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Steam Deck (handheld from Valve) - shipping is 4-8 days from NL to UK


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that 50% uplift in frames on Doom Eternal in Linus' video when comparing the Aya Neo is very nice. Eternal does scale super well so I'm not expecting the uplift to be as prominent on other games, but even discounting that figure by half for overhead on poorly programmed games, that's still really good for a chip that's maintaining the same thermal envelope - that, and the massive grips meaning your hands are nowhere near the warm parts should mean it's quite comfy.

I've been messing around with a Ryzen 2400G in a tiny PC and Manjaro Linux, to get a grasp of what the fuck living out of linux is like after 15 years of not touching a live CD. To be honest, just seeing the steam client with whatever scant Linux native games by itself is a small wonder compared to playing some knock-off Tetris that came bundled with Knoppix or whatever it was at the time, let alone going hog wild with Proton and pointing it at whatever you have on your account.

Lutris is another small wonder - search for a game on it, and if there's a result there's usually a community-made scripted guide that tells you to point it towards a setup file,  check a few dependancies it wants to install from x repository (while letting you check what it's downloading to verify that it's not been changed with some bullshit), and away it goes with churning it through WINE/DXVK and sticking it in a library that you can either press play on or link it to Steam. It randomly handled installing Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst by installing a version supporting one of the private servers (Ephinea), recognised games that can be slapped together with an emulator, and it even has some store integrations (Steam/GOG/Humble - and the beta's just added Epic Games Store, as well).

It's not all blue skies - I had a bit of a mare making it recognise a second hard drive (so I'll be interested in seeing how the whole 'slap in an SD card and we'll just install shit to it' works in Steam OS 3.0), and I've already had a couple of very obscure games just refuse to run properly or at all in any version of Proton I throw at it.

I'm not expecting the Steam deck to just smash every game I throw at it, either. On the other hand, I loaded up some bullshit like Fight Crab and it recognised my single player save game on Steam Cloud and let me pick up from where I left it languishing on my main PC, which is wild for a platform that had the best chance of having games via emulators more than anything else. And that's not bad for a hashed-together look at it, let alone a purpose-built machine with specific kernals and updated compatibility layers. And the FSR stuff the community is adding to every single proton game to add a level of tweaking to very basic ports is very interesting, too.

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3 hours ago, Flub said:

Looks like Valve have proper nailed it this time. I can't wait. Just for info I've been told that Horatio Goes Snowboarding will work fine via Proton.


That’s how I’ve been playing it!

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1 hour ago, Siri said:

I've been messing around with a Ryzen 2400G in a tiny PC and Manjaro Linux, to get a grasp of what the fuck living out of linux is like after 15 years of not touching a live CD. To be honest, just seeing the steam client with whatever scant Linux native games by itself is a small wonder compared to playing some knock-off Tetris that came bundled with Knoppix or whatever it was at the time, let alone going hog wild with Proton and pointing it at whatever you have on your account.

I'm planning a little APU build to do exactly the same thing (and try out some emulators), interesting results - keep us posted.

 

I really enjoyed Linus' preview, I wasn't feeling very excited about this but he's really turned it around for me. I'm doing most of my gaming on a handheld (Switch) at the moment, despite the joycons giving me hand ache after ~30 minutes - this looks like a nice improvement.

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13 hours ago, Siri said:

It randomly handled installing Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst by installing a version supporting one of the private servers (Ephinea)

Portable PSO! It's going to be worth it for this alone :omg:

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It still amazes me what I am getting for £349, it is incredible value for money.

 

One thing I heard from a couple of hands on journalists was that Valve has said the Deck won't consume more power when it's docked the way the Switch does to get a boost in performance. Is this something that enterprising modders will likely be able to get around?

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I'm not entirely sure about that - unlike a desktop processor, there's not a massive HSF to soak all the heat generated at higher thermal envelopes or overclocks, and you get to a point where the processor gets saturated and starts to throttle performance. Still, the Aya Neo does stretch between 8w and 35w, so it depends what Valve is considering 'standard' operation.

 

Today on 'fucking about with Linux' - I bolted together one of the alternatives to EGS, the Heroic Games Store. Outside of the kinda dodgy way to log in (basically logging into the website and it skims the Session ID for your account that you punch into the client), it's extremely nice to use - you download your game, set which compatibility layer you want (including whatever Proton versions are installed on Steam), and away you go.

 

The newest bleeding edge version of Proton (made by a fella known as GoldenEggroll - who is actually an engineer who works at Redhat) seems to run THPS1&2 fine, which is a big surprise to me - well, outside of the fact that the resolution was locked at 1440p because of my monitor, and as a result the tiny PC got choked the fuck out :facepalm: at least the power to resolution ratio is right on the Deck!

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2 hours ago, Mallet said:

It still amazes me what I am getting for £349, it is incredible value for money.

 

One thing I heard from a couple of hands on journalists was that Valve has said the Deck won't consume more power when it's docked the way the Switch does to get a boost in performance. Is this something that enterprising modders will likely be able to get around?

 

Assuming it's based on the still yet to be officially released Van Gogh APU (it matches up to it perfectly), the TDP range reported for it is supposedly 7-18 Watts, while the 4500U used in the Aya Neo officially supports 10-25 Watts (but seems to actually go upto 30 Watts in that particular device).

 

The Switch is heavily throttled in mobile mode to save power, while the Deck would appear to run close to its maximum potential on battery so probably has less left in the tank anyway. If the BIOS allows you to ignore the power and clock limits and say fuck it, then the limitation will be the cooling design as RDNA2 can clock stupidly high for a graphics chip if you pump enough electricity into it.

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After watching a few of the recent press previews, it would seem that the hardware design team have done their part. Now the only thing standing between the Deck and success is the software implementation side of things.

 

Valve are sending out dev kits to people soon and apparently they will be including a software polling mechanism to recognise the Deck hardware so interested developers can tailor their games to its specific hardware configuration before launch. If that all gets pulled off successfully, it essentially can become a dumb mass market friendly console appliance device.

 

This preview from Tested mentions most of the current potential roadblocks to success:

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, rafaqat said:

Have I understood the resolution thing right on the handheld that it effectively does 800p undocked?


Well, it's a PC. The screen is 800p, but the "doing" is highly subjective and based on the game, and ultimately you have no limits to make the resolution more or less than that (effectively either reducing aliasing by force or increasing the framerate by force, respectively).

Your games on Steam will more or less default to whatever idea it pulls from information from the monitor (or in this case, the equivalent being the touchscreen), however. So most games will default to that 800p resolution. Like how Tony Hawk 1 & 2 decided it's a good idea to run at 1440p on a Vega-based APU and absolutely tank the framerate that I experienced earlier on in the thread.

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Have there been any comparisons on the eMMC vs NVME versions? Suppose it’s a bit early for that, but £349 sort of puts it closer to impulse buy territory. 
 

 

edit: Just put a deposit down for the 64GB. First thing I’ve bought on Steam since 2017. 
 

Is SteamOS widely available? As in, do people know what it can do at the moment? I’m wondering if I can seriously lock it down so someone couldn’t change settings/change installed games, etc. 

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1 hour ago, HarryBizzle said:

Is SteamOS widely available? As in, do people know what it can do at the moment? I’m wondering if I can seriously lock it down so someone couldn’t change settings/change installed games, etc. 


Not in its intended form for 3.0, no - with the Deck, they're intending to move to a flavour of Arch Linux (because who they're currently partnered with wanted to ditch 32-bit software, which is against what Valve wants to do to keep legacy software/PC owners in the ecosystem). So it's not just the UI changing, it's also the backbone.

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I have my preorder down but im thinking of cancelling. 

 

Im not too tech savvy in regards to gaming on PC but i was hoping to play games at 60fps. I just cant go back to 30 now. Im not expecting to play the next gen stuff on this though (thats why i have the new consoles) but was hoping it would play all titles up to PS4 era at 60fps. 

 

To be fair, i would probably be championship manager 94-95 mostly so im guessing i would be ok. 

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Got my preorder bumped up a quarter, still looking forward to it, play Destiny on the shitter. But I nearly literally didn’t understand a word of the last three pages. Something about operating systems (protons, wine, linos/linus/linux what?), Apus and power consumptions. Whilst this may get the PC mob hot and horny, sounds like a lot of admin hassle and variables that I don’t want to bother with, not something to plug and play and accessible for dumb dweebs like me.

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5 minutes ago, Ry said:

I have my preorder down but im thinking of cancelling. 

 

Im not too tech savvy in regards to gaming on PC but i was hoping to play games at 60fps. I just cant go back to 30 now. Im not expecting to play the next gen stuff on this though (thats why i have the new consoles) but was hoping it would play all titles up to PS4 era at 60fps. 

 

To be fair, i would probably be championship manager 94-95 mostly so im guessing i would be ok. 

 

Considering the power of this, it'll do pre-PS4 games at 60fps. For PS4 games, 60fps might be possible for some of them if you are willing to sacrifice quite a lot of graphical and image fidelity. To be fair to the APU in this, current generation consoles are only offering 60fps on last gen games too a lot of the time.

 

If you want to set your expectations for it, the Aya Neo is a good proxy of what to expect performance wise (just add some performance to what that can achieve).

 

Given the rate of progress, if you want 60fps on PS4 games running off a battery without major compromises, come back in 5 years time.

 

 

 

4 hours ago, HarryBizzle said:

Is SteamOS widely available? As in, do people know what it can do at the moment? I’m wondering if I can seriously lock it down so someone couldn’t change settings/change installed games, etc. 

 

You can try installing Manjaro Linux with the KDE Plasma desktop, it's basically what Valve will be using for the desktop Linux part of SteamOS 3.0

 

https://manjaro.org/downloads/official/kde/

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2 minutes ago, mikeyl said:

Got my preorder bumped up a quarter, still looking forward to it, play Destiny on the shitter. But I nearly literally didn’t understand a word of the last three pages. Something about operating systems (protons, wine, linos/linus/linux what?), Apus and power consumptions. Whilst this may get the PC mob hot and horny, sounds like a lot of admin hassle and variables that I don’t want to bother with, not something to plug and play and accessible for dumb dweebs like me.

 

That's why it's shipping with Valve's own custom OS, which hides all the PC-ness of it and should in theory make it usable for 'normal' people. No need to worry about drivers, proton, wine, Linux as that will all be hidden away by default.

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28 minutes ago, Ry said:

Im not too tech savvy in regards to gaming on PC but i was hoping to play games at 60fps. I just cant go back to 30 now. Im not expecting to play the next gen stuff on this though (thats why i have the new consoles) but was hoping it would play all titles up to PS4 era at 60fps. 

 

I would assume it'll do this. The target (read: minimum) is 800p 30fps for all titles, and if it can do 800p 30 fps for games that are coming out this year on PC, it should be able to do anything on PS4 at 60 fps.

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1 minute ago, mushashi said:

 

That's why it's shipping with Valve's own custom OS, which hides all the PC-ness of it and should in theory make it usable for 'normal' people. No need to worry about drivers, proton, wine, Linux as that will all be hidden away by default.


yeah, that’s what was attractive in the first place. It will wind me up though, the knowledge that I won’t be running the most overclocked most best version.  Mass market penetration won’t happen if they focus on the fiddling and not on the pick up and play, whilst Nintendo run ads with ethnically diverse young skateboarders lobbing their Switches in their backpacks.

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Just now, Hitcher said:

How you check the eta of orders?


I think i went back to the original preorder webpage and logged in from there.

 

Also, mentioned somewhere uptop about doubts over the anti glare screen muting the colours. Anti glare would deffo be better, based on experiences of MacBook Pros with and without. You’d perceive more depth, less reflections and more ‘warmth’ to your images.

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1 hour ago, Alex W. said:

 

I would assume it'll do this. The target (read: minimum) is 800p 30fps for all titles, and if it can do 800p 30 fps for games that are coming out this year on PC, it should be able to do anything on PS4 at 60 fps.

 

They've already demoed Control running on it at ~30fps, anything that pushes the PS4 will be hard to reach 60fps in like-for-like settings, which is why they only target 30fps as they've assumed current development trends will continue of the consoles pushing for 60fps at higher resolutions, leaving enough headroom to cut it back to 800p/30 for the Deck.


With it being a PC, people are free to fiddle with it and target Nintendo Switch-like rendering resolutions which might free up enough spare processing power to hit 60fps, though rendering resolutions don't necessarily scale linearly with performance for all games.

 

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1 hour ago, mikeyl said:


yeah, that’s what was attractive in the first place. It will wind me up though, the knowledge that I won’t be running the most overclocked most best version.  Mass market penetration won’t happen if they focus on the fiddling and not on the pick up and play, whilst Nintendo run ads with ethnically diverse young skateboarders lobbing their Switches in their backpacks.

 

If you're playing Switch games on the Switch then you're not running the most best version of those either. (Hell I think you can overclock an actual switch if you jailbreak it).

 

And it matters exactly as much.  There will always be people putting in literal weeks to run something 1% better, and good for them, they're the reason we have many great things, but it shouldn't worry you that some games on the deck might be able to be made to run a tiny bit better than they do out of the box.

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45 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

They've already demoed Control running on it at ~30fps, anything that pushes the PS4 will be hard to reach 60fps in like-for-like settings, which is why they only target 30fps as they've assumed current development trends will continue of the consoles pushing for 60fps at higher resolutions, leaving enough headroom to cut it back to 800p/30 for the Deck.


With it being a PC, people are free to fiddle with it and target Nintendo Switch-like rendering resolutions which might free up enough spare processing power to hit 60fps, though rendering resolutions don't necessarily scale linearly with performance for all games.

 

 

I seen a guy playing Sea of Thieves and Gears 5 at 60fps on the emulating the specs we will see on the deck, he bumped down a load of options (no idea what they all mean) . 

 

Both games looked amazing. 

 

I don't mind putting the res to 720p and turning off all the fancy stuff as long as I can get 60fps. 

 

To be fair though, I will not be playing the newer big budget games on this. Why would I when I have a series x? 

 

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Microsoft's PC ports have the advantage of having to support the weaker Xbox One console and weaker PCs by design, Sony's exclusives just targeted PS4 as their base and have proven to be much more demanding to run.

 

Horizon: Zero Dawn is tough to get running at 60fps on weaker hardware, same for Days Gone (a lauded PC port) or any of the really demanding 3rd party multiplatform games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Red Dead Redemption II.

 

As I said earlier, I'd look to see what the Aya NEO can do in a game as that will be the proxy baseline of where people should set their expectations of what a bleeding edge 15 Watt device can do in 2021. The Deck will very likely perform better, but not 100% better. If you set realistic expectations, it'll lead to greater satisfaction.

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Pierre-Loup "plagman" Griffais tweeted out that the m2 slot is behind EMI and thermal shielding so it's not really replaceable like an m2 tray on a laptop.

 

I'm sure there will be YouTube guides on how to do it within 48 hours though

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20 minutes ago, Mallet said:

Pierre-Loup "plagman" Griffais tweeted out that the m2 slot is behind EMI and thermal shielding so it's not really replaceable like an m2 tray on a laptop.

 

I'm sure there will be YouTube guides on how to do it within 48 hours though

 

Yeah, the whole 'not user replaceable' Valve mentions alluded to such a thing being the case. My guess is that if the unit has an NVME drive, it has to be bracing the thermal shielding so it doesn't get cooked.

 

It sounds as though they are intending to show the guts of the unit soon coming from the feedback at the press roundup, I guess they're just finalising the design before getting units to certain press that would happily tear down the unit just to have a look (like GamersNexus/Linus).

 

As you say though, it's not going to get in the way of an iFixIt article telling you how to specifically do it and what you need if you don't give a shit about your warranty.

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One of the things I am most looking forward to about the Deck is the community that will be built around it.

 

I expect to see controller configurations, people testing the Deck to it's limits to find the optimal settings for just about every notable game. I wont even be surprised if we get versions of emulators tuned to the Deck's configuration if it's successful. 

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To be honest the same vast majority who wouldn't have the technical confidence to take apart such a tightly packed device to replace the nvme (me included) can remember that the vast majority of indie games/games that don't traditionally need to  load large chunks at a time can use the micro sd slot for those games.

 

I'm going to buy a 256gb sd card or bigger given they cost as little as £25-30 and I can probably fit a few hundred smaller games on there where the loading difference would be negligible. I gather something like Hades would be fine on a micro sd card and those types of games would be fine on there leaving the OS and the heavy load games to go on the ssd.

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  • Kryptonian changed the title to Steam Deck (handheld from Valve) - shipping is 4-8 days from NL to UK

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