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How does Valve’s Steam Deck compare to the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5?

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Valve is surprising new Steam Deck has been officially announced, with the promise that players can use their entire Steam library of games on the go. But how does the handheld compare to other major consoles on the market, such as the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S and the PlayStation 5?

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Let’s take a look at the specs of the Steam Deck first. It is powered by an AMD APU with a quad-core/eight-thread Zen 2 CPU and an AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 8 compute units, in addition to 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM.

Three models are available: one with 64GB of eMMC storage for $399, one with a 256GB NVMe SSD for $529, and a top-of-the-line model with 512GB of fast NVMe SSD storage for $649. While the basic configuration of eMMC storage could mean slower game installs and load times, Valve promises that “there will be no in-game difference in frame rates or graphics quality” between the three models.


How does Valve's Steam Deck compare to the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5?

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The most obvious comparison for the Steam Deck is of course Nintendo’s Switch – especially the upcoming OLED model – which offers a similar handheld configuration, screen size and design. Both devices also have 720p touchscreen displays.

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Of the two, the Switch is almost certainly the less powerful device: it features Nvidia’s Tegra X1 chipset, an Arm-based processor that’s more than four years old, compared to the Steam Deck’s AMD Zen 2 CPU and next-generation RDNA 2 GPU, architectures also appearing in the PS5 and Xbox Series X. The Steam Deck has also been shown handling games that the Switch just can’t, such as Check

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(which is only available as a cloud-streamed option on Nintendo’s handheld.) And other games showcased, such as Jedi: Fallen Order or No Man’s Sky, have never been available in a portable form factor before.

But since the two handhelds are the closest in form factor and price, it’s still worth looking at them side by side – especially considering that, even with the difference in performance, they’re much closer together than the dramatically more powerful Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.

Unlike the Switch, the Steam Deck swaps out removable controllers for some additional input methods: there’s a few: Steam controller style trackpads on either side of the screen, in addition to the thumbsticks, and four additional buttons on the back of the device that serve as paddle-style additional inputs. It also offers Bluetooth audio for connecting wireless headphones, something the Switch rather frustratingly lacking.


How does Valve's Steam Deck compare to the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5?

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However, the Switch wins out in terms of battery life, with 4.5 to 9 hours for the Switch OLED, versus 2 to 8 hours on the Steam Deck, with Tell valve IGN that realistically you can expect 4 hours Portal 2 at 720p and 60 frames per second. The Switch is also much lighter than Valve’s portable valve, weighing in at 0.93 pounds versus the Steam Deck’s 1.47 pounds.

Choosing between the $349 OLED Switch and the $399 Steam Deck, however, will largely depend on preference: do you prefer Nintendo’s level of brilliance and lineup of exclusive games, or the rougher – but more powerful – option of Valve, with its extensive PC game library? (The Steam Deck also has other benefits: because it’s a full-fledged pc, you can technically install Windows and use it as a portable Xbox Game Pass machine, install the Epic Game Store and use it for streaming services like Stadia or Luna.)

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Compared to the lineup of next-gen consoles, such as the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, the Steam Deck fares significantly worse: the processor is just no match for the beefier chips in the latest consoles from Sony or Microsoft, and the GPU is significantly less powerful than even the Xbox Series S, with less than half the graphics cores of Microsoft’s weakest next-gen console. Despite the fact that the Steam Deck uses the same RDNA 2 GPU architecture, it just isn’t in the same weight class.

As can be seen in the chart below, the PS5 and next-gen Xbox consoles win in almost every metric you want to compare them to: more cores, faster CPU clock speeds, significantly more compute units, faster GPU clock speeds, and more teraflops of raw GPU power.

And while that may seem like an unfair comparison, it’s worth considering that the Steam Deck — which ranges in price from $399 to $649 — is priced in the same ballpark as those more premium consoles than the Switch ($199). up to $349).

steam deck vs. Xbox Series X vs. Xbox Series S vs. Playstation 5

Categories Valve Steam Deck Xbox Series X Xbox Series S PS5
Categories Valve Steam Deck Xbox Series X Xbox Series S PS5
Processor 4-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 2.4-3.5GHz 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.8GHz (3.6GHz with SMT enabled) 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.6 GHz (3.4 GHz with SMT enabled) 8-core AMD Zen 2 CPU @ 3.5 GHz with SMT (Variable Frequency)
GPU AMD RDNA 2 GPU 8 CUs @ 1.0-1.6 GHz AMD RDNA 2 GPU 52 CUs @ 1.825GHz AMD RDNA 2 GPU 20 CUs @ 1.565GHz AMD RDNA 2 GPU 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz (Variable Frequency)
GPU power 1.6 TFLOPS 12.15 TFLOPS 4 TFLOPS 10.28 TFLOPs
RAM 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM 16 GB GDDR6 RAM 10 GB GDDR6 RAM 16 GB GDDR6 RAM
Performance target 720p @ up to 60Hz Target 4K @ 60 FPS. Up to 8K. Up to 120 FPS Target 1440p @ 60 FPS. Up to 120 FPS Goal to be determined. Up to 8K. Up to 120 FPS
Storage 64 GB eMMC / 256 GB NVMe SDD / 512 GB fast NVMe SSD 1TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD (2.4 GB/sec uncompressed, 4.8 GB/sec compressed) 512 GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD (2.4 GB/s uncompressed, 4.8 GB/s compressed) 825GB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD (5.5GB/sec uncompressed, native 8-9GB/sec compressed)
Expandable Storage microSD slot 1TB Expansion Card 1TB Expansion Card NVMe SSD slot
disk drive N/A 4K UHD Blu-ray No 4K UHD Blu-ray (N/A on Digital Edition)
View USB-C with DisplayPort 1.4 HDMI 2.1 HDMI 2.1 HDMI 2.1
MSRP $399 / $529 / $649 $499 $299 $499

A more appropriate comparison, at least when it comes to predicting the estimated power of the Steam Deck, could be that of the latest console generation: at 1.6 teraflops, it fits neatly between the Xbox One S (1.4 teraflops) and the PS4 (1.8 teraflops) ) in terms of raw graphics prowess. However, the Steam Deck uses a more modern RDNA 2 architecture, so it’s hard to directly compare the two on specs alone.

The post How does Valve’s Steam Deck compare to the Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5? appeared first on Notesradar.

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