While gamers still like to take sides, the fact is that consoles and PCs are heading toward a slow but sure convergence, thanks currently to the Steam machines hitting the market left and right: One of the latest and greatest signs is the Maingear Drift, which is finally going on sale for the holidays.
Not to be confused with the racing game franchise, the Drift is one of those console/PC hybrids designed to be upgradeable and ideal for playing any Steam game via your TV and more traditional entertainment system. It combines processing and graphics hardware from Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and other big brand names. Behind that metal box waits up to 16GB of DDR4 (yes, 4, not 3) RAM, a huge 2TBs worth of SSD storage, and a more traditional 6TB hard drive.
Nice specs, but if you want a living room Steam machine, you are probably most concerned with graphics and real-time performance. This is one of the first Steam consoles we’ve seen to support 4K resolutions, so appearance will not be an issue. There are options for a full Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti or Titan X GPU, but you can customize with a graphics card of your own. Those SSD drives should keep everything speedy, too. When things get too hot, the Epic 120 liquid cooling system will protect your components – as you can see, Maingear has crammed as many top-line gaming features as it can n this little box.
Also, for those of you taking notes, the Drift comes in two different versions – Windows and SteamOS, which makes a big difference based on how you play games and what sort of control you prefer. Windows is a bit more versatile by default, but may not be necessary. Note also that the system is packaged with a Steam Controller.
Of course, if you pick up gaming computer specs, you also invite gaming computer prices. The least expensive version of the Drift is around $1,000, which is far, far more than even the most expensive consoles. Choose carefully.