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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, and so they have spawned a storm of pleasure. Basically, the Steam Deck is a handheld gaming PC constructed round SteamOS. The Steam Deck is poised to be a reasonably distinctive product, wanting 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 fans to avid gamers.

It’ll have a local SteamOS interface with (largely) 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 power to interchange SteamOS with an alternative choice, comparable to Home windows, with a purpose to run nearly another title you may consider.

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

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


Steam Deck Specs

First off, let’s record a number of the specs launched by Valve on the tech section of the official website 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 exhibits that the center 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 flowery identify that AMD makes use of for his or her chips which have built-in graphics processors. They normally set these chips aside by adding a ‘G’ to the end of their names.

Within the desktop {hardware} market, the closest comparability CPU-wise could 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 elements 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, by way of sheer processor energy, you may take into account the Steam Deck to be virtually on the degree of the ‘Poor’ to ‘Entry’ tiers of our main build chart.

GPU (Built-in Graphics)

As for the GPU, there are two methods you may productively give it some thought. First, earlier than speaking about desktop components, you may take into consideration the truth that this 1.6 TFLOPS GPU ought to be within the ballpark of final gen’s dwelling 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 the moment 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 capability (until you’re planning on working scientific calculations on the Steam Deck to make use of it for machine studying relatively than gaming, I assume).

One cause 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.

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

General, it’s very tough to position, however it could 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 main build chart, or barely higher.

RAM (Quick-term System Reminiscence)

Talking of reminiscence, the 16GB of LDDR5 reminiscence may be very attention-grabbing. 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).

However it provides yet one more variable when making an attempt to know 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 ought 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 every little thing runs and the way benchmarks carry out? Properly, sure…

However since the recent Steam Deck hands-on that was attended by a number of journalists and reviewers, now we 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 no less than 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 tremendous within the handheld type 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 may handle Steam’s current top 10 games.



Portray an correct efficiency image of any uncommon (and unreleased) piece of {hardware} is a wobbly science at greatest. 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 list. In different phrases, it’ll be a low-end gaming PC that may carry out effectively at medium/low settings on the Deck’s native 720p-esque decision however will wrestle with increased settings and/or increased resolutions in some video games. However relative to its measurement and value, that’s nonetheless a fairly unbelievable rating.

In fact, that is only a guess based mostly on what reviewers have skilled and stuff like TFLOPS numbers. So, there’s 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 focus on that you simply discover attention-grabbing? Depart your feedback under!

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