Alienware Alpha Steam Machine gaming PC revealed

alienware alpha steam machineAlienware has just unveiled its entry in the living room-based Steam Machine lineup.

The Alienware Alpha gaming console is a gaming PC designed to bring your favourite Steam games into the living room — we’ll just ignore the fact that neither SteamOS nor the Steam Controller is ready yet.

The Alienware Alpha kicks off at $550 for one packing an Intel Core i3 Haswell processor, 4GB of DDR3 desktop RAM running at 1600MHz, and a custom-built Nvidia Maxwell-based GPU, based on mobile architecture. Alienware states that the chip will have 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 video memory.

Port-wise the Alpha is kitted out with HDMI In and Out, for direct HDMI pass-through, as well as two USB 2.0 ports in the front of the unit and two USB 3.0 ports in the back.

As with other Alienware products parts such as the CPU, storage, and RAM can be user upgraded. The GPU (graphics processing unit) remains the same throughout though.

Alienware says the Alpha will ship in time for the 2014 holiday season (in time for Christmas), and include a Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Controller and receiver in lieu of Valve’s Steam Controller, which has been delayed until 2015.

The Alpha will also ship with Windows 8.1, and Alienware has developed a custom user interface for the system that will run on top of the OS, much like Steam Big Picture mode works on a television.

If you want a mouse or keyboard you’ll have to sort your own out.
alienware alpha back and angleThere’s also the Alienware X51 if you’re wanting the brand and form-factor but more choice.

Alienware Alpha specs:
Exclusive Alienware Alpha Console-mode UI
 Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (Black) (with receiver)
 Intel Core i3 ‘Haswell’ based processor
 4GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz Memory
 Custom-built NVIDIA “Maxwell” based GPU, with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 high-speed memory
 Dual-band Wireless-AC 1x1 with Bluetooth 4.0
 HDMI Out: Uncompressed 8 Channel Audio & support for 4k content
 HDMI In: Direct HDMI pass-through
 Gigabit Ethernet
 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
 Optical Audio Out
 Windows 8.1 64 bit
Alienware will also offer custom-built configurations of the Alpha, including:
Intel Core i5 & i7 ‘Haswell’ based processors
 8GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz Dual-Channel Memory
 Dual-band Wireless-AC 2x2 with Bluetooth 4.0