One of the best things about the Nintendo Switch console is the fact that you can play AAA classics in high definition anywhere. But its catalog is more limited than that of the PC and it lacks the power to run its games. At the same time, in recent times we have seen integrated PCs in the form of a portable console such as GPD Win. In this approach, Valve designed their Steam Deck. Let’s see how it is.
Steam Deck, Valve’s portable gaming PC with AMD Van Gogh APU
Many of you will remember this failure of the Spanish project based on the creation of a portable steam engine, called SMACH-Z. Well, the Steam Deck is as if Valve saved this project and updated it to launch it under its own brand. Its technical characteristics? Its main APU is AMD Van Gogh, which was designed by AMD for this Valve project, stated that the APU has a CCX CCD with 4 cores and 8 threads Zen 2 which operates between 2.4 and 3.5 GHz and an RDNA 2 GPU which travels between 1 GHz and 1.6 GHz.
If you want to get an exact idea of its raw power, in terms of GPU it is at the level of the basic versions of the previous generation consoles: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. an order of magnitude more powerful. The key being the development of the low power version of RDNA 2, both for Samsung’s ARM CPU mobile processors and for projects like Van Gogh.
As for the RAM memory, it is equipped with 16 GB of LPDDR5 type with a speed of 5500 mega transfers per cycle. Valve didn’t tell us what the size of the bus is in its early specs. But memory bandwidth is important to the final performance of this system and depending on the bus chosen by Valve, its performance may vary. Of its technical specifications, this is the one we consider to be the weakest.
Regarding storage memory, the basic model comes with 64 GB eMMC, while the more advanced models have a 256 GB or 512 GB NVMe SSD with a 4-lane PCI Express 3.0 interface. This assumes a speed of access to games that can be described as spectacular for a portable system. Of course, we’ll have to see how this impacts power consumption and battery life. In all three cases, it will be possible to expand the storage capacity with microSD cards.
It’s Valve’s “console” on the outside
The steam platform It has the classic knobs and levers that all consoles have today, just like the four front action buttons, the crossbar, two analog sticks, the two top buttons. the two triggers and the classic menu button. So you won’t run out of buttons in games, but it’s also It has integrated the four cam knobs which have the most advanced control knobs on the market on the back.
Valve did not forget its Steam Controller and added its main novelty which were the trackpads, this time in the form of 2 square 30mm trackpads with haptic feedback. Capacity we achieve through Built-in MEMS that provide the same type of vibration as the PS5 DualSense and conventional 6-axis accelerometers and gyroscopes.
And what about the screen? Well it’s a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and therefore with a 16:10 format, its refresh rate is 60Hz. This is a screen resolution similar to that of the Nintendo Switch and to many people it may seem like a low resolution. For this we have to stress that this is an ideal resolution for the GPU in order to get the most out of the games of the GPU integrated inside.
You can also use it on your TV
We know that the next generation consoles are based on PC technology, but unfortunately we cannot use them as a PC because we cannot install a third-party operating system. For what We can install Windows and use it like a classic PC. What we can do with the use of its docking station, a Dock that will be sold separately, which will allow us to connect PC peripherals and connect the console to a TV or monitor in order to use the Steam Deck as a a conventional gaming PC. .
And what about games? Well, being a PC and Valve, it’s clear that we can play our collection of Steam games, which for many years has been huge for many of us and a lot of these games have never been played in the way. from a laptop. .
The Steam Deck will launch in December of this year in the United States, Canada and the European Union. Pre-orders for this awesome material from Valve begin today. His price? The 64 GB eMMC version costs 419 $, while 256 GB and 512 GB versionsB is there at $ 549 and $ 679 respectively.