We might have been so involved about the Stream Deck’s potential to play video games at increased framerates that we did not cease to contemplate how docking the machine would have an effect on its performance.
Despite the Nintendo Switch (arguably the best-established comparability product to Valve’s new handheld) boosting video games to 1080p when the console is docked (up from its native 720p), Valve did not see the want to incorporate an analogous characteristic for its personal moveable gaming machine. This might imply that you will see higher performance on the Steam Deck when utilizing it solely as a handheld, particularly when you solely have a big 4K TV, which is pretty widespread in trendy houses.
Don’t Steam forward together with your expectations
In truth, you may possible see a drop in performance even when you hook the Steam Deck right into a 1080p desktop monitor too. In an interview with PC Gamer, Valve’s Greg Coomer revealed that whereas a “higher power mode” was beforehand conceived to assist increase performance when docked that, the thought was ultimately shelved.
“We felt that it was actually better all things considered to not modify based on docked status or mobile status,” Coomer defined.
“We actually wished to prioritize for utilizing it in what we thought can be the highest use case, which is definitely cellular, and so since we had been specializing in that, and we selected like a threshold the place the machine will run properly, and with a very good body price with AAA video games in that state of affairs. We didn’t actually really feel like we should always goal additionally going after the dock state of affairs at increased resolutions.”
The Steam Deck’s native resolution is set to 1280x800p, though Valves has assured folk that you can still change the resolution just as you would on any gaming PC. It is, after all, a computer despite its deceptive appearance. But like any PC, changing the resolution is going to affect framerate and performance, which makes the appeal of playing games in docked mode questionable for some.
If you’re looking to use Valves latest hardware as a dedicated indie or retro machine then you’ll have little to worry about, but it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to plug into a 4K TV and play something like The Witcher 3 or Horizon Zero Dawn at a pleasant level.
Thing is, that isn’t really the point of the Steam Deck, and if you’re preparing yourself for disappointment on that front then you’re not the market that Valve is targeting. To use the old saying “you get what you pay for”; the Steam Deck offers incredible portability when compared to a gaming laptop, and at a much cheaper price point – expecting it to have the same performance output is a sure-fire way of getting disappointed.
Gabe Newell, Valve president and co-founder, even expressed that affordability was a key part of the Steam Decks design.
“I wish to choose this up and say, oh, all of it works. It’s all quick. It’s all… after which value level was secondary and painful. But that was fairly clearly a vital facet to it,” Newell mentioned in an interview with IGN. “But the very first thing was the performance and the expertise, that was the greatest and most basic constraint that was driving this.”
Of course, none of this is to suggest that you shouldn’t use the hardware while docked, but curbing your expectations will prevent disappointment. For things like Stardew Valley, Counter Strike: Global Offensive or Hotline Miami, go for your life. If you’re wanting to give something Like Cyberpunk 2077 a go though, consider saving your pennies for something with a dedicated GPU inside.