Zotac Steam Machine ZBOX NEN SN970 Review

What is SteamOS?

Zotac Steam Machine SN970 Review

What is SteamOS?

SteamOS is Valve's own distribution of Linux, it is based on Debian 8 and has been optimized and refined over the past few years to deliver the PC gaming experience in the living room.

This OS is entirely free to install, both for system manufacturers and home PC builders alike, giving the OS a great Value proposition when compared to Windows and offering a gaming experience on Linux which is much easier to achieve than on other Linux distributions. 

Below is what Valve have to say about the OS on their own Website;


So, what is SteamOS?

SteamOS is a public release of our Linux-based operating system. The base system draws from Debian 8, code named Debian Jessie. Our work builds on top of the solid Debian core and optimizes it for a living room experience. Most of all, it is an open Linux platform that leaves you in full control. You can take charge of your system and install new software or content as you want.

So, what is it not?

We expect most SteamOS users to get SteamOS preinstalled on a Steam Machine. Althogh we have made SteamOS freely available for anybody to install, the installation experience is not intended for a non-technical user.

Most importantly, SteamOS only supports a certain set of hardware (you can read more in our FAQ). We will add support for newer hardware over time, but we have no plans to add more support for older hardware.

Users should not consider SteamOS as a replacement for their desktop operating system. SteamOS is being designed and optimized for the living room experience.

Is all of SteamOS open source software?

No. SteamOS ships with our Steam Client program, which is proprietary software, in addition to proprietary 3rd party drivers. In the SteamOS standard configuration, the Steam Client program serves as a user interface and provides connectivity to our Steam online services. That being said, you can still access the standard Linux desktop.

Where can I find SteamOS source code?

SteamOS uses the Advanced Packaging Tool system (APT) to manage software on a SteamOS machine. The SteamOS APT repository is located here.


Zotac Steam Machine NEN SN970 Review  

Can I install Windows on a Steam Machine?

Yes, you can Install Windows on a Steam Machine. Both Windows and SteamOS/Linux use ordinary PC hardware and differ only on the software side.

One thing to note is that given the fact that SteamOS is a free operating system, it may be possible to get a cheap Windows 10 key and a Steam Machine to get a Windows based machine for a more affordable price. The Zotac NEN SN970 has came with Windows drivers for this device, so the possibility is definitely there.  


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Most Recent Comments

20-11-2015, 04:33:27

Impressive! I can honestly see these machines becoming the death of consoles in the future, or at least the kick up the back side that Sony or Microsoft need to actually make games consoles attractive to the enthusiasts among us, but then again what would be the point in a console that has a 12 year shelf life, where's the profit in that.Quote

20-11-2015, 04:35:04

Can anyone say Console Killer Quote

20-11-2015, 05:19:25

Originally Posted by King of Old School View Post
Can anyone say Console Killer
It's £799.99

That's an Xbox One, A PS4 and £200 for games.

It's not killing anything. I can build a faster machine that is slightly bigger for less than this.Quote

20-11-2015, 05:28:01

Originally Posted by stiff77 View Post
It's £799.99

That's an Xbox One, A PS4 and £200 for games.

It's not killing anything. I can build a faster machine that is slightly bigger for less than this.
Aye but PC games are cheaper and have many many early access sites offering better prices compared to the mandatory £49.99 console game RRP, no online subscription fees, Steam library far out wieghs the level of titles available on consoles, with those savings alone it's a bonus. Admittedly Yes you could indeed build a Steam machine yourself for less and greater spec so again win win. I can still personnaly see Steam machines killing the console market.Quote

20-11-2015, 07:15:17

I would love to see some benchmarks on this machine running Windows 10. I seriously consider buying it (I dig the form factor and I own and love a Zotac HTPC) for 1080p gaming on a TV, but I don't intend to ruin my experience with a subpar OS (and gamepad - Xbox One controller with a dongle is a must).Quote

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