Oft go Astray! Steam Machine Purchase, WarRig gives up the Ghost

Cpu, Ram, SSDs, APU, Graphics Cards and Cases dancing around in my head, I had a hard time shutting down at night.  EAT, SLEEP, PC!

For the last 2 weeks I’ve been researching computer hardware for my Steam Machine 2015 project. I need to come up with a Code name for the box, because code names are all the rage! Goals for the build is to spend less then current Steam Machines, current generation consoles and to have the performance to play on the same level

Saturday I found my self in MicroCenter picking up everything to build the Steam Machine Brute. Under 300 out of pocket was my goal. I should end up spending 260 after rebates, plenty of room to add an aftermarket cooler if I need to over clock. I will have a post with my build out and total out of pocket in a later post.

Enter Sunday, I’m sitting in the basement getting getting all my photos and videos off my camera so I can start recording my build log. I step out to take Kaylee for a wake, upon returning I find my main computer frozen on 50% transferred. I had to hard reboot, I figured windows 10 Technical Preview Beta I should expect bugs.
Boy was I wrong, the system was bonked. Windows 10 couldn’t even recover to a previous state. I did a few tricks to try to boot, nothing was working. Next I loaded off the windows 8 dvd, it took close to 30 mins to boot off the dvd to get to the start of the install, at this point I knew something was wrong it should have been almost instant.

I think my WarRig was jealous and did some harakiri. So I might have 2 build logs shortly 😉

Cheers

SteamOS this gamer’s quest? a Steam Machine Builders Guide.

steamos

 

I’ve been fascinated with running a Linux Operating Systems since I first got into programming, (10 years ago) tho I never had a real urge to run it on my main system because of my love for gaming.

SteamOS was first released on December 13, 2013 since then drivers and game support has come along way. Currently there are 1911 games under the Linux catalog on Steam Store and both Nvidia & AMD have drivers for Linux .

At GDC this year Valve announced the final design on there Steam Controller, Steam Link & Steam Machines. A hand full of boutique builders are all rushing to build Steam Machines all at around 800 dollars. Talk about over priced, there are a few designs I like (Zotac SN970)  tho most of them are just off the shelf PC parts.

Lets Face it you can do way better rolling your own and for less.

Over then next few days I will be building out some SteamOS gaming pc on PCPartsPicker.

My goal is to have a budget,mid-range & preformance build out, my focus will be on the budget and mid-range PC.

I have a few things I assume on the builds I will not include a keyboard, mouse, optical drive or monitors in the price. Mainly because you can find a keyboard and mouse for cheap if not free from friends/family. The optical drive is not required,  since we will be downloading everything from the OS to the games. Not including the monitor in the price is kinda cheating but I feel that most people have a TV with HDMI or access to an existing monitor but if not you can pick one up for under 100 dollars so keep that in mind.

I also have a few caveats about building computers and ordering parts.  When building a computer I try to get the case local if I can, otherwise I look for sales that offer free shipping since shipping a case can be costly. I’ve also had good luck with newegg and amazon, but you have to watch them on prices.

Lucky to live close to a PC supply shop like NCIX , Frys & Micocenter, if you do go check out there selection because chance are they will have some great deals on things and you will be sad if they leave your town.

 

Here is the budget  build guide on PCPartsPicker Budget Steam Box

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.

 

Break it down!

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/f2jNjX
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/f2jNjX/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.99 @ Micro Center)
Motherboard: MSI H81M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($51.38 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($50.92@ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB WINDFORCE Video Card ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case ($22.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Micro Center)
Total: $390.25
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-03-25 19:09 EDT-0400

 

Here is the Enthusiast build guide on PCPartsPicker Enthusiast Steam Machine

Enthusiast PC Devil’s Canyon unlocked i7 Monster for under $1000

Intel i7 multiplier-unlocked, Haswell chip is hands down the best cpu on the market. EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Superclocked video card sill a very strong video card for the money, even tho the memory issues.

 

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fRcR6h
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/fRcR6h/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($279.99 @ Micro Center)
Motherboard: MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($49.99)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($69.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: PNY Optima 240GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($79.99)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.56 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0 Video Card ($319.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT S340 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($69.99 @ Micro Center)
Total: $994.48
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-03-25 21:52 EDT-0400

 

Masterbuilt 30″ Smoker & Smoked Pork Tenderloin

I’ve been shopping for a smoker for over a year now, I wanted to build a nice smoke house in the back yard but ended up not having the space I wanted.

My budget for this was around 200 dollars, I looked at a few of the local shops and everything I saw was really thin walled and ran off propane or charcoal. Since it was my first smoker I wanted electric so I could control the heat.

Enter the Masterbuilt 30-inch black electric digital smoker, I got a deal off amazon for 170 dollars. When I opened the smoker for the first time I was amazed at the quality of the Masterbuilt. Everything was wrapped in foam, all the racks, pans & trays. I wish I would have taken a photo, I was to excited to unbox it.

Here are some shot of the first seasoning of the smoker with some whiskey chips (What I had on hand)


She seasoned up really well there is a nice thin layer of smoke on all the parts.

Today I did my first smoke, I got a pork tenderloin and marinated it for the last few days.

Marinade Pork Recipe

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon brown  sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves of garlic

 

I used Cherry, Apple & Pecan Chips to smoke the tenderloin and some potatoes.

It turned out amazing, the smoke flavor was fantastic, the potatoes turned out well but I think I over salted them.

Smoked at 200° for around 3 hours, until the meat internal temp is 145 (medium)

 

Up next I think some brisket or ribs are in order, maybe some bacon wrapped steak tenerloins