What can a Valve Steam Deck portable PC do compared to consoles?

Everything Valve promises on Steam Deck sounds great, but what do the numbers show?

Yesterday, Valve announced the company’s next big launch, the Steam Deck handheld console. It is practically a pocket PC on which you can run your Steam library games happily, but you can also install it from external stores, such as EGS. Valve promises that the Steam Deck will actually be able to do anything a person can expect from a (Linux-based) PC. SteamOS runs on the console, but third-party programs and operating systems can be installed smoothly – yes, Windows as well.

It all sounds almost too good to be true. In addition to well-sounding promises, however, it’s sometimes worth taking a look at the sheer numbers if you’re just curious about raw power from a hardware standpoint. And why not be them?

Let’s start quickly with the exact specification of the Steam Deck: the Valve handheld console is based on an AMD APU with an eight-core Zen 2 CPU and an AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM using 8 computing units.

There are a total of three versions available, but they will not differ in terms of graphics performance, resolution, or image refresh. The € 419 version comes with 64GB of eMMC storage, while the € 549 already comes with a 256GB NVMe SSD. The most expensive version, 679 euros, gets a 512GB NVMe SSD.

At first, a comparison with the Nintendo Switch seems the most obvious, as we’re talking two 720p touchscreen handheld devices, but the specifications immediately show that the Switch is already a four-year-old console. You don’t have to go any further than the 2019 Control to see some addresses the Switch can only run through the cloud, its raw power isn’t enough for that – unlike Steam Deck, it was specifically promoted with the Control. And also flashed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and No Man’s Sky had never run on a handheld console before.

In addition, the Switch, which uses the Nvidia Tegra X1 chipset, is more accurate for comparison with a next-gen console, ie PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, because they, like the Steam Deck, have an AMD Zen 2 CPU. and RDNA 2 GPUs are used, so similar architectures can be stacked side by side. The Switch wins in one area over Valve’s novelty: it can produce 4.5-9 hours of run time on a single charge, while the Steam Deck can only produce 2-8 hours.

So let’s see the exact specification of the Valve Steam Deck compared to the next-gen consoles – the table grows after a click.

By the way, let’s not forget that the original PlayStation 5 was capable of 1.84 teraflops and the Xbox One S was only 1.4. So in terms of raw power, the Valve Steam Deck is closer to these machines, but it doesn’t matter at all whether it’s a TV-connected desktop console or a dedicated 720p handheld machine.

If you are interested in the magical world of teraflops anyway, you should read this explanation or watch the 2020 video below.

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Source: PC World Online Hírek by pcworld.hu.

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