- Use http://pcpartpicker.com
- Don't include cases, coolers or power supplies- those three will obviously be handled by Valve themselves
- Stay at a reasonable console price- $200-$500 range is what we're talkin' here.
- Make sure your selected motherboard includes integrated sound.
The motherboard will obviously be custom, but I recommend sticking to M-ITX or M-ATX, since that's the kind of size they'll be going for in a console form factor. The actual Steam Box will all very likely be a system-on-chip- where everything is integrated into the motherboard- but I think this is still a good way to see what performance we'll be getting out of what specs for what price.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Biostar H61MLC Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($53.55 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Momentus XT 500GB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($149.99 @ Newegg)
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-07 01:31 EST-0500)
(shit, forgot about the optic drive- just add like $20 for that)
Yeah, that's obviously pushing it- I have in faith in Valve's ability to make a decently priced console with good performance.
It makes me wonder if it'll have expansion slots that simplifies the process of adding a GPU or CPU upgrade. I've always thought that'd be cool to have in a console.