Valve Cuts Steam Deck Efficiency, Doesn’t Disclose It

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Valve has quietly modified the Steam Deck’s specs, unbeknownst to most who’ve put in an order in latest weeks. 

Steam Decks ordered on the time of the console’s launch got here with both a 256 or 512GB SSD, which have been related utilizing an x4 PCIe connection. SSDs in additional just lately ordered consoles, nonetheless, are related utilizing simply two lanes, in accordance to the German tech weblog HardwareLuxx. PC Gamer noticed the weblog put up Wednesday.

Reducing the drive’s bandwidth on this approach may hypothetically lead to slower efficiency. Worse, Valve didn’t disclose the change in an organization assertion, or in an e-mail to clients, leaving new Steam Deck house owners to search out out on their very own whether or not they acquired a console with altered specs. (PC Gamer’s report contains directions for individuals who need to threat a peek.) The one “discover” Valve put out across the time of the change was an edit to the console’s webpage. In accordance with the Wayback Machine, the edit was made on the finish of Could. 

The Steam Deck’s specs web page accommodates quiet edits to its SSD information.

To this point, checks carried out by Kotaku have failed to search out any actual variations in efficiency, resembling with load instances or FPS. This have to be a reduction for Valve, which scrambled to elucidate the swap as quickly because it turned publicly identified. The console’s design crew adopted up with PC Gamer by saying customers received’t discover a distinction besides in “extraordinarily unusual circumstances.” In accordance with them, the change was important if Valve wished to seize maintain of the sticky provide chain, which (as we’re all exhaustingly accustomed to by now) has been wrecking electronics manufacturing for a pair years. The brand new SSD choice permits Valve to double its weekly Steam Deck shipments—a welcome growth for individuals who ordered theirs a bit late within the sport. 

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“Our crew has examined each elements extensively, and decided that there isn’t a influence to efficiency between the 2 fashions,” Steam Deck designer Lawrence Yang advised PC Gamer.

Nonetheless, it isn’t unreasonable for patrons to want Valve had clearly conveyed the change earlier on. Switching up the console’s {hardware} doesn’t make up practically as a lot of the issue as the dearth of communication does. That being mentioned, loads of gaming—er, testing—will likely be required to find out whether or not Valve’s dismissal of potential efficiency points is well-warranted. 

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