Playing games in 4K with the Steam Deck is possible… but you have to be a handyman

News hardware Playing games in 4K with the Steam Deck is possible… but you have to be a handyman

A tech Youtuber who will stop at nothing has challenged himself to increase the power of the Steam Deck as much as possible. His solution: add a graphics card for desktop PCs to Valve’s portable console, which would no longer be truly portable. But the results are here!

With the Steam Deck, Valve has accomplished the feat of offering a portable console that can run Elden Ring, Dying Light 2, or even Resident Evil Village at over 30 FPS, all in a size 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 YouTube channel ETA Prime decided to address the issue and simply decided to add a Radeon RX 6900XT graphics card to the Steam Deck. A dangerous assembly, but possible, where the GPU plugs into the console’s M/2 port and uses a power supply to run the whole thing. So yes, we see you coming: “but what’s the point”? As ETA PRIME says in its video: “We do it because we can”.

The Steam Deck is going to be a jaw-dropping gaming PC

The Youtuber also states that he could not connect a graphics card from Nvidia, but that the Radeon RX 6900XT works correctly. As a reminder, this is AMD’s most advanced card right now, a GPU dedicated to 4K video games and 3D creation.

Playing games in 4K with the Steam Deck is possible... but you have to be a handyman

However, it is necessary to take into account the “bottleneck”, that is, the fact that a processor with limited power will curb 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 feel the limit on recent games, which also have to rely on a good processor to run at full speed. So if it’s possible to play The Witcher 3 or GTA V at over 60 FPS in 4K, Elden Ring or Cyberpunk 2077 will be more erratic and will need to be limited to 1080p to exceed 60 FPS.

So yes, the “CPU/GPU” balance here is completely unreasonable and the operation is of little importance in the medium term. But it’s also a way to show how flexible and modular the Steam Deck can be. In anticipation of a “Steam Deck 4” with an integrated 4K display and an overpowered mobile GPU, we will have to be satisfied with that!

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