Valve announces the Steam Deck, a handheld gaming PC starting at $399

jpuroila

Posts: 372   +225
At first I was in love, but price points don't make any sense - 130$ difference between 64GB eMMC and 256GB SSD is a price of a 1TB SSD for the consumer - not HW bought in bulk when manufacturing a device.

I'd be the first one to buy 399$ model if I was able to put my own SSD inside.

Oh, that's simple. They want the cheap option so they can advertise how affordable it is ($400 starting! What a great deal) but they don't actually want to sell it for that price so they instead cripple the base model and hope people will go for the more expensive variants.
 

Bao Nguyen

Posts: 106   +80
Oh, that's simple. They want the cheap option so they can advertise how affordable it is ($400 starting! What a great deal) but they don't actually want to sell it for that price so they instead cripple the base model and hope people will go for the more expensive variants.
For people that intend to use the it as a game streaming device only, the $399 price tag is just perfect, there is no need to go for a higher model. The ability to browse the web is just the bonus.
 

Mjswooosh

Posts: 47   +79
I'll most likely be picking one up though I must confess I'm considering waiting until v2. 0 works out the kinks. Hmmm.

I also feel like the base model should be 256gb for that $400 price.

64gb is nigh unusable for anything beyond a streaming device (and low advertisement price).
 
Win 3 starts at ~850$ - 200$ more than most expensive Deck model.
Deck has slightly worse CPU (4/8 Zen 2 vs 11th gen 4/8 Intel), but most likely much better iGPU (8 RDNA2 CUs) that should give it an advantage in gaming scenarios. And with casual office/study/streaming applications you shouldn't see any difference.

CPU-wise it's worse than a 5300U though, and it's certainly quite a bit more than slightly worse than GDP win 3, as those tiger lake parts have some great ST perf and etc. Certainly not as good as higher core parts from AMD but against 4c/8t Zen 2 then well, they are quite a lot better.

Certainly a lot worse in iGPU, as Vega 8 already beats what Intel has anyway, even ir not by much.

But one thing that's disappointing aside from the storage prices is the memory bandwidth as despite it being LPDDR5, it's only 64b wide so ends up with significantly less than Win 3. RDNA 2 is certainly less dependent on bandwidth though but I don't think that 44GB/s will cut it.
 

BSim500

Posts: 839   +1,889
You probably should worry if you don't want to wear glasses on your old age or have your prescription significantly worsen if you already do.

"But jokes aside the point isn't that it's unusable, the point is that it's a really low resolution for a late 2021 device"

"(Since remember: they were all designed to run on at least 21 to 23 inch class screen)"
Games are often designed around a 90-100ppi screen density rather than a specific screen size and many older games (that are more likely to be run on 15w APU's) UI's don't scale well above 100ppi. That's why non-scaling UI's still look just right on 15.6" 768p laptops, 24" 1080p & 32" 1440p monitors. You can get away with stretching it a bit to say 110ppi (1440p @ 27") but trying to play such games with non-scaling UI's on a 1080p @ 7" (314ppi) is like buying a 14" 4K monitor and trying to use it at 100% scaling. No matter how ultra, ultra, ultra, ultra, sharp things may be, UI elements in many games will shrink to the point of becoming unusably small, as has been seen previously with 7" "Windows Phone" tablets.

Dropping down from 40-50fps (720p) to 18-30fps (1080p) that you'll typically get on 15w APU's even for 6 year old games along with a plummeting in battery life is not a good trade-off for extra sharpness. Too high a resolution on too small a screen just means they both run new AAA's badly due to performance and simultaneously run older ones poorly due to non-scaling UI's. So 720p overall is actually quite right for the screen size. People just need to step out of the "but mah moe-bye-ul fone is 65,536k 9000ppi" mindless marketing rat-race and understand the obvious Usability / Performance / Quality 3-way tradeoff a little better, along with the fact many thousands of Windows games are definitely not coded like iOS / Android apps.
 
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Eldritch

Posts: 341   +524
Everyone is concerned with 7'' screen when it is obvious that there will definitely be a 10'' followup called Deck Plus or Deck Max or something. That's how all devices are launched these days, basic version followed by costlier versions. So if this isn't your cup of tea then hang tight, next iteration will hit soon.
 

enemys

Posts: 258   +287
TechSpot Elite
But one thing that's disappointing aside from the storage prices is the memory bandwidth as despite it being LPDDR5, it's only 64b wide so ends up with significantly less than Win 3. RDNA 2 is certainly less dependent on bandwidth though but I don't think that 44GB/s will cut it.
Where'd you get that? They don't specify the memory bus anywhere, from what I've seen.
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 144   +120
Cool to see these handheld computers/gaming systems coming out. It's not really my thing, I'd rather play on a monitor or television, but they are really neat nonetheless.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 953   +1,765
Games are often designed around a 90-100ppi screen density rather than a specific screen size and many older games (that are more likely to be run on 15w APU's) UI's don't scale well above 100ppi. That's why non-scaling UI's still look just right on 15.6" 768p laptops, 24" 1080p & 32" 1440p monitors. You can get away with stretching it a bit to say 110ppi (1440p @ 27") but trying to play such games with non-scaling UI's on a 1080p @ 7" (314ppi) is like buying a 14" 4K monitor and trying to use it at 100% scaling. No matter how ultra, ultra, ultra, ultra, sharp things may be, UI elements in many games will shrink to the point of becoming unusably small, as has been seen previously with 7" "Windows Phone" tablets.

Dropping down from 40-50fps (720p) to 18-30fps (1080p) that you'll typically get on 15w APU's even for 6 year old games along with a plummeting in battery life is not a good trade-off for extra sharpness. Too high a resolution on too small a screen just means they both run new AAA's badly due to performance and simultaneously run older ones poorly due to non-scaling UI's. So 720p overall is actually quite right for the screen size. People just need to step out of the "but mah moe-bye-ul fone is 65,536k 9000ppi" mindless marketing rat-race and understand the obvious Usability / Performance / Quality 3-way tradeoff a little better, along with the fact many thousands of Windows games are definitely not coded like iOS / Android apps.
Just to clarify you might have missed my subsequent post in which I mention I indeed have been getting second thoughts about it that lean more towards the positive.

That being said since this is a PC we know that having a 1080p doesn't means running a game at 1080p those can still be launched at 720p as needed and scaled up by the monitor itself if not the APU. This by the way should also help a lot with the battery life concerns which I also have acknowledged on subsequent posts.

Now the problem of text based games becoming unreadable on a 7 inch screen is true even with a 720p resolution. They might be lessen than 1080p sure (But as we established even with a higher resolution screen, running a lower resolution if/when needed is always an option for a pc) but it will still be far from ideal for many thousands of games that simply won't be updated to support a smaller screen experience whereas Nintendo certainly makes sure all the Switch games do get said updates.

So after all that I am now more in the "1080p screen would be nice to have yet not a deal breaker" camp so to speak: I'd like os UI elements that can look sharper when scaled up to take advantage of the extra DPI that such a screen would offer. However I also agree with the other user than mentioned a 10" tablet form factor would actually work out much, much better for me.
 

Watzupken

Posts: 315   +303
Heat might be a problem, but I don‘t believe both are in the same TDP class. 2500U is 15W base, boost can go higher. Seems like Van Gogh is 4-15W, I.e. 15W is boost.

Still, will be interesting to see how well the cooling solution works and what performance the device can sustain.

As for the 64GB version: I agree with you regarding the game size, unless someone plays many older / light titles.

It feels like this model mostly exists to show a lower Switch-like starting price. But if the storage is user upgradeable, that might make it interesting.
I get that, which is why I only considered the idle temp for the 2500U. At idle, I don't believe it is pulling anywhere near 10W. Conversely, chances for a console APU to go below 10W is quite unlikely in games which is what it is primarily built for. But I think it won't take long before we get to see this Steam Deck in action.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,403   +1,999
I am speechless at some of the comments as people can be so entitled these days. Steam released an actual PC at that form factor that gives out 2 Tflops which is about the same as the Xbox One & PS4 for the price of $399 and people is still complain about it?

I am for one that is extremely impressed at what Valve has achieved here to be honest, have a look at similar devices like the GPD Win 3 (5.5in 720p screen), or the Aya Neo (7in 1280x800 screen), and they are all in the $1000 ballpark.
good list also add ONEXPLAYER to it.

 

maroon1

Posts: 46   +57
I am speechless at some of the comments as people can be so entitled these days. Steam released an actual PC at that form factor that gives out 2 Tflops which is about the same as the Xbox One & PS4 for the price of $399 and people is still complain about it?

I am for one that is extremely impressed at what Valve has achieved here to be honest, have a look at similar devices like the GPD Win 3 (5.5in 720p screen), or the Aya Neo (7in 1280x800 screen), and they are all in the $1000 ballpark.


1.6Tflops at peak clock speed. I doubt that APU with limited TDP is going to hit the max GPU clock speed


Also, memory bandwidth is lower than Xbox one and PS4


If you look at 5500U (which has 1.6 Tflops at max clock) for example, it drops below 30fps even with most setting at low in Doom eternal


If you watch 4:10 in the video, he uses 76% internal resolution and it still drops 3x fps


In other words, PS4 completely destroys this APU cause it can run the same game on better setting at higher fps.
 
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madboyv1

Posts: 1,714   +632
A couple friends of mine are excited about the Steam Deck because of the one press photo where they have two USB arcade sticks attached to the the dock. One of them told me that in the Guilty Gear Community they're having a debate/argument about what should be considered tournament standard... Because of the issues of availability they're currently turning away from PS5, and because of cost of parts, huge variance in performance, and "random acts of God" (updates, crashes, other events) they don't want to rely on PCs either, leaving only the aging PS4 and it's 3-4 something frame delay.

The Steam Deck on the otherhand, is a purpose build device like a console, but running SteamOS and practically speaking, "PC" versions of games (I know SteamOS is based on Linux), and because it has that dock, it is an attractive alternative to them against both dedicated gaming PCs and consoles.

The 720p display doesn't matter all that much if you're playing docked and plugged into a 1080p TV/Monitor, but whether this new APU and the Deck's cooling system is up to the task is another story that we will find out about in the future.
 

enemys

Posts: 258   +287
TechSpot Elite
1.6Tflops at peak clock speed. I doubt that APU with limited TDP is going to hit the max GPU clock speed


Also, memory bandwidth is lower than Xbox one and PS4


If you look at 5500U (which has 1.6 Tflops at max clock) for example, it drops below 30fps even with most setting at low in Doom eternal


If you watch 4:10 in the video, he uses 76% internal resolution and it still drops 3x fps


In other words, PS4 completely destroys this APU cause it can run the same game on better setting at higher fps.
You can't just take different GPUs with different microarchitectures and memory bandwidth, compare their theoretical performance in TFLOPs and assume they'll perform equally in games. E.g. 5700XT has lower bandwidth, CU count and TFLOPs than Vega 64, yet it's up to 20% faster than that card, depending on resolution. These kinds of "comparisons" are worthless and misinforming.
 
Where'd you get that? They don't specify the memory bus anywhere, from what I've seen.

Moore law is dead leaks on Van Gogh, he was right about everything, plus it was originally intended for a Surface tablet, so it can make sense to have that kind of memory bus.
 

enemys

Posts: 258   +287
TechSpot Elite
Moore law is dead leaks on Van Gogh, he was right about everything, plus it was originally intended for a Surface tablet, so it can make sense to have that kind of memory bus.
I just watched his latest leak and the only thing he says is that it has 4 channels of LPDDR5, but LPDDR5 channels can be both 16 and 32bit. Could you point more exactly to the source you're using?
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 334   +452
The PPI @ 720 on a 7" screen is still pretty high. I honestly dont see that as an issue, and going 1080 would only be worth it if the memory bandwidth is there.

This is really going to be a niche product. If they really wanted to create a standard for entry level PC gaming they would have been better off waiting for a more integrated SoC. This really needs the Memory on the same package as the SOC. A single Standard for storage, SSD based non of that emmc crap. Then Dual Micro SD Card slot for expandable storage, that features the option for raid 0. Then something integrated to make the graphics look good on a 4kTV or 1440p monitor while rendering at native res.

$499 with dock and wireless controller. Steam Branded Keyboard/Mouse as a $49.99 option.

Would make for a better entry level machine.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,403   +1,999
The PPI @ 720 on a 7" screen is still pretty high. I honestly dont see that as an issue, and going 1080 would only be worth it if the memory bandwidth is there.

This is really going to be a niche product. If they really wanted to create a standard for entry level PC gaming they would have been better off waiting for a more integrated SoC. This really needs the Memory on the same package as the SOC. A single Standard for storage, SSD based non of that emmc crap. Then Dual Micro SD Card slot for expandable storage, that features the option for raid 0. Then something integrated to make the graphics look good on a 4kTV or 1440p monitor while rendering at native res.

$499 with dock and wireless controller. Steam Branded Keyboard/Mouse as a $49.99 option.

Would make for a better entry level machine.
I was with you on that until you mentioned Dual Micro SD and raid 0...
 

ShObiT

Posts: 200   +217
While I would really want this to try I have to agree: this looks like a bust: unwieldy, cumbersome and yet at the same time, tiny for what we would want it for: 7 inch screen is too small for most Steam games you'd want to play to be nice and legible (Since remember: they were all designed to run on at least 21 to 23 inch class screen) and if that didn't hurt the chances enough, 1280 x 800 resolution? Sure the games probably wouldn't run at any higher res given the APU but regular use would benefit from a non-potato resolution that's legible on every day use and could bump up some of the classics you'd want to play like modded Skyrim at at least 1080p

There's already better portable PC computer devices like the GPD Win 3 that all but match this specs, sorry but this ain't it Valve.
At the same price? can you share it please, I'm interested.
 

ShObiT

Posts: 200   +217
1.6Tflops at peak clock speed. I doubt that APU with limited TDP is going to hit the max GPU clock speed


Also, memory bandwidth is lower than Xbox one and PS4


If you look at 5500U (which has 1.6 Tflops at max clock) for example, it drops below 30fps even with most setting at low in Doom eternal


If you watch 4:10 in the video, he uses 76% internal resolution and it still drops 3x fps


In other words, PS4 completely destroys this APU cause it can run the same game on better setting at higher fps.
Thats on 1920x1080, not 12xx by 800, so your analysis doesn't count.
 

EdmondRC

Posts: 144   +120
If Valve wants this to succeed, they need to get developers to optimize for it. Sort of a "Deck" option within newer PC games, like you would have optimizations for Nintendo Switch. The problem is that this thing is going to be attempting to run game made for much more powerful hardware and sliders just are not going to get every game to run smoothly. But, if Valve could work with devs, at least on the big titles, to get "Deck Optimized" settings, they might have more than a novelty going forwrd.
 
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