Description

It's back!

The Steambox 360 is back in one piece, or about as close as humanly possible, and this time it comes bearing a dedicated GPU.

Last time it even made it to Hackaday. I know, right?!

This time I'm pretty sure it won't get that far but I'm sharing this as the current peak performance capability of this form factor, seeing as it requires a low profile graphics card. Unless I was to resort to 3D printing a custom cage for all the internals. Then I might be able to squeeze the extra centimeters necessary for an ITX form factor card.

The performance is now considerably better, because the 1650 is just better than the integrated Vega 11. It's not as neat as last time, since now I have to use an external power brick to feed power to the HDPlex, but at least it can perform like the true mid-range system it is.

Stick around for the part review blurbs and feel free to leave your hints, thoughts, allegations or things better left unsaid down in the comments.

Video: https://linuxgamecast.com/2020/02/the-linux-powered-steambox-360-mkii

Part Reviews

CPU

Quad core, eight threads, an integrated Vega 11 and only puts out 65W at full tilt. It's not king in price/performance, but if you don't have a dedicated GPU, it's as close as it comes to letting you game properly.

CPU Cooler

Noctua excels in cooling at a low noise floor. This tiny cooler is amazing for an AM4 CPU and, if you were to pull it apart and paint the fan and housing black, can look very cool.

Motherboard

The previous time around I had all kinds of issues getting this motherboard up and running. Now, since the BIOS is updated to support both 2XXX and 3XXX Ryzen series processors, everything worked as expected out of the box.

Memory

3200MHz pretty much guaranteed on all Ryzen systems. Granted it's only 8GB but it's just enough for your typical mid-range, gaming-exclusive, machine.

Storage

It's not NVMe and it is far too expensive for its SATA speeds. Still performs admirably, but there are better alternatives out there.

Video Card

Holy screaming mother of tiny fans! If you've ever been in a server room, you know exactly what 40mm sound like. The two fans on this card are very loud the moment the card goes above 65ºC. Still, it is low profile and I guess this comes with the territory.

Case Fan

It's tiny, it looks like it came straight out of an old hearing aid, but you can't argue with the results. This one fan alone manage to take care of all the extra heat the HDPlex 400W DC-ATX generates. And it did it with very little noise, which is nice!

Custom

The Steam Controller was my favorite for a long time, since it was the only one I could literally rebind every button on. Steam has since expanded its support for this functionality to most mainstream controllers so it's more of a novelty thing than anything else. RIP 2019

Custom

Uuuuuuh... It's a shielded riser and it works as intended. The cable is split which makes it much more manageable than some of its competitors but, at the end of the day, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Custom

The only saving grace of the XBox 360 in 2020 is how conducive it is to building a computer inside it. I'm not joking! The sturdy inner cage and perforated exterior are very nice and accommodating of your standard x86 parts.

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 3 points

Looking sicccc

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

I love this! Great job!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Freaking sick build.. Love how you customized so much of it! And the little baby noctua awww.....

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey I have a 360 lying around... thanks for the inspiration! Be prepared for an army of inferior minion builds to come swarming to the Completed Builds section shortly.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

There's already a couple in here: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/K2pG3C and https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/xtcYcf (Slim)

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Alright man, I gotta ask, What did you do to mount the motherboard? I'm at that point in my own Xbox 360 build and I'm trying to figure out the most effective way to do it without losing too much height for cooler clearance. Thank you!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

I bought a bunch M3 nylon screws, spacers, standoffs, etc. on Amazon and just drilled through the cage to mount them. If you check picture #9 you can see them.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! That's a lot easier than what I was thinking about doing. Also, nice job with the rear cutouts. They're super clean.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! The secret is to paint after you cut, it hides a lot of the blemishes.