For those who prefer to play games on their PC, Valve just unveiled the newest Steam Deck versions, touchscreen handheld consoles made for PC gamers. Even while the Steam Deck is clearly built to compete with Nintendo’s Switch, it has enough power to play AAA games both while traveling and at home. On the other hand, the new console is available in three different models, unlike its competition. So, which of the Steam Deck versions should you buy, and what are the differences?
Steam Deck Price
Steam Deck 64GB
Pricing for the first and most basic model starts at $399. It comes with the usual carrying case and 64GB of built-in MultiMediaCard storage as standard equipment (eMMC). If you’re a huge fan of handheld gaming and don’t mind having a smaller storage capacity and only intend on playing small to medium-sized games, 64GB might be a good choice for you. However, if you’re planning on playing AAA games with it, 64GB will not be ideal as most AAA games exceed beyond 64GB in file size and will have to rely on storage expansion options such as microSD.
Compared to NVMe storage solutions found on the other two higher tier variants of the device, the eMMC storage solution on the 64GB variant is slow, low-cost bits of hardware that sacrifice both capacity and speed to keep prices down. Obviously, this version of Steam Deck is designed to be more affordable, but it’s still something to keep in mind.
All three Steam Deck versions have a microSD slot for expanding storage, and they share the same CPU, GPU, and RAM. Therefore, there are no performance differences between them.
Steam Deck 256GB
There is a $529 price for the second version of the Steam Deck. In addition to the regular carrying case, you’ll get a Steam community profile bundle and more storage space and speed.
This Steam Deck version uses a 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) with NVMe architecture as its storage option. The greater capacity means more room for games, but the gap in write rates between eMMC storage and NVMe storage is enormous, with SSD storage often reaching up to 10 times the write speeds of its eMMC counterpart.
Due to the disparity in the storage capacities, the number of games that the Steam Deck can store out of the box and the speed at which it can access those games will be significantly impacted as well.
Steam Deck 512GB
The Steam Deck’s most expensive model, the $649 Steam Deck 512GB, is available for purchase. The fastest storage of the three is included in this model, which also consists of an exclusive carrying case, Steam community profile bundle, anti-glare etched glass, and a virtual keyboard theme.
The added storage space and speed are good; however, the microSD slot on the other models can accomplish the same thing although be at slower storage speeds. However, having a larger and faster storage built-in means you can have a large collection of games installed directly on the device, without having to rely on slower microSD or external storage expansions. Furthermore, this version’s anti-glare glass and other perks make it a genuine standout.
What’s Going On with Steam Deck Storage?
Presently, there seems to be a lack of information on the Steam Deck’s storage performance, but we know that the base version will use eMMC PCIe Gen 2 storage, while the other two models will employ NVMe PCIe Gen 3 solid-state drives (SSD).
For the sake of keeping costs down, eMMC storage (short for embedded MultiMediaCard) is commonly found in lower-end electronic devices. eMMC storage isn’t as quick as NVMe SSD storage, but it does drain less power. That’s especially critical for a mobile device. In terms of speed, eMMC and NVMe are vastly different technologies. NVMe SSDs are the way to go if you’re looking for lightning-fast loading times in your gaming applications and programs.
If you want to replace the NVMe storage, you’ll need to disassemble the Steam Deck. For eMMC, we know it’s impossible. The “embedded” aspect of the term is very literal. A UHS-I microSD card reader is included with the Steam Deck, so you may add more (albeit slower) storage if necessary.
How Much Storage Space Do You Truly Need?
The eMMC storage capacity of the entry-level Steam Deck variant is only 64GB. For those searching for a more lightweight gaming experience, it should suffice. It’s the same if you plan to stream to the Steam Deck. Many games won’t really fit at all on the 64GB edition of recent AAA games because of their large file sizes.
The 256GB, NVMe SSD version, is recommended for casual PC gamers, as storage fills up quickly. Since the internal storage can’t be upgraded easily, you’ll have to rely on any microSD storage you add to compensate for it.
In case you’re looking to spend even more, there’s also a 512GB option to choose from. Go with the most expensive storage choice if you can afford to do so. Because of its larger capacity, it should also be the fastest storage option. The anti-glare glass screen makes it worthwhile regardless.
It’s difficult to recommend a particular Steam Deck. The 256GB model appears to be the greatest bargain, as all storage additions cost $120-$130 more, but the 256GB model gives four times the storage of the base device. It’s also worth noting that a full upgrade doubles storage space and provides better glass.
You don’t have to worry about power because all three Steam Deck versions have the same AMD CPU and GPU in the form of an APU under the hood. The most significant differences between them are type, capacity, and speed of the internal storage. Thanks to the microSD card port, you may extend capacity on any model, regardless of which one you purchase.
What Are The Additional Differences In Steam Deck Versions?
The performance hardware inside the Steam Deck will remain the same, with the exception of the storage. AMD Zen 2 APU with 4 cores and 8 threads, RDNA2 GPU with 8 CUs, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 40Whr battery, and a seven-inch 1200×800 px display with 400 nits of brightness are all part of the package.
The costliest model includes high-end anti-glare glass along with other perks such as exclusive virtual keyboard themes and an exclusive leather carrying case. Carrying cases are included in the middle and lower models; however, they’re not marked as exclusive. There is also a Steam community profile bundle for the mid-and high-end versions. Only the standard carrying case is included in the introductory model.
When Is The Release Date of The Steam Deck?
The Steam Deck will be on sale on February 25, 2022, and the first batch of handhelds will be delivered out on February 28, while reservations have been in place for a while now. After 10 a.m. Pacific Time on February 25, buyers who already have reservations will receive invitations to complete the pre-order procedure, according to Valve. Users will have three days/seventy-two hours to make a purchase after the invitation is received. There is a waiting list for Steam Deck reservations, and the next person in the queue will get an opportunity to place an order if no one orders.
In addition, Valve will only allow consumers to purchase the Steam Deck model they reserved initially. The down payment that is made to secure one of the handhelds will be added to the overall price of the device.
According to Valve, new order invites will be sent out in batches each week in the same order as reservations were received after Steam Deck launches.
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