The valve boasts yes Steam Deck will run games well, but you won’t have to worry if the handheld will run games too fast. As The Verge notes, Pierre-Loup Griffais of Valve has revealed that the Steam Deck will feature a “built-in” frame rate limitation option that limits performance in return for longer battery life. If you’re playing a title that doesn’t require high-response visual images, you can replace some unnecessary frames for extra game time.
It’s not that games will necessarily pull the system down. After Valve said IGN aiming for a target of 30 frames per second, Griffais added that frame rate was “under” for playable performance. Every game that the company has tested so far “has constantly reached and exceeded” that threshold, the developer said. While you probably won’t run top-notch games at 30 fps with maximum detail (this is a $ 399 handheld after all), you may not have to worry that your favorite game will be too exhausted to play.
The company is already expecting Portal 2 to last six hours at 30 fps compared to four with no frame speed limit. We wouldn’t be surprised if the effect is reduced for newer or more intense games that are less likely to achieve high frame rates.
A steam deck may not offer a completely flawless experience even with a limiter. Digital foundry warned to be able to get less than the ideal experience with active V-Sync. And of course, the target of 30 frames per second mostly only applies to existing games – don’t count on the top game from 2023, which works with frame rate, at least not without significantly reduced details. It’s more about making sure your existing game library is usable at startup.
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