Steam Deck - SteamOS, Zen2 4C/8T, RDNA2 1.0-1.6 TF, 16 GB LPDDR5 88 GB/s, starting at $399 [2021-12]

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by BRiT, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. ToTTenTranz

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    Here it is:

    bdddb89899430cef189a44098fca1d4ec2f9512f.png

    There's quite a bit of unused space here, and almost half of the area is dedicated to the controllers. They're also not making use of all the empty volume in the "handles" to place cylindrical batteries (like the first Nvidia Shield did or the Switch), opting instead for a tablet approach.
    In fact, looking at how little non-gamepad electronics there are outside of the screen area (only the speakers?) makes me wonder up to how far in the project pipeline Valve had a Switch-like detachable gamepad solution in the works. My guess is, had Vavle opted for a $500 or more minimum price, we'd have seen a detachable controller solution.

    In the end, the non-densely packed electronics and empty volume inside makes it look (and probably feel) a lot closer to a handheld game console than all those handheld PCs from GPD et al.


    The Van Gogh PCB seems to be one of those business card-sized compute modules that AMD has been developing for the embedded market. Unless I'm missing something, the heatsink is pretty tiny, akin to what Nintendo put on the Switch. Valve said we'd be able to tweak the SoC's power consumption, but it doesn't look like its cooling solution will let it go much higher than the rated 15W.
    Four LPDDR5 ICs are confirmed BTW, so they are using those with 2*16bit width each.


    Yes but my point is you can immediately buy another pair of joycons for $60 if the procedure goes wrong, but with Steam Deck you lost at least $400 and you won't be able to buy another for at least half a year (probably more).
    The stakes are really high.. I myself might upgrade the M.2 some 4-5 years down the line if I decide for it against upgrading for something else, but for the first 2 years I'll probably treasure this like a baby.
     
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  2. cheapchips

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    It seems to be a different layout to the ones shown at the link. They are from 3 years ago though, so not sure if the Desk is a unique board.
     
  3. ToTTenTranz

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    Yes, obviously Van Gogh hasn't been sitting around since 2018.
    What I meant to say is the Steam Deck is using a tiny APU compute module like the ones AMD has been developing for the embedded market, and not a fully integrated PCB like we see in laptops and home consoles.
    That means the same compute module can probably be used in other devices in the future.

    It could be because Valve themselves want to make the module available to OEMs to accelerate adoption, and/or because getting Van Gogh into Steam Deck was a recent-ish decision.
     
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  4. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    seems steam deck rev 2 could be smaller. Mabe steam deck lite?

    btw with two flex cables right on the battery, isn't it will be prone to disconnecting when the battery starts to bulge?

    Usually on phones and tablets, those flex cables are placed / stuck on the screen back plate, thus not affected by battery buldging.

    nintendo even went extra careful with switch, not only it have no flex cable directly above/under the battery, it even have a few mm space for potential battery bulge
     
  5. ToTTenTranz

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    If successful, I believe there's room for a smaller Steam Deck "Mini" with Dragon Crest (same performance + smaller and better integrated) and a heavier / more expensive Steam Deck "Pro" with a 15W Rembrandt-U and faster 6400Mt/s LPDDR5, 8x Zen3 cores with probably more L3 cache, a RDNA2 GPU with more L2 according to @Bondrewd and IIRC with 50% more CUs (6 WGPs).
     
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  6. Bondrewd

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    Don't think FP7 is tablet-fitting.
    Also dunno about heavier, Deck is already chungus.
     
  7. eastmen

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    I will agree with you about the unused space. I think they easily could have fit in twice the battery size but I'm guessing it would drive the cost up.

    Looking at the design they easily could have split the battery in two and have a battery under each of the joy sticks. Judging from the space they might have been able to even increase the capacity. The molding there would already curve outwards for the grips anyway so you could design in a way that creates enough height for the battery. That would have allowed for a bigger heatsink and cooler


    I also get what your saying with the $60 vs a $400 or more system. Of course some people get enjoyment from upgrading their machines . I would do it and charge someone else for doing it but i have a 256gig unit coming and I think that plus the micro sd card is more than enough for me. At home I will play on my desktop of xbox series x. When traveling I am not going to have time to play hundreds of games aynway so I only need enough space for a few games

    I doubt we will see anything new from them until we get rdna 3 or possibly 4. 2024/25 is my guess. I think if they push out to many models to quickly with little change between them they will start to have trouble.
     
  8. eastmen

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    Linus watches and gives input to the tear down
     
  9. Bondrewd

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    Excellent guess.
    AMD will have quite a tablet part by then.
     
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