Tech

The Maingear Spark Is a Tiny, AMD-Powered Steambox

This DVD case–sized Steambox is loaded with gaming horsepower.

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PC system builder Maingear has just announced its first foray into the fledgling Steambox market. The company's newest gaming PC, the Spark, weighs less than a pound and measures just 4.5 inches wide, 4.23 inches deep, and 2.34 inches high. Like all Steamboxes, the Spark will run Valve's Linux-based Steam OS.

Valve hopes to challenge the Xbox One and PS4, as well as traditional Windows gaming rigs, by offering a middle ground between DIY gaming PCs and traditional consoles.

Essentially, Steamboxes are dedicated machines meant to run PC gaming titles purchased or activated on the Steam gaming platform. Manufacturers are partnering with Valve, the company behind Steam, to build console-style machines for PC games. Valve hopes to challenge the Xbox One and PS4, as well as traditional Windows gaming rigs, by offering a middle ground between DIY gaming PCs and traditional consoles.

Specs for this tiny PC include a quad-core AMD A8-5575M processor clocked at 3.1GHz, an AMD Radeon R9 M275X video card, up to 16GB of RAM, and support for up to 356GB of solid-state storage and a separate SATA III slot for an additional hard drive. The Spark has four USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, an HDMI port, a Mini DisplayPort, and an ethernet (RJ45) jack.

The Maingear Spark will be available in mid-to-late Q1 2014. Pricing information has not been released just yet.