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Steam Deck OS 3.5 now in Preview with HDR, VRR and display colour settings

By - | Views: 38,417

For those who wish to test out the very latest improvements to the Steam Deck, Valve has put up Steam Deck OS 3.5 into Preview now. In the official announcement Valve go over a big list of new features and fixes, so here's some of what's included.

The most immediate change you'll notice is that Valve tweaked the default display colour settings, as they said it has been adjusted to "emulate the sRGB color gamut, resulting in a slightly warmer and more vibrant color appearance". This is adjustable, with the new display settings being added:

  • Native: The native display color appearance (the color rendering for Steam Deck prior to this update).
  • sRGB: Emulate the sRGB primaries, in a smooth manner that does not introduce gradient clipping.
  • Boosted: Emulate a wider-gamut display appearance, resulting in increased apparent vibrance. May result in gradient clipping.

On top of that for external displays the Steam Deck now supports HDR, and you can also enable VRR if supported by the USB-C adaptor you're using. Valve also adjusted the Quick Access scaling options, separating them from the filters with added Stretch and Zoom scaling options.

Plus there's some performance improvements with compositing being avoided in additional scenarios, which Valve say will reduce latency and stutter when you have multiple overlays. On top of that they even improved latency in some cases where games / apps render slower than the refresh rate.

There's so much more to it, with this likely being the biggest upgrade for the Steam Deck since release. There's an upgraded graphics driver that has lots of improvements like better performance for Starfield, fixed corruption in Amnesia: The Bunker, fixed launch failures for Immortals of Aveum and Kaiju-A-GoGo and no doubt lots of other fixes.

Some other quick picks from it:

  • Improved sleep resume speed.
  • Improved Bluetooth connection stability.
  • The performance overlay can be customized via configuration files.
  • An upgraded Arch Linux base for the operating system.
  • An upgrade to the KDE Plasma desktop mode.
  • Fixed an issue where certain workloads would exhibit severe CPU performance issues unless SMT was manually disabled.
  • External storage devices are now auto-mounted when connected to Steam Deck.

Valve also noted Firmware 116 was released bringing:

  • Added voltage offset settings.
  • Improved robustness of the Firmware Settings Reset chord (Volume Down + Quick-Access + Power) against some boot hang scenarios.
  • Fixed a rare issue that would set the processor TDP limit too low causing CPU and GPU frequencies to be stuck at 400 MHz and 200 MHz respectively.
  • Fixed an issue when the charging light would turn back on when plugged in for a while after fully charged.

How to get it? Press the STEAM button -> go to Settings -> System -> System Update Channel and pick Preview. It will then reboot, then hit Check For Updates.

Since it's in Preview, it means it's ready enough for anyone to try it out and they will send it as a Stable update to all users once it's had more testing.

What's your favourite addition in this update?

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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TheRiddick Sep 18
Waiting for that one guy to chime in and say HDR is crap on his SDR screen and thus nobody should waste time coding support for it...
nwildner Sep 18
I'm excited to see these news after the THIRD time Steam Deck gets into a promo, but it is marked as Out of Stock here in Ireland.

Now I have to wait 1-2 weeks :)
Nyx Sep 18
Quoting: TheRiddickWaiting for that one guy to chime in and say HDR is crap on his SDR screen and thus nobody should waste time coding support for it...

I'm literally dual booting because of the opposite problem so this is super exciting for me.

(Samsung g9 neo, you either pick the 1006 ish firmwares and have good sdr, or you pick the newest firmware and have good hdr but extremely washed out sdr you cant have both)

So at this point for my gaming pc to fully ditch Windows, I just need hdr and preferably an auto hdr style flip model of sorts, it's the last thing for me to consider linux perfect for gaming (even superior due to less overhead.
I did upgrade myself to a full amd system I'm just patiently waiting for hdr at this point.
citral Sep 18
I don't have voltage offset settings in firmware 116 here
Pyronick Sep 19
Does anybody know if the official dock relays the HDR and VRR signal over HDMI (or just DisplayPort)?
JustinWood Sep 19
Still no news of a fix or update to how the system handles notifications for friends coming online or starting games? I've had to stay signed out of Steam chat since late June, early July just so the bell notification doesn't keep showing up every minute or two. You've got settings for this sort of thing, the bell just doesn't respect it for some reason.
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