Valve's Steam Deck - After 1 year

Steam Deck

          Image : Valve

Steam Deck

Valve is known for its software and game delivery platform Steam. After years of trying to get the hardware right from the Steam Machine to the Steam Link, Valve has finally hit a home run with the Steam Deck. The Steam Deck is easily described as the "PC Nintendo Switch" like gaming handheld. Although people are calling it the “Switch Killer”, this handheld is in a whole different category. 


Device Specs 


The Steam Deck is sporting a custom AMD/APU combo. CPU: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32), GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32), APU power: 4-15W.  


Since the Steam Deck is a portal device it makes sense that it would have a small display. The screen is a 7in, 1200 x 800px (aspect ratio) with a 60Hz refresh rate. This display is only capable of 720p but it is more than enough for the form factor. The Deck has been compared to lacking in the display department considering the newer version of the Nintendo Switch is carrying an OLED screen. After using my Steam Deck, I did not think this was an issue and the lower quality screen isn’t noticeable in my opinion. This may very well be an upgraded add Valve will consider with the next variation.  


The Steam Deck comes with 3 different storage options. The lower tear options is 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe, and a 512GB NVMe. You can also add a Micro SD card up to 1TB. If you are brave to take on the task, I would recommend the 64GB option and upgrading the internal storage yourself. The task may seem difficult, but it is a lot easier than it seems. I was able to do this within 30 minutes from start to finish. I followed the iFixit guide. Currently, my Steam Deck has a 512GB NVMe and a 256GB Micro SD card. I have not run into any issues thus far whether it is out of storage or performance issues after upgrading the internal SSD and adding the 256GB Micro SD card.  

Why Deck?

I have used the Steam Deck for almost 6 month, and I can’t think of a device that is more perfect for me. What drew me to the Deck was the portability. As someone who doesn’t get to sit down and traditional play, the Deck was perfect for me. Whether it was sitting on the couch, during lunch breaks or on the go, the Deck has allowed me to get through some titles I never started in my Steam catalog. Not only did it allow me to play Steam library games but opened a whole new emulation world for me too. Sure, I used emulations in the past for my GBA kick every now and then, but the Deck brought me back to nostalgia I had been wanting. The Steam Deck has grown in popularity at a rapid pace. Developers are finding new ways to bring apps to the Deck like Chiaki. This application has allowed me to bring my PS5 to the Steam Deck with remote play. Here is the guide I followed to get myself up and running in under 10 minutes. Since some titles are not “Deck Verified”, this means you may have to fine tune the CPU and GPU to play some select titles. The Steam Deck is still in its infancy and more titles are becoming verified every day. All in all, the Steam Deck has been an excellent purchase and it can only go up from here. Before making any purchase you should always do your research know what you are getting into. The Steam Deck is a new device that can be a great or terrible experience. For myself I have loved the Steam Deck and although it has its quirks like all first time devices, I would recommend it anyone that loves to tinker and gaming on the go. Valve really took time and consideration into the Steam Deck. This device makes the future for handheld gaming one I am excited for. 

Click here for official Steam Deck specs




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