Steam Deck Q&A will feature a closer look at the AMD Zen 2 CPU & GPU

zakislam

Posts: 52   +1
Something to look forward to: As anticipation mounts for Valve's Steam Deck, the company will be offering a better look at various aspects of the device next week. One area that will be focused on during an upcoming virtual conference is a closer inspection of the handheld gaming console's AMD APU.

Valve will host a free, one-day online event on November 12 with the team who built Steam Deck. It's only open to Steamworks game developers, but expect information to spread beyond the platform soon after. And, as PC Gamer notes, should the event replicate previous Steamworks streams, an archive will probably be uploaded on the official YouTube channel.

Valve will be sharing "in-depth information and best practices to help you make your games a seamless experience on Steam Deck," with topics including development without a dev-kit, Steam on Deck, Proton support, and Steam input.

Notably, an APU "deep dive with AMD" will give us a better understanding of the CPU and GPU that will be powering the Steam Deck. Valve previously revealed that the handheld PC will be utilizing a custom AMD APU featuring a quad-core (eight threads) Zen 2 CPU, joined by eight RDNA 2 compute units.

A closer look at the tech offered by the Steam Deck should give us more insight about Steam Deck's compatibility program, a process consisting of checking the functionality of each game and grouping them into four categories that determines certain optimization levels for titles.

Developers received access to development kits months ago, and from the early feedback emerging from those studios, we've learned that users can expect 60 FPS gameplay in several AAA titles. Valve has also showcased a partial Steam Deck teardown, displaying the nuts and bolts of the system.

The Steam Deck is due for launch next month, but because of the demand, anyone who wants to pre-order one now will have to wait a while to get it. All three variants - 64GB/256GB/512GB - will be available sometime after Q2 2022.

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Guberian

Posts: 191   +259
The touchable keyboard in the thumbnail feels a bit of a step back. It looks rather inconvenient to type on.
 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,507   +2,738
A quad core Zen 2 with an 8 CU GPU is a custom part that hasn't got an equivalent in the Zen 2 range. You didn't get an 8 CU GPU except on the higher end 8 core APUs.

Zen 2 was replaced with Zen 3 an entire year ago. Zen 3 has a complete list of Cezanne APUs now available that would surely have been suitable. Curious.

They must be getting it cheap, not sure what other reason they would go for a Zen 2 custom part. Have to wait for this tech dive to find out more.
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 156   +369
A quad core Zen 2 with an 8 CU GPU is a custom part that hasn't got an equivalent in the Zen 2 range. You didn't get an 8 CU GPU except on the higher end 8 core APUs.

Zen 2 was replaced with Zen 3 an entire year ago. Zen 3 has a complete list of Cezanne APUs now available that would surely have been suitable. Curious.

They must be getting it cheap, not sure what other reason they would go for a Zen 2 custom part. Have to wait for this tech dive to find out more.

My theory is that Zen2 is smaller from a die perspective, and it is likely that power wise it scales further down too than Zen3. The 8GPU's will be the primary bottleneck, so more processing power from Zen3 would have been wasted.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 377   +303
Yeah, it helps using a known low-power quantity when trying to add double the iGPU performance of Intel Xe 96!

I guess my only question for this new revision - is it a single-CCX like the 3300x? We will probably have to wait for 5nm before we see Zen 3/4 plus RDNA2.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 989   +740
My theory is that Zen2 is smaller from a die perspective, and it is likely that power wise it scales further down too than Zen3. The 8GPU's will be the primary bottleneck, so more processing power from Zen3 would have been wasted.

That bring backs a faint memory when CPUs use to do the graphics , then later on the CPU and GPU could split tasks .

I wonder if this still happens - say on android, nintendo switch etc ?
 

bluetooth fairy

Posts: 175   +110
My theory is that Zen2 is smaller from a die perspective, and it is likely that power wise it scales further down too than Zen3. The 8GPU's will be the primary bottleneck, so more processing power from Zen3 would have been wasted.

Cezanne iGPU is heavily memory bound, not that by CUs itself. Moreover, if we recall AMD experience in custom APUs (yes, I mean PS and Xbox), they all feature Zen 2 cores and some sort of RDNA.

Given, Steam deck will have LPDDR5 5500 MT/s memory (rather than GDDR6 in consoles), it may have memory bottlenecks more than compute power deficit. But cache may help too, its size isnt listed in Steam deck spec, though.

Funny that Intel Gracemont E-cores complex in Alder Lake could fit handheld size either... And they do have competitive iGPU in processors designed for notebooks.
 

Mjswooosh

Posts: 66   +87
I’m wondering if it’ll be possible to dual boot this bad boy with the built in SteamOS and then add on Win10 or 11 later. I’d much prefer not to have to delete SteamOS to load into Windows from time to time.
 

Rayneofpayne

Posts: 502   +415
The Deck should be pretty dope for emulation.
Should easily handle up to PS2 and GameCube possibly PS3. At 720p. Anything past that may be pushing it, I do believe the Steam version of RetroArch will p obably be tailored specifically for Steamdeck.
 

Danny101

Posts: 2,026   +838
All three variants - 64GB/256GB/512GB - will be available sometime after Q2 2022.

Awfully low capacity for today's and expected tomorrow's games. Unless there's an option for addon storage.
 

Mjswooosh

Posts: 66   +87
All three variants - 64GB/256GB/512GB - will be available sometime after Q2 2022.

Awfully low capacity for today's and expected tomorrow's games. Unless there's an option for addon storage.
It was verified it will accept at least 1TB microSD card expansion. Load times will be a subject of much debate but worst case scenario my plan is to use the 1TB microSD to store games & just transfer to the internal SSD when I’m playing various games. Problem (mostly) solved.