Steam Box alternatives
Was looking for new PC with the following requirements to replace my Core2 Duo:
- Cheap - This means laptop/all-in-one are out.
- Fast GPU - This means NUC are out
- Upgradable - This means replaceable motherboard, CPU and GPU
- Small - This means SFF / Mini-ITX / SFX
- Silent - This means no small fans
I was not able to find anything that actually matched all these requirements, but found these candidates:
- Alienware X51 - PSU only delivers 330W, so not very upgradable
- Asus ROG GR8 - Large cabinet compared to X51
- CyberPower Zeus Mini A-300 - Not available in my country
- MSI Nightblade - Expensive even as barebone.
- MSI Hetis H81 - Cheap, but not sure if PCI-e supports dual-slot GPU
- BitFenix Prodigy - Large cabinet compared to X51
- EVGA Hadron Air - PSU has very small fan, and it is expensive.
- Acer Aspire XC-605 - Not very upgradable
- Silverstone SST-RVZ01B Raven - Large cabinet compared to X51 and expensive.
- Silverstone SST-ML07B - Large cabinet compared to X51 and expensive.
- NCASE M1 - Very promising but not available in my country
I decided to go for the Dell Alienware X51 R2, as I'm getting old and like things pre-assembled. The i5 + GTX750 combo is not super expensive compared to building yourself. The only real problem is the PSU is only 240W, so the upgrade path is very limited.
Updated: 22 March 2015