It is possible to play games in 4K with the Steam Deck … but you have to be an all-rounder

News hardware It is possible to play games in 4K with the Steam Deck … but you have to be an all-rounder

A technological Youtuber who will stop at nothing has challenged himself to enhance the power of the Steam Deck as much as possible. His solution: Add a desktop graphics card to Valve’s handheld console, which is no longer truly portable. But the results are there!

With Steam Deck, Valve has achieved the feat of offering a handheld console that can run Elden Ring, Dying Light 2, or even Resident Evil Village at more than 30 FPS, all in a format that fits in a small bag. A small miracle made possible by the presence of an AMD Zen 2 processor, a GPU under RNDA2 architecture… and above all a definition limited to 1280×800 pixels.

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But what if you really want to play in 4K? The ETA Prime YouTube channel decided to address the issue and simply decided to add a Radeon RX 6900XT graphics card to the Steam Deck. A risky but possible assembly that involves connecting the GPU to the M / 2 port of the console and using a power supply to make everything work. So yes, we see you arrive: “but what’s the use”? As ETA PRIME says in its video “We do it because it is possible”.

The Steam Deck becomes an overwhelmed gaming PC

The Youtuber further specifies that he was unable to connect a graphics card from Nvidia, but that the Radeon RX 6900XT works fine. Recall that this is currently AMD’s highest-end card, a GPU dedicated to 4K video games and 3D creation.

However, we must take into account the “bottleneck”, ie the fact that a processor with limited power will slow down the performance of the graphics card and therefore reduce the level of performance in the game. In the case of this Steam “Pimped” deck, we clearly hear the limit. on recent games, which also have to rely on a good processor to run at full capacity. Therefore, if it is possible to play The Witcher 3 or GTA V at more than 60 FPS in 4K, Elden Ring or Cyberpunk 2077 will be more temperamental and will have to be limited to 1080p to exceed 60 FPS.

So yes, the “CPU / GPU” balance here is completely unreasonable and editing is of little interest in the medium term. But it’s also a way to show how flexible and modular the Steam Deck can be. Looking forward to having a “Steam Deck 4” with an integrated 4K screen and an overwhelmed mobile GPU, we’ll have to make do!

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