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The Steam Deck is Awesome at 128bit 88GB/s bandwidth

Evilms

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64 bit instead of 128 bit ? if this is confirmed it is a big disappointment for for a 2021 handheld console
 
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Aya Neo and GPD Win 3 are nice devices, but they run $900-1200, and I'm expecting the Steam Deck to be more powerful than either. A reasonable expectation would be something like Xbox One/PS4 settings at 720p. If you're so worried, don't buy it.
 
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StateofMajora

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It's the biggest problem for Switch as well. Don't care about a handheld PC as there's no unique games for it, but I do hope Nintendo comes up with a solution for memory bandwidth next gen. At a minimum, an 128 bit bus will be needed. Split memory isn't ideal, but perhaps 2 separate pools of memory both with 128 bit bus width (like ps3). That or eDRAM, but that's getting too expensive nowadays.
 
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It's more than enough. It's in fact at the cutting edge for what's feasible on these devices.

The point of the discussion in this thread is that the 1.6TFlop GPU and 4c Zen 2 CPU is going to be severely gimped with only 44GB/s memory bandwidth provided the OP's suspicions prove true and the device does indeed only have a 64bit memory interface.

There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing cutting edge or "more than enough" about a system with only 44GB/s total memory bandwidth.

The PS4 which is 1.8TF (polaris) has 176GB/s total BW shared between GPU and CPU, and its CPU is weaker and will use much less bandwidth than the one on the Steam Deck.

The Nintendo Switch uses a max. 393GFlops GPU but with 25GB/s total memory bandwidth. The Steam Deck boast 4x the GPU performance but has (potentially) only 1.76x the total memory bandwidth.

I can't see how it can work.

At this point, I think i'm with thicc_girls_are_teh_best thicc_girls_are_teh_best . They MUST be using a 128-bit bus. So maybe they have some chip configuration supplied by Micron or someone.
 

RoboFu

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It's more than enough. It's in fact at the cutting edge for what's feasible on these devices.
Did I made the point clearly enough or do you need some picture to grasp the concept better?


It's almost 3-4 times the performances, actually. 512 Gigaflops versus 2 Teraflops.

Switch games are made for the switch though. there is a big difference there. Witcher 3 will be a neat comparison as the switch is mainly hindered by is RAM there where as this thing has plenty.

I am betting this thing will produce performance slightly below a PS4 in real world use for most games. ANd that is mainly because of my experience with a laptop that has a Ryzen 5 4500U. Its not a great gaming experience and this handheld will have an even lower TDP to work with.

The key is that you get the scalibilty of PC gaming so even if say RED DEAD 2 doesnt look as good as the ps4 version you should be able to make it run better.
 
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spons

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Switch games are made for the switch though. there s big difference there. Witcher 3 will be a neat comparison though switch the switch is mainly hindered by is RAM there where as this thing has plenty.

I am betting this thing will produce performance slightly below a PS4 in real world use for most games. ANd that is mainly because of my experience with a laptop that has a Ryzen 5 4500U. Its not a great gaming experience and this handheld will have an even lower TDP to work with.

The key is that you get the scalibilty of PC gaming so even if say RED DEAD 2 doesnt look as good as the ps4 version you should be able to make it run better.
The 4500U has a GPU that is 2 generations older than the one in the Deck.
 
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dvdvideo

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Yeah... of course... as if the 64GB Steamdeck version has any value. Get real.

That's nowhere near enough storage. It might as well not exist. Practically nobody is gonna buy it. It's the 20GB PS3 all over again.
Well if your gonna play that game neither does the switch with its 32 or 64gb of storage included. Oh wait, there's sd cards for both, it's a wash in that regard.
 

ethomaz

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The 4500U has a GPU that is 2 generations older than the one in the Deck.
The Deck GPU has a 25% better IPC thought... it is basically that old generation with 2TFs.
You can find bechmarks with AMD APUs way stronger than Deck playing games at low 720p, low 480p, low 360p... some not even reaching 60fps.
 
Mar 7, 2017
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Well if your gonna play that game neither does the switch with its 32 or 64gb of storage included. Oh wait, there's sd cards for both, it's a wash in that regard.

It's apples to oranges.

The Switch is a dedicated portable with games designed by developers with the device storage limit in mind. It also uses game cards that don't need a separate install on the internal storage.

The Steam Deck is a portable PC with no games designed specifically for it. It uses no physical media, so every game needs to be installed. Unless you're only playing smaller indie stuff, good luck storing more than one game on that 64GB internal storage. A huge swathe of PS4/XB1/PC games routinely weigh in at far more than that.
 

Rob_27

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I've ordered the 64gb one. But I don't need aaa games on it. I've got series x and ps5 for that.

This is my easy way to play oldies and sort of new ish content without all the big clobber a desktop pc brings. I've already got 2 work laptops and a Perry one already. It doesn't need to have the balls deep nvme drive for me. So that option saves me a few quid.
 
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Fredrik

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Pricy for sure, but I already own all the games I want on PC currently so that's a huge library I get to jump into wherever I want.
Yeah, I didn’t even think twice, I have 200+ games on Steam alone, then 100+ on GOG and 10+ on Epic and a bunch I’ve forgot about on Origin and UPlay or whatever they’re called now, and finally 300+ on Gamepass, plus emulators. I could literally sell all other gaming systems and only play what I currently have on PC and never get out of games to play for the rest of my life.
 
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ethomaz

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What are the chances developers optimize for the specs of the Steam Deck?
It can happen but that is not the ideia behind Desk... it is to play what you have on PC already... so games will target all PC hardware that include Deck.
 
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Dr.Morris79

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People expecting a portable next gen console for $400 are delusional
I just want it to play Painkiller and loads of other oldies.. that were good. A time when PC gaming wasnt just jazzier console games..

 

OrangeSun77

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It's apples to oranges.

The Switch is a dedicated portable with games designed by developers with the device storage limit in mind. It also uses game cards that don't need a separate install on the internal storage.

The Steam Deck is a portable PC with no games designed specifically for it. It uses no physical media, so every game needs to be installed. Unless you're only playing smaller indie stuff, good luck storing more than one game on that 64GB internal storage. A huge swathe of PS4/XB1/PC games routinely weigh in at far more than that.
Totally agree, the raw power is nothing, Switch is a console that has ports very well optimized for the fact of being a real platform. These notebook PCs, shaped like a portable console, are a frankenstein that doesn't make any sense, I really don't understand Valve with these weird experiments.
 
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AutumnLeaves

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Yeah... of course... as if the 64GB Steamdeck version has any value. Get real.

That's nowhere near enough storage. It might as well not exist. Practically nobody is gonna buy it. It's the 20GB PS3 all over again.

OK, I'm going to disagree here. I understand why you think that, but you're only focusing on the heavy games. There are SO MANY games that are not that large (new and old). Case in point, I'm currently playing Blood: Fresh Supply; Battle Brothers; Darkest Dungeon; Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind; Children of Morta; Banner of the Maid. All there are less than 5 GB. I mean, I would love to play Blood anywhere. Same with Battle Brothers. And then there are slightly bigger games I can install on a 64 GB version: Divinity Original Sin (10 GB); Disco Elysium (17 GB). I can have all of these games installed at one time on that version. Honestly, that is what I would want to do. If there is a game that is bigger, I'll either play it on PC or expand the storage. It's not that big of a deal.

This is fantastic device. I cannot wait and see what people will do with it in terms of emulators. Would love to play PS1, PS2, N64, Gamecube games on it. And the sizes of those games are not that big either. Exciting stuff really.
 

Fredrik

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What are the chances developers optimize for the specs of the Steam Deck?
Depends on how popular it becomes. If it becomes a success it’s not an impossible scenario that devs make sure minimum requirements sits where the Deck is, just to get extra sales, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I think we need to accept that sooner or later we’ll bump into games that won’t run or even install and we’ll need Valve to release a more powerful Deck. But this is the norm so I don’t think much about it.
 

serialcarpens

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And a Micro SD is faster than an HDD and they keep improving the speeds. Dosen't the Switch OLED have 64gb and it's $350 for half the performance or less?

No. Valve only included a low quality SD port in this thing, that doesn't go any faster than 100MB/s. It is literally going to run at HDD speeds off the SD card.
 
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dvdvideo

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It's apples to oranges.

The Switch is a dedicated portable with games designed by developers with the device storage limit in mind. It also uses game cards that don't need a separate install on the internal storage.

The Steam Deck is a portable PC with no games designed specifically for it. It uses no physical media, so every game needs to be installed. Unless you're only playing smaller indie stuff, good luck storing more than one game on that 64GB internal storage. A huge swathe of PS4/XB1/PC games routinely weigh in at far more than that.

Not really, likely half the people who own switch use it digital only. So 50%+ of the market still has the same small storage issue.
 
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It's not jumping to conclusions. Valve have already stated it's 16GB LPDDR5 with 5500MT/s. There's only so many ways something like that can be configured reasonably in a portable device form factor. Unless you think it's gonna be 16x 1GB chips?

There's also this, which is as good as a confirmation:

It's apples to oranges.

The Switch is a dedicated portable with games designed by developers with the device storage limit in mind. It also uses game cards that don't need a separate install on the internal storage.

The Steam Deck is a portable PC with no games designed specifically for it. It uses no physical media, so every game needs to be installed. Unless you're only playing smaller indie stuff, good luck storing more than one game on that 64GB internal storage. A huge swathe of PS4/XB1/PC games routinely weigh in at far more than that.

Does the 64 GB version have an m.2 slot? Apparently Gabe himself has said the internal storage is expandable, but the 64 GB one uses eMMC. If it has an m.2 slot, a 2230 style SSD can theoretically be installed to expand the storage that way.

Whether that will actually work or not (for any Steam Deck version) is unknown and depends on how they've configured SteamOS to do that.
 
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ethomaz

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I just checked the specs and they say now quad 32bit. Is it good?
It is 128bits... 88GB/s.
It is still low but twice better than OP 44GB/s.

Where is the source? Because Steamdeck official page says dual-channel.
 
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Not really, likely half the people who own switch use it digital only. So 50%+ of the market still has the same small storage issue.

I doubt you have any meaningful real-world data points to support your use case estimate.

Regardless, it's pretty irrelevant. On the Switch user have the option not to expand storage and they will be able to play pretty much every game.

On the Steam Deck 64GB version, expanding the storage is a necessity.

Does the 64 GB version have an m.2 slot? Apparently Gabe himself has said the internal storage is expandable, but the 64 GB one uses eMMC. If it has an m.2 slot, a 2230 style SSD can theoretically be installed to expand the storage that way.

Whether that will actually work or not (for any Steam Deck version) is unknown and depends on how they've configured SteamOS to do that.

The website technical info seems to suggest so but it's not end-user replaceable:

Storage
64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)
512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4)

All models use socketed 2230 m.2 modules (not intended for end-user replacement)
All models include high-speed microSD card slot

Source:
 
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recursive

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And why is this important?
Because that's extremely low and the iGPU is probably going to be bottlenecked the whole time, eventually making it perform worse than the handhelds that are already in the market.

Valve is only saying they're using LPDDR5 5500MT/s but they're not disclosing the bus width... and I'm reading some sources claiming that the bus is actually 64bit wide.
So at 5500MT/s and a 64bit (8byte) bus, what this means in practice is that the memory bandwidth will be only 5.5*8 = 44GB/s, shared between CPU cores and iGPU.

For example, the Series S has 224GB/s and the PS5 has 448GB/s. The AYA NEO uses LPDDR4X 4266MT/s but with a 128bit bus, meaning it gets 68GB/s, and so do the Intel Tiger Lake handhelds like the OneXPlayer and GPD Win 3.

It's especially bad considering that Zen2 APUs have very little L3 cache (probably only 4MB L3 in Steam Deck), meaning it needs to access the main RAM quite often, which takes bandwidth away from the GPU. In Intel's Tiger Lake case, it has 12MB L3 that the GPU can access too.
Back in 2013 Sony estimated that the PS4's Jaguar CPU cores would take around 20GB/s, and I don't see why the 4-core Zen2 would use less. That would mean the GPU will struggle with some 24GB/s available bandwidth, which is ten times less the bandwidth of a Radeon RX 5500.

Still, I hope the info I'm getting is wrong, or if the specs are missing something like Infinity Cache of sorts.

I'm saying this to level the performance expectations of Steam Deck. If the 44 GB/s bandwidth number is true, it's likely to perform closer to a 1TFLOPs console than a 2 TFLOPs one.
Can you post the sources or is this FUD?
 

ToTTenTranz

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Do you realize that several MORE HIGHLY PRICED alternatives in the PC handheld scene like the GPD WIN 3 (999 dollars as starting price) use LPDDR4, right?


The GPD Win 3 uses LPDDR4X at 4266MT/s, but using a 128bit width.
That means the Win 3 has 4.266 × (128/8bytes) = 68.2GB/s.
That's 154% the bandwidth of the Deck.
 

ethomaz

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The GPD Win 3 uses LPDDR4X at 4266MT/s, but using a 128bit width.
That means the Win 3 has 4.266 × (128/8bytes) = 68.2GB/s.
That's 154% the bandwidth of the Deck.
Deck has 88GB/s.
It is a bit better than Win 3.
 
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cyber69

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It's more than enough. It's in fact at the cutting edge for what's feasible on these devices.


It's almost 3-4 times the performances, actually. 512 Gigaflops versus 2 Teraflops.
Agreed. If I was under 12 with no job and my parents decided to get me a Nintendo Switch Oled model over the Steam Deck. I would report them to a local child abuse authority.
 
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MadViking

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64 GB eMMC vs 256/512 GB SSD? The former is a slower standard, and drives below 256 GB get slower on top of that.
Just out of curiosity I installed some games on my 10 year old SD. It can only read maximum 21MB/s. Sure, the load times weren't the best, kinda similar to HDD. But the games played perfectly fine after the initial loading. I'm sure 100-150 MB/s SD will be fine for most games.
 

BeardGawd

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Although Steamdeck is unmatched as a portable. There will be limitations folks and keep in mind this is just the first iteration. Since they are not mandating developers code for the specs of the first Steam Deck, Valve is free to release updated hardware at any time.

I fully expect a Series S caliber portable in a couple years (from Valve or MS). That's when I will likely join the party.

The PS4 still has close to 4 times the memory bandwidth.

If the OP is true, this will cripple the performance of the device to a point where I wonder why they even bothered with such a large GPU/CPU. They could have slashed both in half and still performed at practically the same level in games.

Also, all those hoping for great NVME SSD performance with DirectStorage, the dream is officially dead. Without the dedicated coprocessors to help with compression/decompression and IO like the PS5, the CPU will have to work multiple times as hard to pick up the slack here, and with this level of memory bandwidth available... well... good luck with that.
The whole point of DirectStorage is that it doesn't need coprocessors. The GPUs themselves do the decompression. I see no reason why SteamDeck shouldn't be able to take advantage if it's the SSD version.
 
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ethomaz

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The whole point of DirectStorage is that it doesn't need coprocessors. The GPUs themselves do the decompression. I see no reason why SteamDeck shouldn't be able to take advantage if it's the SSD version.
Direct Storage reduces CPU use but it still uses the CPU... not the GPU.
 

Sentenza

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It wouldn't surprise me if some developers releasing games on Steam would start to explicitly advertise how their games perform in "Steamdeck mode" or something of that sort, frankly.