Steam Box Builds

With the release of SteamOS dawning on us shortly, i have sparked (like so many others) an interest in the putting together a Steam Box - Mainly aimed at streaming from my home server and from my pc to the living room, but also for netflix and such things. I am no expert on the subject so i am hoping for answers to the following questions.

- Can i stream from a windows media server to the Linux based SteamOS?

- Can i stream games from my gaming pc to my steam box and have my PC do the heavy lifting?

- Can i somehow set up airplay for "iPhone - pad other such things" on the steam box?

- Is the following hard ware sufficient to be a decent steam box for Streaming(games and media-files) and netflix watching? :  

- Cooler Master Silencio 352 - Case

MSI H61M-P31 G3 - Mother Board

Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz - CPU

Energon EPS-650W CM - PSU

Crucial 8GB (1x8GB) DDR3 - RAM

- Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX640 Overclocked - GPU

- Seagate 1 TB

- Lite-On Blu-ray Combo Internal.

All tips are well met, improvements or such.

Has to be silent - Sexy - Sufficient to Stream and use netflix - And best price/performance possible.  


- I don't know.

- The feature is planned and should be available with SteamOS

- I don't think so, not with stock ios.

Build is weak in general.  I would suggest an Athlon II X4 build, or perhaps an APU.  APU may also be more appealing due to the common space limitations around your media center.

I'm also looking to build a cheap Steambox/HTPC in the near future. Have some of the same questions as well.

In terms of hardware, I'm personally keeping the cost low and going with an APU-only slim micro-ATX or ITX build on the FM2+ platform to allow for future upgrade to the new Kaveri APU's.

My current build list as it stands thus far;

I realize the A6 is only a dual core and no CPU power-house, but for simple gaming the iGPU is quite adequate and will actually play many modern titles at playable frame rates. It won't see too much heavy gaming anyways. Just need something to do the job until the Kaveri APU's hit the shelves. Same thing with the RAM. Just need enough to get by. Will swap that out for 8GB of higher frequency to complement the new APU when the time comes.

Would prefer to go with a mini-ITX form factor, but those motherboards are more expensive and the whole point is to keep the cost down. Maybe if by the time I go to purchase everything the ITX board prices come down, I'll reconsider. Really like the Inwin BP655 case.

If i may, why would i go with an APU instead of a dedicated GPU? - Also pleas Elaborate on why the build is week in general. 

never buy a case with included PSU, never turns out good. I would just wait for Kaveri APU hit the shelf

Build is weak for several reasons: H61 is an older socket (1155) that cannot be upgraded to anything relatively new (Haswell etc.). The i3-3220 is expensive considering what you're getting/using. You're paying for integrated graphics but not using it. 

Low-end GPU's like the GT640 are not worth the money, unless you already have a system and simply need the specific outputs but don't need high performance. Really, they aren't any better than the integrated graphics on the CPU.

An A10-5800k, which costs less than the i3 alone, would out perform the i3 with the GT640 and save you about $100. So right there you can see that an APU (at this performance/price point) is a better choice. Plus an APU build will allow you to use a smaller form factor case because you don't need room for the GPU.


I agree, in general, the included PSU's are usually not great, but replacements can be installed easily enough. There are some exceptions though. A lot of people have used the Inwin BP655 with included PSU without any issues. 

May end up waiting for Kaveri anyways. They're slated to be released later this month, so that's probably the better option. 

That you, i see your point now. Thank you.

So Update, You all have been very helpful.

New Component list:

- Cooler Master Silencio 352 - Case

- Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-HD3 - MB

- AMD APU A6-6400K - APU

- Energon EPS-650W CM - PSU

Crucial 8GB (1x8GB) DDR3 - RAM

Seagate 1 TB - HDD

- Lite-On Blu-ray Combo Internal - Optical Drive


Could still save a few more dollars. You don't need a 650watt PSU for an APU system. Even the new Kaveri APU's won't be that power-hungry. 

Something 80+ bronze in the 400watt range will be more than enough. 

Kaveri is due to hit the shelves later this month. Might be worth it to wait and see how they perform before making anything final.

Yes i agree, i just can't seem to find a silent 400watt PSU in any local C-store. And this is just planning SteamOs Beta doesn't have APU support yet anyway so... waiting for the Kaveri definitely said to release January 14th right?

Yeah, the steam os website says "AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon". So until that happens I won't be buying anything yet. Might as well wait for Kaveri release if you want to stick with a small APU only steambox.

Yes, still i'm not seeing the point of having a highend pc for a steam box when i can use my gaming rigg to do the heavy stuff.

its a nice $450 steambox