Valve’s Steam Deck is a powerful handheld gaming machine. It allows players to access and play their Steam-based gaming library without needing to use a regular PC.
What Is a Steam Deck?
The Valve Steam Deck looks like a Nintendo Switch with the option for players to connect it to a monitor or TV, as well as pair controllers, mice, or keyboards to it, it uses SteamOS, Valve’s Linux-based operating system. Made specifically with gaming through Steam in mind.
You can only get the Steam Deck available on a reservation basis with a long waiting list at this time It’s able to play games that were built for Windows with the option to pause and resume games much like other portable gaming devices.
On the 25th of February, The first Steam Deck handheld devices were released, and ever since then, more units have become steadily available to customers who have reserved one for $5 but the waiting list remains many months long.
Currently, It is only available to reserve in the US, UK, Canada, and the European Union. According to Valve, more countries will be able to order it soon.
Steam Deck Specs and Connectivity
The Steam Deck’s 7-inch screen size is the same as the OLED Switch,it is functional, but unimpressive. It has a slightly higher 1,280-by-800-pixel resolution (the Switch’s display is 1,280 by 720). The screen is a 60Hz IPS LCD, so it’s bright and easy to read, but it lacks the deep blacks and vibrant colors you get with OLED.
The Steam Deck also has stereo speakers, a 3.5mm jack for plugging in headphones, dual mics, and can have devices connected to them through USB-C or Bluetooth. It can also be docked with a monitor to be used like a regular gaming PC.
Internally, the Steam Deck runs on an AMD processor with a quad-core, eight-thread Zen 2 CPU that pushes up to 448 GFlops, and a RDNA 2 GPU that pushes up to 1.6 TFlops.
They make use of the same architecture as AMD’s Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs, respectively. however, they don’t have direct equal with consumer desktop or mobile processors. Based purely on TFlops, though, it’s pretty far behind the PlayStation 5 (10 TFlops) and the Xbox Series X(12 TFlops). In fairness, the Steam Deck is designed to primarily push an eighth as many pixels as those 4K systems.
The unique platform means we can’t run all of our standard benchmarking software, but we still performed extensive tests to see how well the Steam Deck runs games. Basically, it’s better than Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 and other well-equipped notebooks with integrated graphics, but it can’t compare with a dedicated, high-end GPU like the Nvidia RTX GeForce 3050 Ti.
For connections, the Steam Deck has a single USB 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C port that handles nearly every wired connection besides 3.5mm headsets (a headphone jack is there, too). It charges the Steam Deck with the included USB-C wall adapter, and works with any 45W PD3.0 power supply.
The Steam Deck can output audio or video over USB-C or DisplayPort 1.4. In case you’re wondering, yes, the Steam Deck works with a standard USB-C dock to enable additional ports and HDMI output.Wireless connectivity includes dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0. You can connect gamepads, mice, and keyboardsto the Steam Deck through Bluetooth.
Steam Deck Battery life will vary wildly depending on what games you play, but don’t get your hopes up of long play sessions without plugging the handheld into a power socket. Valve calculate as few as two hours between charges for games that use a lot of processing power, but simpler games can stretch the battery out as long as eight hours. That two-hour limit seems to match my testing with Horizon Zero Dawn and Monster Hunter Rise.
What is the Steam Deck’s gaming performance like?
The Steam Deck gaming performance is highly impressive over a slew of games tested. You’re looking at 30–40fps average in Horizon Zero Dawn, GTA V, and Forza Horizon 5. And even 51fps average in God of War.
According to some reports from Tom’s Hardware suggested games ran between 30 FPS and 60 FPS depending on the image quality settings, with no slowdown occurring. We actually found that locking the fps to 40 delivered the best blend of performance and battery life for our needs, though Valve has currently removed that option.
What Games Are Compatible With the Steam Deck?
On a regular basis, Valve updates the record of games verified to work on the Steam Deck, Other games may have a yellow ‘i’ next to their name which means they are playable but have some issues. While other games may also work, the best games to play have a green tick next to their name on the list.
There are also lots of unsupported games. However, it is possible to use game streaming services like GeForce Now for unsupported games,