Alienware Steam Machines Can't Be Upgraded

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Alienware Steam Machines Can't Be Upgraded

Alienware Steam Machine

Alienware's Steam Machines won't be upgradeable or customizable, but new models will be released every year to keep up with the demands of new games.

One of the most common questions asked about Steam Machines is, "How are they different from a PC?" Alienware has offered some insight into one big difference in a recent chat with TrustedReviews, revealing that just as with consoles, owners won't be able to upgrade their Steam Machines.

"There will be no customization options, you can't really update it," Alienware General Manager Frank Azor said. He added that the platform will "continue to evolve," however, through annual releases of new models. "Lifecycle-wise, consoles update every fix, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year."

And if you do happen to want to upgrade your hardware at some point, without springing for a whole new rig? Azor has a suggestion: Get a PC. "If you actually want to customize your Alienware Steam Machine, maybe change your graphics card out or put in a new CPU, you would be better off with the standard Alienware X51," he said. "This particular product is restricted in its upgrade options."

Steam Machines appear aimed at non-PC gamers who want to enjoy the bountiful glory of Steam, and so upgrade options likely aren't a big concern for most of the people who are going to buy them. But why eliminate the possibility entirely - and worse, perpetuate the "obsolete by the time you hit the parking lot" myth by promoting platform evolution through annual iterations? We're not talking about a $100 box, after all, and I can't imagine console owners reacting too favorably to the idea of a new and improved Xbox or PlayStation every year. It's a wildly counter-intuitive move.

Source: TrustedReviews

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We did not need any more reasons to not buy Alienware PCs anyway...

Seriously, Alienware, THE most useless pre-built PC-Assembler? They havent yet figured out how to NOT use mis-matching parts in their setups, causing system instability ranging from simple overheating to the CPU literally frying a hole in the mainboard (although thats only happened once) and other shit..and they actually make a pc into a console, i mean we all knew that consoles were kinda shitty pc's hardware-wise to begin with, they arent made out of candy and happy thoughts, but seriously now?

They have killed one of the most important features of a PC, that you can upgrade and customize it whenever you feel like it, even a laptop can be upgraded by yourself (dont do it unless you got some experience tho) to turn a pre-built pc into essentially a console with a yearly release-cycle. So you buy every year overpriced crap that you could get cheaper on your own, not to mention that any PC you build, right now, even using last-gen hardware (in PC terms) that machine will last you at least 2 years, at most 5 before it shows signs of aging. You can even keep it going for longer if you arent too hassled with playing games on lower settings.

This seriously baffles my mind.

OK, so mu first thought here was that Call of Duty's release schedule had finally hit the hardware market, then I realized this actually makes sense.

Alienware is going to make computers regardless, if they are going to make Steam Machines it makes sense that they follow their usual business model to release new models as new hardware gets released. You most likely won't need a new one every year just because they plan to release new ones every year.

Still... it is Alienware... so I will probably stick to Windows Steam for now.

The more and more I hear about these STEAM machines, the more and more useless they sound. So not only are they more expensive then a PC of similar power, they also can't be upgraded?

I agree with what TotalHalibut said on his content patch a while ago. Valve should just wait a few years until the hardware is more powerful and cheaper and THEN release a Steam machine that is at least as powerful as the consoles but cheaper.

reiniat:
We did not need any more reasons to not buy Alienware PCs anyway...

That was my first reaction.
Alienware PCs already are over-priced machines that one could easily out-power with a custom build for even less. But this, this just sorta undermines the main calling about PCs over consoles, and that's that you should be able to upgrade it. This just makes me plain sad in general, but mainly because I know there are gonna be some people who buy this...>.>

Good luck selling any of these. Jeez, what a bunch of greedy, stupid fucks.

Alienware guy:
Lifecycle-wise, consoles update every fix, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year.

This idiot says that like it's a good thing.

Oh perfect, so no stable hardware to make development easier and guarantee that a game will run smoothly 5 years from now, but also no abillity to upgrade it so it works either. It's quite special to create a system which provides the worst of all worlds to your consumers.

You know how cool it was for PC gamers, that thanks to consoles hardware capping developers for 7 years, it effectively limits the graphics race so that by the end even laptops can play AAA games?

If Steam machines are successful enough to overtake the consoles, all that is going to be ruined. Unless developers learn to not care about graphics, we're all going to play cruddy unoptimised games based off an unstable hardware base. Which is fine for the people ready to put $1000 down on a PC, but for the people who don't want to spend more than $500 on anything that's basically for entertainment, it's just going to be years of only playing old games

hakkarin:
The more and more I hear about these STEAM machines, the more and more useless they sound. So not only are they more expensive then a PC of similar power, they also can't be upgraded?

It's not Steam machines in general, just alienware ones. I'm pretty sure some of the others can because a lot of them are literally just PCs without Windows

Words fail me for me to point out the school boy errors you have here Alienware.

HAHA, it's like that Apple switch parody RoosterTeeth did many years ago. "When you need to update, you just throw it out and go buy a new one".

Alienware is PC cancer, they perpetuate the myth that buying a PC is expensive because of their exorbitant prices and branding.
People who aren't even remotely familiar with a PC usually look at me like I'm lying when I tell them you could actually make cost effective rigs.

Adam Jensen:

Alienware guy:
Lifecycle-wise, consoles update every fix, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year.

This idiot says that like it's a good thing.

As a consumer, it actually is a good thing.

If I know that next year's Alienware SteamBox is going to be better than this year's Alienware SteamBox, I'm just going to wait until next year to buy one.

And next year, I'll know that the next year's Alienware SteamBox will be even better. So I'll just wait another year until I buy one.

Technically, Alienware is saving me something like a thousand bucks a year!

hakkarin:
The more and more I hear about these STEAM machines, the more and more useless they sound. So not only are they more expensive then a PC of similar power, they also can't be upgraded?

I agree with what TotalHalibut said on his content patch a while ago. Valve should just wait a few years until the hardware is more powerful and cheaper and THEN release a Steam machine that is at least as powerful as the consoles but cheaper.

This "you buy new or nothing" is Alienware specific dumbassery, so far no one has gone quite that bonkers of the Steambox lineup, I expect they are banking on people who buy their Steambox not being bright enough to know how shafted they got.

And thus far Steambox/OS hasn't had it's real launch, we very well might be waiting for another year(or ten) before they actually get on that, who the hell knows what their end package will be.

Alienware doing everything they can to charge as much as possible? Yeah, sounds about right.

This does not compute at all... Like what the hell are they thinking? Unless they plan on selling them at some huge loss or something, or they don't do the normal Alienware/Apple thing where they charge an extra $400 just to have the logo on it. Whoever thought of this should be fired, nobody is going to burn $1000+ dollars EVERY YEAR for a piece of junk like

this

reiniat:
We did not need any more reasons to not buy Alienware PCs anyway...

Yeah pretty much this

Captcha: Klatu Berada Nikto, hmmm I thought Apple was the evil one, guess it's Alienware now

Now, if Alienware Steam boxes are reasonably cheap in comparison to competition, this no upgrade path would be reasonable.

I like how he doesn't even try to defend this bullshit and goes straight to "buy a PC instead".

hakkarin:
The more and more I hear about these STEAM machines, the more and more useless they sound. So not only are they more expensive then a PC of similar power, they also can't be upgraded?

I agree with what TotalHalibut said on his content patch a while ago. Valve should just wait a few years until the hardware is more powerful and cheaper and THEN release a Steam machine that is at least as powerful as the consoles but cheaper.

When you see the word "Alienware", replace it with "Crazy Drunken Hobo Who Lives Down By The River".

Because that's what Alienware is to the PC community, they used to be good, but then they got bought out by Dell.

For the most part, Steam Machines are going to be upgradeable, and only a complete moron is going to spend $6000 on a pre-built PC.

Right now, I would look at the iBuyPower's $500-600 option, so far looks to be the best deal out of them all.

Also, Computers are actually more powerful than consoles. Consoles though dont have 80 processes running in the background. The Steam Machine is supposed to bridge the gap as a somewhat dedicated gaming PC/Console thing.

It's just that the manufactures seem to be retarded and think making a $6000 PC is "smart" when they are supposed to be designed for ease of use.

As someone who actually likes Alienware... What the what, Alienware?!

Uhm. Good luck selling those.

(But seriously, what's stopping me from unscrewing the box and moving pieces around?)

lacktheknack:
As someone who actually likes Alienware... What the what, Alienware?!

Uhm. Good luck selling those.

(But seriously, what's stopping me from unscrewing the box and moving pieces around?)

likely something stupid like proprietary screws that require a special bit only available for purchase from the Dell Employee store or it'll void your warranty ... not that that last one will stop those who really want to get in there

Setting aside the problem of Alienware for a moment, this isn't actually insane. The Steam Machine project isn't targeting people who make and maintain their own computers...we already have Steam. It's targeting people who just want a functional brick of hardware they don't have to mess with beyond plugging it in. They aren't expecting everyone who already uses Steam to migrate to a Steam Machine, the Console Peasant market is just getting the opportunity to join the Glorious PC Master Race without having to disrupt their existing 'buy it off the shelf, plug it in and forget about it' hardware habits.

In that respect, a sealed unit makes more sense than a lot of the higher end moddable boxes we've seen. Nothing is stopping a power user from going that route, but it's just one corner of a much broader market.

Now, whether Alienware in particular can produce a sealed unit console stand-in worth its cheap plastic chassis remains to be seen.

Yea I also find it rather silly, but really what's the big deal? You don't have to buy a new one every year, decent-spec'd one will be fine for 5 or so years just like a regular computer.

But in fact you don't have to buy one at all so what's the big deal? And really, this is FAR from the first PC which is not possible to upgrade. Or who replaces a videocard in their laptop? I'm sure you'll be able to change the hard drive.

Also I wonder how many of the people complaining about this buy a new iPhone every year.

VaporWare:
Setting aside the problem of Alienware for a moment, this isn't actually insane. The Steam Machine project isn't targeting people who make and maintain their own computers...we already have Steam. It's targeting people who just want a functional brick of hardware they don't have to mess with beyond plugging it in. They aren't expecting everyone who already uses Steam to migrate to a Steam Machine, the Console Peasant market is just getting the opportunity to join the Glorious PC Master Race without having to disrupt their existing 'buy it off the shelf, plug it in and forget about it' hardware habits.

In that respect, a sealed unit makes more sense than a lot of the higher end moddable boxes we've seen. Nothing is stopping a power user from going that route, but it's just one corner of a much broader market.

Now, whether Alienware in particular can produce a sealed unit console stand-in worth its cheap plastic chassis remains to be seen.

I see your point, but in the same vein non-PC-savvy people can treat all the other Steam Machine models as sealed units. How many people buy pre-built/brand name desktop PC's and never bother with upgrades?

But the option still exists for those willing, and that's the whole point of Valve's open platform ideology. For instance, after a year or two, you could upgrade your 500$ iBuyPower box for a portion of it's price, and still have a decent machine. Alienware take that option out completely ,force it's customers to replace the whole machine, and charge you through the nose for it.

This would work if it were competently built and not expensive, but it's Alienware so....

grimallq:
I see your point, but in the same vein non-PC-savvy people can treat all the other Steam Machine models as sealed units. How many people buy pre-built/brand name desktop PC's and never bother with upgrades?

But the option still exists for those willing, and that's the whole point of Valve's open platform ideology. For instance, after a year or two, you could upgrade your 500$ iBuyPower box for a portion of it's price, and still have a decent machine. Alienware takes that option out completely and forces it's customers to replace the whole machine, and charge you through the nose for it.

Those are excellent questions, but again the real target here isn't people who are already in the PC sphere, it's people who aren't...people who only have one of the big consoles at home, and maybe a PC they only really use for work purposes. Anyone already on board that comes along for the ride is arguably gravy.

You're correct of course about Valves open platform ideology and I know a lot of people are really interested in the more completely modular designs, myself included. And you're absolutely right about treating any PC as a sealed unit. The barrier to cross there is largely superstitious...people have Notions about PCs versus Consoles (correct or not, but pertinently /moreso/ the less tech savvy they are), and that informs their purchasing choices.

The sealed unit idea is only going to work for anyone if a sealed unit can meet the requirement of being both cheaper and trivial to set up in addition to basically functional. I suspect the idea is if they can put out a new version each year, they can catch anyone newly entering the market /as well as/ anyone looking to upgrade without cracking or shipping off their case, without impeding anyone who doesn't need or want an upgrade.

That said, there's good cause to doubt that they can keep up with that notion...historically, the constant-barrage-of-new-hardware strategy has failed spectacularly (see: Panasonic)...not just because people want customizable hardware, but because putting out a new model every year is actually pretty expensive and the market still isn't /that/ huge.

I suppose what I'm really saying here is 'Could they make it work? Sure, the idea is not completely guano. Will they make it work? Probably not, but maybe not for the reasons we tend to assume about the market.'

HA this is great, along with the dilution of Steam machines from other hardware, techno-logic companies never cease to entertain me.

Sure i'll buy a new Steambox every year....if they cost 50 or less, otherwise Alienware can take a flying fuck...honestly im having trouble not laughing, i would soo like to have been listening in to the meeting where this rabidly insane idea somehow won purchase with the board...

There is no "need" for the Steam machine. The Steam machine is just another PC or a Linux-exclusive console.

If you're a PC gamer: you already have a custom rig that you've poured hundreds or thousands of dollars into.

If you are a console gamer: you already have a console that is NOT Linux-exclusive.

The only people I see buying Steam Machines are Valve fanboys.

Well my reaction to this was pretty much a chortle, followed by the words "cheeky" and "f******"... :P Oh Alienware, you are you silly.

hakkarin:
The more and more I hear about these STEAM machines, the more and more useless they sound. So not only are they more expensive then a PC of similar power, they also can't be upgraded?

I agree with what TotalHalibut said on his content patch a while ago. Valve should just wait a few years until the hardware is more powerful and cheaper and THEN release a Steam machine that is at least as powerful as the consoles but cheaper.

You do know what a Steam machine is, right? ANYBODY can make one, this just happens to be an Alienware branded one that's likely not worth the money. (Valve didn't tell Alienware to make it, they chose to, so blaming Valve for it is completely nonsensical.

Elberik:
If you are a console gamer: you already have a console that is NOT Linux-exclusive.

You're completely free to install any other operating system or software you like on a Steam machine, this is not true of current gen consoles, so at least you get that amount of freedom, though I admit core PC gamers don't really need one. It does seem like a viable alternative for console gamers though.

Good thing I wasn't getting this. Has anyone heard whether or not the iBuyPower box can be upgraded? It looks like the only one of the two dozen or so Steam Machines that does what they ought to do--that is, let people who don't know shit about PCs play PC games easily, at a decent price, without having to get a degree in electronics--and if there's a simplified way to swap parts in and out, that'd be even better.

I'm really confused by this. Surely it would still be possible to somehow crack the thing open and replace the internals of it?

I'm speechless. So much wow

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