With the release of Valve’s first Steam Boxes this past week, many PC gamers are looking to see if the new machines are a viable option. As it turns out, those that are particularly concerned with getting the absolute most out of their games, performance wise, might want to hold off.
In a series of tests conducted by Ars Technica, it was found that games suffer major framerate hits on Steam OS compared to the same hardware set up and settings on Windows 10. While current PC heavy-weights like Fallout 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 still don’t have Linux ports capable of being run on Steam OS, Ars Technica settled for “a couple of mid-to-late-2014 releases that had SteamOS ports suitable for our tests: Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Metro: Last Light Redux. Both are relatively graphically intensive 3D games with built-in benchmarking tools… For all the gaming benchmarks, we ran each test at least three times and took the median number to ensure the results were reliable.”
As can be seen in the graphs below, Steam OS did not fare well, the tests seeing anywhere from 21- to 58-percent fewer frames per second, [on Steam OS] depending on the graphical settings.”
Ars Technica freely admitted, “While these are two AAA games ported to Linux by respected publishers, it’s possible the developers simply weren’t able to extract the best performance from the less familiar OpenGL and Linux environment.” As such, the tests continued to include Valve’s own games. Sadly, they too, while not to as high of a degree, also suffered on Steam OS.
Along with the Steam Boxes, Valve also recently released a number of other products. Be sure to check out our reviews for Steam Link and the Steam Controller. Have you picked up a Steam Box? Are you going to? Let us know in the comments.