Steam Deck handles ray tracing and demanding video games higher than you assume

In brief: Valve’s Steam Deck handheld PC has already been praised for its capacity to deal with latest video games designed for console and desktop like Elden Ring. Nevertheless, Digital Foundry determined to check the machine on among the most demanding PC video games at present out there. The outcomes have been considerably spectacular, confirming that the Steam Deck does technically assist ray tracing, although at a decision beneath its show’s native 1280 x 800.

The Steam Deck’s thermal and wattage limits maintain it again when in comparison with consoles just like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Sequence, however its graphics processor relies on the identical RDNA 2 structure as these ray tracing-capable machines. This week, Digital Foundry determined to try how Steam Deck dealt with among the most intense ray tracing benchmarks in video games like Metro Exodus: Enhanced Version, Management: Final Version, and Quake 2 RTX.

Such testing was not doable earlier than Valve launched Home windows drivers for the Steam deck, because the machine’s default SteamOS doesn’t assist RDNA 2K ray tracing.

Putting in Home windows on the Steam Deck comes with important drawbacks, at the very least for now, similar to the present lack of audio drivers and the battery-saving 30 frames-per-second mode.

Nevertheless, Home windows does allow ray tracing on the Steam deck. Metro is a complicated showcase of ray tracing and the Steam deck manages to run it at 30fps and round 504p decision (896 x 504), with graphics just like what gamers see on the Xbox Sequence S.

Controls have been very poor, presumably as a result of the sport predates RDNA2, so developer Treatment couldn’t adapt its ray tracing round that structure. Gamers prepared to skip ray tracing may have a greater time enjoying the controls on SteamOS. The Quake 2 RTX, which makes use of the way more demanding path tracing, can solely obtain as much as 60fps at resolutions as little as 216p.

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Digital Foundry additionally examined the Steam deck on Microsoft Flight Simulator, a infamous PC killer regardless of not using ray tracing. SteamOS can’t play it as a result of anti-cheat incompatibility, however the Home windows-powered Steam Deck largely managed 612fps at 30fps at Sequence S-like settings.

Unreal Engine 5’s Valley of the Ancients demo proved to be a bridge too far for the deck’s CPU. Nevertheless, that is an early pattern of the capabilities of the next-generation engine, and thus in all probability isn’t an amazing indicator of how Valve’s arm may deal with future UE5 video games.

These checks present that the Steam deck can play bleeding-edge graphics effectively, relying on the compromise in decision. Dynamic decision scaling will probably be a giant assist, and a future replace from Valve may unlock ray tracing in SteamOS. It stays to be seen how lengthy the machine will have the ability to deal with the most recent blockbuster sport.