How does Valven’s Steam Deck compare to the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5?


The valve is surprising the new Steam Deck has been officially announced, promising to allow players to get the entire Steam game library up and running. But how does the handheld compare to other large consoles on the market, such as the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X / S and PlayStation 5?

First, let’s look at the specifications of Steam Deck. It is powered by an AMD APU with a quad-core / eight-threaded Zen 2 processor and an AMD RDNA 2 graphics card with 8 computing units, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM.

There are three models available: one for 64GB of eMMC storage for $ 399, another for a 256GB NVMe SSD for $ 529, and a high-end model with 512GB of fast NVMe SSD for $ 649. While an eMMC base memory configuration could potentially mean slower game installations and download times, Valve promises that “within three games, there’s no difference in frame rates or graphics quality.”

Picture: Valve

The most obvious comparison to the Steam cover is, of course, the Nintendo switch – especially the upcoming OLED model – which provides a similar handheld configuration, screen size, and design. Both devices also have a 720p touch screen.

Of the two, the Switch is almost certainly a less powerful device: it features Nvidia’s Tegra X1 chipset, a more than four-year-old arm processor compared to Steam Deck’s AMD Zen 2 processor, and next-generation RDNA 2 GPU architectures. which also appear on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Steam Deck has also been shown to handle games that Switch simply can’t, such as Control (available only as a cloud service for streaming on a Nintendo handheld.) And other featured games such as Jedi: Fallen order or No one’s sky, has never before been available in portable form.

But given that the two handhelds are mostly in shape and price, it’s still worth looking at them side by side – especially considering that while there’s a gap in performance, they’re much closer to each other than the dramatically more powerful Xbox X and PlayStation 5.

Unlike Switch, Steam Deck switches detachable controllers to some other input method: there are a couple Steam Controller style the trackpads on both sides of the screen in addition to the thumb arms and four additional buttons on the back of the unit that act as additional paddle feeders. It also provides Bluetooth audio to connect to a pair of wireless headphones, which is a switch quite frustratingly missing.

Photos: Valve

However, the switch overcomes battery life when the Switch OLED is offered 4.5 to 9 hours compared to 2 to 8 hours on the Steam cover. Valve multiplication IGN that you can realistically expect 4 hours Portal 2 720p and 60 frames per second. The switch is also much lighter than Valve’s laptop, weighing 0.93 pounds compared to the Steam Deck’s 1.47 pounds.

However, the choice between a $ 349 OLED switch and a $ 399 Steam Deck comes for the most part: do you prefer Nintendo’s polish level and exclusive gaming lineup, or Valve’s rougher edge – but more powerful – option on a large computer game library? (Steam Deck also has other benefits: because it is a full-fledged computer, you can technically install Windows and use it as a portable Xbox Game Pass, install the Epic Game Store, and use it for streaming services like Stadia or Luna.)

Compared to next-generation consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, Steam Deck’s prices are significantly worse: its processor simply doesn’t fit the meat grips of Sony’s or Microsoft’s latest consoles, and its GPU is clearly less powerful than even the Xbox Series S, and less than half of Microsoft’s weakest the graphics cores of the next generation console. Despite the fact that Steam Deck uses the same RDNA 2 GPU architecture, it just isn’t in the same weight class.

As you can see from the chart below, the PS5 and next-generation Xbox consoles beat almost every meter you want to compare: more cores, faster CPU clock speeds, dramatically more computing units, faster GPU clock speeds, and more teraflops of raw GPU power.

And while this may seem like an unfair comparison, it’s worth considering that the Steam Deck – which ranges in price from $ 399 to $ 649 – is priced more on the same ball field as these more premium consoles than the Switch ($ 199-349).

Steam Deck vs. Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S vs. PlayStation 5

Categories Valve steam cover Xbox Series X Xbox series S PS5
Categories Valve steam cover Xbox Series X Xbox series S PS5
processor 4-core AMD Zen 2 processor @ 2.4-3.5 GHz 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz when SMT is enabled) 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor @ 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz when SMT is enabled) 8-core AMD Zen 2 processor, 3.5 GHz, SMT (variable frequency)
GPU AMD RDNA 2 GPU 8 units, 1.0-1.6 GHz AMD RDNA 2 graphics card 52 CU @ 1.825 GHz AMD RDNA 2 graphics card, 20 units, 1.565 GHz AMD RDNA 2 GPU 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
GPU power 1.6 TFLOPS 12.15 TFLOPS 4 TFLOPS 10.28 TFLOPs
RAM 16 GB LPDDR5 memory 16 GB of GDDR6 memory 10 GB of GDDR6 memory 16 GB of GDDR6 memory
Performance target 720p @ up to 60 Hz Item 4K @ 60 FPS. Up to 8K. Up to 120 frames per second Target 1440p @ 60 frames per second. Up to 120 frames per second Targeted TBD. Up to 8K. Up to 120 frames per second
Storage 64GB eMMC / 256GB NVMe SDD / 512GB high speed NVMe SSD 1 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD (2.4 GB / s uncompressed, 4.8 GB / s compressed) 512GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD (2.4GB / s uncompressed, 4.8GB / s compressed) 825GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD (5.5GB / s uncompressed, typical 8-9GB / s compressed)
Expandable storage microSD slot 1 TB expansion card 1 TB expansion card NVMe SSD slot
Disk drive N / A 4K UHD Blu-ray Nothing 4K UHD Blu-ray (Digital version)
Screen out USB-C and DisplayPort 1.4 HDMI 2.1 HDMI 2.1 HDMI 2.1
MSRP $ 399 / $ 529 / $ 649 $ 499 $ 299 $ 499

A more appropriate comparison, at least in predicting the approximate power of the Steam Deck, may be the equivalent of the latest console generation: at 1.6 teraflop, it opens neatly between Xbox One S (1.4 teraflops) and PS4 (1.8 teraflops) raw graphics capability . However, Steam Deck uses a more modern RDNA 2 architecture, so it’s hard to compare the two to the specifications alone.

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