The much anticipated Steam Deck has finally been taken to task. This Chinese website has tested the developer kit out on some of the best and most loved AAA games currently available. Performance has been benchmarked against each, and early signs suggest its good news all round.
The Steam Deck is of course keenly anticipated by many to finally give the Switch a run for its money. Breaking free of Nintendo’s walled garden, the Steam Deck is being developed by Valve and will run on the Steam OS. In theory, anything that runs on your desktop battle rig, could now be played anywhere you want.
We’ve previously detailed the Steam Deck’s specifications here on ABG, but as we finally have some results of actual gameplay, let’s recap.
Valve Steam Deck Specifications at a Glance
The Steam Deck console features the AMD Van Gogh APU with 4 cores and 8 threads. The CPU operates at a base clock speed of 2.4 GHz and will turbo up to 3.5 GHz as required. The GPU utilises the AMD RDNA 2 architecture with 8 Compute Units for a total of 512 stream processors. In total, these will clock up to 1600 MHz. The CPU will offer 448 GFlops while the GPU will offer 1.6 TFLOPs of FP32 horsepower for a total of over 2 TFLOPs performance. For point of reference, this makes the Steam Deck faster than the original Xbox One or Playstation 4. Impressive stuff
Processor: AMD APU
CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)
GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)
APU power: 4-15W
RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)
Storage: 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 models include a high-speed microSD card slot
For display, the Steam Deck handheld console features a 7-inch LCD that supports a resolution of up to 1280 x 800 at 60 Hz in handheld and up to 8K/60Hz or 4K/120Hz in dock mode. For reference, all of the benchmarks you are about to read were taken in handheld mode. The OS version for the development kit is Steam OS 3.0 and supports the entire Steam library without issue.
The first game to be tested was Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The site reported an average of 36 fps in High Quality mode. But by utilising a customer configuration, the little Steam Deck ran at more than 60 fps, which is the games native resolution. The site also notes that in high quality mode it experienced no lag or stutter.
DOOM Eternal, on the other hand managed an average of 60fps on medium settings, whilst improving the visual settings dropped frames down to around 46 fps. The site notes the game was still very much playable at this frame rate,
On the eSports front, DOTA 2 fared well. The Steam deck got up to 140 fps on the hero selection menu, although that’s hardly a fair test of power. In game set at the highest possible image quality, the site pushed the handheld down to 47 fps, and at the lowest graphical settings topped over 80 fps.
Finally, moving over to one of the most demanding titles out there graphically, the lucky testers had a crack on Cyberpunk 2077. At the highest pre-set, the game dipped to between 20-30 fps. This is pretty impressive considering calibre of the game, at least graphically, although perhaps not the way to best enjoy this game.
All in all these are pretty good signs, considering this is Valve’s first outing into the handheld market. It doesn’t look like a one off either, with Value already talking about a follow up edition able to support native 4k resolution. Expect that in a year or two.
Finally, the website had a look at how hot the handheld became after prolonged use. Typically, the deck itself hovered around 43C at the back, and 29C around the grips during gameplay. The battery seems to hold muster too, with the overall charge dropping to 46% after three hours of continual gameplay. Not bad at all, for a handheld device.
A final note is that this little unit will start ready to support Windows 11 OS. This means it can be used to operate your desktop rig via Remote Play if you need that extra oomph. The Steam Deck will start shipping in December 2021 for those lucky few who managed to secure a pre-order. For everyone else, its looking like 2022.
The console will cost $399 for the OG variant, coming with 64GB of storage. The 256GB model will set you back $529, and the 512GB will cost $649. And now we know if can actually play some of the most demanding games at a reasonable frame rate, those prices start to look mighty tempting.
Source; WCCF Tech
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020