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Is the Steam Deck Worth Buying for Portable PC Gaming?

The Steam Deck is a handheld gaming device developed by Valve that provides access to your PC gaming library through Steam's cloud-gaming setup. It allows you to play your favorite PC games while on the move. However, with new competition in the market, is the Steam Deck worth buying?

Compared to other portable PCs, the Steam Deck has a solid performance but falls behind in terms of raw power. For example, the Ayaneo Next Advance boasts a more powerful AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU but comes with a higher price tag starting at $1,300 compared to the Steam Deck's starting price of $399.

The Steam Deck's specifications include an AMD APU with a Zen 2 CPU, 16GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM, and three storage options: 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe SSD, and 512GB high-speed NVMe SSD.

In terms of performance, the Steam Deck's Linux-based system may not support every game, but there are options to install a full version of Windows 11 or utilize community workarounds. The Steam Deck performs well with triple-A games like Baldur's Gate 3 and The Witcher 3, as well as indie games like Hades.

However, some higher-end games like Elden Ring may cause the Steam Deck to run hot, resulting in lower frame rates even on the lowest settings. The Steam Deck's graphical capabilities are limited, so don't expect high-quality graphics comparable to full-fledged PCs.

If you don't mind sacrificing some graphical fidelity and have an interest in handheld gaming, the Steam Deck could be worth purchasing, especially if you can find a good deal. It also offers emulation opportunities, but additional instructions may be needed to set it up.

– Image source: Mr.Mikla (Shutterstock)
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