Gaming is buzzing with the latest rumors regarding the Steam Deck 2, Valve’s potential successor to the revolutionary Steam Deck. As the gaming community anticipates any official news, let’s delve into these unverified yet very interesting details, as well as compare them with the current Steam Deck’s specs!
The Current Steam Deck: A Benchmark in Handheld Gaming
Before examining the rumored specs of the Steam Deck 2, it's essential to know where we stand today. The current Steam Deck is powered by a 6 nm AMD APU, with a CPU featuring a Zen 2 architecture of 4 cores and 8 threads, clocking speeds between 2.4 to 3.5GHz. The GPU, boasting 8 RDNA 2 CUs at 1.6GHz, delivers 1.6 TFlops FP32. It's a respectable figure, given the handheld format, with the APU power ranging from 4-15W.
RAM and storage are no slouches either, with 16 GB of LPDDR5 on-board RAM operating at 6400 MT/s across quad 32-bit channels. Storage options include a 512GB or a 1TB NVMe SSD, supplemented by a high-speed microSD card slot for additional space.
...and let's compare this to the rumored Steam Deck 2:
Current Steam Deck
Rumored Steam Deck 2
AMD APU (Zen 2)
AMD APU (Zen 4)
4 cores / 8 threads
CPU Clock Speed
8 RDNA 2 CUs
16 Compute Units (Potentially RDNA4)
GPU Compute Units
1.6GHz (1.6 TFlops FP32)
16 GB LPDDR5
512GB/1TB NVMe SSD + microSD slot
HDR OLED (OLED Model), 1280 x 800 x RGB/90Hz
Horizontal OLED, 900p/90hz
The Steam Deck 2: Rumored Specs That Raise the Bar
Now, let's shift our focus to the rumored specifications of the Steam Deck 2. The talk of the town is its horizontal OLED screen, not only promising a resolution upgrade to 900p but also a refresh rate of 90hz, enhancing both clarity and fluidity of the gaming experience.
Under the hood, the Steam Deck 2 is said to feature another custom AMD APU, but this time it's a 6-core processor paired with 16 compute units on the GPU, speculated to be based on the RDNA4 architecture. This is a significant step up from the current 8 RDNA 2 CUs. The new Zen 4 platform also hints at improved power efficiency and processing capabilities.
The RAM speed is where the Steam Deck 2 really aims to outshine its predecessor, with a rumored 8533mhz, a massive jump from the current 6400 MT/s. This could translate to smoother multitasking and faster load times. The difference between 8533MHz and 6400MT/s (MegaTransfers per second) pertains to the measurement of RAM speed, and understanding it requires a bit of insight into how RAM operates:
8533MHz (Megahertz): This term is traditionally used to describe the clock speed of RAM. It indicates how many cycles per second the RAM can handle. In the context of DDR (Double Data Rate) memory, which is the standard for modern RAM, data is transferred twice per clock cycle. Therefore, a RAM module with a clock speed of 8533MHz is effectively operating at 8533 million cycles per second, with data being transferred twice in each cycle.
6400MT/s (MegaTransfers per Second): MT/s is a more accurate representation of RAM performance in the context of DDR memory. It directly refers to the number of data transfers that can happen in one second. So, 6400MT/s means that 6400 million transfers can occur each second. This measurement takes into account the double data rate nature of DDR RAM. For DDR RAM, the MT/s value is twice that of the MHz clock speed because of the double transfer per cycle. Thus, a DDR RAM with a clock speed of 3200MHz would be described as having 6400MT/s.
The jump from 6400MT/s to 8533MHz is a significant increase in RAM performance for the Steam Deck 2. However, it's important to note that comparing MHz directly to MT/s isn't entirely straightforward due to the different ways these measurements are used. If the 8533MHz is in the context of DDR RAM, it would mean the effective transfer rate is even higher than 8533MT/s, further emphasizing the performance boost in the new device.
Timing, Pricing, and Community Skepticism
Slated for a possible release in late 2026, the base model Steam Deck 2 might come with a heftier price tag, potentially around $600. This increase reflects the major hardware upgrades and aligns with the popularity of higher-end models of the current Steam Deck.
While these rumors paint an exciting picture, it's crucial to maintain a level of skepticism. The gaming industry is notorious for its rumor mill, and only time will tell if these specs materialize into reality. One thing is for sure, Nintendo will be peering over their shoulder as they move forward with releasing the Nintendo Switch 2 potentially as soon as this year!
A Promising Future for Handheld Gaming?
If the rumored specs of the Steam Deck 2 hold true, we're looking at a device that doesn't just incrementally improve upon its predecessor but rather leaps bounds ahead in terms of performance and display quality. However, until official confirmation, these remain intriguing possibilities in the ever-evolving narrative of gaming technology.