Windows 11 can now be installed on Steam Deck

Daniel Sims

Posts: 462   +18
Staff
In brief: Valve always intended to let Steam Deck owners install Windows on the device in lieu of the Linux-based Steam OS that it ships with. The company has now taken Windows support one step further by removing a major barrier to Windows 11 installation.

Likely the most noteworthy detail in the patch notes for the latest Steam Deck OS beta is the added support for firmware Trusted Platform Module (fTPM), which lets users install Windows 11 on the device. The BIOS feature is a common solution to what became a controversial requirement for Windows 11 when it first launched.

For a system to officially support Windows 11, it must have TPM 2.0, which initially shocked many users because it restricted the operating system's compatibility to relatively recent CPUs. This requirement can be met either via dedicated hardware or through software-based fTPM.

Valve released the first Windows drivers for the Steam Deck early in March, but the initial lack of fTPM support meant the device could only run Windows 10 until now. AMD hasn't finished the audio drivers yet, so any sound from Steam Decks running Windows will have to come through USB-C or Bluetooth. Furthermore, Valve is still working on a dual-boot-capable installer, so for the time being users will have to choose between Windows and Steam OS.

The latest beta also adds a setting for running games with uncapped framerates which is found in Quick Access menu > Performance. Additionally, Valve has improved the Steam Deck's battery life in idle or low-usage situations.

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eforce

Posts: 962   +1,394
I wonder if Windows 11 compete better than Windows 10 which so far has been a let down on the Deck.
 

penn919

Posts: 325   +239
It's great that users have the freedom to do it, but Valve invested significant resources into SteamOS for a reason. You'd be far better off with it...unless a mod community can put together a windows-based launcher that can rival Valve's linux version. It's a matter of entirely bypassing the desktop UI because I don't even think tablet mode would work well for this form factor.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
Yeah we have seen windows running on the deck, it’s a joke. The steam deck is a great technical achievement and hardcore steam enthusiasts will more than likely love tinkering with it and seeing what they can get out of it.

But as a an actual handheld gaming device that you can quickly grab and play games when you’re away from home, it’s dreadful. It’s too big, the battery is too poor, it’s too loud, requires too much tinkering and optimisation that it’s just not a mobile friendly solution.




 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,597   +1,422
Hook it up to a display dock and now it's your work PC!

After work, unplug and play. Two worlds, one device.
That’s a nice idea. But in my previous life as a systems engineer I never once saw any company either let workers use their personal computers for work or allow workers to play and install games on their work computers. In my last job everything was supported in house and that meant you got a three year old graphics driver that we had certified for use within the company.

I’m sure some do. But I can’t see most firms handing out secure certified steam decks to employees.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 159   +138
That’s a nice idea. But in my previous life as a systems engineer I never once saw any company either let workers use their personal computers for work or allow workers to play and install games on their work computers.

What he meant can go in different directions:

- the steam deck may be your portable console + home computer

- you may have a freelancer job or whatsoever, so you have an "office" where you go, but you're the boss, so you may use the device as above mentioned

- you have a teenager or kid, he may have both on one device (PC/ console)

Nevertheless I see as far more interesting to wait and see if Microsoft releases a "Van Gogh " Surface Pro, as you would have a fast PC/ laptop, TB4, console with W11 full support and you may install SteamOS in the future. I prefer that and play on the go with a PS5 or XBX controller, to such "huge Switch" which everyone looks at (and not as positive thing...) and you have no keyboard to use as a laptop
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,488   +2,694
That’s a nice idea. But in my previous life as a systems engineer I never once saw any company either let workers use their personal computers for work or allow workers to play and install games on their work computers. In my last job everything was supported in house and that meant you got a three year old graphics driver that we had certified for use within the company.

I’m sure some do. But I can’t see most firms handing out secure certified steam decks to employees.
This is true, however, I'm seeing more and more BYOD policies springing up. At the company I've worked for the last 13 years, they came out with their own BYOD policy last year and I've seen it pop up at other businesses we support.

Technically, I could use a Steam Deck for work. I wouldn't, it's not at all useful for work since everything I ever would like to use would require a USB-C dongle and the lack of a keyboard would send me insane but technically, I could use a Steam Deck.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 159   +138
Technically, I could use a Steam Deck for work. I wouldn't, it's not at all useful for work since everything I ever would like to use would require a USB-C dongle and the lack of a keyboard would send me insane but technically, I could use a Steam Deck.
As most people, you can use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and an USB-C hub. I bought one for my Surface Go 2 and provides 2x USB-A + 1x USB-C (5 gbps), HDMI, microsd and sd slots. But there are "stationary" ones that provide TB4 (Deck doesn't support) and many USB-C and A slots, Ethernet as well as HDMI. So you may have a giant hdd or ssd attached, keyboard, mouse, etc etc.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,488   +2,694
As most people, you can use a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse and an USB-C hub. I bought one for my Surface Go 2 and provides 2x USB-A + 1x USB-C (5 gbps), HDMI, microsd and sd slots. But there are "stationary" ones that provide TB4 (Deck doesn't support) and many USB-C and A slots, Ethernet as well as HDMI. So you may have a giant hdd or ssd attached, keyboard, mouse, etc etc.
Yeah still not much use, I run projects for clients so I'm regularly writing up project plans and proposals, Installing Switches, servers or creating Azure environments.

Small screen + no keyboard and chancing a USB-C dongle with working NIC and serial port is still a no go.

Plus it'll look like I'm just playing games all day with its form factor.
 

penn919

Posts: 325   +239
And yet my quad-core 3.3GHz, 32GB RAM, 8TB SSD, dual 4GB GPU based system can't run the frickin' OS?

That's utter crap.
Don't get me wrong, those are formidable specs. I just figured anyone who'd bother configuring a system with 32GB of memory and 8TB SSD capacity would would opt for at least 8 cores.
 

Fox God Records

Posts: 99   +90
Don't get me wrong, those are formidable specs. I just figured anyone who'd bother configuring a system with 32GB of memory and 8TB SSD capacity would would opt for at least 8 cores.
I got it used. It's an i5 6500. It was easier to bump the RAM than the core.

I haven't had a brand new rig since the early 2000s. Everything since then has come from a second hand store. I don't need bleeding edge, and I save a TON of cash.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 159   +138
I got it used. It's an i5 6500. It was easier to bump the RAM than the core.

I haven't had a brand new rig since the early 2000s. Everything since then has come from a second hand store. I don't need bleeding edge, and I save a TON of cash.
The amount of RAM and SSD doesn't mean your CPU meets the requirements.

If a requirement is that a car has airbags and a small 1.2L Fiat 500 has them but an old V12 450 bhp Ferrari doesn't, it is not because it has far more bhp that makes it compatible. As a dual 4 GB RAM GPU isn't the same as a single board with unified 8 GB RAM.

It is true that with W11 it was an artificial requirement and they should at least allow Skylake and any AMD from the same gen, but that's how it is.
 

Fox God Records

Posts: 99   +90
The amount of RAM and SSD doesn't mean your CPU meets the requirements.

If a requirement is that a car has airbags and a small 1.2L Fiat 500 has them but an old V12 450 bhp Ferrari doesn't, it is not because it has far more bhp that makes it compatible. As a dual 4 GB RAM GPU isn't the same as a single board with unified 8 GB RAM.

It is true that with W11 it was an artificial requirement and they should at least allow Skylake and any AMD from the same gen, but that's how it is.
My point is that I meet all of the requirements other than TPM 2.0 (I have TPM 1.2 on board). My system EXCEEDS the system requirements in every other way, and simply because I am not able to run TPM 2.0 -- which is not needed to run the OS -- I am not able to install the upgraded WIN11. Well, I could. I mean I really could, but MS can shut it down on a whim, and that's not how I roll.

But, a Steam Deck can run WIN11. That's insane.
 

rmcrys

Posts: 159   +138
My point is that I meet all of the requirements other than TPM 2.0 (I have TPM 1.2 on board). My system EXCEEDS the system requirements in every other way, and simply because I am not able to run TPM 2.0 -- which is not needed to run the OS -- I am not able to install the upgraded WIN11. Well, I could. I mean I really could, but MS can shut it down on a whim, and that's not how I roll.

But, a Steam Deck can run WIN11. That's insane.
You're completely right about it, MS was too demanding (without needing it) with W11. They could allow Skylake + TPM 1.2 at least until any update in the future where they would say "hey, to upgrade to version xxxx you need TPM 2.0 or you only receive security upgrades"

IMHO they did that in synchronization with manufacturers to increase new PCs. Some background agreement...

PS: most desktops have a slot/ connection to upgrade TPM!!! It costs little and you would have an updated and fit PC.