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Valve and AMD working to bring Windows 11 to the Steam Deck as handheld impresses in initial hands-on videos

The Steam Deck could offer more than 50% better gaming performance compared to Vega-based handhelds. (Image source: Valve)
The Steam Deck could offer more than 50% better gaming performance compared to Vega-based handhelds. (Image source: Valve)
Valve has revealed new details about the Steam Deck, including the console's expected performance when docked. Early hands-on videos have offered a glimpse at what framerates we should expect from the first RDNA 2-based handheld console, too.

Valve may have unveiled the Steam Deck almost a month ago, but many unknowns remain about the handheld console. Thankfully, the likes of Giant BombLinus Tech Tips, PC Gamer and The Verge have published hands-on videos with the Steam Deck, which provide an overview of the console's performance.

The Steam Deck is the first handheld with an RDNA 2 GPU, the same architecture in the PlayStation 5, Radeon RX 6000 series and Xbox Series consoles. Unsurprisingly, the Steam Deck has a cutdown GPU, with 8 compute cores and an alleged computing power of 1.6 TFLOPS (FP32). For reference, the APU also includes four Zen 2 processor cores that support Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT). 

Valve has paired this APU with 16 GB of quad-channel LPDDR5 RAM, clocked at 5,500 MT/s, maximising the former's bandwidth. These figures culminate in roughly a 60% higher framerate in games compared to the AYA NEO, which has a Ryzen 5 4500U. Likewise, The Verge reports that Control and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt run smoothly at medium details at the display's 1,280 x 800 native resolution.

Unfortunately, the Steam Deck will be incapable of running games at much higher resolution when docked. Apparently, Valve did not consider 1080p gaming on an external monitor a priority, for whatever reason. Hence, there will not necessarily be a performance benefit from docking the Steam Deck, as there is with the Nintendo Switch.

Valve has also stated that it and AMD are working to provide Windows 11 compatibility for the Steam Deck. According to Valve, it does not see why the console would be incompatible with Microsoft's latest OS, even though the latter requires that systems have at least a 9-inch display. The Steam Deck will run SteamOS 3.0 out of the box anyway, so the console will not be left on an outdated OS when it ships.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 5721 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 08 > Valve and AMD working to bring Windows 11 to the Steam Deck as handheld impresses in initial hands-on videos
Alex Alderson, 2021-08-10 (Update: 2021-08-10)