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Build Guide

Basic Steam Machine March 2015

by 8BitAron


Revision History


Budget System Under 500 with good potential to overclock and tweak.

Intel Pentium G3258 is a low-priced, multiplier-unlocked, Haswell-based processor that will give the i3 and FX-6300 a run for its money. Few choices on video card but I went with GTX 750ti over the Radeon R7 260X for a few dollars more I it has a lower overall wattage requirement to allow more headroom for upgrades.

Like most builds budget builds out there I will not include Optical drive, I plan to run steamOS where you download all your games.

I will be over clocking with the stock cooler, if I run into problems I can upgrade since currently 125 dollars under budget after rebates. There is also room for mouse,keyboard and monitor & windows7/8 if you shop around for deals.

My Blog about SteamOS http://aron.braggans.com/2015/03/25/steamos-this-gamers-quest-a-steam-machine-builders-guide/

Part List Customize This Part List

Warning: These parts have potential issues/incompatibilities. (See details.)

Estimated Wattage: 202W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $86.95 FREE $86.95 Amazon Buy
Motherboard $42.38 $42.38 OutletPC Buy
Memory $64.99 FREE $64.99 Newegg Buy
Storage $64.59 $64.59 OutletPC Buy
Video Card
Case $41.89 $41.89 OutletPC Buy
Power Supply $46.49 -$10.00 $36.49 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Base Total: $347.29
Mail-in Rebates: -$10.00
Total: $337.29
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Potential Issues / Incompatibilities

  • Some Intel H81 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Haswell Refresh CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions.

Comments Sorted by:

Super_Kami_Guru 2 points 32 months ago

My build came out almost exactly the same!

8BitAron submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Nice, Have a few days to think about this build more I think I would change a few things around.

I think I would ditch the HD and go with a 250gig SSD, the performance gains would would out way the limited storage and then a month or two down the road I would Start watching deals sites for 1TB+ drives


therandomplay 2 points 32 months ago
8BitAron submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Looks solid build, I can assume your wanting to run Crossfire with the chip and discreet video card. If so make sure the board supports it. I think that was a selling feature of the 88x chip but make sure before you buy.

Also I have not tested SteamOS and APU's, I know right out of the gate you cant do the default install.

But you should be able to get it running, Here is a forum post about getting an A-6 Runninghttps://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/626329186837019839/#p1

I will be trying out an APU in the next few weeks once some of my sub $300 build parts show up.

Vuhex 1 point 32 months ago

Excellent build.

kokorooo 1 point 32 months ago

Not bad, same as my build more or less. cheers :D

Milky_Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Amazing build. I might even build the same thing my self

scottola 1 point 32 months ago

I was looking at this build, if I went for it, do I need a CPU cooler or anything else to complete the job?

8BitAron submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

The intel G3258 retail box will come with a cooler, things you will need for OS install is a usb thumb drive, keyboard and mouse.


scottola 1 point 32 months ago

That's great, thanks :)

sbski.venomgt 1 point 32 months ago

I am thinking about building something almost exactly the same, what is the fan/fan controler that you used? Here is my build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/sN9dcf

8BitAron submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

I always use the stock cooler when I build computer, then based on how it overclocks I pick a aftermarket cooler, I also use the board for fan controls.

Wataru77 1 point 31 months ago

Honestly, if you're not overclocking has the fan series is more than enough even a 4th generation i3. But why each with their tastes.

Wickedbill1123 1 point 31 months ago

I would change the 750 ti to the msi r9 270x hawk. It's only 10 bucks more, but you get a boat load more performance.

acrtinker777 1 point 31 months ago

are you actually designing this for SteamOS or is that just a cool name

8BitAron submitter 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

I was designed to run Valves SteamOS, At this point In time I wouldn't recommend SteamOS as your main PC.

I would run Linux or windows 10 TA for the main OS and then run Steam in TV mode

Hope that answered your questions

deadmc26 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

how could you update bios if you doesnt have an haswell (not refreshed) cpu ?

Memo1010 1 point 31 months ago

looks pretty good...for the price that is.

Molestermau5 1 point 31 months ago

nice build all is good, if you do want to change anything maybe an athlon? its up to you in the end, the upgrade ath intel offers is better than having a quad core in the short run

Wataru77 0 points 32 months ago

Hello There are a significant error. CPU + RAM. The CPU Intel Pentium G3258 does not support DDR3-1600, DDR3-1333 maximum.



8BitAron submitter 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

This is fine, the 1600 will down clock to 1333. Buy if you can find 1333 ram at the same price or less go for it.

dacdac 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

G3258 does not support DDR3-1600???????????????????

Celebrating Pentium the G3258 is very special indeed as it is the only Pentium K series CPU. What does that mean? Well it means just like the Haswell K edition CPU's it is unlocked and overclockable. Designed by Intel to celebrate Pentium this CPU is Intel's most overclockable CPU to date and a lot of fun can be had with this processor and its a keen favourite amongst overclockers or those looking for some incredible performance for a low price, especially when overclocked.

Specification:- - Lithography Process: 22 nm - Cores: 2 - Threads: 2 - Frequency: 3.20GHz - Integrated HD Graphics - Cache: 3MB shared L3 - Memory Controller: Dual channel DDR3 1600/1866/2133/2400/2666+ MHz - Socket: LGA1150 - Memory compatibility: All DDR3 1333MHz and above is compatible 7 - 3yr Warranty

Little_Slugger 1 point 31 months ago

He means that the G3258 caps out at 1333 speed. You can use faster RAM, but you'll never see the benefit with that CPU. 1600 has some futureproofing, however, as it is the max speed for the board and later upgrade CPU's will use it.

-From Intel.Arc Website:

Memory Specifications Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB Memory Types DDR3 1333 Max # of Memory Channels 2 Max Memory Bandwidth 21.3 GB/s ECC Memory Supported ‡ Yes

Chubzdoomer 0 points 31 months ago

Combine that with the fact that several modern games don't play nice with the G3258 (stuttering, dropping frames, and sometimes outright refusing to boot), and that makes it a very hard CPU to recommend for serious gamers. Sure, it's cheap and overclocks like a champ, but its limitations outweigh the benefits IMO. I say spend $30-40 more and grab an i3-4150 or 4160, neither of which suffer from the G3258's problems.

Wataru77 1 point 31 months ago

No, sorry. Little_Slugger says it very well too. It's a shame. You can install a ram to 1600, but never used any speed.