Independent gaming tests of the Steam Deck portable console conducted by the portal toms hardware, showed that the earlier-sounding conclusions about the higher performance of the set-top box using the standard SteamOS compared to Windows can be considered premature. The console, like many games for it, just isn’t fully optimized.
As you know, the Steam Deck portable game console is adapted to the possibility of installing two operating systems – SteamOS and Windows 10. However, the SteamOS installer responsible for this is not ready yet, so you have to decide – either use the standard operating system with to which the console is supplied, or format the drive of the gadget and install Windows 10. In addition, for the latter there are not all drivers yet, for example, the console has no sound on Windows.
portal Tom’s hardware I decided to compare how the console performs on gaming loads in both operating systems. The games Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Red Dead Redemption 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Borderlands 3, Civilization VI and Guardians of the Galaxy were used for testing. As it turned out, the set-top box actually worked better with Windows 10 in two of them.
When playing the game Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which officially supports Linux on which SteamOS is based, the performance of the Windows console was only 2-3 frames per second faster. Under SteamOS, the set-top box could only take a clear lead at high graphics settings.
Red Dead Redemption 2 used the lowest image quality settings. The average in-game FPS counter running through the Proton emulator on a SteamOS console showed a value of 49 FPS. The Windows version was 5 frames per second slower. Also, there were some technical issues on the Windows console. For example, the game did not allow changing the resolution from the standard 1280 × 800 pixels to another, and also refused to even start without a connected Bluetooth headset. As a reminder, no sound driver for Windows has been released for Steam Deck yet. So far, it can only be supported via Bluetooth and via a USB Type-C port.
In Horizon Zero Dawn, the Windows-based console ran faster with all graphics presets. At the most optimal settings, the game produced 56 frames per second. On SteamOS it was 48 frames per second.
The game Borderlands 3 also gave preference to the Windows operating system. On the lowest graphics settings, the console showed 68 frames per second. The game ran at 56 frames per second on SteamOS. With the highest graphics settings, the Windows version showed 34 frames per second. On SteamOS it was 28 frames per second.
The minimal difference in performance in favor of SteamOS turned out on Civilization VI. There, the turn-based strategy worked 1-2 frames per second faster on average.
resource Tom’s hardware concludes that SteamOS is certainly considered by Valve to be the main operating system for Steam Deck. The management and settings of the set-top box are specially optimized for this operating system, and the manufacturer will probably not change anything in favor of Microsoft’s operating system in this regard. However, users will officially have a choice between the two operating systems. The ability to install Windows 10 and the availability (in the future) of dual boot opens up access to the broader Windows ecosystem and allows you to run games on the console that are not in the same Steam library.