Popular tech bloggers Gamers Nexus and Linus Tech Tips couldn’t resist tearing apart the Steam Deck handheld gaming console they were given for their first independent tests. The latter can be found in the previous post.
The Steam Deck is powered by AMD’s custom Van Gogh series APU in 7nm, codenamed Aerith. It features Zen 2 cores as well as an integrated RDNA 2 graphics core. There are several portable set-top boxes on the market with AMD chips based on the Zen 2 architecture, but none of them come with RDNA 2 graphics equipped, making the Steam Deck stand out from the rest.
The Valve console is often compared to the Aya Neo console, which uses an AMD processor with Zen 2 cores and integrated Radeon Vega graphics. It is curious that despite the smaller size, Aya Neo is equipped with a much larger cooling system than the Steam Deck. This is because the Cezanne and Barcelo series processors used in Aya Neo operate in the 10-25W TDP range, while the declared TDP of Valve’s console processor varies between 4-15W.
Valve wasn’t lying when they said they didn’t recommend disassembling the console in their official console disassembly video. This process is very complex and requires a lot of experience and courage from the user. For example, when removing the Steam Deck battery, remember that it is glued to the case. However, the usual change of thermal paste should not cause any problems for the average user.
The consumer version of the set-top box uses a black circuit board, not a green one, as in the official video of a Valve employee disassembling a technical sample of the set-top box.
The Steam Deck Sale begins February 25th. On this day, Valve will start sending out notifications to customers who pre-ordered the console last year. New items start at $400. A model with 64 GB of permanent eMMC storage is estimated at this amount.
For comparison, the cheapest version of the latest Ryzen 7 5825U-powered Aya Neo Next handheld console is $1,315, while the OneXPlayer with Intel Tiger Lake chips starts at $1,059.