The Pierre-Loup Griffais valve encoder has cleared up that when Valve says that the new Steam Deck gaming laptop targets 30fps for gaming at its native 800p resolution, that “refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our benchmarks; the games we’ve tested and proven have been consistently met and exceeded that bar thus far. “
Additionally, Griffais says the Steam Deck will include “an optional built-in FPS limiter to adjust performance based on battery life.” Presumably the limiter can be enabled via overlay, and will ideally remember the settings chosen by a player for each game.
Valve has been slowly trickle-feeding information on the new Steam Deck, via their best friends IGN, and recently released a ton of information on the key hardware at the heart of the device.
In addition to detailing the process and performance of having part of your game library on an SD card, and the fact that Valve has yet to find a game that the Deck can’t handle, key people on the Steam Deck project have spoken a a bit more about the actual performance of the device itself.
Thanks to running the latest AMD APU, a quad-core Zen 2 CPU with 8 CU RDNA 2, Valve believes it has enough power in the device to cope with the rigors of modern gaming. And it seems that current trends toward high-resolution, high-fps gaming are really helping.
“If people are still valuing high frame rates and high resolutions on different platforms,” says Griffais, “I think the content will come down to our 800p, 30Hz target really well.”
Although it sounds like a note of caution about what might happen for people who want to favor image quality instead, it notes that “we could be in a position where we could have trade-offs, but we really haven’t seen it yet.”
And while you haven’t seen existing games that Steam Deck can’t handle, Valve is also confident in performance going forward.
“I think an important factor is that we are using the next generation GPU from AMD,” says hardware engineer Yazan Aldehayyat. “We’re using a next-gen CPU from AMD, even the memory itself, we’re using LPDDR5, which is completely new to the industry. I think we could actually be one of the first products to showcase this new memory technology. , it gives us many proofs of the future “.
Aldehayyat also continues to talk about other systems using the same architecture, and he could well be talking about the RDNA 2 optimizations that are being made for the Xbox Series X / S and PlayStation 5 systems that also help the Steam Deck.
“We are not the only people with this architecture,” he says, “any user who has it, and any optimizations that game developers do for this new architecture will also apply to all system manufacturers. So I think we are in a great place.”
There is also the possibility that Aldehayyat is talking about other possible systems that manufacturers could be making, built around the same custom ‘Van Gogh’ AMD APU and with Valve’s SteamOS 3.0 operating system.
Big boss Gabe Newell has talked about wanting the Steam Deck to open up a new category of products, “which could have long-term benefits” for Valve as a company, after all.