Valve’s Steam Deck: is it the groundbreaking gaming console?

The new Stem Deck is pretty impressive and it may overcome the existing gaming platforms. The appellation of the new Steam Deck is like –

-Portability meets power

The speech is enough to express the power and portability of this new gaming handheld console. It is powered by some of the advanced technologies of AMD. But can it grab gamers’ attention? Let’s not jump to a conclusion without reading this article.

Valve's Steam Deck

We are going to discuss each and every essential you need to know about this handheld gaming console –

When Steam Deck Will Arrive?

Those lucky few who made an early reservation for Steam Deck can expect to get this at the end of this year, which is December 2021. Aside from them, buyers can expect a restock of Steam Deck in summer 2022.

So, the time of arrival is quite long for those who haven’t made early reservations. But, Valve promises to regularly update its customers about pricing and release dates.

Full Specification of Steam Deck

Although the Steam Dech is small in size, it packs serious power. It can be considered more of a gaming laptop than can be held as a Nintendo Switch. However, it is way more portable than any gaming laptop.

Here are the complete system specifications of Steam Deck –

Steam Deck Technical Spec


AMD Zen 2

Clock Speed



4 cores/8-thread



GPU Compute Units 


GPU Clock Speed




Size (L x W x H)

11.7” x 1.9” x 4.6”


1.47 lbs / 0.667 kg


  • Base Version - 64GB eMMC

  • Advance Version - 256GB NVMe SSD / 512GB NVMe SSD


7” LCD touchscreen


1280x800 (16:10)

Refresh Rate



3.5mm Audio Jack + Stereo Speakers


Bluetooth 5.0, Wifi


40 W/h

Video Output When Docked

4K 120Hz / 8K 60Hz

Ports (Including Dock)

USB Type-C, USB 2.0, HDMI, Expansion slot for microSD

Variants of Steam Deck at Different Prices

Thinking about the price, they have come up with 3 distinct types of Stem Decks so that all classes of people can buy them. Although there is no difference in their performances, the pricer versions come with more goodies.

Below, we have provided a full breakdown of the 3 variants and their price levels –

  • $399 Steam Deck – At this price point, you will only get the base model that comes with 64GB of eMMC storage. Only a carrying case will be provided with this.
  • $529 Steam Deck – You will get an upgraded version of the base model with 256GB of NVMe SSD storage. You will also get an exclusive Steam profile that is bundled with tons of games and the same carrying case.
  • $649 Steam Deck – The most expensive version will obviously offer more. This top-tier version comes with 512GB of high-speed NVMe SSD, an anti-glare glass, and a distinct virtual keyboard. You will also get a Steam profile as we have mentioned earlier and the carrying case will be a custom one.

Some Stand-Out Features of Steam Deck

Despite the top-notch technical specifications, Steam Deck stands out of the crowd of handheld consoles. It’s nothing like any ordinary gaming console. The ideal is to give people a new and better way of gaming.

People won’t bite the same old gaming strategy anymore, they want something new, something feasible. We believe the new Steam Deck will make it possible. That’s why –

-Various models of Steam Decks have already been auctioned off at many times the asking price on July 16, 2021.

There are 3 things that increased the demand for this gaming console. They are –

It can be used for normal work

The Linux-based SteamOS is the default operating system of Steam Deck. But Valve declares that it is also compatible with other software. So, you can use it for normal work like your regular PC though it is dedicated to gaming.

It can be docked like a Switch

A dedicated dock will be sold by Valve for this handheld console. Just like a Nintendo Switch, you can connect Steam Deck with a TV or monitor. We have already seen display and HDMI ports on it. So, it is predictable that a dock will be available soon. However, we are not sure how much they will charge for the dock.

Here is the technical specification of the dock –

Steam Deck Dock


117mm x 29mm x 50.5mm


120 g



Deck Connection

6" USB-C captive cable with low profile 90° connector


USB 3.1, USB 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, Ethernet

The whole Steam library is included

Access all your games inside your Steam library. You just need to sign in to your Steam account, and you can find any game under the thumbstick. Perhaps, this has enabled playing games that weren’t meant to be played on handheld consoles.

Steam Library is included in the Steam Deck

How do the CPU and RAM differ from other consoles?

Okay, now we will talk about the CPU and RAM of this gaming console. It should be equipped with a competitive processor as it will run high-end games made for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. So, without further ado, let’s start with the processor –

About the AMD processor –

Steam Deck has an AMD APU (combination of a CPU and GPU), which is powered by the AMD Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU architecture. The AMD Zen 2 processor has 4 cores and 8 threads that is equivalent to the Ryzen 3 3100. Except, the clock speed is slower (2.4-3.5GHz).

Maybe Valve has done this intentionally for minimizing the thermal demand and enhancing the battery life. Although the GPU architecture is similar to the Radeon RX 6000-Series GPUs, or more precisely, the equivalent of the Radeon RX6700X graphics card.

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About the RAM –

The 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM is the wildcard of Steam Deck. This LPDDR5 RAM has a speed of 5500 mega transfers per second (MT/s). This beats the current DDR4 RAMs that can be found in high-end gaming PCs.

Valve has gone for such RAM because it can deliver both speed and capacity. With that being said, it can not deliver the bandwidth as the modern GDDR6 graphics memory can. On top of that, both the CPU and GPU will use Random Access Memory (RAM) simultaneously.

Games that can’t be played on the Steam Deck

Because of the heavily modified Linux operating system, some game titles like Apex Legends, Destiny 2 can’t be played on Steam Deck. Anti-cheat software is integrated into these games. That will cause compatibility issues while booting up these games.

Other games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and Rainbow Six: Siege may not play on Steam Deck due to the same reason. So, if you are used to playing these games, it’s better to wait for a while until Valve finally declares these games compatible.

Steam Deck Games

How to Pre-Order a Steam Deck

This is where things get disappointing as you can no longer make reservations for Steam Deck. Those who were able to make reservations will probably get their hands on the latest console in December 2021 as anticipated.

By looking at the official page, we have found that – Valve will start shipping these consoles in December 2021, but only to the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada. They said they will start making more for other regions in 2022.

A Comparison With the Nintendo Switch

There are lots of similarities between the new Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch. In fact, many of us think it could be a move to take down the Nintendo Switch. Thus, a comparison between them is almost mandatory in this article –


Steam Deck


Dimension (L x W x H)

11.7” x 1.9” x 4.6”

9.5” x 0.55” x 4”


1.47 lbs

0.88 lbs





1280x800 (60Hz)

1280x720 (60Hz)


  • 64GB eMMC

  • 256GB or 512GB NVMe SSD

Standard 32GB




Battery Life

2 - 8 hours

2.5 - 7 hours

Video output (Docked)

4K 120Hz / 8K 60Hz






We still don’t know how the new handheld gaming console will surprise us in the future. Will it turn out to be positive or negative? We will leave that up to you to decide. For now, we just want to say – don’t go spend a huge amount of money to buy a Steam Deck from a scalper. They might have reserved one for double or triple the original price. Therefore, they will ask for an astronomical price as they know they have the greater advantage.

A wise step would be patient and determine whether you really want a Steam Deck or not. Because you might be a PC guy or someone who prefers gaming on normal consoles rather than handheld ones. And you might want to save your money for PS5 and Xbox Series X restocks.

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Hi! I am Tanzil, I would like to think of myself as a Tech Nerd. The interest in computers, related parts, accessories, and new technologies have been growing constantly in me. Eventually, the interest became a passion and the passion became a habit. I like to express this habitual knowledge through writing. Therefore, I spend my leisure time writing on computers and technology.

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