When Valve unveiled their specs for their beta Steam Machines, it’s easy to see just how powerful they are. After all, these particular computers contained anything up to an i7 processor as well as an Nvidia Titan GPU! But there has been a noticeable absence from these prototype machines: none of them have any AMD hardware in them.
Does that mean no Steam Machines will come made with AMD parts in them? According to Valve that’s not the case. Doug Lombardi, Valve’s PR guy, had this to say: “Last week, we posted some technical specs of our first wave of Steam Machine prototypes. Although the graphics hardware that we’ve selected for the first wave of prototypes is a variety of Nvidia cards, that is not an indication that Steam Machines are Nvidia-only. In 2014, there will be Steam Machines commercially available with graphics hardware made by AMD, Nvidia, and Intel. Valve has worked closely together with all three of these companies on optimizing their hardware for SteamOS, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.”
And really, it wouldn’t even matter even if Valve wasn’t making any Steam Machines with AMD parts. Part of the whole reason of the Steam Machine is that it works a lot like a computer, especially when it comes to swapping out hardware. I just wouldn’t really make sense to talk about how the Steam Machine is meant to be customized and yet have it lock out one of the biggest manufacturers of graphics cards out there.