• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

DF: Steam Deck vs Next-Gen Gaming: Ray Tracing/Flight Simulator/Unreal Engine 5 + More Tested!

adamsapple

Gold Member


Text article:





Generally Steamdeck holds it's own against Series S.

At this point, Control ray tracing aside, Steam Deck's next-gen capabilities are looking quite impressive. In the case of Metro Exodus Enhanced Edition and Flight Simulator, we're seeing experiences that compare well against Xbox Series S and look quite astonishing playing out on a handheld screen. It's also heartening that any compromises that we have made are nowhere near as noticeable as they are looking at Switch's various 'impossible' ports. Those games work, but are often impacted by performance problems and blurry resolution - while settings are often lower than PC's low. With Steam Deck, I can run Metro Exodus on medium with normal RT, while Flight Sim is very, very close to the Series S standard.


Unreal Engine 5 is no bueno

However, as promising as the results are, there is one exception: Unreal Engine 5. Epic Games is aiming to deliver a new paradigm in rendering, with hitherto unheard of levels of detail, movie CG-quality assets, and a high-end real-time global illumination system. My testing took place before the recent release of the full engine and was restricted to the existing early access demo: Valley of the Ancient. It struggled to maintain 20fps, even with internal resolution at 360p, using UE5's impressive temporal super resolution technology to upscale back to 720p. The CPU burden of UE5 seems to be the primary culprit here - it's extremely taxing in Valley of the Ancient and while optimisations have taken place since the early access UE5 build, hands-on testing of the most recent demo suggests that this is still the primary bottleneck. I've since returned to a SteamOS install on my Deck, but can't imagine that Unreal Engine 5 is any more viable in its current incarnation.



Series S:




Steamdeck:

 
Last edited:

01011001

Gold Member
RT performance is worse than on my old GTX1070, I guess that was to be expected given the small chip and power constraints it's running at. so the unconstrained desktop GPU can just brute force itself to have better RT performance.


Very impressive for a handheld. When people say Series S is a ”impressive little beast” I gotta say it pales in comparison to Steam Deck. That’s a impressive little beast


? they both perform basically exactly as expected. the Steam Deck has ~40% of the GPU power of the Series S, and suprise surprise, it performs about 40% as well as the Series S, slightly worse in some games and slightly better in others
 
Last edited:

Raploz

Member
That's incredible. It's a 15w chip running ray-tracing at an acceptable performance level, even if with concessions on resolution.

This makes me hopeful the next Switch could also support ray-tracing with DLSS.

Hopefully Valve manages to get ray-tracing working on Steam OS soon.
 

OmegaSupreme

advanced basic bitch
RT performance is worse than on my old GTX1070, I guess that was to be expected given the small chip and power constraints it's running at. so the unconstrained desktop GPU can just brute force itself to have better RT performance.




? they both perform basically exactly as expected. the Steam Deck has ~40% of the GPU power of the Series S, and suprise surprise, it performs about 40% as well as the Series S, slightly worse in some games and slightly better in others
Considering the Deck has severe power limits I'd say it's easily more impressive.
 

scydrex

Member
RT performance is worse than on my old GTX1070, I guess that was to be expected given the small chip and power constraints it's running at. so the unconstrained desktop GPU can just brute force itself to have better RT performance.




? they both perform basically exactly as expected. the Steam Deck has ~40% of the GPU power of the Series S, and suprise surprise, it performs about 40% as well as the Series S, slightly worse in some games and slightly better in others

The Deck is 15w. Yeah 40% the GPU and power and what about the watts? Does it have 40% the watts?
 

01011001

Gold Member
The Deck is 15w. Yeah 40% the GPU and power and what about the watts? Does it have 40% the watts?
Considering the Deck has severe power limits I'd say it's easily more impressive.

the Series S draws about 72w while gaming I think, so that is a difference in efficiency for sure, but that also comes down to the CPU, which is between 2 and 3 times more powerful than the Steam Deck's 8 thread Zen 2 vs the 16 thread Zen 2 that also runs at higher clocks and does to at all times compared to the Deck.

so we have 2.5x the GPU power and ~2.5x to the CPU power for ~5x the power usage... that makes total sense.
2.5x the power for the CPU and 2.5x the power for the GPU, that's pretty spot on.

and of course it is, it's the same architecture in both cases, which would make it quite weird if it was any other way tbh.

so yeah, the power usage scales quite linearly with the performance the components offer.

also the Series S is extremely small, like, you could feasibly shrink it by 15% and make a handheld out of that thing if you wanted for sure.

size comparison:
Steam Deck: 298x177x49 mm
Series s: 275x151x63.5 mm

of course the Deck is thinner between the handles but as you can see, the size difference is less dramatic that one would think.

which is also why I think the endgame plan from Microsoft for the Series S might be to eventually make a revision of it that is a handheld console.
releasing the stationary version right at the start is a great way to ensure 100% compatibility with all games without the need from devs to make specialised versions for the handheld, as it will be identical in specs to the stationary version.

in 3 years or so that could totally be in the cards, maybe even sooner who knows.
 
Last edited:

SomeGit

Member
which is also why I think the endgame plan from Microsoft for the Series S might be to eventually make a revision of it that is a handheld console.
releasing the stationary version right at the start is a great way to ensure 100% compatibility with all games without the need from devs to make specialised versions for the handheld, as it will be identical in specs to the stationary version.
I don't think even a 5nm die-shrink would put in near a handheld form factor, but maybe something like an xbox laptop would be feasible.
45W TDP, a bit more memory for apps and a desktop and you could have a Xbox "Chromebook" or maybe even recycle the APU for Surface devices.
 
Last edited:

CamHostage

Member
Cool, I was hoping somebody would run some of the next-gen projects on Steam Deck.

The RT performance and handling of games like Flight Sim is quite nice. You're throwing a lot at Deck there but it's doing enough to keep you content for an even greater percentage of games than first assumed.

The UE5 performance is an ongoing concern though (although I had heard that driver support still aren't available or are roughed in?) Unreal Engine 5 will power a significant portion all the big games coming out, and although not everything UE5 will use Lumen and Nanite, if Deck cannot play those at any level of performance even when cut down to low settings, that'd be a roadblock for future games. And as games increasingly rely upon those features as core elements of the design and structure, there will likely be less that can be done to downgrade the settings or fall back on older rendering methods. It's a known factor, that Steam Deck will hit a wall of limitations eventually, but you'd hope it still had a play for the future for as long as it can.

BTW, if you're curious for more, apparently Steam Deck as of last week couldn't run Nanite at all, thus this video where the normal assets are all rendered but the Nanite buildings and car bodies are all invisible.

 
Last edited:

DarkMage619

Member
they both perform basically exactly as expected. the Steam Deck has ~40% of the GPU power of the Series S, and suprise surprise, it performs about 40% as well as the Series S, slightly worse in some games and slightly better in others
I'd like to see the games that run better on the steam deck.
 

01011001

Gold Member
I don't think even a 5nm die-shrink would put in near a handheld form factor, but maybe something like an xbox laptop would be feasible.
45W TDP, a bit more memory for apps and a desktop and you could have a Xbox "Chromebook" or maybe even recycle the APU for Surface devices.

I mean, it really depends on how fast AMD is able to shrink their hardware.

the fact is the Deck is already ~40% there in both CPU and GPU performance. and that is today at a staring price of 300€, now imagine what future AMD hardware will look like in about 3 to 4 years.

the size of the system is already in some dimensions smaller than the Deck, the only real thing the Deck has over the Series S is that it is thinner, which is of course because of the heatsinks needed to keep it cool, that is what hold the Series S back for the most part when it comes to size at the moment.
the other dimensions of the system are already smaller than the Deck, the Deck is wider and higher



so smaller die + cooler running APU in 3-4 years? I think it's not impossible. I also would be interested if someone like Ben Heck could make a handheld out of this in the current form xD but that would need a massive battery pack or constantly connected to the wall I guess

at the very least we will most likely get a new version of the Steam Deck at roughly that performance target I'd imagine, if the first one is profitable enough of course
 
Last edited:

Skifi28

Member
If I see it as what the hardware achieves, it's quite impressive. If I see it as a product being sold, I just don't see the appeal of selling a 30fps machine to PC gamers when even consoles have mostly transitioned away from it.
 

UnNamed

18+ Member
BTW, if you're curious for more, apparently Steam Deck as of last week couldn't run Nanite at all, thus this video where the normal assets are all rendered but the Nanite buildings and car bodies are all invisible.

They say Proton don't support some features to run Nanite, but it should work if they run the demo natively on windows.
 

avin

Member
the Series S draws about 72w while gaming I think, so that is a difference in efficiency for sure, but that also comes down to the CPU, which is between 2 and 3 times more powerful than the Steam Deck's 8 thread Zen 2 vs the 16 thread Zen 2 that also runs at higher clocks and does to at all times compared to the Deck.

so we have 2.5x the GPU power and ~2.5x to the CPU power for ~5x the power usage... that makes total sense.
2.5x the power for the CPU and 2.5x the power for the GPU, that's pretty spot on.

If it's 2.5x the power across the board, for CPU and GPU, it should be 2.5x the power usage overall if this scales linearly. Instead, as you say, the XSS has close to 5 times the power usage. Am I missing something?

edit: to be clear, the performance for the power consumption is much better than expected from simple linear extrapolation. The SteamDeck seems an impressive piece of engineering.

avin
 
Last edited:

Md Ray

Gold Member
Very impressive for a handheld. When people say Series S is a ”impressive little beast” I gotta say it pales in comparison to Steam Deck. That’s a impressive little beast.
Exactly. And to think, the Steam Deck has more memory than Series S!
 
Last edited:

ethomaz

Banned
It has more memory but LPDDR5 is way slower than GDDR6.
16GB helps using that trick to fetch more data that will be used late in the memory avoiding the loading happening in realtime but that should be an option if the developer is optimizing to SteamDeck... using the PC version won't do that automatically.
 
Last edited:

Bogroll

Likes moldy games
Metro Exodus is the first game that I thought. It's a bit too blurry the outside sections, even for me. Until I saw the Steam Deck.
Series S looks like 4k next to Steam Deck also at 60fps. Yeah I know it's going to be played on a small screen but it was compared to a Series S and it looked shit imo. A bit of a pointless comparison imo.
 

CrustyBritches

Gold Member
Steam Deck is more like a portable PS4 with a better CPU, not a portable XSS with a worse CPU. XSS is more on the level of PS4 Pro or RX 470. I don't think anybody went into it with the expectation that you'd be able to run "next-gen"(current-gen) games at 800p/same frame rate as XSS.
 
Top Bottom