Damn, I really want a Steam Deck now that I’ve seen the leaked SDK benchmarks


Dev kits for the Valve Steam Deck are out in the wild and that means the leaks are sure to start happening quickly. Actually, I might be a little surprised that it took so long for the game performance numbers to filter out, but now we have a first look at how the Deck handles a few modern games. And now I wish I had paid my $ 5 to get an early booking.

The the report is from a user in China (Going through Tom’s gear) with access to a dev kit, and they recognize that for this reason, we cannot be completely sure that the performance they saw will be 100% representative of the final version of the Decks. The technology might well change between development and release hardware, especially things like the battery, and therefore battery life.

But it’s still the same AMD Zen 2 APU at its core, with the RDNA 2 silicon doing the heavy lifting on the graphics. And that means the actual fps performance numbers we’re seeing are probably pretty close, and the news is good too.

The tester ran Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Doom, Cyberpunk 2077, and DOTA 2 through the Steam Deck, in a variety of settings, and each of these graphically intensive games is fully playable with a few tweaks.

In Tomb Raider, they did a consistent 30fps + on the highest and highest giveaways, and actually managed to get a solid 60fps by lowering some of the settings a bit more. Although they noted that even on the highest settings, as the frame rate stayed around 30 fps, it was satisfying to play.

With Doom, the Deck Dev Kit was able to nail 60 fps on the Medium preset, while increasing the picture quality of a touch brought it down to 46 fps, but still smooth and playable.

Settings Average frame rate
Shadow of the Tomb Raider The highest | Custom 30 fps | 60 fps
LOSS Custom | Average 46 fps | 60 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 High 20 – 30 fps
DOTA 2 The highest | Moo 47 fps | 80 fps

However, the same cannot be said for Cyberpunk 2077, as with high settings the frame rate fluctuated between 20 and 30 fps, making it feel like a much more choppy experience. However, going down to Medium or Low, and again, you’ll play smoothly, although probably still not at 60 fps.

It also crashed once, although the other games are apparently very stable.

Finally, with DOTA 2, while the experience of trying to play using the portable controls wasn’t particularly enjoyable, the actual performance was pretty good. At its highest preset, the Deck was running happily at around 47 fps, while on Low you were aiming for around 80 fps.

They also have a few notes on the thermal levels and battery life of the Steam Deck SDK. After about three hours of playtime, probably with Cyberpunk 2077, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Doom, the battery has dropped from 100% to 46%. This matches up fairly well with the suggested single charge life of two to eight hours.

Steam Deck close-up of the Steam button

(Image credit: Avenir)

And, as our Wes noted while working on the Steam Deck, it can get pretty hot while playing. will hold the device, it was only about 29 ° C.

All of this bodes well for the Steam Deck when it finally launches in December, and those performance numbers are really exciting. While you’re not necessarily going to overwrite 60fps at the highest settings, it’s worth remembering that you can still have a great gaming experience with a frame rate below 60fps – consistency is the main thing. that you want, and it looks like the bridge will deliver.

The first Decks will ship in December of this year, but if you too have been waiting to make a reservation, unfortunately you won’t receive any until June of next year. Sorry.


About Dorie Castro

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