As reported by HardwareLuxx, May 28 Valve introduced changes to the SSD specifications for the older versions of the Steam Deck console: now devices can come with drives that run two times slower than originally announced.It should be noted that the Russian page of the device these changes are not - in Russia the console is not officially delivered.Image source: steamdeck.comThe English Steam Deck page now states that the two older versions of the console comes with 256-and 512 GB NVMe SSD drives with PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2 interfaces.It is emphasized that Valve has tested both of these drives and \"saw no difference in gaming performance between x2 and x4\".The manufacturer did not specify the reasons why they had to change the characteristics of the device, but according to the specifications of the standard, PCIe Gen 3 x2 interface can provide speed up to 2048 Mbytes / s, and it is, for example, four times faster than the SSD interface with SATA.On the other hand, the PCIe Gen 3 x4 version offers an additional two-fold speed increase, but you can take advantage of this advantage only on a very small number of games.Valve stressed that the specification changes affected only NVMe-drives, and the budget model with 64 GB eMMC it did not touch, and high-speed MicroSD slot also remained the same for all three options.Unfortunately, there is no way to find out in advance which drive comes with which version.
The portable computer Steam Deck received another update, which added several useful features to the firmware at once.Also, the new software version fixed several bugs, improved performance and keyboard mapping.The main new feature of the current update is a feature that allows you to save settings for each game separately.The developers assure that this software \"feature\" has no effect on the system settings.Moreover, the player can open a quick menu and switch between user and system settings with one button.If there are no system settings for the game, the Steam Deck handheld will use the system settings.It is claimed that the announced feature was one of the most anticipated among all device owners.So far players have to configure settings for each game separately.Journalists from The Verge have already had a chance to \"feel\" the new Steam Deck firmware and concluded that the new feature requires improvement.The player cannot yet save profiles for different situations (with settings focusing on quality or performance, for example).The software update for Steam Deck described above was released today, May 12.
A fresh software update, discussed earlier this month, for the Steam Deck handheld has added system-wide support for AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) scaling technology with Gamescope's Wayland composer.
The technology is built into the SteamOS operating system itself - meaning that FSR can be activated even for games that don't support AMD's scaling technology, but are compatible with Valve's handheld. In the case of projects where FSR support is provided by the developers themselves, gamers are advised to use the official implementation of the technology. This ensures that FSR will not affect other game elements - for example, the readability of UI elements, which otherwise will be scaled from a lower resolution, as well as the game itself. At the same time, the fact that Steam Deck has a low resolution display (720p) can noticeably affect the picture quality after AMD FSR is activated in the game, officially not supporting this technology. This is where the sharpening filters built into a particular project should come in to help. AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution is a technology that allows increasing frame rate without affecting graphics quality. It renders frames with a lower resolution and then scales them using a special algorithm, which allows spending less computing power. Remind also that yesterday the PC-version of Cyberpunk 2077 got the AMD FSR support with the patch 1.5 release.
During the Steam Deck Development online event, Valve revealed some details about the work on the portable console, as well as the chip from AMD, which powers the device.
The hybrid chip, codenamed Aerith, was developed by AMD from scratch & ; the goal of the project was to provide stable performance over time. The platform is based on a central 4-core and 8-core Zen 2 processor, clocked between 2.4 and 3.5 GHz. Given the goals of the project, Valve focused on stable clock speeds. The peak FP32 performance of the Zen 2 chip is 448 Gflops & ; this is not the most efficient way to measure the CPU's capabilities, but Valve has not yet provided other data. Aerith is slightly slower than the Ryzen 3 Pro 4450U (473.6 Gflops), which is the closest of the peers on the market. The Aerith has a TDP rating of 4 to 15 watts. There is no hard temperature limit for the chip, so Valve urges game developers to limit the number of frames. This was a conscious decision & ; the company wanted Aerith to deliver the same performance when connected to the network and in standalone mode. Under certain conditions, such as playing in the sun on a hot day, Steam Deck can limit other parameters: device charging speed, loading speed, or SSD bandwidth & ; all for stable graphics performance.
The four cores of the Zen 2 CPU work together with eight RDNA 2 blocks (ranging from 1GHz to 1.6GHz). We are talking about the same RDNA 2 architecture, as in the latest models of AMD Radeon video cards: the same set of features are supported, including FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) intelligent scaling. On paper, a single RDNA 2 unit shows FP32-performance of 1.6 Tflops. In practice, at reasonable graphics settings Steam Deck shows up to 60 fps in many modern games. Aerith runs with 16GB of LPDDR5 memory (up to 88Gbps bandwidth) and 1GB of VRAM. This is AMD's first chip capable of LPDDR5. As Valve clarified, modern games work great with 8 to 12 GB of memory, so 16 GB will be enough for the future. Steam Deck was originally expected to debut in December, but a chip shortage forced Valve to postpone the launch to February next year.
Valve introduced the Steam Deck portable gaming console, which will allow you to play products sold on Steam anywhere. The device is equipped with a powerful processor, a large amount of RAM and will be sold in several variants.
As stated by Valve, Steam Deck & ; «the most powerful multifunctional portable gaming PC in the world». The device features AMD's 2.4-3.5GHz Zen2 processor-based chip and 1.0-1.6GHz RDNA2 GPU (up to 1.6 Tflops FP32), as well as 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. The 1280 × 800 pixels (16:10) LCD touchscreen has a 7-inch diagonal, 60 Hz refresh rate and 400 cd/m2 brightness.
The portable gaming PC» runs on the SteamOS 3.0 operating system, which in turn is based on Arch Linux. And the desktop is presented in the form of a shell KDE Plasma. It is announced that the console will have a quick stop and resume function: by pressing the power button, the system will pause your game and go to sleep mode; by turning it on, you can resume playing from the place where you finished. To see how the system menu works, visit the official Steam Deck website.
The Steam Deck has two full-size analog sticks with capacitive sensors, two trackpads with tactile feedback and pressure sensitivity, as well as A B X Y buttons, a crossbar, left and right analog triggers, left and right bumpers, the «View» and «Menu» buttons and four assignable buttons. The Steam Deck also features a six-axis gyroscope.
In addition, the Steam Deck has Bluetooth 5.0 wireless interfaces with controller and other device support (including audio) and Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz). Sound in the device is provided by stereo speakers, and multichannel audio can be connected via DisplayPort via USB Type-C, standard USB Type-C or Bluetooth 5.0. The console can output images to large screens at up to 8K resolution at 60 Hz or 4K resolution at 120 Hz.
The Steam Deck's battery is claimed to be 40W·h and can handle two to eight hours of gaming.
As we have already written, the gaming device will be sold in several variants. There are three in total:
With 64GB of eMMC storage and a case for $399; With 256GB in the form of a faster NVMe SSD, a case and an exclusive Steam community profile kit for $529; with 512GB in an even faster NVMe SSD, an exclusive case, premium anti-glare glass, an exclusive Steam community profile kit, and an exclusive virtual keyboard theme for $649.
Separate from the Steam Deck will be sold as an accessory & ; a docking station that will allow connection to external displays, a wired network, USB peripherals and a power source. More details about it will come later. However, Valve also mentioned that if you have a USB Type-C hub, you can use it instead of the docking station. Notably, the Steam Deck itself also has support for a microSD card to increase storage capacity.
Steam Deck will go on sale in December 2021 in the U.S., Canada, EU and the UK. In other regions the device is expected next year.
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