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  • Showing only topics with the tag "steam". Back to normal view
    1. A practical take on Steam Deck performance (but really just general observations intended for Reddit hype)

      Edit: Formatting by the generous PetitPrince. Steam Deck AMD Ryzen 7 4800U 7nm TSMC process 7nm TSMC process AMD Zen 2 CPU AMD Zen 2 CPU 4 cores / 8 threads 8 cores / 16 threads 2.4GHz base clock...

      Edit: Formatting by the generous PetitPrince.

      Steam Deck AMD Ryzen 7 4800U
      7nm TSMC process 7nm TSMC process
      AMD Zen 2 CPU AMD Zen 2 CPU
      4 cores / 8 threads 8 cores / 16 threads
      2.4GHz base clock / 3.5GHz turbo 1.8GHz base clock / 4.2GHz turbo
      unspecified L3 cache (4~8 MB) 8 MB L3 cache
      AMD RDNA 2 GPU AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
      8 CUs 8 CUs
      1-1.6GHz up to 1.75GHz
      4-15 Watts 15 Watts (10-25W and up to ~48 total system in some laptop benchmarks)
      16GB LPDDR5 5500MHz LPDDR4 4266MHz
      128-bit memory bus width (32-bit quad channel) † 64-bit memory bus width (32-bit dual channel)
      40Whr battery (2-8 hrs gameplay) †† /

      † shared between CPU and GPU; exact memory access scheme unspecified
      †† ~2.5 hrs at rated 15W APU power draw; also consider SSD, screen, controls, WiFi, etc.

      7nm process

      This APU is probably on the exact same TSMC process node as the Ryzen 7 4800U.

      CPU cores

      Half the cores; worse multithreading performance. More power for the GPU†.

      † power management features probably do this in practice.

      Overall this shouldn't matter much. Maybe impacts people who compress game files or want to use the Steam Deck for things other than gaming.

      CPU clock speeds

      A somewhat low max boost. Probably from power and thermal considerations. Is it the sustained max boost? With just the CPU? How about max GPU? Can it clock higher when docked?

      A surprisingly high minimum clock. I hope it can clock lower than 2.4GHz.

      Overall, this is subject to power and thermal limitations and management. Needs to be tested by a trusted third party. I am hopeful that as a handheld PC, we can adjust clocks and boosting behavior. These behaviors may be different on Linux compared to Windows.

      CPU cache

      Unspecified, I expect 8MB from AMD but we could see 4-6 as a cost and power saving measure.

      GPU

      Docked performance will likely be held back by the 8 CUs.

      The clock speeds look good, about what was expected. Same goes for sustained boost as for the CPU boost.

      By implementing the Radeon RX Vega 8 on 7nm, the process improvement gains have already been realized. Additionally, I speculate that AMD has had ample opportunity for some under the hood improvements to the aging microarchitecture. Some benchmarks found it to be 30-40% faster than an RX Vega 10 (a larger GPU) on the older process node. However, the clock speeds were twice as high compared to the RX Vega 10. Consider also that the 15W laptop was pulling ~48 watts.

      Since it becomes difficult for me to speculate on GPU microarchitectural improvements, I will consider the APU's 8 CU RDNA 2 GPU to have comparable performance to the Ryzen 7 4800U's Radeon RX Vega 8.

      This is mostly for convenience. It may be realistic to expect somewhat lower performance because the handheld Steam Deck APU is unlikely to be allowed to pull more than 20~25 watts. More on this in the battery life section.

      By far the most significant improvements from the RDNA 2 GPU, in my mind, stem from the latest GPU features; modern video decoding, Vulkan features, mesh shading, and more. Also, being the same microarchitecture that console developers will be targeting.

      Feel free to substitute your own speculative performance, but please don't let hype bias your expectations, and be careful when seeking out benchmarks.

      APU power draw

      4 watts is pretty clearly the minimum idling draw seen in windows laptops with Zen 2 CPUs.

      Unfortunately this is high compared to ARM CPUs. It may also be subject to the level of optimizations done on the firmware and the custom Linux distribution. People willing to roll their own might be able to get this lower? It would require getting your hands dirty, and don't bank on it. I'll be happy if Valve actually gets idling consistently down to 4 watts.

      As for 15 watts, it is pretty clear that commonly shared expectations of the hardware are not tailored for this rated power draw. People are expecting performance that comes with 40-80 watts. I expect the APU to draw as high as 20~25 watts in certain circumstances, but this is speculation, and cannot be verified until Steam Decks are in the hands of trusted third party reviewers such as Gamer's Nexus.

      And make no mistake, drawing anything over 15 watts in the APU will have battery life implications, which I will cover later.

      RAM

      If there is anything I am allowing to build my expectations, it is probably this. To my knowledge, we haven't much seen LPDDR5 in devices yet, so there is some novelty and some unknowns.

      Compared to DDR4/LPDDR4, even this reduced speed (saving more power btw) LPDDR5 memory will be faster, finally reaching something similar to dedicated GDDR memory speeds on older budget discrete mobile graphics cards. It has plenty of new power saving features, and should generally draw less power anyway.

      But let me be clear on what it isn't; it is not GDDR5, and it is not GDDR6 as seen in the Xbox Series X or S. Please do not confuse these. I have seen people refer to it as all kinds of things. IT IS NOT GDDR, IT IS NOT LPDDR4, IT IS NOT LPDDR6.

      Okay. With that out of the way, the other half of this that has me tentatively hopeful is the listed 128-bit quad channel memory. I am not qualified to speak on the nature of memory accesses and on memory channels, but generally, this should be responsible for the memory bus bandwidth to approach that of budget discrete graphics cards.

      Hopefully this improves the GPU performance significantly.

      Also, while I initially assumed 16 GB of RAM was such overkill for the target resolutions that it could only be to pander to the PC gaming crowd which would identify the gratuitous RAM with a premium product, I speculate it was just a byproduct of having four memory packages for quad channel. I'm guessing the smallest packages LPDDR5 came in was 4 GB. Anyway, I might be wrong on this account, and it doesn't much matter; there is more than enough RAM, faster I believe than any older APU already on the market (we aren't counting the consoles okay), and it should save power all the while.

      Considering people would still be buying the Steam Deck regardless, I say well done Valve, even if it was required to hit performance targets or actually a financial boon behind the curtain.

      Storage

      At first I was upset the base model was eMMC rather than an NVMe SSD, given how cheap 64/128 GB SSDs are in bulk. On second consideration, it makes a lot of sense.

      I speculate that at best, the base model has an extremely narrow profit margin. Even a cheap SSD might eat into that. But even more, eMMC should be more than enough for anyone intending to use the Steam Deck primarily for 2D games and emulation, which is historically a staple segment of the handheld market. These are the games that will also be happy on a microSD.

      In this way, there is some product segmentation for the mid and high tier models, which are making money on the storage.

      I personally have placed a reservation for the base model, although I intend to upgrade the storage myself. However, it is difficult to obtain benchmarks of power draw for m.2 SSDs of this size beyond "less than bigger NVMe drives because fewer chips and no DDR4 cache probably", so it might not be an advisable tradeoff to anyone but the budget conscious and those seeking a full 1TB fast NVMe storage.

      Speaking of power, my limited findings are suggesting ~3.5W power draw from appropriate m.2 NVMe SSDs, meaning the eMMC model may also deliver the best battery life (even before accounting for less demanding titles). That is probably the listed 8 hours.

      Keep in mind I don't know much about the power draw of eMMC, and the power management differences between eMMC and NVMe.

      One last thing; Microsoft promised optimized games for the Series S that would have reduced asset sizes for the reduced storage. A promise it appears they haven't been able to deliver on. However, this is a very good idea and I would be THRILLED if Valve was able to wrangle a user selection of asset quality when downloading games. Some PC games have higher quality assets as DLC, and generally as a handheld PC we have some ability to do this manually. Compressing game files might also be an avenue?

      Battery life

      Everyone looks for different things in a product. So far I've tried to provide a relatively practical, unbiased take on the Steam Deck's listed specs, leaving it up to readers to decide what they care about.

      But if you saw the Steam Deck and a short battery life never once crossed your mind, it probably isn't a concern for you. I don't know what your usecase is; maybe permanently docked, perhaps just keeping it around the house. It doesn't really matter, and I think the Steam Deck is a particularly solid value for you in particular.

      It is pretty easy to do a battery life calculation. So everyone should do so with their own speculations on the total system power draw, when gaming, idling, etc. Things to account for are the APU, screen, WiFi, SSD, RAM, and so on.

      I figure something like 1.5 < x < 2.5 hours for full fat gaming. I probably should have watched the video (holy cow can you believe I'm going to post this whole essay without watching the video!?) but I believe 6 hours 30 fps was thrown around, so that should be the upper limit possible for general gaming and optimized titles. I'm pretty confident the 8 hours is a best case scenario only on the eMMC model running 2D or generally less demanding games.

      The math here is simple so make up your own mind!

      Lastly, with a PC we have some wiggle room to optimize settings and we can also destroy battery life I'm sure. So remember, frame limits are your friend on a 60 hz screen, and on mobile devices in general. Also, reducing settings possibly. It really goes against my nature as a PC gamer though, considering I play Skyrim with an ENB on a GTX 660M. At a stuttery 10~15 fps. Yeah, sometimes a stable 30 fps is the way to go, but I'm a hypocrite who just can't wait to run 1080p and downscale to remove jaggies!

      Weight

      I wasn't sure if I should include this, as I am skipping other things like the microSD card slot (other than that I genuinely would have preferred a regular SD card slot so I could emulate having game cartridges; actually, I need to look up splitting game files across onboard and removable storage).

      Still, it deserves a mention; I have no clue if it will be too heavy for me. I suspect going from the Switch to the Steck will be frustrating, although some have pointed out that the placement of buttons and joysticks will make it easier to rest it while playing. Also I'mma just call it the Steck from now on, my apologies.

      Overall, it looks bulky and heavy and might be a pain to tote around. But modding makes this worth it for me personally.

      Actual Performance Numbers Please, or APNP

      I am now realizing this is way too long, and I'm spiraling out of control; there's no way I can edit all this! How long has it been since I've slept? Did I eat yet today? I will be downvoted to Oblivion for posting something this unwieldy and unreadable!

      Oh well. Before I loose consciousness, I pretty much expect 1280x800 30fps on all titles. Doesn't that seem too low? But there are overheads that go into running unoptimized PC ports of games on Linux, and frankly while Proton does great things, I'm mostly familiar with it on a desktop. What is the experience with a power budget? The Radeon RX 8 struggles with 1080p on some titles; will the Steck be able to hit 1080p 30fps on all titles, let alone 60fps?

      Anyway, I've made my base expectations. I personally anticipate for 1280x800 60fps for all titles, albiet at a limited battery life, but I don't think we can take it for granted. Docked performance, remains to be seen. 1080p 30fps seems realistic. Basically my clunky 11lb gaming laptop from 2012 with the GTX 660M, but with waaay more RAM and a tenth of the power draw. In a handheld.

      Freesync

      I don't think the display supports freesync or, as I've seen some people say, Valve would advertise that. Seems strange given the market, and if expertly implemented could potentially let the display downclock way down when appropriate. To tired to check, but possibly could be implemented down the line? That means NOT a feature, unless it is on the box when you are paying BTW.

      Wow, I Can't Believe FlippantGod Won't Shut Up

      The price is right, folks, but please don't pretend that this will double as a serious VR rig. That isn't the sort of thing you speculate on before a console is even released and benchmarked by trusted third parties.

      What do y'all think of my expectations? Too low? Too high? Any interesting morsels I may have missed? And lastly, will Reddit eat me alive if I post this there? Willing to take any and all criticisms when I wake up! And hey, if someone high up on the Tildes social ladder wants to tag this "Steck", I will forever be in your debt. I am much too scared to do so myself.

      31 votes
    2. Anyone here in the mood for a new Steam game this weekend?

      Note: this will be a noisy thread! If you would not like to see it in your feed, please use the ignore feature! IMPORTANT UPDATE This offer is no longer available. Thanks to those who...

      Note: this will be a noisy thread! If you would not like to see it in your feed, please use the ignore feature!


      IMPORTANT UPDATE

      This offer is no longer available. Thanks to those who participated!


      Anyone here in the mood for a new Steam game this weekend?

      Presumably you are, because you clicked this thread to read it! Welcome!

      What is this?

      It's a Steam game giveaway! I figured some of you might want a new game to play this weekend, and what's better than getting an awesome new game for free?!

      What's the catch?

      There isn't one! No gimmicks, and no strings attached!

      How do I get my game?

      Comment below with your choice, and I'll PM you the key. To keep the thread from being pure noise, I would also like you to, with your request, tell me about a favorite “hidden gem” game you’ve played. I love hearing about diamonds in the rough, so let me know about an underappreciated game you’ve loved (the more obscure/unknown the better).

      Also, if you end up playing the game you get this weekend (you don’t have to — it’s a gift, not an obligation!), return to the thread to tell everyone about it!

      Are there any restrictions?

      Only one game per commenter please, but note that multiple people CAN request the same game! I will give out as many of each copy as is requested!

      Why are you doing this?

      My pageant answer is about doing something nice for an awesome community during some difficult times, but the real truth is that I've been drinking a bit, there’s a seriously good bundle on right now, and as I looked at the titles in it, it made me feel deep down in my bones the unshakeable sense that more people need to play Yoku's Island Express.

      What's on offer?

      Your choices are below. I haven't played all of these, but, based on the reviews, there's not a bad game in the bunch! There's also a wide amount of variety, so hopefully you can find something that speaks to your individual interests!

      Game Genre Review Score Linux Support
      Blazing Beaks twin-stick roguelite shooter 86% positive with 999 reviews Platinum
      Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood FPS western 84% positive with 2,049 reviews Gold
      Dungeons 3 RTS dungeon sim 94% positive with 10,686 reviews Native
      Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition CRPG adventure 89% positive with 1,598 reviews Native
      The Walking Dead: The Final Season story rich zombie adventure 93% positive with 9,479 reviews Gold
      Yoku's Island Express pinball metroidvania 97% positive with 1,521 reviews Platinum
      Yooka-Laylee collectathon 3D platformer 79% positive with 2,115 reviews Native

      What do you recommend?

      First of all, thank you for asking! That’s so thoughtful.

      • Yoku's Island Express

      MORE PEOPLE NEED TO PLAY THIS (thus sayeth the truth in my bones). The game is a delight. It's charming, novel, and very well-made. "Pinball metroidvania" isn't exactly a common genre or even one that makes sense on paper, but it's pulled off splendidly. It’s also thoroughly enjoyable even if you're a complete pinball novice like me. If in doubt about which game to pick, choose this one! If, after you play it, it turns out I’ve steered you wrong, you’re allowed to return to this thread and yell at me.

      • Yooka-Laylee

      I honestly think this is one of the most unfairly criticized games out there. I genuinely don't understand why so many people had very negative reactions to it. I don't normally finish games, but I full-on 100%ed this one! It has a couple of rough spots and edges, but on the whole I thought it was wonderful and deserved far better than the lukewarm-to-hostile response it got.

      Can just ANYONE ask for a game?

      Yes. PLEASE DO. Don’t wait around thinking someone else deserves it more or you don’t want to be a bother or you don’t want to put me out or you might not play it this weekend or you might look like a freeloader. I literally WANT to give this stuff away. Nothing would make me happier than to see this thread deluged with requests! If you're someone who might get enjoyment out of any of these games, then DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK FOR ONE!


      IMPORTANT EDIT: I am handing out games even if I'm not responding in the thread to each individual request! I didn't want to keep bumping the thread myself with confirmations.

      17 votes
    3. Frogwares says the version of Sinking City on Steam was not made by them

      This is a wild, ongoing story that is playing out in a rather bizarrely. First off, here is Frogware's open letter on the situation from August 25, 2020. Basically, Frogwares signed an agreement...

      This is a wild, ongoing story that is playing out in a rather bizarrely.

      First off, here is Frogware's open letter on the situation from August 25, 2020.

      Basically, Frogwares signed an agreement with Nacon (formerly Big Ben Interactive) to license and publish their game in return for funding, but Frogwares still owned the IP. Frogwares claims that Big Ben was consistently late with payments and did not honour milestones for further funding. They took on an EGS exclusivity agreement to help get funding. At some point during the development, Nacom bought another studio and then demanded that Frogwares give their source code to this new company, which Frogwares refused to do.

      The released the game in June 2019 but then were told by Nacom that the milestones that were previously agreed to were cancelled, therefore Frogwares would see no profit from the game. Frogware filed a lawsuit and finally got access to some sales data but found it wanting in many regards. They also found that copyright notices on the game were incorrect with the result of misallocating the IP ownership. Their logo was removed from the PS4 and X1 versions of the game and they discovered that Nacon was presenting themselves as the IP owners for the game, and had bought domains for Frogwares' other Sherlock Holmes titles (most of which was published by Focus Home Interactive, with some published by Atlus in North America or self-published by Frogwares).

      Frogwares believes they had what they needed to terminate the contract with Nacon, despite some complications with the French legal system due to the COVID pandemic, and so they pulled their games from various storefronts alongside this letter.

      In January 2021, that French legal complication played out against them when the Paris Court of Appeals determined that Frogwares acted unlawfully and decided that Nacon would be able to put the game back on the market.

      Today, The Sinking City was put back on Steam with Frogwares listed as the developer, but Frogwares says they did not make this version. It seems to be an older version, missing much the DLC and features like achievements and cloud saves.

      Frogwares' own version of the game is being sold only on Gamesplanet, Origin, and the Xbox 1 Series, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch.

      21 votes