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Need even more information on the upcoming Linux-powered Steam Deck from Valve? We've got some more that has trickled through to talk about.

Firstly, in a newer IGN video the team at Valve went over the hardware and power of the Steam Deck and talked about what it's actually capable of. During the video Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais mentioned "We’ve been looking at various games over the past few years in the back catalogue but the real test for us was games that were coming out last year", he continued, "They just couldn’t really run very well on the previous types of prototypes and architectures we were testing and this is the first time we've achieved the level of performance that is required to run the latest generation of games without a problem. All the games that we wanted to be playable is the entire Steam library, we haven't really found something that we could throw at this device that it couldn't handle.".

Now that sounds pretty exciting. However, there's a difference between developers saying it can handle it and it works, and what we're all expecting the performance to actually be like. Griffais mentioned how most games will scale down "to their 800p 30Hz target really well" but "if people start heavily favouring image quality then we might be in a position where have trade-offs but we haven't really seen that yet".

In a follow-up Twitter post Griffais mentioned "The "30 FPS target" refers to the floor of what we consider playable in our performance testing; games we've tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far. There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune perf vs. battery life.".

Really interesting to know there's going to be an FPS limiter built in. There's already some available on Linux like libstrangle to tweak that.

What we also know as well from Griffais in a Twitter reply, is that the Steam Deck itself will be using the gamescope project that we mentioned back in January 2020 which is a Wayland compositor for the normal Steam gaming session (not the KDE Plasma desktop mode) - so it's likely the FPS limiter used is built into that directly.

Another very interesting bit of info is that Steam Big Picture is getting overhauled, using the new UI built for the Steam Deck which was confirmed by Valve developer Austin P on a Steam post where they said "Yes, we are replacing Big Picture with the new UI from Deck. We don't have an ETA to share yet though.".

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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36 comments
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Hori 26 Jul
I hope they'll update BPM before the Deck's release :P
Also really nice to see an FPS Limiter built-in. Should be a nice way to save more battery while away from home. And more than that, it's better to have a stable and consistent 30FPS than fluctuating between e.g. 40-60.


Last edited by Hori on 26 July 2021 at 11:21 am UTC
Corben 26 Jul
Will be interesting to see how they limit the FPS.
E.g. I'm using MangoHud (maybe MangoHud uses libstrangle?). That's especially helpful with games, that can either have no vsync or when vsync is active limit the FPS to 30 (happens e.g. in Dead Space games). So with MangoHud I can always disable vsync in games, but still have vsync through MangoHud active.

It was a bit sad to see how so many people where complaining about the 30 FPS, because they didn't fully understand. I guess that's why plagman2 felt urged to clarify: it's the lowest bar, and mostly it'll be better.
CatKiller 26 Jul
Quoting: HoriAlso really nice to see an FPS Limiter built-in.
They'll probably put something in the game's Properties UI for it, but otherwise it's just gamescope -r 30 -- %command%
superboybot 26 Jul
I'm curious about how this might interact with the graphical presets mentioned by Valve in the IGN deep dive. If I were to set it to 60hz, would that establish a "target" FPS that automatically lowers certain settings? Perhaps at some point, Valve could create a Steam Graphics API (similar to Steam Input) that allowed user-specified universal graphics settings if the game supports it.
sub 26 Jul
When it comes to compatibility, that Kotaku article has this interesting bit:

QuoteBut now, with this latest version of the Steam Deck, Valve seems confident that the device is finally performing better and is now able to run anything the company throws at it. (Assuming the game in question supports Valve’s SteamOS or its Linux compatibility software Proton.)

https://kotaku.com/valve-says-it-hasnt-found-a-game-that-the-steam-deck-ca-1847358340

Isn't this basically backpedaling from the earlier claim, the Steam Deck will support the full catalog?
I mean, we all know it's simply out of question given the information of protondb.
While Proton is amazing tech, it's nowhere near being perfect and December is approaching fast.
whizse 26 Jul
  • Supporter
Quoting: subIsn't this basically backpedaling from the earlier claim, the Steam Deck will support the full catalog?
Have they ever made that claim?
sub 26 Jul
Quoting: whizse
Quoting: subIsn't this basically backpedaling from the earlier claim, the Steam Deck will support the full catalog?
Have they ever made that claim?

I read that kind of news all over the place.

https://marketresearchtelecast.com/valve-ensures-that-the-steam-deck-is-compatible-with-the-entire-current-steam-catalog/111217/

If it is a misinterpretation by the media, Valve should make that clear, imho.
whizse 26 Jul
  • Supporter
Quoting: subI read that kind of news all over the place.

https://marketresearchtelecast.com/valve-ensures-that-the-steam-deck-is-compatible-with-the-entire-current-steam-catalog/111217/

If it is a misinterpretation by the media, Valve should make that clear, imho.
A really bad article doing an even worse interpretation of the PC Gamer article.

But yeah, Valve could do better job of communicating the limits of Proton.
BielFPs 26 Jul
I'm glad they're using gamescope, I was afraid they would use bare metal x11 but now I am curious about the new interface.

I also wonder in what phase Collabora is with their wine version.
Corben 26 Jul
Quoting: whizse
Quoting: subIsn't this basically backpedaling from the earlier claim, the Steam Deck will support the full catalog?
Have they ever made that claim?
Well, they said it in their Steamworks Quick Tips:

Quoting: Eric from ValveOur goal is for every game to work by the time we ship Steam Deck
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q_C5KVJbUw&t=135s

And they refer to work that has been done for Proton which has not yet arrived in the public version of Proton. So, maybe they have all the major issues already solved, or upcoming solutions that need to mature a bit more before release.


Last edited by Corben on 26 July 2021 at 1:44 pm UTC
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