Steal Link review

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Steal Link review
« on: June 19, 2016, 05:49:56 PM »
This is my Steamlink review as promised after 4 hours of gameplay

Setup

Setup was extremely simple. Simply plug and play..well kinda. Plug in the HDMI,network, controller and power and off you go.Steam recommends wired network connections for an optimum experience. Make sure you have your Steam PC on. After the Steamlink installs, you must identify the Steam PC you wish to stream from and it gives you a code. You input the code when asked to authorise the new device on your PC and all is done. Steamlink then defaults to the home page which shows your steam games and those recently played

First Impressions

I tested out Witcher 3, Arkham Knight and Sleeping Dogs on Steamlink. Graphics were ok without blowing me away. I would say they are between a PS4 and PS3. There are 3 settings on board, fast, balanced and beautiful. Given that I have Cat 6 wired through my place I opted for beautiful.The lag was minimal and from the information I enabled on-screen, the Steamlink was running at 1920x1080 @60fps. There was a bit of a loading time but that was always going to be expected with a streaming solution.

Comparisons with PS4.

Thanks Ant for the loan of Witcher 3 on PS4. I loaded up Witcher 3 on both PS4 and Steamlink and I must say the PS4 version does look much sharper. Visuals on the PS4 does look only slightly better when seated around 8 feet from my 65" TV, but when seated around 2 to 3 feet (who does?) from a 65" TV, the differences are much more apparent. The textures on the PS4 are much more sharper and defined whereas on the Steamlink it does look a lot pixelated at times. I have posted a few of photos (sorry about the quality of my phone camera) and the close up photos of Roach, the horse, was taken at at 1 feet to try and give you an idea of the pixelation of textures. As I said, at a decent distance, it's fairly comparable.

The gameplay experience was smooth with minimum lag. I tested Arkham Knight, which combat system relies on quick timing and it was really smooth and responsive. I managed to easily beat up a crowd of lots of bad guys easily using button mashing and escaped unscathed.

Conclusion

I think the Steamlink is certainly worth its price of USD50, given the flexibility it offers when playing in the study or the couch using the same Save-game. I can now catch up all those PC only games, especially adventure games, whilst lying on my couch. This is great timing because the Steam Summer sale starts later this week! (23/6 I thought was the leaked date) However, if I was to get a game for playing on the couch alone and based my decsision on graphics alone, the PS4 would be my choice everyday of the week. Having said that, if I had to a choice to buy the Steamlink again, I certainly would. If you have a pile of Steam games on your wall of shame and you spend most winter nights on your couch in front of the telly, this is a must buy.


Offline JEM7vwh

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 05:51:40 PM »
PS4 Pic

Offline JEM7vwh

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 05:52:19 PM »
Roach - PS4

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 05:52:55 PM »
Roach - Steamlink

Offline M-Rossi

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2016, 06:42:20 PM »
Great review.


Online Slayer7744

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2016, 07:04:45 PM »
Is the Steam Link marketed as a console competitor? I just find it odd to compare native PS4 to streaming PC, maybe PlayStation TV compared to Steam Link would be more fair.

Regardless, good review, I've always wondered how well these devices performed.

Offline Ant

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2016, 07:06:47 PM »
Thanks Daniel.  Maybe I need to lend you my PSTV to compare it streaming PS4 vs Stream Link streaming PC.  I was going to fix the title of the thread but I kind of like it.

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2016, 07:10:15 PM »
Is the Steam Link marketed as a console competitor? I just find it odd to compare native PS4 to streaming PC, maybe PlayStation TV compared to Steam Link would be more fair.

Regardless, good review, I've always wondered how well these devices performed.

Hi Slayer, the point is couch gaming without having to move the PC vs a directly connected PS4.  This would be a reasonably common scenario if someone has a gaming system setup but wants to veg and use their big tv.  Especially when that tv is a top of the line SUHD display.  The other option would be to move the PC or build a second gaming machine.

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2016, 07:14:18 PM »
Thanks guys

Steam machine is the console competitor but the steam link allows you to use your existing pc as a console. Play tv is a great analogy with your existing pc being the console.


Offline JEM7vwh

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2016, 07:16:14 PM »
Thanks Daniel.  Maybe I need to lend you my PSTV to compare it streaming PS4 vs Stream Link streaming PC.  I was going to fix the title of the thread but I kind of like it.

Thanks Antony. You are probably used to my typos anyway.... :facepalm:

I also agree with you in that there is no way i am moving that huge mess i call my pc setup to my front room. Just too hard and besides with steamlink i can game in my study whilst the missus watches telly and when she is done, all i do is save the game, go to front room, load up steam link, restore my game and savegame and continue on.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 07:21:52 PM by JEM7vwh »

Offline JEM7vwh

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2016, 07:29:22 PM »
Also the problem with steam machine vs ps/xbox is games are highly optimised for a uniform configuration in a console but you are at the mercy of developers when it comes to the pc due to the huge range of builds out there. A good example is the disastrous pc version of arkham knight.

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 10:44:57 AM »
Nice review!

Offline JEM7vwh

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 10:32:42 PM »
Thanks Spaz

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2016, 01:33:23 PM »
I haven't used the steam link device but over wifi my 2.4 or 5ghz and gigabit ethernet I was able to play The Division and Overwatch both non-steam games that I added to steam manually and they both worked perfect! Other than sometimes the random crash of the steam inhome streaming app on my mac it was perfect.

Lag/delay was also very minimal and at least for supporting or tanking in overwatch, I was still very very competitive. The Division also ran perfectly fine, just like running it directly on my main gaming PC but graphics just not as sharp.
🐵💤

Offline M-Rossi

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2016, 06:26:35 PM »
Anyone used a Steam Link recently?
I am considering building an average gaming pc then running steam link to my home theatre room over ethernet /lan.


Offline Ant

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2016, 11:27:27 AM »
Daniel @JEM7vwh uses one regularly, hopefully he will pipe up!

Offline JEM7vwh

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2016, 11:50:16 AM »
I still use mine quite regularly. In fact a couple of weekends ago when I was on leave, I spent four days on Steam Link  finishing Tomb Raider. Just played Rise of the Tomb Raider, Just Cause 3 and Witcher 3 a few days ago and experience is good. I downloaded the Rise of the Tomb Raider demo on my XboneS and as in review above, visuals are very comparable and hard to spot at 10 feet or more from TV. Of course the plus is that you will game at 60 fps rather than what console fps are, on the proviso that your GPU is up to the mark. Of course if you less than 5 feet, you will see pixelisation off an on due to streaming.

Having Gigabit Ethernet is optimal and having a graphics card to ensure 1080@60fps is ideal. Any more and its wasted as Steamlink is maxed at 60 fps. Of course having a more powerful card ensures a smoother gameplay experience where the minimum FPS is 60 rather than average.

I love it and gives me the option of buying games cheap on Steam sales yet still able to enjoy on my front room couch.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 11:53:54 AM by Ant »

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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2016, 12:57:50 PM »
Thanks for the review Daniel.
I'm thinking of just putting the gaming pc in my home theatre cupboard at first and going straight into my amp --> projector/surround sound. Maybe add steam link down the track to take it back to another tv.
I also thought the Steam Link only had 100Mbps Ethernet card / port but valve says its sufficient for 1080p 60fps


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Re: Steal Link review
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2016, 01:24:21 PM »
No dramas Mark.

Apologies I thought it was gigabit. Well, my Gigabit is wasted then  :facepalm:

I would prefer if my PC is next to my TV as my GPU will support 4k but Steam link won't. Problem is PC too large and looks really out of place.