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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 help in your pre-existing Steam library (restricted to video games which have both been ported to Linux or which may be run with Proton and Steam Play), and it’ll even have the flexibility to exchange SteamOS with an alternative choice, similar to Home windows, in an effort to run nearly every other title you’ll be able to consider.

The Steam Deck specs and options help you run something and all the pieces on it—and its the mix 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 machine extra fascinating than one thing like a Nintendo Swap or a GPD Win3. There are simply so many options abruptly!

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 supplied specs and talk about how they stack up towards present desktop {hardware}!


Steam Deck Specs

First off, let’s checklist a few of the specs launched by Valve on the tech section 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 supposed for end-user substitute)

All fashions embody high-speed microSD card slot

Show Decision 1280 x 800px (16:10 facet ratio)
Refresh Charge 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 flamboyant 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 can be the Ryzen 3 3000 lineup, which can also be based mostly on the Zen 2 structure and likewise 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 might contemplate the Steam Deck to be nearly on the stage of the ‘Poor’ to ‘Entry’ tiers of our main build chart.

GPU (Built-in Graphics)

As for the GPU, there are two methods you might productively give it some thought. First, earlier than speaking about desktop elements, you might take into consideration the truth that this 1.6 TFLOPS GPU must 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 actually pinpoint the {hardware}’s means (except you’re planning on operating scientific calculations on the Steam Deck to make use of it for machine studying reasonably than gaming, I suppose).

One purpose 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, in contrast to standalone video playing cards coming with their very own provide of reminiscence.

Then again, the RDNA 2 structure makes the comparability even tougher 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 troublesome to put, however it might 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 fascinating. It’s lightning-fast and quad-channel—which is of specific significance in an APU System just like the Steam Deck for the rationale said above (that an built-in graphics processor has to ‘share’ system reminiscence for VRAM performance).

But it surely provides yet one more variable when attempting 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 must 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 all the pieces 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, we’ve some thought of how the early prototype performs in quite a lot 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 may be partially attributed to this low decision. Which many reviewers claimed to be superb within the handheld type issue. However for more information on how the Steam Deck could be anticipated to carry out in gaming workloads, contemplate looking 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 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 throughout the ‘Poor’ to ‘Entry’ vary on the Logical Increments tier list. 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 greater settings and/or greater resolutions in some video games. However relative to its dimension and value, that’s nonetheless a reasonably unbelievable rating.

After all, 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 sport or software program that you’re excited to run with the Steam Deck? Is there any facet of the specs we didn’t talk about that you just discover fascinating? Depart your feedback beneath!

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