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 we have seen in recent times integrated PCs in the form of a portable console such as the GPD Win. Within this approach, Valve has designed its 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 that failed Spanish project based on creating a portable Steam Machine, dubbed SMACH-Z. Well, the Steam Deck is as if Valve had rescued that project and updated it to launch it under its own brand. Its technical specifications? Its main APU is the AMD Van Gogh, which has been designed by AMD for this Valve project, said APU has a CCX CCD with 4 cores and 8 threads Zen 2 that works between 2.4 and 3.5 GHz and an RDNA 2 GPU that moves between 1 GHz and 1.6 GHz.
If you want to get an exact idea of its raw power, in terms of GPU this is at the level of base versions of the previous generation consoles: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Compared to the Nintendo Switch it can be up to an order of more powerful magnitude. 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, it is equipped with 16 GB of type LPDDR5 with a speed of 5500 mega transfers per cycle. Valve has not told us what the size of the bus is in its first technical specifications. But the memory bandwidth is important for the final performance of this system and depending on the bus chosen by Valve, its performance may vary. Of its technical specifications it is the one that we see as the weakest.
Regarding storage memory, the base model comes with 64 GB eMMC, while the more advanced models have a built-in 256GB or 512GB NVMe SSD with a 4-lane PCI Express 3.0 interface. What supposes a speed of access to the games that we can qualify as spectacular for a portable system. Of course, we will have to see how it impacts energy consumption and battery life. In all three cases it will be possible to expand the storage capacity through microSD cards.
This is Valve’s “console” on the outside
The Steam Deck It has the classic buttons and levers that all consoles have today, as are the four front action buttons, the crosshead, two analog sticks, the two top buttons. the two triggers and the classic menu button. So you will not be short of buttons in the games, but it is also It has integrated the four cam buttons that have the most advanced control knobs on the market on the back.
Valve has not forgotten its Steam Controller and has added its main novelty which were the trackpads, this time in the form of 2 square 30 mm trackpads with haptic feedback. Capacity that we achieve thanks to Integrated MEMS that provide the same type of vibration as the PS5 DualSense and classic 6-axis accelerometers and gyros.
And what about the screen? Well, it is a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and therefore with a 16:10 aspect ratio, its refresh rate is 60Hz. It is a screen resolution similar to that of Nintendo Switch and for many people it may seem like a low resolution. To this we must emphasize that it is an ideal resolution for the GPU to get the most out of the games in the GPU that is 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 as we cannot install a third-party operating system. So that We can install Windows and use it like a conventional PC. Which 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 gaming PC. conventional.
And what about games? Well, being a PC and Valve it is clear that we can play our collection of Steam games, which for many after long years is immense for many of us and many of those games have never been played in the style of a console laptop.
The Steam Deck will launch in December this year in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Pre-orders for this awesome Valve hardware start today. Its price? The 64 GB eMMC version costs € 419, while 256GB and 512G versionsB they go at € 549 and € 679 respectively.