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Two bits of official Steam Deck news to cover this morning, as there's a new small Steam Deck Client Update out plus we now know what special performance tweak is done in Gaming Mode compared with Desktop Mode.

For the Client update, here's what's new:

  • Added Great on Deck carousels to the Recommended tab of Deck Home
  • Added deadzone visualizer to the Controller Configurator
  • Fixed focus issues when entering the Library, and when going into and out of Collections
  • Further performance improvements for users with very large Steam accounts
  • Fixed focus display issue with selecting friends in the Invite Friends to Game dialog after entering in some text to filter the list

Additionally, for a while we've known there's some difference in expected performance between Gaming Mode and Desktop Mode. I tried to get clarification on what exactly the difference was two weeks ago but Valve didn't reply. Now though, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais decided to explain it on Twitter:

There's no difference in actual available CPU resources between game mode and desktop mode, but game mode has a tweak to expose the CPU as 8c/8t instead of 4c/8t. This lets several games pick 6 or 8 threads instead of 4, yielding big gains from SMT scaling.

Sounds like an interesting way to get a little more juice.

Update: an additional Steam Deck fix was released later noting it "Fixed Home screen loading issue when in offline mode".

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dubigrasu Apr 19, 2022
I think that's only for games running through Proton. That being said, the majority of games are running through Proton anyway :)
Liam Dawe Apr 19, 2022
Update: an additional Steam Deck fix was released later noting it "Fixed Home screen loading issue when in offline mode".
superboybot Apr 19, 2022
Quoting: GuestThe APU is 4c/8t, so how did Valve make software see another 4 cores? Unless they're virtual cores, not physical.

Would be interesting to find out exactly what's going on.

I would also like more details. Sounds interesting and very technical.

It sounds like a virtualization trick, but that's just speculation on my part.
dubigrasu Apr 19, 2022
From gamescope_session script:

# Let's try this across the board to see if it breaks anything
# Helps performance in HZD, Cyberpunk, at least
# Expose 8 physical cores, instead of 4c/8t
export WINE_CPU_TOPOLOGY=8:0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7
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