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[DF] Steam Deck vs Xbox Series S: Can Valve's Portable Match The Entry-Level Next-Gen Console?

FStubbs

Member
The Switch is terrible hardware, its just highly optimized. A $500 laptop now will get you an I5 11th gen with 16gb of RAM. The GPU will probably be in house, but those specs absolutely smoke the Switch and it's not even designed for gaming whatsoever.
Do you have a link to this laptop? I haven't done a deep look like last year, but a quick look at new egg for $500 laptops shows me a bunch of trash like this https://www.newegg.com/p/2NS-000M-05KZ0?Item=9SIAFVFGPV0901 and https://www.newegg.com/p/1TS-000D-0GTV9?Item=9SIA4E9FAH0789

EDIT: I found the post with the PCs I was looking at last year - no guarantee these links still work though. They were all around $500 last year.

https://www.newegg.com/acer-aspire-5-a515-44-r4m5/p/N82E16834316900?Item=N82E16834316900 - This has about half the power of the PS5 ... Oops, actually, half the power of the PS4.
https://www.newegg.com/p/1TS-000A-0AYE7?Item=9SIB29BFFF3659 - this thing here doesn't even have the graphical power of the Switch
https://www.newegg.com/p/1TS-000D-06Z04?Item=9SIAEYJAJ23952 - graphics can probably keep up with the Switch, but nowhere near PS4
https://www.newegg.com/red-hp-15/p/1TS-000D-0JKB0?Item=9SIAA0SF4K3099 - this thing doesn't have the graphical power of the Switch either
https://www.newegg.com/p/2WC-000N-03YZ2?Item=9SIA1CZEDU7424&Description=gaming laptops&cm_re=gaming_laptops-_-9SIA1CZEDU7424-_-Product - can keep up with the Switch, but nowhere near PS4
 
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01011001

Member
Well you had better luck than what I saw last year online. What's the GPU in that laptop?

a Geforce 820m
it's almost perfectly in line with the Switch in docked mode. pretty much the same GFLOP performance and in practice I found it having Switch like performance as well in games I tested. sometimes actually slightly better than Switch.

like I was able to play Call of Juarez Gunslinger at 768p60fps (the native res of the laptop) or 1080p30fps (like switch docked)
basically that Laptop was able to play Xbox 360 generation titles at either double the framerate at the same settings or the same console framerate at higher settings. which is very Switch like as well

I bought it back then mostly to play older games.

and a big part of the price back then was due to having a touchscreen I think.

edit: heres some modern games played on an 820m


very close to Switch performance, even tho you'd expect it being way worse as these games were clearly not made with this GPU in mind whatsoever

Fortnite is especially surprising, as that can't hold a steady 30fps on Switch.

what this video also shows is that the Switch would be able to play a lot more modern titles but never gets those ports.
because, again, these are running completely unoptimized at decent framerates and at resolutions typical for Switch games.

this also hopefully shows that ports like Doom or Witcher 3 are no miracles, they simply run extremely low settings and with extremely low settings you get the same performance on an equivalently powerful laptop that does not have the benefit of being the target platform for these ports
 
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Banjo64

Gold Member
The Switch is terrible hardware, its just highly optimized. A $500 laptop now will get you an I5 11th gen with 16gb of RAM. The GPU will probably be in house, but those specs absolutely smoke the Switch and it's not even designed for gaming whatsoever.
I mean if you look at the Vita and 3DS, the Switch’s predecessors, the Switch is a complete generational leap.

I got my Switch Oled brand new from Very for £244. Amazing form factor, runs cool, lovely screen, 6 hour battery life. Can easily connect a pro pad or Bluetooth headset and can stuff it in the dock too for big screen gaming.

I’m not sure what more people want really. If you ask anyone who had a Vita or 3DS ‘would you like a handheld capable of playing The Witcher 3 and Skyrim’ 100% of them would be begging for it.
 

Romulus

Member
I mean if you look at the Vita and 3DS, the Switch’s predecessors, the Switch is a complete generational leap.

I got my Switch Oled brand new from Very for £244. Amazing form factor, runs cool, lovely screen, 6 hour battery life. Can easily connect a pro pad or Bluetooth headset and can stuff it in the dock too for big screen gaming.

I’m not sure what more people want really. If you ask anyone who had a Vita or 3DS ‘would you like a handheld capable of playing The Witcher 3 and Skyrim’ 100% of them would be begging for it.


You're first paragraph is exactly what the switch is. It came out generations after the Vita, I would hope it's a generational upgrade. It's supposed to be that way.
 

Redneckerz

Those long posts don't cover that red neck boy
I understand what they were going for, but it could be executed a lot better. You can get roughly similar visuals to a Series S - just at 720p, and at 30 fps, and sometimes even 60 fps is on the cards, but not at the same visual set. Console visuals aren't like for like the same as PC visuals,
Wow, they're really running out ideas aren't they? It's better than the prelaunch PS5/Series S|X speculative PC "analog" bad comparison videos, but not much better.
I assume your job here is to be negative, and you are succeeding.
These comparisons are never revisted. I want them to go back and test those PS4 equal $400 PCs they built in 2013 and see how they run Spiderman later this year. Here is an example from Gamespot:


I don't even think those PCs would meet the minimum specs for Horizon, yet if you bought a PS4 in 2013 you could play the SEQUEL to Horizon.
That would be a good idea indeed. When they put GDDR5 and 8 GB's of it in 2013 to give it considerable longevity, they weren't lying. Because that machine still regularly pumps out 1080p30 on even the latest games, which is kind of crazy.

Only now are you seeing titles that make PS4 drop to 900p, which was the typical resolution at launch (and only for a brief moment).

I fully expect that, as cross-gen starts to fade away, AAA releases will get less polish on these platforms, meaning 900p for PS4, and 720p on XBO.
Why don't they compare it to the Switch?
Because there is a generational leap.

In fact, i'd love for DF to take a look the Aya Neo Air Plus with AMD Mendocino and Ayn Loki with 6800U when they release, and then do a cross compare with Steam Deck (For the 6800U) and Switch (For the Mendocino).
 

RobRSG

Member
Wow is that true?. I wouldnt expect it to match the XSS, but thought it would of blown away PS4.
In my experience, it blows the PS4 by being able to handle a lot of games at 60FPS, many times with high settings despite lower res. The guy thinks otherwise though.
 

Romulus

Member
Do you have a link to this laptop? I haven't done a deep look like last year, but a quick look at new egg for $500 laptops shows me a bunch of trash like this https://www.newegg.com/p/2NS-000M-05KZ0?Item=9SIAFVFGPV0901 and https://www.newegg.com/p/1TS-000D-0GTV9?Item=9SIA4E9FAH0789

EDIT: I found the post with the PCs I was looking at last year - no guarantee these links still work though. They were all around $500 last year.

https://www.newegg.com/acer-aspire-5-a515-44-r4m5/p/N82E16834316900?Item=N82E16834316900 - This has about half the power of the PS5 ... Oops, actually, half the power of the PS4.
https://www.newegg.com/p/1TS-000A-0AYE7?Item=9SIB29BFFF3659 - this thing here doesn't even have the graphical power of the Switch
https://www.newegg.com/p/1TS-000D-06Z04?Item=9SIAEYJAJ23952 - graphics can probably keep up with the Switch, but nowhere near PS4
https://www.newegg.com/red-hp-15/p/1TS-000D-0JKB0?Item=9SIAA0SF4K3099 - this thing doesn't have the graphical power of the Switch either
https://www.newegg.com/p/2WC-000N-03YZ2?Item=9SIA1CZEDU7424&Description=gaming laptops&cm_re=gaming_laptops-_-9SIA1CZEDU7424-_-Product - can keep up with the Switch, but nowhere near PS4


The thing is, even though you didn't do an admittedly thorough search, you still fpund results. The gateway series with I5s and 16gb of Ram can for sure. But what you're not seeing is these are laptops specs are designed more for other software outside of gaming, they just happen to be better than Switch, which is a dedicated gaming machine. You said Switch previously, now you're mentioning ps4. Vast difference there. Also, how are equating "power" vs the Switch? Tflops? Cpu speed? Settings? Be specific because most Switch games run at dogshit resolution settings not even possible on some laptops. Vaseline smear drops to sub 500p and almost always fluctuation at already rock bottom 30fps. If you're talking exclusives, then you're looking at highly stylized visuals to save mountains of performance.
 
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Stuart360

Member
PS4 = 1.8TF
Steam Deck = 1.6TF (the GPU can throttle tho)

the Steam Deck has a way better CPU tho which can help to push 60fps in games where the PS4 could never do that due to the shitty Jaguar cores
For some reason i thought the Steam Deck was more powerful than that.
 

Banjo64

Gold Member
You're first paragraph is exactly what the switch is. It came out generations after the Vita, I would hope it's a generational upgrade. It's supposed to be that way.
No. Not generations. Generation. 6 years between them. The increase in power is more than anyone could have hoped for in 2017.
 

dvdvideo

Member
Uh oh, bring out the pitchfork's, he said right at the start series S is typically targeting 1080p to 1440p, is he allowed to say that? Where are the series S resolution police when you need them?
 

Romulus

Member
No. Not generations. Generation. 6 years between them. The increase in power is more than anyone could have hoped for in 2017.

More than anyone could have hope? lol. I disagree completely. I never saw the Vita as some powerhouse handheld to begin with, but looking at stuff like Killzone I don't think the switch is as massive an upgrade as we should have gotten. 6 years is a long time during an era of quickly advancing smartphones chips. The switch was built to be cheap and it seemed somewhat powerful, but that was because it enjoyed a time with no competition in that generation. Looking back I don't think so. It's specs were average at best with alot of marketing and clever design behind it.
 
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CrustyBritches

Gold Member
Steam Deck at 800p is basically a handheld PS4 with a better CPU that can run certain games like The Witcher 3 at 60fps due to having a Zen 2 CPU. It also has the advantage of being able to force FSR1 in most games, and utilize FSR2 in games that support it(i.e. God of War). On Windows you can also enable RT and VRS 2.
Steam deck hype is over no? Maybe valve is paying for some promo
Deck is an extremely in-demand system that is selling for up to 50% more than a PS5 on Ebay. At best they've been able to produce a few hundred thousand units. People are still really interested in them and the topic drives a lot of views.
 

Romulus

Member
Steam Deck at 800p is basically a handheld PS4 with a better CPU that can run certain games like The Witcher 3 at 60fps due to having a Zen 2 CPU. It also has the advantage of being able to force FSR1 in most games, and utilize FSR2 in games that support it(i.e. God of War). On Windows you can also enable RT and VRS 2.

Deck is an extremely in-demand system that is selling for up to 50% more than a PS5 on Ebay. At best they've been able to produce a few hundred thousand units. People are still really interested in them and the topic drives a lot of views.


And those ps4 games are heavily optimized to squeeze the console for all its strengths and Steam Deck is outboxing without that benefit. That's impressive as hell.
 

DarkMage619

Member
Uh oh, bring out the pitchfork's, he said right at the start series S is typically targeting 1080p to 1440p, is he allowed to say that? Where are the series S resolution police when you need them?
Shhhhh don't encourage them. They never had a substantive argument. Let's be glad they have finally moved on.
 

FStubbs

Member
The thing is, even though you didn't do an admittedly thorough search, you still fpund results. The gateway series with I5s and 16gb of Ram can for sure. But what you're not seeing is these are laptops specs are designed more for other software outside of gaming, they just happen to be better than Switch, which is a dedicated gaming machine. You said Switch previously, now you're mentioning ps4. Vast difference there. Also, how are equating "power" vs the Switch? Tflops? Cpu speed? Settings? Be specific because most Switch games run at dogshit resolution settings not even possible on some laptops. Vaseline smear drops to sub 500p and almost always fluctuation at already rock bottom 30fps. If you're talking exclusives, then you're looking at highly stylized visuals to save mountains of performance.
Not trying to move goalposts, was just copy-pasting what I posted from last year where about half the laptops I saw in that price range were weaker than the switch in terms of graphical power (I don't care if a laptop can beat the Switch at running Word or surfing the web). While I've defined power in different ways, for the sake of this argument, power would be strictly GPU flops - though to be fair as we all know that's not the end all/be all (Series S is 2 tflops less than the One X, but we know Series S is better graphically). Even if we assume the Switch is weaker at the same number of flops because LOL NINTENDO SUX it's still beating a good deal of the laptops I saw.
 

Romulus

Member
Not trying to move goalposts, was just copy-pasting what I posted from last year where about half the laptops I saw in that price range were weaker than the switch in terms of graphical power (I don't care if a laptop can beat the Switch at running Word or surfing the web). While I've defined power in different ways, for the sake of this argument, power would be strictly GPU flops - though to be fair as we all know that's not the end all/be all (Series S is 2 tflops less than the One X, but we know Series S is better graphically). Even if we assume the Switch is weaker at the same number of flops because LOL NINTENDO SUX it's still beating a good deal of the laptops I saw.


Well, as I said, a laptop under $500 is not geared towards gaming, it's for work or other things. It just so happens some of them can beat a dedicated gaming device without trying. I'm not sure where you're getting actual performance metrics for TFLOPS because many 500 laptops have in house GPUs.
 

Trunx81

Member
Didn’t we have similar discussions back in the day about TFs on Game Cube and the first Xbox? Gaf never changes.
 

FStubbs

Member
Well, as I said, a laptop under $500 is not geared towards gaming, it's for work or other things. It just so happens some of them can beat a dedicated gaming device without trying. I'm not sure where you're getting actual performance metrics for TFLOPS because many 500 laptops have in house GPUs.
You can google the integrated GPU for many of these chips and their metrics.

Overall though, I'd still recommend the Switch easily over a $500 laptop. I'm not Digital Foundry lol.
 

01011001

Member
Didn’t we have similar discussions back in the day about TFs on Game Cube and the first Xbox? Gaf never changes.

well back then it would have been Gigaflops not Terraflops.

the Xbox is by far the most powerful tho
PS2: 6.2GFs
GameCube: 9.4GFs
Xbox: 20GFs
 
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Romulus

Member
You can google the integrated GPU for many of these chips and their metrics.

Overall though, I'd still recommend the Switch easily over a $500 laptop. I'm not Digital Foundry lol.

I'm going to have to look into this now. A quick look at the Iris XE that's in alot of these laptops is over 2tflops. Seems I do remember $500 laptops running pc games far better than switch even though theyre not aimed at gamers to begin with. It should be an easy win for Switch but it seems it isn't.
 
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Elysion

Member
I wonder when it would be possible to have a portable Series S. Apple’s new M2 chip has 3.6 TF, which is pretty close to the Series S. I think the bigger problem are CPU power and memory bandwidth; even Apple’s chips are still pretty far behind the Series S in this regard.
 
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scydrex

Member
Can a Zen 2 4c/8t CPU, RDNA 2 8CU GPU, and 25W total system power consumption handheld match a Zen 2 8c/16t, RDNA 2 20CU GPU, with 80W total system power consumption console? Tune in to find out!

The Steam Deck is 15w machine and 20w including the display.

Taken from DF last year article.
Note: Xbox Series S is arguably the baseline for 'next-gen' game development generally targeting 1080p at 60fps, so it is our chosen comparison point for Steam Deck, which aims for 720p/800p gaming. Power consumption was measured at 82.5W in Gears of War 5 on Series S. The 20W max power draw metric comes from Valve suggesting a minimum two-hour battery life from a 40WHr battery.

So only the machines it's a 15w vs 80w excluding the display.
 
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CrustyBritches

Gold Member
The Steam Deck is 15w machine and 20w including the display.

Taken from DF last year article.
Note: Xbox Series S is arguably the baseline for 'next-gen' game development generally targeting 1080p at 60fps, so it is our chosen comparison point for Steam Deck, which aims for 720p/800p gaming. Power consumption was measured at 82.5W in Gears of War 5 on Series S. The 20W max power draw metric comes from Valve suggesting a minimum two-hour battery life from a 40WHr battery.
I have a Deck. It hits up 25W total system power consumption. To be fair, we aren't including the power draw of the TV in the Series S numbers. It was just something I quickly conjured without taking that into account.

 

Trunx81

Member
well back then it would have been Gigaflops not Terraflops.

the Xbox is by far the most powerful tho
PS2: 6.2GFs
GameCube: 9.4GFs
Xbox: 20GFs
Those where amazing times. Anyone remembers the thread about peaking under the clothes in GEIST?
 

FStubbs

Member
I'm going to have to look into this now. A quick look at the Iris XE that's in alot of these laptops is over 2tflops. Seems I do remember $500 laptops running pc games far better than switch even though theyre not aimed at gamers to begin with. It should be an easy win for Switch but it seems it isn't.
Can you find an Iris XE in a $500 laptop? I hadn't looked at any, but generally that's going to be in a more expensive laptop.

We're also comparing a 2017 handheld to 2022 laptops, to be fair.
 

Romulus

Member
Can you find an Iris XE in a $500 laptop? I hadn't looked at any, but generally that's going to be in a more expensive laptop.

We're also comparing a 2017 handheld to 2022 laptops, to be fair.


$500

The computer is powered by 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-1135G7 Processor and has a 512 GB Solid State Drive. With a sleek and metallic design, this computer also features an Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics. 16GB of RAM.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Gateway-...bocomieVuuFOwPbxYbxoCVa4QAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Again, this is in no way a gaming computer. It's a barebone work computer that just happens to have shitty performance that outpaces the switch.
 
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