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Steam Deck Specs – Evaluating Valve’s Deck to PC Gaming {Hardware}

Steam Deck Performance

Valve’s has launched the Steam Deck specs, they usually have spawned a storm of pleasure. Primarily, the Steam Deck is a handheld gaming PC constructed round SteamOS. The Steam Deck is poised to be a reasonably distinctive product, trying like a hybrid of a handheld console just like the Swap and a standard desktop PC. Certainly, Valve’s Deck is being marketed as a “Gaming PC” with the intention of offering all of the options that framing entails, for everybody from tech fanatics to players.

It’ll have a local SteamOS interface with (principally) full assist to your pre-existing Steam library (restricted to video games which have both been ported to Linux or which might be run with Proton and Steam Play), and it’ll even have the flexibility to switch SteamOS with another choice, equivalent to Home windows, in an effort to run nearly every other title you may consider.

The Steam Deck specs and options permit you to run something and the whole lot on it—and its the mixture of that openness; controls together with a touchscreen, capacitive pads, and back-grip buttons; the flexibility to ‘dock’ it to play on a TV or monitor; and a precedence positioned on ergonomics that (altogether) makes the system extra fascinating than one thing like a Nintendo Swap or a GPD Win3. There are simply so many options !

As for the {hardware} itself, Valve has launched a really complete spec sheet on the Steam Deck web site. We’ll know precisely how this {hardware} will carry out in video games as soon as the primary items make it into the arms of reviewers, however till then we will take an in depth take a look at the offered specs and talk about how they stack up towards present desktop {hardware}!


Steam Deck Specs

First off, let’s record among the specs launched by Valve on the tech part of the official web site for the gadget:




CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (as much as 448 GFlops FP32)

GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (as much as 1.6 TFlops FP32)

APU energy: 4-15W


RAM 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels)


64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)

256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)

512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)


All fashions use socketed 2230 m.2 modules (not meant for end-user substitute)

All fashions embody high-speed microSD card slot

Show Decision 1280 x 800px (16:10 side ratio)
Refresh Fee 60Hz


Steam Deck vs. Desktop {Hardware} – Evaluating the Core Specs


Even a fast look on the Steam Deck specs sheet reveals that the guts of the Steam Deck is an AMD APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) containing a 4 core/8 thread CPU and an RDNA 2 structure GPU with eight computing items. “APU” is simply the flamboyant title that AMD makes use of for his or her chips which have built-in graphics processors. They often set these chips aside by including a ‘G’ to the tip of their names.

Within the desktop {hardware} market, the closest comparability CPU-wise can be the Ryzen 3 3000 lineup, which can be based mostly on the Zen 2 structure and in addition has 4 cores with 8 threads per chip. However these desktop parts are clocked sooner, with a base of three.6 GHz and a lift of three.9 GHz for the lowest-tier Ryzen 3 3100. So, when it comes to sheer processor energy, you would take into account the Steam Deck to be nearly on the stage of the ‘Poor’ to ‘Entry’ tiers of our foremost construct chart.

GPU (Built-in Graphics)

As for the GPU, there are two methods you would productively give it some thought. First, earlier than speaking about desktop components, you would take into consideration the truth that this 1.6 TFLOPS GPU needs to be within the ballpark of final gen’s house consoles when evaluating uncooked values (Xbox One S at 1.4 TFLOPS, and the PS4 at 1.8 TFLOPS).

Second, evaluating the Steam Deck’s GPU at present obtainable graphics playing cards, the Steam Deck falls only a bit behind the GTX 1050—once more, when evaluating solely TFLOPS numbers. However TFLOPS numbers don’t inform the entire story. In reality, they might do little to really pinpoint the {hardware}’s capacity (except you’re planning on operating scientific calculations on the Steam Deck to make use of it for machine studying moderately than gaming, I suppose).

One motive that the Steam Deck’s iGPU could also be deprived when in comparison with a discrete GPU just like the GTX 1050, for instance, is the truth that it has no VRAM. Because it’s on the identical chip because the CPU, it shares the identical system RAM, not like standalone video playing cards coming with their very own provide of reminiscence.

Alternatively, the RDNA 2 structure makes the comparability even more durable by giving potential benefits to the Steam Deck—because it ought to permit the GPU to carry out higher at decrease energy utilization and clock speeds than older architectures in last-gen consoles and desktop parts.

General, it’s very tough to position, however it will not be unreasonable to imagine that the Steam Deck GPU will carry out one thing just like the Vega 11 iGPU within the ‘Minimal’ tier of our foremost construct chart, or barely higher.

RAM (Brief-term System Reminiscence)

Talking of reminiscence, the 16GB of LDDR5 reminiscence could be very fascinating. It’s lightning-fast and quad-channel—which is of explicit significance in an APU System just like the Steam Deck for the explanation said above (that an built-in graphics processor has to ‘share’ system reminiscence for VRAM performance).

But it surely provides one more variable when attempting to grasp how the efficiency of the Steam Deck compares to desktop {hardware}. It’s each higher-capacity and higher-speed than the RAM within the LI construct tiers we’ve talked about as factors of comparability within the sections above, although, so it needs to be an unambiguous level within the Deck’s favor.

Steam Deck Specs as Benchmarks?

So, what ought to we do? Simply wait until the Deck releases, and see for ourselves how the whole lot runs and the way benchmarks carry out? Effectively, sure…

However since the latest Steam Deck hands-on that was attended by a number of journalists and reviewers, we now have some concept of how the early prototype performs in a wide range of video games, together with Doom Everlasting, Management, and The Witcher 3. All these video games ran at medium settings at respectable framerates of at the least 30 FPS on the Steam Deck’s native 60Hz 1280 x 800 decision.

This surprisingly good efficiency might be partially attributed to this low decision. Which many reviewers claimed to be nice within the handheld kind issue. However for more information on how the Steam Deck is perhaps anticipated to carry out in gaming workloads, take into account having a look at our earlier article, all about estimating the settings at which the Steam Deck could deal with Steam’s present high 10 video games.



Portray an correct efficiency image of any uncommon (and unreleased) piece of {hardware} is a wobbly science at finest. However that doesn’t imply we couldn’t come shut. From what we’ve seen, it may be speculated that the Steam Deck specs will fall someplace inside the ‘Poor’ to ‘Entry’ vary on the Logical Increments tier record. In different phrases, it’ll be a low-end gaming PC that can carry out nicely at medium/low settings on the Deck’s native 720p-esque decision however will wrestle with larger settings and/or larger resolutions in some video games. However relative to its measurement and value, that’s nonetheless a reasonably unimaginable rating.

In fact, that is only a guess based mostly on what reviewers have skilled and stuff like TFLOPS numbers. So, there may be nonetheless potential for the Steam Deck specs to shock us. Is there any recreation or software program that you’re excited to run with the Steam Deck? Is there any side of the specs we didn’t talk about that you just discover fascinating? Go away your feedback beneath!

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