The Steam Link is a counterpoint to the Steam Machines that were announced previously. Unlike a Steam Machine, HTPC running Steam, or a PC running SteamOS, Steam Link will not run any games. Instead, it leverages your existing desktop through Steam In-Home Streaming. This allows the Steam Link to be small, low power, and low cost.
I recently acquired a new desktop and before I started loading Linux on it I decided to check out Windows 8 and retry Steam In-Home Streaming. The machine has the following specs. It idles around 70W at the Windows login screen.
- Intel i7-3770
- Asus Sabertooth Z77
- Corsair Vengeance 8GB
- EVGA GTX 770 SC
- Corsair HX 850
- Corsair Obsidian 650D
- Western Digital Black 1TB 3.5″ HDD
Surprisingly, Windows recognized all of my hardware. Unfortunately, it did take several hours to download and install all of the updates. Once the updates were finished I was able to install Steam and quickly download several games.
I’ve been using Steam for some time now. While it is a form of DRM, it actually provides benefits to the end user unlike most DRM. Since I had a spare machine I decided to give SteamOS a try.
I am using the same machine that I have installed Arch on. I swapped the SSD for a 500GB hard drive.
- AMD FX-6300
- 2 x 8GB DDR3 1333
- WD Blue 500GB 2.5″ HDD
- Radeon HD 4350
I am unable to use the regular SteamOS installer as my machine does not support UEFI. Fortunately, Valve provides a SteamOS iso that supports BIOS. Unfortunately, the first installation did not complete. The installer gave me an error message that simply said the base system could not be installed. Upon further research, I determined that SteamOS only contained the latest video drivers. My HD 4350 was not supported.