Valve provides a deep dive into Steam Deck’s custom hardware design

Valve’s full, hours-long, developer-focused presentation.

Valve’s portable Steam Deck hardware may be delayed by a couple of months, but that didn’t stop Valve from discussing plenty of interesting details about the system during a wide-ranging developer-focused livestream Friday. That included a lot of nitty-gritty talk about hardware specs and software interpolation, but also design decisions surrounding how to balance hardware-power and battery-power concerns.

AMD’s custom-built Steam Deck APU, dubbed Aerith after the Final Fantasy VII character, is the core of the system and was a focus of the presentation. AMD says the system is the company’s first mobile chip to feature an RDNA2 GPU architecture, so it should have full support for DirectX 12 and the latest Vulkan APIs. That also means that not only will Steam Deck be compatible with the entire Steam library, but many Steam games will already be optimized for the specific chip configuration found inside, Valve says.

The CPU portion of the Aerith chip features four Zen 2 cores capable of running eight threads at 3.5 Ghz. Meanwhile, the GPU features eight RDNA2 compute units running at 1.6 Ghz.

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