You have to admit that Valve is a pretty interesting company when it comes to the world of gaming. They could have easily just been another great game developer with a strange fascination with hats. But instead, over the last decade, they have completely changed the way we play games on a PC. This started with their release of the Steam client, and more recently by developing an entire OS just for playing games. But how well do games perform on their SteamOS?
Ars Technica recently performed a series of benchmarks comparing the performance of various games on both SteamOS 2.0 and Windows 10. What they found is that for as much effort as Valve has put into their operating system, you'll suffer a significant hit in terms of frame rates. This proved true not only with third-party titles, but also with games developed by Valve on their own Source engine.
This is disheartening news to anyone that's looking at getting or building their own Steam Box. With frame rate differences from between 21 and 58%, it's hard to justify using SteamOS over Windows. It's probable that the issues come down to driver optimization, which can and likely will get better in the future. So there is hope yet.
If you're looking at building or buying a Steam Box, it might be better to simply stream your games from a beefier Windows machine. A capable streaming machine is pretty inexpensive, and it looks like it will perform much better, for now.