Steam machines are finally upon us, but a new report paints a grim picture of their actual gaming performance.
Ars Technica has found that 3D games are in terms of frames per second typically performing between 21 per cent and 58 per cent worse on Valve's custom Linux-based SteamOS than they do on comparable Windows PCs running the same hardware.
Developers have apparently blamed the disparity on the state of Linux's drivers, OpenGL tools, and game engines”, with the worst offenders being those built specifically with DirectX in mind.
Geekbench scores saw Windows 10 win on every single metric, although the margins were sometimes very small. However, the in-game performance of titles such as Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Metro: Last Light showed night and day difference.
Amazingly, even games running Valve's own Source Engine performed better on Windows in every instance.
Unfortunately most recent triple-A titles aren't yet available on SteamOS, preventing comparisons.
The Steam Machine ideal remains one that might appeal to a certain type of consumer, but with high hardware costs, a far smaller games library and now reduced performance the sell is certainly not becoming easier.