In a nutshell: Valve’s Steam Deck handheld PC has already been lauded for its means to deal with current video games designed for consoles and desktops like Elden Ring. However, Digital Foundry determined to check the gadget on among the most demanding PC video games presently obtainable. Results had been considerably spectacular, confirming the Steam Deck technically helps ray tracing albeit at a decision under its show’s native 1280 x 800.
The Steam Deck’s thermal and wattage limits maintain it again in comparison with consoles just like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series, however its graphics processor is predicated on the identical RDNA 2 structure as these ray tracing-capable machines. This week, Digital Foundry determined to see how the Steam Deck dealt with among the most intense ray tracing benchmarks in video games like Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition, Control: Ultimate Edition, and Quake 2 RTX.
Tests like this weren’t potential earlier than Valve launched Windows drivers for the Steam Deck, because the machine’s default SteamOS would not help RDNA 2’s ray tracing.
Installing Windows on a Steam Deck comes with important drawbacks, a minimum of for now, like the present lack of audio drivers and a battery-saving 30 frames-per-second mode.
However, Windows does allow ray tracing on a Steam Deck. Metro is a sophisticated showcase of ray tracing and the Steam Deck manages to play it at 30fps and round 504p decision (896 x 504), with graphics much like what gamers see on the Xbox Series S.
Control fared a lot worse, probably as a result of the sport predates RDNA2, so developer Remedy could not optimize its ray tracing round that structure. Players keen to surrender ray tracing can have a significantly better time enjoying Control on SteamOS. Quake 2 RTX, which makes use of way more demanding path tracing, might solely get to 60fps at resolutions as little as 216p.
Digital Foundry additionally examined the Steam Deck on Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is a infamous PC killer regardless of not using ray tracing. SteamOS cannot play it resulting from anti-cheat incompatibility, however a Windows-powered Steam Deck principally manages 30fps at Series S-like settings in 612p.
Unreal Engine 5’s Valley of the Ancients demo did show to be a bridge too far for the Deck’s CPU. That’s an early pattern of the next-generation engine’s capabilities nonetheless, and thus in all probability not an excellent indicator of how Valve’s handheld might deal with future UE5 video games.
These assessments present that the Steam Deck may run bleeding-edge graphics capably, relying on compromises in decision. Dynamic decision scaling could be an enormous assist, and a future replace from Valve might unlock ray tracing in SteamOS. It stays to be seen how lengthy the gadget will be capable to deal with the newest blockbuster video games.