Steam Deck officially announced by Valve

NattyKathy

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Hmm. I've never bought LCD panels B2B in bulk.

Are refresh rates usually hard coded at a single refresh rate, or is there usually a small range.

With even a small range you'd thing you could make things work with multipliers.

Let's say the panel supports 30 to 60 hz. You could make a pretty decent range work by stretching 30-60 natively, and then duynamically skipping every other frame in software for framerates below 30. Thus 29fps would be rendered every other frame at 58 hz, etc. etc. You'd think this would be able to be done in firmware.
The spec refresh rate is coded as a single value in firmware AFAIK (EDID), but what the panel is actually capable of is different and depends on the controller hardware as well as the construction of the actual image-displaying panel. So it's more a matter of "how far can this LCD be over/underclocked before it starts glitching or fails", which is different for each panel. LCD overclocking was a big thing with DIY'ers before native high-refresh rate panels existed/were common, however it's not something that would be a good idea to do in a shipping product since the over/underclocked performance & stability is not guaranteed.
 

Axman

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I wouldn't be surprised if the panel supports Freesync but it's not mentioned because they have some software hurdles to jump before they get there.

I know both my monitor and APU on my laptop support Freesync but it's not always available as an option depending on the drivers I'm running.
 

Saturn_V

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It just means you can basically play every game, not that it runs well or you can do all the advanced custom stuff in a game. And I highly doubt they have literally tested the entire steam library. Most likely just the most popular games.

There are titles in my library approaching 20 years old. There are games over ten years old that I still play. And I also have a lot of DOS/Win95 games that I've repurchased via Steam.

If Steam Deck can handle all of those, even I'll buy one- and I'm not a platform/console/handheld gamer. But I'll be impressed if it can handle the last ten years.
 

Axman

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I wonder which sub we'll have to use to talk about gaming on the Deck. PC or console?
 

chithanh

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Retail prices aren't a good comparison. Valve's cost for the CPU/APU should much less than what it would be at retail. A PS5 with no blu-ray drive, is also $400. Has an 8 core CPU, etc.
PS5 doesn't come with battery (except in the controller) or screen. Besides the economies of scale that works in their favor, PlayStation and Xbox do sell below cost. They make the money back on sales of games and accessories. I think it was after PS4 release when Sony stated that with the typical initial purchase (console, extra controller, 2 games, PSN store credit) they were making a small profit.

Valve doesn't have that luxury I think, because people can buy Steam keys from anywhere and Valve doesn't get a cut. And the only relevant accessory is the dock.
There may not be suitable LCD panels readily available. 7" 800P 60hz is pretty standard, but I'd wager that 7" 800P with a VRR range is not. Custom panel = more expensive BoM = lower margins or higher price. Valve probably ran the numbers and decided it wasn't worth it.
Many smartphones support VRR, no? Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro (around 250 EUR here) has 6.7" 1080p 120 Hz screen, and I read it supports VRR. So I guess the market for the type of screen is there and it is not too expensive.
 

cybereality

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Yeah, FreeSync would have been nice, but I can understand if a panel of that size was not readily available (or would have cost too much to custom make).
 

chameleoneel

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PS5 doesn't come with battery (except in the controller) or screen. Besides the economies of scale that works in their favor, PlayStation and Xbox do sell below cost. They make the money back on sales of games and accessories. I think it was after PS4 release when Sony stated that with the typical initial purchase (console, extra controller, 2 games, PSN store credit) they were making a small profit.
The point still stands that looking at the retail cost of a larger CPU (or any part), is not a good guage for why the steamdeck does or does not have something.

Sony said about 7 months before launch, that the PS4 would not be sold at a loss. Then a couple of months before launch, they were quoted saying it would be a loss, but smaller loss than usual (a big point of the PS4 and Xbox One, was to mitigate loss per unit). They were quoted that a game and signing up for PS+ would mitigate the loss. And it only took 6 months for them to announce the PS4 hardware was actually profitable. That's a pretty short timeline, with back and forth. It was more likely due to shifts in supply/shifpping markets, rather than the all out blunt cost of the thing.
 

cybereality

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I would guess Valve is losing money on the $399 SKU, but making it up on the higher versions.

They get their "starting at" headlines, even though most people probably buy the more expensive SKUs (or at least enough to make it profitable).
 

Aurelius

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I would guess Valve is losing money on the $399 SKU, but making it up on the higher versions.

They get their "starting at" headlines, even though most people probably buy the more expensive SKUs (or at least enough to make it profitable).
Either that or it's a razor-thin profit. There's little doubt that Valve really, really wants you buying the mid- and high-tier models.
 

Accursed

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Either that or it's a razor-thin profit. There's little doubt that Valve really, really wants you buying the mid- and high-tier models.
Those 2230 SSDs don't seem all that common or cheap, but yeah they probably make the most on the 512gb version, as that looks like a $130-$140 part that they charge an extra $250 for. I saw the 256gb selling for $80 previously but can't find it today, so that's probably ~$50 profit on that sku.

Once those become more common look forward to slapping a 1tb in it's place.
 

Accursed

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Don't forget that the 512 has a different screen. I'm sure it's $10 or less, but still.
The "Anti Glare" screen. Yeah I doubt it's even $10, but I figured most of us will throw some kinda screen protector on, so we can choose what kinda finish to have on it at that point. They also offer a "Exclusive" carry case also with the 512.

Still my best guess is they break even on the $399, make $50 on the 256gb, and $100 on the 512gb.
 

Axman

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Its absolutely not extremely low end.

Xbox Series SSteam Deck
CPU8c/16th Zen 24c/8th Zen 2
clock3.6/3.4 GHz3.5 GHz
GPU20CU RDNA28CU RDNA 2
clock1.56 GHz 4 Tflop1.6 GHz 1.4 Tflop
RAM8+2GB GDDR6 ?-channel16GB LPDDR5 quad-channel
bandwidth8 GB 224 GB/s+2GB 56 GB/s5500 MT/s
resolution1440p@60-120hz800p@30-60hz

The way the memory bandwidths are listed are clearly different, and I can't find how it's configured on the Xbox Series S, but the Deck has a serious power-to-weight ratio.

It's more than 1/3 of an Xbox Series S on paper, and I'll bet closer to 1/2 in use.
 

Krenum

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Xbox Series SSteam Deck
CPU8c/16th Zen 24c/8th Zen 2
clock3.6/3.4 GHz3.5 GHz
GPU20CU RDNA28CU RDNA 2
clock1.56 GHz 4 Tflop1.6 GHz 1.4 Tflop
RAM8+2GB GDDR6 ?-channel16GB LPDDR5 quad-channel
bandwidth8 GB 224 GB/s+2GB 56 GB/s5500 MT/s
resolution1440p@60-120hz720p@30-60hz

The way the memory bandwidths are listed are clearly different, and I can't find how it's configured on the Xbox Series S, but the Deck has a serious power-to-weight ratio.

It's more than 1/3 of an Xbox Series S on paper, and I'll bet closer to 1/2 in use.
I heard a roundabout figure that it was as powerful as a Playstation 4. That's impressive to fit in the palm of your hand.

I'm excited to see what that DDR5 @ 5500mhz can do!
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Its absolutely not extremely low end. Extremely low end would be a laptop using an i3 with onboard graphics & DDR3.

Well, I mean, what everyone considers low end is different, but the deck?

It has a 4C8T Zen2 CPU clocked at 2.5 to 3.5 Ghz. The lowest end desktop part (Ryzen 3 3100) is the same core count, but 3.6 to 3.9 Ghz.

The GPU has 8 RDNA 2 CU's at 1-1.6Ghz. The lowest end discrete RDNA2 GPU (6700 XT) has 40 CU's and operates between 2.321 and 2.581 Ghz.

So, on the CPU side we are in theory talking between 69% and 89% of the slowest low end desktop Zen 2 CPU.

On the GPU side we are in theory between 8.5% and 12% of the slowest discrete RDNA2 GPU.

And I say in theory, as these are best case estimates given the specs, and don't factor in any potential thermal throttling that may happen in such a compact device with limited cooling.

Now, don't get me wrong. This IS pretty impressive for its tiny form factor, but compared to a proper PC, I find it squarely in the very low end category. I'm not convinced 8.5% of a 6700 XT is really much faster than current gen on board stuff. As far as I am concerned, this is essentially on board class graphics.

It's still a little early to have full details, but just as a comparison, according to what I have seen thus far, the lowest end of AMD's mobile 6000M RDNA2 GPU's will be the 6300M, with 1024 cores, which should translate to 16 CU's, so twice what the deck has. The highest end, the 6800M will have 40 CU's.

So, it's a cool little device, and impressive for its size, at a pretty damn good price point, but a CPU or GPU power house it is not.
 
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OutOfPhase

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I'm with Fearless Leader here. I think this is going to be a big deal. Or - could be, assuming they can actually produce in quantity.
 

cybereality

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I'm with Fearless Leader here. I think this is going to be a big deal. Or - could be, assuming they can actually produce in quantity.
I'm just glad they did the queue system, because it will probably be scalper's paradise for like the next year considering the chip shortage.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I'm with Fearless Leader here. I think this is going to be a big deal. Or - could be, assuming they can actually produce in quantity.

I mean, it seems like it is already very popular.

Even I am curious, and I don't usually give a rats ass about anything mobile in gaming. (I am not curious enough to pre-order or buy anything from a scalper though)

I stand by that it is a very low end PC. It's still pretty damn cool that you can make even a very low end PC in that form factor.

...and it being very low end doesn't mean that it can't be a success.

There is a huge precedent when it comes to giving up some fidelity in the name of portability. Just look at the original Game Boy from way back.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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It is not really low end compared to other handheld PCs. You can't expect to compare it to a desktop PC, which is like 100x the size, uses way more power, and is not portable.

I think we are saying the same thing in different ways.

If you draw a line and start placing current gen PC's on it of any category, starting with low end on the left and moving towards high end on the right, it will certainly be on the far hand left side.

For a smaller than 12"x5"x2" ultra portable device which includes screen speakers and controller, it is pretty impressive though.
 
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cybereality

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I think we are saying the same thing in different ways.

If you draw a line and start placing current gen PC's on it of any category, starting with low end on the left and moving towards high end on the right, it will certainly be on the far hand left side.

For a smaller than 12"x5"x2" ultra portable device which includes screen speakers and controller, it is pretty impressive though.
Well, yeah. It's clearly low-end if you compare it to desktop (or even gaming laptops) but my point is that it is not a fair comparison.

Even if Valve put in the latest Ryzen with 16-core and a dedicated GPU, which is possible, it would probably get 10 minutes of battery life. So compromises must be made.
 

Krenum

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Time will tell, When I get mine, I'll put it up against my "very low end" PC and run the numbers. I'll bet that the Steam Deck will sack it.
 

cybereality

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Maybe.

Wouldn't hurt to make it more generic though. Something like "ultra portable PC gaming" or something like that. Who knows, we may have more competitors in the future?
Well Valve is not the first here. But they may be the first to make a popular mainstream portable PC like this.

GPD Win 3, Aya Neo, SmachZ

I had the GPD Win 2, and it was okay. Just a little bulky and expensive, but you could play a lot of games at lowest settings and even install Linux.
 

chithanh

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Can this thread be moved to the Steam Deck subforum?

The point still stands that looking at the retail cost of a larger CPU (or any part), is not a good guage for why the steamdeck does or does not have something.
Of course there are saving effects if you make many of the same thing. But the retail cost of packaging and distribution is inherhent in both the Steam Deck and the CPU. Adding stuff to the CPU (like mobo, cooling, PSU, controller, screen, battery, etc.) is only going to increase cost, not decrease it. And enlarging the silicon area of the chip will incur disproportionate higher cost.
It was more likely due to shifts in supply/shifpping markets, rather than the all out blunt cost of the thing.
Sure, I think it was in major part due to memory pricing back then. Reports were that Sony originally planned to launch PS4 with only 4 GB RAM, and at the very last moment they were able to increase that to 8 GB due to more optimistic forecast in GDDR5 pricing and availability. But also Sony is on record saying that they designed PS4 with future cost-reduction in mind. Inability to reduce cost (compared to the competition) is what allegedly sank the original Xbox.
Xbox Series SSteam Deck
CPU8c/16th Zen 24c/8th Zen 2
clock3.6/3.4 GHz3.5 GHz
On Xbox Series S, the 3.6 GHz are only reached with SMT disabled, so the CPU will be 8C/8T then.
RAM8+2GB GDDR6 ?-channel16GB LPDDR5 quad-channel
bandwidth8 GB 224 GB/s+2GB 56 GB/s5500 MT/s
The way the memory bandwidths are listed are clearly different, and I can't find how it's configured on the Xbox Series S, but the Deck has a serious power-to-weight ratio.
Quad channel LPDDR5 is 88 GB/s total bandwidth.
It's more than 1/3 of an Xbox Series S on paper, and I'll bet closer to 1/2 in use.
One thing missing from your table is power consumption. As Xbox Series S can consume drastically more power, I think it can squeeze more performance out of the same silicon area. So 1/3 sounds about right, 1/2 maybe in specific situations. Had Valve adopted an approach where the dock provides extra cooling, then they could have gotten closer to 1/2.
 

Jagger100

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The Dock has ethernet and the unit has a USB-C port which could easily handle a ethernet dongle.

I'm gonna hold to my guess play every game is based on Remote play of the high end games.
 

renswic

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The Dock has ethernet and the unit has a USB-C port which could easily handle a ethernet dongle.

I'm gonna hold to my guess play every game is based on Remote play of the high end games.

What I like is that it's open party dock. The small portable one I have for the switch, should work for it.

I'm excited for this mini PC. Will probley be a little late getting one. I would like to see more Hands-On videos from reviewers I trust in a couple of tear down ones to see just what could be upgraded or if everything's a solder on situation. I need to finish fully reading the thread but with a doc added can you run games off of a hard drive or is it still going to be faster to use an SD card.

Also waiting to see how our new paychecks (much higher paying job for me and my wife just got a nice promotion) will round out our finances before reserving.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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So, the Deck's OS is essentially SteamOS, right? Or is it different.

Someone in a different forum was suggesting that if it is SteamOS it essentially means that no titles that require either EAC or have their own launcher will work, whick excludes the majority of games your want to play.

Anyone know if this is the case?
 

Krenum

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So, the Deck's OS is essentially SteamOS, right? Or is it different.

Someone in a different forum was suggesting that if it is SteamOS it essentially means that no titles that require either EAC or have their own launcher will work, whick excludes the majority of games your want to play.

Anyone know if this is the case?
Valve said they are working on a solution by launch.
 

Axman

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So, the Deck's OS is essentially SteamOS, right? Or is it different.

It's going to be a new version that replaces the old SteamOS based on Arch Linux using Proton. I'm betting most other game services outside of GOG won't be supported at first. But supposedly you can boot off SD which means you can run Windows on it without uninstalling SteamOS, and there is talk of rolling EAC into future kernel updates.
 
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