Steam Machines are gaming computers that ship with Valve’s Linux-based Steam OS software. It’s designed to run on a big-screen display and put your gaming experience front and center. The idea is to make gaming PCs a bit more like game consoles… and for the most part Steam Machines seem to do that.
But now that the first Steam Machines are shipping, it turns out there are some downsides to using a Steam Machine instead of PC running windows. First, there are still thousands of games that don’t support Steam OS or any other Linux-based operating system. And second, it looks like many games that can run on Steam OS run more quickly on Windows.
The folks at Ars Technica ran some recent games on a dual-boot computer running Steam OS 2.0 and Windows 10. In pretty much every case frame rates were lower with Steam OS.
If you have a powerful enough system, you can probably play games on Steam OS even with the performance hit… but in some cases performance gap was high enough to make a game that’s playable under Windows completely unplayable with Steam OS.
It’s possible that future software updates and improved drivers could improve things. But for now Windows 10 still seems to be a better bet for gamers than steam OS.
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The Windows Insider Program lets users test new versions of Windows before they’re available to the public. Now there’s an Insider program for Office users as well. [Office]
- Report: Google is considering designing, building its own phone
Up until now the company has made Android available to third-party phone makers and partnered with some of those companies to produce Nexus hardware. Now there’s talk of Google building its own phones… maybe we’ll see a Pixel phone in the future? [The Information]
- Xposed Framework for Android 6.0 coming soon
It took a while for the developer of this popular framework for modifying rooted Android phones to make the jump from Android 4.4 to Android 5.0, but shortly after the launch of Android 6.0, Xposed Framework for Marshmallow is almost ready to go. [xda-developers]
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- Apple is shutting down Beats Music at the end of the month
Now that Apple Music is live, Apple is shutting down the streaming music service it acquired when it bought Beats. Some user data and preferences can be exported to Apple Music. [Beats]
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It’ll be a little while before you can buy a device with these next-gen chips from Samsung or Qualcomm, but some early benchmarks allegedly give us an idea of how they stack up against one another.. and against Apple’s A9 processor, as well as some older chips. Keep in mind that these results only show single-core performance. [G for Games]