You Can Upgrade The Un-Upgradable Steam Machine, But It's Not Easy

You Can Upgrade the Un-Upgradable Steam Machine. But it's Not Easy.

Alienware, purveyor of pre-built PCs of all shapes and sizes, has recently revealed its plan to introduce yearly upgrades to its model of Valve's PC-slash-console-hybrid Steam Machine, justifying the decision by saying that its machines will not be upgradable. Turns out that's not quite the case.

"We've purposefully designed the Alienware Steam Machine to be smaller than the latest generation consoles," Alienware general manager Frank Azor told Eurogamer. "Upgrading the internal components will not be as easy as compared to other platforms (...) but we will not prevent a customer from upgrading."

Azor went on to explain that their Steam Machine is intended for those who want a "smaller, more console-like system," further implying that the more closed nature of their model comes from the slight form factor — meaning that yes, you can upgrade. But you'll need to find a way to cram your components into a tiny, tiny box. Sounds like a challenge!

Alienware won't "prevent" users from modding Steam Machine [Eurogamer]


    stickerbombing the case should give you atleast +10kw easy

    I just don't get why anyone would buy an Alienware anything to be honest ? build your own machine twice as powerful for a fraction of the cost (or even get your local PC place to do it for you for a tiny fee if your not confident at it) and you have an upgradable beast. want a steam machine... install Steam OS on it.

      i think i personally would buy one for the size and aesthetic - its true its expensive, but you get the engineering expertise behind it that makes such a small yet capable system. thats my view anyways, but the price does put me off.
      if only they sold the case by itself and it was standard ma/itx :(

      Personally, I'm with you, ditch the prebuilds and build it yourself. But, gun to my head IF I were to buy a prebuild then Alienware's 3 year warranty is really top notch. Their field engineers are really responsive and can have an issue resolved & parts replaced in a few days at no extra cost. And their build quality is pretty good too, I'm not a fan of Alienware aesthetics though.

    does de-soldering embedded cpu's count as user upgradable?

      Alienware's steambox looks like the old Alienware X51. The X51 used PC components in a case roughly the size of a PS4 or XBone. This looks the same but with a Steam logo and an updated design. So honestly, I doubt any of the components will be embedded. I just think they are trying to say that there isn't much room to breathe in the case, so you might get caught out if you try adding in something that doesn't quite match the dimensions, like an aftermarket CPU cooler or a slightly longer video card.

    It's not really surprising. If you look at the actual size of the box, it would have to be made with laptop like components, lots of embedded components. so, yes, you might be able to upgrade some parts (mSATA SSD, perhaps?), to call it "upgradable" wouldn't really be a good description.

      If you google the Alienware x51, it uses PC components in a case roughly the size of an Xbone/PS4. This just looks like a rebranded version of that bundled with SteamOS & the Steam Controller.

    unfortunately, there's no engineering expertise thats different from any company. You are just paying more for the name. ALienware are not known for there reliable machines or engineering expertise... just that they are expensive.

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