized for computer gameplay on large high-definition television monitors.

Housed in the uniquely shaped, grapefruit-size Xi3 Modular Computer chassis, this new development stage product is being showcased this week at the 2013 International CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada in booth #20425 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Xi3's new development stage product is designed specifically to support both Steam and its Big Picture mode for residential and LAN party computer gaming on larger high-def screens.

Steam Community Market Now In Beta

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today introduced the Steam Community Market, now in Beta with Team Fortress 2.

The Community Market is designed to expand the Steam Economy beyond trading. Players are now enabled to buy and sell in-game items with other players for Steam Wallet funds.

"With over a half million trades made every week, the trading system has been very successful," said Tony Paloma of Valve. "Extending game economies beyond trades and giving players a way to turn gameplay into funds for new items and games is a key component for moving that success forward."

Steam Big Picture Available Now

Valve today announced the public release of Big Picture, Steam's new mode that lets gamers access all of their favorite Steam games on a television from the comfort of their sofa. Big Picture has been designed to be used with a traditional gamepad, while also fully supporting keyboard and mouse input.

To celebrate the public launch of Big Picture, over thirty controller-friendly games will be on sale from now until December 10, with savings up to 75% off.

ASUS Extends Assassin's Creed III Bundle to GTX 670 and GTX 660 DirectCu II

ASUS extended its Assassin's Creed III game bundle to include GeForce GTX 670 DirectCu II 4 GB (model: GTX670-DC2G-4GD5) and GeForce GTX 660 DirectCu II 2GB (model: GTX660-DC2TG-2GD5). The two dual-slot DirectCu II cooler-equipped graphics cards ship with coupons for the game that can be redeemed on Steam. The GTX670-DC2G-4GD5 packs 4 GB of memory, 915/980/6008 MHz clock speeds (core/boost/memory), while the GTX660-DC2TG-2GD5 ships with 2 GB of memory, and factory-overclocked 1072/1137/6108 MHz clock speeds.

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