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


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I've only noticed the fan when playing RPCS3.  Even then, I only really noticed it on PES2013 and Persona 5. No other emulators seem to make it go brrr. No Steam games I've played have made a huge noise either? Maybe I'm playing the wrong games/not pushing it... I'll try Elden Ring tomorrow. 

 

I'm lying in bed now playing HL2 next to one of my kids and he's not noticed. Then again, he didn't wake up last night when a fox was screeching in the back garden for 10 poxy minutes straight as if it was being tortured, so take that with a pinch of salt. 

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The fan noise complaint is one I always find strange, if only because I have a laptop for work and the fan on that makes a constant, pretty audible noise - and yet it I don't even think about it. And that's been true of any work laptop I've ever had, and they do nothing more taxing than Excel or a Teams call.

 

I highly doubt I'm the only person with a noisy work laptop either. For those who are, let's say, more susceptible to the noise, do you have noisy work equipment? Do you just refuse to use it or something or do you actually just tune it out because your mind is focused on working? How is that different from having your attention focused on a game? 

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My last laptops were from HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo and neither of those had any significant fan noise issue. They were barely active and only when doing demanding applications.

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I suspect if you used the steam deck the same way you used those laptops it would be pretty quiet too. Gaming laptops esp smaller ones do ramp up fan noise when pushed. It's a load and size issue. The switch doesn't need to be noisy because it's esp an outdated old tablet chip and doesn't have the power needed to require the heat dissipation. But hey can play games at less than 20fps silently!

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32 minutes ago, Uzi said:

I suspect if you used the steam deck the same way you used those laptops it would be pretty quiet too. Gaming laptops esp smaller ones do ramp up fan noise when pushed. It's a load and size issue. The switch doesn't need to be noisy because it's esp an outdated old tablet chip and doesn't have the power needed to require the heat dissipation. But hey can play games at less than 20fps silently!


The M1 is a tablet chip, I’d love to see that in a handheld console format.

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It’s not so much fan volume but pitch that bothers me. My MBP is whisper quiet for most of what I use it for. Though even when it spins up, in Teams bizarrely, it’s a low steady whoosh. Some clips I’ve heard of the Deck (sorry, no citations), it’s almost a whistle.

 

Maybe they can tune it, though it’s a function of its very small form factor and its spin speed, so maybe not. Hopefully I’ll get used to it.

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1 hour ago, Uzi said:

I suspect if you used the steam deck the same way you used those laptops it would be pretty quiet too. Gaming laptops esp smaller ones do ramp up fan noise when pushed. It's a load and size issue. The switch doesn't need to be noisy because it's esp an outdated old tablet chip and doesn't have the power needed to require the heat dissipation. But hey can play games at less than 20fps silently!


The Switch’s fans can certainly crank up a bit on some of the heavier games. 

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9 hours ago, Gabe said:

The fan noise complaint is one I always find strange, if only because I have a laptop for work and the fan on that makes a constant, pretty audible noise - and yet it I don't even think about it. And that's been true of any work laptop I've ever had, and they do nothing more taxing than Excel or a Teams call.

 

I highly doubt I'm the only person with a noisy work laptop either. For those who are, let's say, more susceptible to the noise, do you have noisy work equipment? Do you just refuse to use it or something or do you actually just tune it out because your mind is focused on working? How is that different from having your attention focused on a game? 


I refuse to use my work laptop as it spins up the fans constantly (mainly due to Teams) - it’s now for emergencies only. I use my personal fanless MBA instead. If I’m using my gaming laptop I’ll cap the FPS and reduce the detail to reduce the fan noise as much as possible. Quiet please!

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On 06/03/2022 at 15:41, mushashi said:

Will there be something way better next year? probably not, as RDNA2 has existed since 2020 on desktop/console, yet it has taken to early 2022 for laptops to get it and the current AMD roadmap shows it will be used for a few years, in the same way Vega was used for several years before they replaced it. The CPU part might get a refresh to Zen 3 in 2023, as the replacement for Van Gogh is basically exactly the same from what I can tell:

 

I'd be surprised if we see a new iteration with any changes to the APU in the next three years, as it's a custom part and getting AMD to design a new one would be expensive. Valve will be looking to get as much mileage as they can out of the design I expect. I think a die shrink in that timeframe might be possible though. There is form for this with other consoles, e.g. the Switch coming out with a new version that was exactly the same, save for having better battery life. Valve would naturally be more transparent than Nintendo about this change though.

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1 hour ago, SozzlyJoe said:

Stupid question no doubt, but if it has Windows drivers why would you not just run Windows on it and then you can play all your games?


There's some reasons, how much of it is of importance is down to personal preference, and might not apply mind:

- A full copy of Windows adds another £100-ish to the price (at least, if you want a retail key and don't want to just slum it on an unregistered copy), which might be prohibitive for some people for x reason.

 

- OS Support is out of Valve's hands if Microsoft decides on something superflous to just playing games that punts the device into unplanned obsolescence. For example, the kerfuffle over TPM requirements on Windows 11.

 

- The UI doesn't cater for controller support out of the box (you can probably auto-run the new interface and to get steam to hook steam input to the deck's controls in the first instance, but it will need some faff and it won't be instant like a dedicated OS)

 

- The low-power Sleep states that allows for the standby function doesn't work right on Windows, according to twitter.

 

- Even when Steam UI works, there's no guarantee that the dedicated controls they have in place on SteamOS will work. Likewise, any of the particular control functions related to gamescope/mangohud (controlling TDP, framerate, on the fly FSR, and the performance overlay) are not guaranteed to run, so Windows will probably revert to a standard power profile and draw battery juice which will impact battery life to some degree. You can probably run a third party app to get those functions back, but those sorts of hardware hooks also don't play nice with some games (notably, games with anti-cheat).

 

- Overall performance can vary - some games work better with Linux because of the lower overhead or DXVK handles some software calls better, some better with Windows because of specific native software calls which hasn't been fully realised on DKD3D.

For me personally, I might dual-boot with Windows 11 when the support is in, but my reasons are incredibly flaky - namely, Android App support so I can play bullshit gacha games, because all the solutions that exist via Linux aren't very good.

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1 hour ago, SozzlyJoe said:

Stupid question no doubt, but if it has Windows drivers why would you not just run Windows on it and then you can play all your games?

 

I imagine SteamOS will be better integrated & possibly better with battery life etc... but on Windows you'll have epic game store, XGP, GOG, etc as well as Steam.

 

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2 hours ago, SozzlyJoe said:

Stupid question no doubt, but if it has Windows drivers why would you not just run Windows on it and then you can play all your games?

 

If they can get Teams running on this it will be a gamechanger.

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On 11/03/2022 at 08:22, Rorschach said:

 

I'd be surprised if we see a new iteration with any changes to the APU in the next three years, as it's a custom part and getting AMD to design a new one would be expensive. Valve will be looking to get as much mileage as they can out of the design I expect. I think a die shrink in that timeframe might be possible though. There is form for this with other consoles, e.g. the Switch coming out with a new version that was exactly the same, save for having better battery life. Valve would naturally be more transparent than Nintendo about this change though.

 

It's only custom in so far that it has a Valve logo on the IHS, I believe it's just a bog standard Van Gogh APU in terms of technical design, much like how the Nintendo Switch has a fancy codename for its SoC, but in reality was just a re-used Nvidia Tegra X1, down to the same security flaws.

 

You can see from the roadmap I posted what AMD have planned for the 9W TDP segment next, which is just a refresh on the same node, called Dragon Crest. The bigger, more power hungry laptop APUs they make have/are all moving to newer CPU designs so I'd expect the 9W segment to do the same at some point. Zen 3 is better for emulators and Zen 3+ would be a great upgrade as it's power optimised.

 

The consoles have the perennial BC problem, which essentially for 95%+ of games doesn't exist on the PC when you run them on new hardware so changing the APU shouldn't present any practical difficulties, just look at how rapidly the Chinese manufacturers of UMPCs swap out their chips, sometimes more than once a year!

 

 

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On 08/03/2022 at 15:10, Uzi said:

a very one button dumb walled garden experience like the switch and you will absolutely not get that here. It's a PC. It's not a console. 


The great thing about the Steam deck is that even though it isn’t a console, people can bring it into console wars.

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8 hours ago, Strafe said:


The great thing about the Steam deck is that even though it isn’t a console, people can bring it into console wars.

 

PC master race been feeling left out of the handheld bantz, so pleased they can join in now.

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What’re the best PC exclusives that I can play on my steam deck when it eventually arrives (hopefully April)? 
 

Currently I’m interested in Valheim and..er…that’s it. Elden Ring, Horizon and God of War all look great but I’m playing or have played them already. I’m keen to play more full fat experiences rather than indie games. I know Valheim is an indie game. I suppose I mean mega graphics games.

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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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