Image: Valve

Gamers have made a habit out of comparing Valve’s Steam Deck with the Nintendo Switch for a variety of obvious reasons. One is that both of these devices happen to include a dock, but it turns out that they will work quite differently.

Although both docks enable additional connectivity options, Valve confirmed in a recent interview with PC Gamer that the Steam Deck’s dock won’t result in any kind of performance enhancement for the handheld. The Steam Deck will perform exactly the same when it’s docked, unlike the Nintendo Switch, which switches to a higher-performance mode when it no longer has to run on battery and limit itself to conserve power for longer usage.

Steam Deck designer Greg Coomer admitted that Valve was toying with the idea of a higher power mode that would be enabled whenever the handheld PC was docked, but the idea was ultimately scrapped. The explanation is that Valve wanted to concentrate on maximizing the Steam Deck’s potential strictly as a portable device.

Sold as a separate accessory, Valve’s Steam Deck dock can be used for propping the portable up and projecting it to monitors and other external displays. The dock features DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, Ethernet, USB 3.1, and 2x USB 2.0 ports.

Image: Valve

“We really wanted to prioritize for using it in what we thought would be the highest use case, which is actually mobile,” Coomer explains. “And so since we were focusing on that, and we chose like a threshold where the machine will run well, and with a good frame rate with AAA games in that scenario. We didn’t really feel like we should target also going after the dock scenario at higher resolutions. We wanted a simpler design target and to prioritize that.”

Source: PC Gamer

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7 Comments

  1. I am really interested in this thing. I have a Nintendo Switch that I bring with me all over the place, especially when I am living out of a hotel for a week or more it’s rather useful to keep me entertained when the hotel’s channel selection is lacking.

    I do bring my laptop with me, which is a decent gaming laptop with a Ryzen CPU and 5600M GPU, but it’s a lot easier to lay in the bed and play with the switch. Especially if I am only staying one night at a time.

  2. Watched the LTT preview on the hardware and it cooled very well (pre production hardware yet), so I bet there’s headroom to enable a boost feature down the road.

  3. Whatcha wanna bet on a way to enter a code to unlock performance…

    Personally I’m betting on a war games reference.

  4. The switch is crap hardware in comparison and its not like it burns your eyes when on the tv. Well maybe a little if you are recently playing ps4.

  5. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 39233, member: 215″]
    Whatcha wanna bet on a way to enter a code to unlock performance…

    Personally I’m betting on a war games reference.
    [/QUOTE]
    Seems like you could probably just edit a couple of linux config files and overclock it a bit, it’s just PC hardware under there. I don’t know if it will have a regular UEFI bios like most PCs, but I bet there’s a way to get into the config.

    Now, if you’d want to do that is a different manner. Unless you also mod the chassis and boost the cooling somewhat, it’s probably not going to be a good idea. The entire device is built around the stock power profile.

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