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  • Showing only topics with the tag "steam deck". Back to normal view
    1. Steam Deck: Unofficial shipping update

      I wanted to give everyone here a heads' up that it seems like Valve is through most of its preorders for the Steam Deck, so the delay between reserving one and receiving a confirmation is...

      I wanted to give everyone here a heads' up that it seems like Valve is through most of its preorders for the Steam Deck, so the delay between reserving one and receiving a confirmation is essentially negligible at this point (unlike the months-long waits of the past).

      Anecdotally: my husband put in a reservation on Sunday and received confirmation on Monday, the next day (US 512GB model).

      Less anecdotally: /r/steamdeck is unofficially confirming this for all queues except the EU 64GB model.

      If you've been waiting out the wait time for a Steam Deck, it looks like your time has come! You should be able to get one almost ASAP moving forward.

      Also, if you're on the fence about it, I cannot recommend it enough. I absolutely love mine.

      14 votes
    2. Two weeks with the Steam Deck

      I received my Steam Deck on June 6th and have used it literally every day since then. Here are some assorted thoughts that might be of value to people either waiting on theirs or on the fence...

      I received my Steam Deck on June 6th and have used it literally every day since then. Here are some assorted thoughts that might be of value to people either waiting on theirs or on the fence about ordering:

      The Good

      • I had no idea until I got it that there's an official Deck test game: Aperture Desk Job. It's essentially a cute test/tutorial for the Deck's controls, set in the Portal universe. Takes about half an hour, but it's a fun onboarding for the device.
      • On the past two Saturdays, I have woken up and played Vampire Survivors with one hand while I held my morning coffee in the other. This is the way.
      • The control remapping options are absolutely incredible. It is a very robust system. Even simple fixes (like putting A on a back paddle so I can play Vampire Survivors one-handed) can make a world of difference.
      • I haven't run many heavy games on it, but I started up Bugsnax, and it was keeping a solid 60 FPS and looked great.
      • Emulation on the device is a dream. I haven't done anything past OG PlayStation games yet, but the power of the device, the robust control customization, and the ease of installing emulators (adding Flatpaks in desktop mode) make this absolutely ideal for revisiting older consoles. I've spent probably 80% of my time on the device in PSOne games.
      • Battery life is fine, but I don't really use it. I bought a long power cord and spend most of the time with it plugged in on my couch since it has passthrough. I thought the cord sticking out the top of the device would bother me, but it hasn't really been an issue.
      • Game selection is increasing steadily (1700+ verified games currently). If you're buying it to play specific games you might be disappointed, as there's still a lot that doesn't work. If you're buying it for games in general though, there is plenty to keep you occupied.
      • The grips are MUCH more comfortable for bigger hands than standard Switch joycons. Those would always cramp my hands, but the Deck feels natural and comfortable.
      • The middle of the device gets warm to the touch during gameplay, especially on more demanding stuff, but the grips remain cool and you won't feel the heat at all unless you specifically move your hands to the back middle of the device.

      The Bad

      • The paddles on the back are a little awkward, and I accidentally click them more than I like. In most games they're not mapped to anything so it's fine, but in emulators I use them for save states. I had to set them to respond to long presses only so my accidental clicks didn't mess things up.
      • The software is... still getting there. I get navigation issues on store and profile pages frequently, along with frequent UI lag. It's a bit unpolished at the moment.
      • Don't know if it's specific to my hardware or a software bug, but sometimes it won't log me in to my Friends list and the only fix is a reboot.
      • I wish the control sticks had deeper indents for your thumbs. They're pretty flat, and my thumbs tend to slip off on stick-focused games (most noticeable on my right (aiming) thumb during 20 Minutes Till Dawn).
      • Bluetooth headphones have to be manually reconnected in the Settings menu each time. No idea why this is, but it's a bit of an inconvenience.
      • Mid-game suspending is still clunky. I don't really do it, as I don't trust that it'll save like it should. It also still counts playtime while suspended but seems to have a rollback feature? I put the device to sleep with a game open that I'd played for 20 minutes and came back to it saying I'd played it for 3 hours. The playtime ended up dropping back down to 20 minutes, but only after I restarted the device.

      The Ugly

      • There isn't any ugly. I absolutely love this device. Despite my nitpicks above, I think it's nothing short of splendid. I'm more excited about this than I've been about anything in videogaming in a long time.

      If anyone has any questions, ask away! Also if any other people here have their Steam Decks and want to chime in with their experiences (@Autoxidation), go for it!

      36 votes
    3. Three weeks of Steam Deck game compatibility data

      I've been checking in each Friday since the release of the Steam Deck to see the number of games that have been added to the Deck's different compatibility categories. I felt like it was a bit...

      I've been checking in each Friday since the release of the Steam Deck to see the number of games that have been added to the Deck's different compatibility categories. I felt like it was a bit past time to keep bumping the release thread, so I went with a new topic.

      Here's where we're at currently:

      2022-02-25 2022-03-04 2022-03-11 2022-03-18 Week 1 Change Week 2 Change Week 3 Change
      Deck Verified 433 535 721 798 +102 +186 +77
      Deck Playable 398 471 580 678 +73 +109 +98
      Deck Unsupported 389 711 775 837 +313 +64 +62
      Steam Total Games N/A 67,165 67,399 67,627 N/A +234 +228
      15 votes
    4. 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