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It seems that Valve had incorrect details on the specification sheet for the Steam Deck, and as a result we now know the RAM is more impressive.

Originally (as seen on the Web Archive), Valve listed the Steam Deck as having "5500 MT/s dual-channel" which they've now adjusted to say it's actually "5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels". Thanks to that, we know that the Steam Deck should perform even better than we originally thought it would. The speed may not have changed, but dual to quad is still a pretty nice boost.

We've known for some time now that RAM speed and bandwidth is important to Ryzen CPUs, so this is quite an important clarification to come from Valve. For such a small (relatively speaking) device, every little bit of possible performance is going to be vital, especially since likely the majority of games will end up being played using the Steam Play Proton compatibility tool.

Additionally, Valve designer Lawrence Yang has clarified that when the Steam Deck was recently shown off to IGN the games were actually being played from an SD Card:

Yep, games will load faster off internal storage, but games still play great off an SD card. When IGN came by, all the games they tried (and shot footage of) were played off a microSD card.

Yang also confirmed on Twitter that when docked you can run Steam Deck games off of an external SSD.

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Corben 23 Jul, 2021
Quoting: CorbenA feature that allows to import and/or exchange library folders without restarting the Steam client is now kind of mandatory.
You might have several SD cards holding libraries, or when docking you want to have the external storage accessible immediately to make it a smooth experience.
Yep, it's on the way:

Quoting: Pierre-Loup Griffaiswe've actually done quite a bit of work in steam to support dynamically removable steam libraries
fnordianslip 24 Jul, 2021
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Quoting: slaapliedjeI have never known a laptop that could boot off an SDCard, but I think it would be a cool feature.

My old EEE 901 netbook used to boot from an SD card. I dabbled with running Tails on it when going abroad.
Marlock 8 Aug, 2021
Quoting: ShmerlBy the way, speaking of the UI. Is there some FOSS console oriented GUI now? Let's say I want to play GOG games, itch games or whatever other games on it without using Steam. What are the options? Using KDE Plasma as is, while holding it like a console probably isn't a good idea.

I'm not a big fan of closed source UIs in general.
Kodi may work as a fullscreen UI to launch stuff other than Steam, and i've seen it list .desktop items once (IIRC it was kodi in normal desktop linux distro, so should be easy to get going on SteamOS 3)

If Valve partnered with Kodi devs to get their stuff in Kodi or Kodi stuff into Steam it would be a dream, but an unlikely one... so the next best thing is A lauches B and B launches A...

Recent Kodi versions are investing heavily on gamepad support and gaming plugins, catalogs, etc (courtesy of libretro and interacting with retroarch devs)

RetroArch probably works itself too, and maybe GOG and Itch can be adapted and added to it as game modules, but AFAIK thatcs not done yet and the storefront aspects aren't part of libretro framework, so they'd be limited to downloading/upgrading/launching already owned games

IIRC GameHub leverages libretro too, and so do Lutris and Gnome Games, for emulator modules at least.

It's also possible to use Steam trickery to handle desktop-oriented GUIs in a reasonable fashion... if wecre lucky opensource projects like those will be quick to adopt adaptive layouts themselves (using libhandy contributed to GTK by Purism for their Librem 5 linux smartphone effort... it's akin to KDE Plasma Mobile, lagging a bit behind yet, but quickly achieving great results.
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