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

cheapchips

Veteran
I guess they had enough of a challenge ramping up hardware with little previous experience.

Valve have plenty of hardware experience. Steamlink, Steam Controllers, Index HMD and controllers, Lighthouses. They were made in a combination of Valve's factory and outsourced.

Plenty of units of complex stuff, even if not quite at Deck volumes.
 

SpaceBeer

Newcomer
My opinion on (bad) Windows/dual boot support - As a SteamOS user, I would prefer Valve to put more resources into making current OS better. There are still few things that need to be improved to make SteamDeck good PC (replacement).
 

arandomguy

Regular
I am in the former camp as well, but I don't really care about Windows support.

I should add the extra preface of how important Windows OS is for the user if they are looking at a general computing device. Of course if Windows itself isn't of importance than it doesn't matter either.

When is the next generation expected?

Another couple of years or another 4-5 years?

I guess they had enough of a challenge ramping up hardware with little previous experience.

Personally I feel it'll likely be on the sooner side than later. People are assuming console launch cycles but the Steam Deck is much more off the shelf allowing for faster iterations. The approach to the software stack is also completely different, lowering the imperative to keep hardware variants at the minimum.

Pricing is also less of an issue as long as they have a lower price entry point which the current Deck can remain as if needed. It'll be interesting to see where they go in that front, the current 512GB version with etched glass basically has very high margins by comparison to the 64GB variant. There's clamoring particularly for a better display, I'd wonder if they even just release a upsell variant with OLED at a premium.

In terms of production ramp up if you mean the initial large back log of orders that was really likely due to the pandemic.
 
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cheapchips

Veteran
Personally I feel it'll likely be on the sooner side than later. People are assuming console launch cycles but the Steam Deck is much more off the shelf allowing for faster iterations.

Fast iterations on the SOC aren't likely to yield meaningful cost or performance per watt gains. I think on that side they'll wait until they can offer x2 performance for the same price. That's probably every 2-3 yrs?

In that interview Newguy links, they've already said the next version is likely to focus on a better screen.
 

cheapchips

Veteran
The new SteamOS beta is adding raytracing support for Doom Eternal. Hope DF have time to take a look at that, or maybe wait until there's a few more RT titles and do an RT on Deck feature. Uses Vulkan for Eternal but general support for DXR is being worked on.

Screenshot from Pierre-Loup Griffais, so assume it's on Deck.
 

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Albuquerque

Red-headed step child
Veteran
Reading that review, they talk about how memory constrained the CPU is and how the chipset must be b0rked or something, but then the GPU has epic bandwidth -- it's all the same package and memory controller. It looks like Valve purposefully "tilted" the memory performance to guarantee bandwidth to the GPU in deference to the CPU. Apparently they did it in hardware because both Windows and the SteamOS both exhibit the same strange memory performance from the CPU side.
 

Cyan

orange
Legend
Supporter
MS can write the drivers for Windows if they want to sell more Windows licenses. Why should Valve help MS?
that behaviour just shows how greedy Valve is. I could understand that they want their Steam OS -well, it's Linux- to be the default option for everyone, but should make easier for people to switch to Windows, which they don't.

It's not about Linux vs Windows. I've used Linux for more than 4 months as my main OS and gaming wise it's crap. Still it's admirable and a miracle that Windows native games work on Linux at all. But it requires extra space, extra hassle and sometimes games qualified as "Gold" compatibility rating on SteamDb are horrible and crash at any given moment -i.e. Bioshock Infinite-.

If Valve wanted they could have a Big Picture app to launch with Windows and have the Steam Deck working like on Steam OS. I prefer GoG over Steam, although I admit Steam is better, and I want to use other stores. I have many games on Steam so it's not like they are going to lose sales from me, I still buy many games there.

Games like Age of Empires series, for which I religiously paid on PC Gamepass can't be played if you use Steam OS, GoG is horrible to set up if you get it to work at all via Lutris, Ubisoft's store more of the same, Blizzard's, and so on and so forth.

Steam Deck is a gaming device, and I don't want to be forced to use it on an inferior OS for gaming.
 

Albuquerque

Red-headed step child
Veteran
I dunno, I still think you've given some pretty unfair "requirements" to the Steam Deck.

Remember that this is very specifically NOT sold as a general-use PC device, rather it is designed and built to be a Steam Platform device and that's it. I know some people (yourself included) know it could potentially be used for other things, and some of those other things are gently nodded-to by Valve for hobbyists, however they're absolutely subsidizing some of the cost by betting you'll be using the Steam Store to obtain your software. Despite the hardware being potentially able to do lots of other things, trying to convince me that Valve is "greedy" by building a device for their platform and somehow not fully-enabling every other potential abstract hobbyist use case is, bluntly, not a rational discussion.

Remember that both Sony and Microsoft consoles are functionally PC devices too, essentially running far beefier versions of otherwise the same base hardware as the Steam Deck. Are they too "greedy" for not enabling the full Windows ecosystem on those PC-centric platforms?

I find this conversation disheartening. Why are we suggesting Valve owes anyone a full and complete Windows experience, when in fact that's never what they set out to accomplish? Yeah, it's great they allow some hobbyist capabilities in the Windows OS space because it seems like they have some hobbyists of their own who probably spent some of their own time building these capabiliites because they thought it was interesting. In the same breath, Valve owes Windows fanboys literally nothing in terms of Steam Deck -- current or future.

Be glad for what you have, or don't be glad and in which case buy a device that's meant to be a general-use PC.
 

Cyan

orange
Legend
Supporter
I dunno, I still think you've given some pretty unfair "requirements" to the Steam Deck.

Remember that this is very specifically NOT sold as a general-use PC device, rather it is designed and built to be a Steam Platform device and that's it. I know some people (yourself included) know it could potentially be used for other things, and some of those other things are gently nodded-to by Valve for hobbyists, however they're absolutely subsidizing some of the cost by betting you'll be using the Steam Store to obtain your software. Despite the hardware being potentially able to do lots of other things, trying to convince me that Valve is "greedy" by building a device for their platform and somehow not fully-enabling every other potential abstract hobbyist use case is, bluntly, not a rational discussion.

Remember that both Sony and Microsoft consoles are functionally PC devices too, essentially running far beefier versions of otherwise the same base hardware as the Steam Deck. Are they too "greedy" for not enabling the full Windows ecosystem on those PC-centric platforms?

I find this conversation disheartening. Why are we suggesting Valve owes anyone a full and complete Windows experience, when in fact that's never what they set out to accomplish? Yeah, it's great they allow some hobbyist capabilities in the Windows OS space because it seems like they have some hobbyists of their own who probably spent some of their own time building these capabiliites because they thought it was interesting. In the same breath, Valve owes Windows fanboys literally nothing in terms of Steam Deck -- current or future.

Be glad for what you have, or don't be glad and in which case buy a device that's meant to be a general-use PC.
fair points some of them. My point is that Valve always tried to emphasize freedom, of choice, and if you are emulating Windows gaming, they could at least have the Steam Deck work in Windows like in Linux.

As for using the Steam Deck as a PC, it only lacks the keyboard, that's why I'd like a Steam Deck 2 to have a keyboard like Aya Neo Slide or GPD Win 4.

I have two independent Windows 11 partitions on my current desktop PC, and one of them -the 2TB one- is just for gaming. That partition is a bit console like but I use Windows mainly because all my games are going to run.
 

arandomguy

Regular
Fast iterations on the SOC aren't likely to yield meaningful cost or performance per watt gains. I think on that side they'll wait until they can offer x2 performance for the same price. That's probably every 2-3 yrs?

In that interview Newguy links, they've already said the next version is likely to focus on a better screen.

In this context though 2-3 years would be on the shorter side as the other side is people are expecting a traditional console lifespan, the person I was responding to even threw out a 4-5 years figure. The Steam Deck itself now is already a year old and was announced almost 20 months ago.

I also expect them aren't going to do console type generations either as that doesn't really need to exist in this case which would also lend itself to shorter iterative updates. A Steam Deck "2" basically won't be the same as as a Switch -> Switch 2 transition for example. An updated model with a better display itself would be a new model.

I also don't think the performance improvement needs to that high as well given the above. The CPU side is also a bit of a low hanging fruit to improve and more of priority as it is generally less scalable as far as game support compared to graphics.
 

tuna

Veteran
fair points some of them. My point is that Valve always tried to emphasize freedom, of choice, and if you are emulating Windows gaming, they could at least have the Steam Deck work in Windows like in Linux.

MS are absolutely free to support the Steam Deck if they want to and feel that doing that would benefit them. But why should Valve spend a lot of resources helping MS? You pay for Windows, that should be enough for MS for supporting the HW you have.
 

tuna

Veteran
that behaviour just shows how greedy Valve is. I could understand that they want their Steam OS -well, it's Linux- to be the default option for everyone, but should make easier for people to switch to Windows, which they don't.
What exactly is it that Valve should do in order to "make easier for people to switch to Windows"?
 

Cyan

orange
Legend
Supporter
What exactly is it that Valve should do in order to "make easier for people to switch to Windows"?
easier dual boot config, or letting you choose if you just want to use Windows. I don't understand why defending Valve instead of defending users.

Valve is using free software to emulate another OS, at least they could offer full support for the original OS, and with some kind of Big Picture mode in Windows I don't know what would be so different compared using Steam OS. It's not that this would steal sales from the Steam store, Steam is still the best store out there, imho, although I prefer GoG. You'd have 100% games compatibility.
 

arandomguy

Regular
easier dual boot config, or letting you choose if you just want to use Windows. I don't understand why defending Valve instead of defending users.

Valve is using free software to emulate another OS, at least they could offer full support for the original OS, and with some kind of Big Picture mode in Windows I don't know what would be so different compared using Steam OS. It's not that this would steal sales from the Steam store, Steam is still the best store out there, imho, although I prefer GoG. You'd have 100% games compatibility.

Valve's long run play is to push Steam OS/Linux and decouple from Windows as much as possible.

Ideally for Valve they don't want PC gaming to be associated with Windows or any other store/platform/distribution/launcher/etc. They want PC Gaming to be purely associated with Steam in all aspects. They already have a large user base and a passionate segment of it that associates PC gaming as Steam gaming, they want to grow that.

Also in terms of your line about defending Valve vs. users the thing users often align with their platform/company/group of choice (eg. people don't actually hate monopolies, they hate monopolies of companies they don't like). Users are not a homogenous group, plenty users would prefer if Valve/Steam/Linux could hypothetically displace Windows gaming. This applies to PC IHVs, console platforms, car companies, clothing companies, political parties or whatever.
 
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Albuquerque

Red-headed step child
Veteran
Honestly, as again one of the resident Microsoft fanboys, I still see a larger positive coming from Linux getting more than the tiny toe-hold in modern gaming options today.

Gaming on Windows is "solved" and is probably at least part of the reason why Microsoft can be so complacent in that space. Real, usable-by-the-masses Linux gaming options are finally starting to arrive with the likes of DXVK and now the SteamOS / Steam Deck. Show me another Linux distro with so much gaming potential "out of the box." I still don't understand why we care about Valve providing a way to convert all their stuff back to Windows from whence they came; Linux is where the really interesting things are happening here.

For what it's worth, keeping it on Linux is an argument for staying away from the monopoly / hegemony of Microsoft in the gaming PC space. Want to get other gaming platforms onboard? Vote with your wallet to show Epic / GoG / whoever else is your favorite that Linux gaming is worthwhile to invest in.
 

tuna

Veteran
easier dual boot config, or letting you choose if you just want to use Windows. I don't understand why defending Valve instead of defending users.

I don't have a Steam Deck, but what is the problem with dual booting or just running Windows? AFAIK you can run any OS you want on your Steam Deck.

Stating that is not defending Valve.
 

tuna

Veteran
Valve is using free software to emulate another OS, at least they could offer full support for the original OS, and with some kind of Big Picture mode in Windows I don't know what would be so different compared using Steam OS.

The "original" OS of Steam Deck is Valve's SteamOS.

If I buy a Surface Laptop I don't expect MS to write Linux drivers even though that is what I want to use. But Linux developers write drivers for Surface devices anyway, and MS can do the same for the Steam Deck if they want to sell Windows licenses to Steam Deck users.
 

arandomguy

Regular
I'm going to wade into controversy a bit but the Steam Deck/Steam OS and MS/Windows debate doesn't just have a vested stake from the Valve/Steam supporters side but also the Linus supporters and anti-Windows/MS side. And yes to add to controversy a bit I've noticed people in that pro Linux/anti Windows camp latch onto the Steam Deck as as part of their agenda (not using this in pejorative sense). As a I stated above a large part of your feeling on this issue is likely going to come down to how you associate MS/Windows with a PC and PC gaming, and to add onto that what you want the direction of this to go in the future.

I do think in general one from a neutral perspective at present has to acknowledge that the more prevalent thought is that a PC and PC gaming is much more associated with Windows over other OSes. If a device is advertised as a PC/PC gaming device there is essentially more of unspoken expectation to some extent this means Windows, while the reverse of Linux is not there, so the Linux on Surface device analogy is a bit flawed in that respect.
 
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