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Steam Deck Windows 11 Performance: How Good is it? The new AMD powered gaming device

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The Steam D launched this year and has become a favorite among gamers.

Valve has lived up to its promise and has delivered a Windows 11-compatible device. 

In addition, the partnership with AMD has reportedly delivered impressive results.

A lot of users want to know about Steam deck Windows 11 compatibility. Well, let us give you all the info you need.

Since Valve first announced this new gadget, they said it would be a powerful PC capable of running almost everything a regular PC can.

The jury is out on the new gaming device, and post Steam Deck release, we can verify if it has lived up to the hype.

If you are interested in purchasing Steam Deck but wondering if Windows 11 runs smoothly on it, you should read on to find out.

What OS does Steam Deck use?

This device is powered by SteamOS, Linux’s Arch-based distribution with built-in Proton support. 

If you are wondering, Proton is a compatibility layer whose primary role is to enable Windows games to run on Steam Deck.

You may use it to set up and play Windows games that don’t have native Linux counterparts. The creation of Proton involves collaboration between CodeWeavers and Valve developers.

Proton provides a customized version of Wine and a selection of fast graphics libraries. As a result, there are no performance downsides when using Proton to run Windows games on Linux. Instead, Proton enables you to play several well-known games at decent framerates.

Does Steam Deck support Windows 11?

Valve was reportedly working with another company that knows operating systems and hardware to ensure that the upcoming gadget is ready for any challenge.

Since the most critical factor determining a new device’s capability is whether it is Windows 11 compatible, Steam Deck is not an exception.

And after working on the Trusted Compatibility Module (TPM) and with AMD to ensure Windows 11 compatibility, Valve is confident it has built a flawlessly Windows 11 compatible system.

Steam Deck Windows 11 TPM collaboration was essential because no device can support the new OS with TPM 2.0, and yes, you already guessed it, AMD was chosen because Steam Deck will run on the giant’s processors.

Before release, the was the official statement from Valve:

We’ve focused so much on Windows 10, so far, that we haven’t really gotten that far into it. Our expectation is that we can meet that. It’s also a conversation that’s going on with AMD to make sure that, at the BIOS level, we can accommodate that,” he added. “So there’s nothing to indicate to us yet that there’ll be any issues with Windows 11.

Well, the jury is out, and are there any issues with Windows 11? Not at all.

As the creators of the custom silicon at the heart of the Steam Deck, the Zen 2/RDNA 2 APU, the AMD team has ensured that, at the fundamental level, the new tech is ready for Windows 11. 

How do I install Steam Deck on Windows 11?

You will also need to install Steam Deck Windows 11 drivers to make the best of its Windows compatibility.

So if you didn’t want to buy a Surface laptop or a tablet and are looking more for a different, unique device, you could look into acquiring a Steam Deck for gaming and for running the new OS. The Steam Deck Windows 11 compatibility is flawless.

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Best Steam Deck Accessories 2023

Best Steam Deck accessories 2023

It’s getting steamy in here…

There is no doubt that the Steam Deck is an incredible piece of kit. It’s capable of playing a vast amount of PC games on the move, creating the first truly mobile PC gaming experience. All this fits within a device not much bigger than a Nintendo Switch, which is an impressive feat of engineering and product design. However, that’s not to say that the Steam deck cannot be improved with a few choice additions.

Now that the Steam Deck has been out for a while, the accessories market has had time to find their way out of plastic garbage and into some genuinely helpful accessories. Let’s have a look at the best Steam deck accessories you can get right now to help you get the most out of your mobile gaming.

Steam Deck specs

Before we look at what the Steam deck needs, let’s have a look at its out-of-the-box capabilities to see where there’s room for improvement.

Processor: Zen 2 4c/8t, 2.4-3.5GHz (up to 448 GFlops FP32)

GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs, 1.0-1.6GHz (up to 1.6 TFlops FP32)

RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 on-board RAM (5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels)

Display: 60Hz, 1280 x 800 IPS

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Dual-band Wi-Fi radio, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 2 x 2 MIMO, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac

Storage is where the three available variants of the Steam Deck differ. The more you pay, the more storage you get. Additionally, the cheapest model’s storage is only PCIe gen2 compliant, meaning that the read/write speeds are slower than the other two options.

Storage:

64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1) ($399)

256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*) ($529)

512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*) ($649)

So, it’s a powerful piece of kit, but how can we improve it? Let’s start with some additional storage as a memory card is definitely one of the best Steam Deck accessories.

Best Steam Deck memory card

Regardless of which model you go for, they all include a high-speed microSD card slot for additional storage expansion. the slot is SDXC compliant, meaning that it can accept up to a 2TB capacity card, in theory. However, at time of writing, the maximum capacity of a microSD card is 1TB.

It’s worth noting here that the maximum speed that the Steam Deck can read/write to a microSD card is around 100MB/s. This means that there is no reason to go for a microSD card that has higher speeds than this. For this reason, we’ve decided to recommend the SanDisk Ultra 1TB microSDXC Memory Card. It’s got the current max microSD card capacity, and upgrading to the Extreme PRO is not worthwhile due to the aforementioned read/write speed limitation.

SanDisk Ultra 1TB microSDXC Memory Card

Capacity

1TB

Transfer speed

Up to 120MB/s (Class 10)

Interface

microSDXC

As an aside, memory cards of all types, are regularly discounted by up to 50% on Amazon so chances are, you’ll be able to grab this card and others of differing capacities for less than you’d expect.

Best Steam Deck stand

We previously compared the Steam Deck to the Nintendo Switch, however, one of the Switch’s best features is the kickstand. This allows you to prop it up in front of you, allowing for a more console-adjacent controller experience. Valve has confirmed the upcoming release of a first-party dock that will both prop the Steam Deck up, and expand its I/O with USB Type-C and Ethernet.

However, the official Steam Deck Dock has been delayed so some third-party stands have been popping up. While they won’t increase the number of available ports like the official one from Valve, they will at least function as a stand so you can use a controller or full keyboard and mouse combo with the Steam Deck without having to prop it up against a stack of books or something.

JSAUX anti-slip stand for Steam Deck

Weight

3.20z / 65g

Dimensions

4.41 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches

We’ve decided to go for the JSAUX anti-slip stand. Mostly for the quality metal construction and interior coating that both holds the Steam Deck in place and prevents scratches. Additionally, the supporting ridge is designed so it won’t block the exhaust port of the Steam Deck. This makes it one of the more comprehensive Steam Deck accessories that will actually change the way you play.

The metal construction is nice too, meaning that this will last until Valve finally makes the official Steam Deck Dock available. However, if their previous reputation for release dates is anything to go by, you might be waiting longer than you’d like.

Best controller for steam deck

While the Steam Deck has a pretty comprehensive control system built-in, it doesn’t hold a candle to a good old-fashioned controller. A proper controller is one of the best Steam Deck accessories you can get as it allows you to properly kick back and enjoy, especially when paired with the aforementioned stand.

SCUF Instinct Pro controller

Compatibility

Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Weight

280g/9.8oz

Buttons

Standard Xbox layout +4 programmable paddles

Connectivity

Bluetooth, USB Type-C

Ports

Wireless range

Up to 12m/45 feet

The Official Xbox controller is as classic as it gets and is well-suited to any given gaming task. However, if you really what to up the ante, the SCUF Instinct Pro is worth considering. Yes, it’s pricey, but the dual-mode triggers, magnetic faceplate, and stealthy design are all fantastic. If you want to maximize your performance with a controller, the Scuf Instinct Pro is the best we’ve tried. Our full SCUF Instinct Pro Wireless Performance Controller review has more details.

Frequency response

20 Hz – 20 kHz

Driver diameter

50mm

Connectivity

USB Type-C, Bluetooth

Weight

0.80 lbs / 365 g

Battery life

Up to 20 hours (with lighting/haptics, Up to 50 hours (without lighting/haptics)

Compatibility

PS5/PS4, PC, Devices with Bluetooth audio capacity

Best Steam Deck accessories: Final word

As mentioned earlier, the Steam Deck does function remarkably well as a standalone device, but with a few extra investments, it can be made even better. If you only have limited cash, definitely get a memory card first, then consider the other stuff.

How To Improve Windows 11 Gaming Performance

The latter adds a couple of extra features you won’t find on Windows 10, but there are some extra steps you can take to get the most out of your games on Windows 11. Here’s everything you need to know. 

Enable Auto HDR

Auto HDR is a feature that’s only available on Windows 11 (and Xbox consoles), adding high dynamic range (HDR) to all games – including those which don’t support it. 

Essentially, this means you get a brighter image and more vibrant colours than standard dynamic range (SDR), which should make for a more immersive gaming experience. The only catch is that you’ll need an HDR-capable monitor – it’s worth checking if you’re not sure. 

Enable default graphics settings

The first is when playing windowed games (as opposed to full screen), which would usually see increased latency and some restricted features. Turning on ‘optimizations for windowed games’ should improve that.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Whether you see more options will depend on the specs of your device.  

On displays which can dynamically adjust refresh rate (usually between 60-120Hz or higher), there will be a toggle for ‘Variable refresh rate’. For devices with discrete GPUs from the likes of AMD or Nvidia, you’ll see ‘Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling’. It’s worth turning on both. 

Turn on Game Mode

Did you know all Windows 11 devices have a ‘Game Mode’? Each time you launch a game, this will stop Windows Update from running in the background and help to achieve a more stable frame rate. 

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

Use the Xbox Game Bar

Once you’ve launched a title, the pre-installed Xbox Game Bar is a useful tool. It provides quick access to screen capture and sharing tools, plus Spotify integration and messaging with Xbox friends.

Anyron Copeman / Foundry

You can open it like any other app, but the Windows Key + G shortcut is worth knowing for when you’re in a game. 

All the major chip manufacturers regularly update the drivers for their CPUs and GPUs to keep everything running smoothly. Out-of-date drivers usually don’t present a big security risk, but they do mean some newer games won’t be fully supported. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for or it’s proving to be a lot of hassle, third-party software such as IObit’s free Driver Booster can check and perform any updates for you. 

Manage Windows paging file

But if you regularly have RAM to spare (even while gaming), disabling or reducing the size of the paging file can improve performance and slow the wear of your SSD. To find out, check the ‘Memory’ section of the Task Manager app while running your most demanding app or game.

After this change, monitor games for any issues and adjust the paging file settings if you encounter any issues. 

Upgrade internals

The final two steps are totally optional, and involve making changes to the hardware rather than Windows 11 itself. 

Upgrading your CPU, GPU, RAM and/or SSD can all have a significant effect on gaming performance, so it’s worth familiarising yourself with the process – provided you have a desktop PC. 

The situation is much more complicated on a gaming laptop, where upgrading components isn’t recommended (even if it is possible). In most cases, opening up a laptop will void the warranty, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get it working again unless you know what you’re doing.

Try overclocking

Overclocking is also worth considering. It can boost the clock speed of the CPU and GPU above what they’re normally capable of, increasing the overall performance. The likes of MSI and Gigabyte provide their own overclocking tools, which work for both laptops and desktop PCs.

However, a word of warning: overclocking can often lead to reduced stability, so proceed with caution.

Related articles

How To Fix Steam Error Code 41 On Windows 11.

If you play a lot of games using Steam on your Windows 11 PC and have recently started seeing Steam error 41. “The Steam servers are too busy to handle your request for {game name}. Error Code 41”. This article will show several different things you can do to make sure the issue isn’t a local one.

Related: How to fix Game Pass error 0x87e00013 when updating or launching games.

Steam is usually a hassle-free gaming platform that is easy to use. I’ve been using it for years and rarely experience issues with the service itself. Most of the problems I encounter are game-related and not caused by Steam. Nevertheless, Steam has a variety of error messages that can pop up from time to time. Check out our Steam guides for more information.

You may see the same error message displayed with Error Code 41 and a range of others. So if you are getting any of those error messages, you can follow the steps shown in this guide as well.

How do you fix “The Steam servers are too busy to handle your request for [game name] Error Code 41”

If you check the Steam Status link and see that Steam is up and running normally. Which it is 99.9% of the time. You will need to try some of the other options instead. Restart Steam.

Start your computer.

Restart your modem/router.

Try launching the game with your antivirus turned off/disabled. It’s also a good idea to stop using whatever you are using and just use Windows Defender. It’s way better than any of the third-party bloatware currently on offer.

Disable any Proxies or VPNs you might be using.

Download the latest AMD Chipset updates (if you are using an AMD CPU/GPU)

If you happen to be using an AMD build you should update your chipset software to the latest version, you should also take the time to make sure you are running the latest BIOS version as well. To do this simply visit the AMD support page and download the software that matches your system or just use the autodetection tool to get the job done. Once all of your drivers and BIOS are up to date you shouldn’t have any more issues. Interestingly this solution will also help with Windows 11 Insider build error APC_INDEX_MISMATCH (Green screen of death) problems.

If you have an Intel CPU you should also check for any driver/software updates. You can find them on the Intel Support page

Try manually changing the download region to fix Steam error 41.

Although this isn’t the most likely of fixes, you can try manually changing your Steam download region.

Finally, Restart Steam and you’ll hopefully be able to play your game without error 41.

Make an exception for Steam and your games in your Firewall program.

If you are using a third-party firewall like ZoneAlarm, rather than the Windows built-in one, you may have to manually add the game you are trying to play to the exception list. How you do this will depend on the program you are using. However, if you are using the Windows firewall and want to check if there is an exception you’ll need to do the following.

To do this open the Start menu and search Firewall. When Firewall & Network Protection appears open it.

Registry Defrag, Is It Good Or Bad?

The Windows Registry is a place where you will find all the settings for your operating system. It contains information for all the hardware and software, along with user preferences. The Registry isn’t simply one large file but a set of discrete files called hives, primarily located in the system32 folder.

Over a period of time, a lot of entries get added to it as well as deleted. Whenever a user installs or uninstalls software or changes Windows settings, the changes are reflected and saved in the Windows Registry. As a result, many registry entries end up being orphaned, broken or misplaced.

Starting with Windows Vista, the Registry has been Virtualized, and hence unlike Windows XP or earlier versions, does not tend to suffer from bloat. Due to Virtualization, applications are prevented from writing to System Folders and to the ‘machine wide keys’ in the registry. Nevertheless, invalid registry keys do get created. To clean up invalid registry entries, many prefer to use Registry Cleaners. Whether Registry Cleaners are good or bad, has already been discussed.

Even after you remove the invalid registry entries, empty spaces are left behind. Registry Defragmenters help in removing such bloated registry hive & empty spaces, and compacting the registry.

Discussing the problem of bloated registry hives in some earlier versions of Windows, Microsoft had explained:

You may discover that some of your registry hives are abnormally large or “bloated”.  Registry hives that are in this state can cause various performance issues and errors in the system log. There can be many causes for this issue.  Troubleshooting the actual cause can be a long and tedious process.  In this scenario, you simply want to compress the registry hives to a normal state.

Registry Defrag Good or Bad

Registry Defragmenters have become popular – although not as much as registry cleaners!  Unlike Registry Cleaners, defragmenting the registry may improve performance. Paging and Registry file fragmentation can be one of the leading causes of performance degradation related to file fragmentation in a system. Says TechNet:

Standard defragmentation programs can neither show you how fragmented your paging files or Registry hives are, nor defragment them. Paging and Registry file fragmentation can be one of the leading causes of performance degradation related to file fragmentation in a system.

But do not expect any real performance improvement, after using registry defragmenters – especially in the later version of Windows like Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista,. While you may use a registry defragger, as a matter of ‘good house-keeping’, one must be very careful in selecting a good safe Registry Defragmenter.

Is registry cleaner safe to use?

It depends on how you want to use the Registry cleaner app on your computer. If you want to remove leftovers, registry cleaners are the best option you have. However, if you want to do something else, you need to take precautions as per the requirements. Deleting required keys and values might get you into trouble.

Does registry affect performance?

Yes, having unnecessary registry values and keys can affect the performance of your computer. It might slow down your computer a lot when you have unwanted keys and values. The best way to get rid of such things is by using a software uninstaller that can remove software leftovers.

Personally speaking I hardly ever use a Registry Defragmenter; maybe once in 6 months or so! Should you choose to use a Registry Defragmenter, remember to create a system restore point first or back up the registry using RegBack.

Go here if you’d like to check out some Free Registry Defragmenters.

What is your take on Registry Defragmenters? Do you use them?  If so which ones do you recommend?

Steam Deck: Release Date, Price, Where To Buy And Shipping

Last Updated on July 22, 2023

The Steam Deck is upon us and no, you won’t be getting one if you put an order in now. Reservations might have opened last July, but Valve’s newest piece of hardware is not going to be hitting the masses for a while. Those lucky few who made it through Steam’s minor heart attack at the sight of a new PC being available and got their orders early should be seeing there’s in the next week.

February 25th is the supposed release date, after a delay from last year and the hectic madness of the chip shortage having no real end in sight, Valve will be finally birthing their next project.

Valve’s hardware history

Valve aren’t strangers to hardware at this point. Their virtual reality efforts have been lauded as some of the best – and most expensive. Valve’s Index followed from their partnership with HTC and the Vive, eventually spawning an exclusive, VR-only Half-Life game, the first since 2007.

Prior to VR, Valve also developed the Steam Controller and Steam Machines, both of which can be seen in the Steam Deck.

The Steam Controller was a hybrid between the traditional controller and bringing the elegance of the mouse to allow for games that traditionally don’t map well to a controller. This meant that things like Civilisation and games without controller bound menus could be played comfortably on a TV.

At the same time, Valve’s living room gaming initiative was also producing the Steam Machine, which was Valve providing the first real iteration of the SteamOS to companies to create gaming PC hardware around it. The idea was that by building a custom OS, they would be able to convince developers and publishers to port their games to Linux and away from Microsoft’s Windows.

This didn’t take off, as the companies willing to port to Linux was minimal due to the low player counts. Similar to Valve’s attempt at making macOS a gaming alternative, it just wasn’t popping off the way that was expected. Meanwhile, the idea behind the Steam Controller also didn’t take off.

Steam Machines were silently killed behind the shed, while the Steam Controller was produced in such quantities that it was able to stay in stock until 2023 when Valve did a firesale to get rid of both those and their other product, Steam Link. The Steam Link lives on as an app on both Android and iOS, allowing people to play their games in any room, but the original Steam Link was a piece of hardware that streamed the video feed from one room to another over your network.

However, the whole thing wasn’t a waste of time. The VR department has completely upended the entire industry by finally producing a game that after nearly two years, is yet to be topped, as well as hardware that is routinely recommended despite its price.

But also, the Steam Deck has literally pulled features from the two other devices. It runs an updated SteamOS that is also running Proton, Valve’s intermediary layer to get non-native games running on Linux with no real effort on the developer’s part while considering a native Linux version.

What is the Steam Deck?

The Steam Deck is a Linux based, AMD APU equipped handheld that is designed to bring Valve’s entire Steam catalogue to an audience that might not be truly ready to either pay up for a PC, build their own or for those of us with an extensive backlog that we can play on the go.

Valve has said it’s just a regular PC, so you can install whatever you like, however you like on it. The bottom has a USB-C port for accessories, allowing you to invest in some cheaper alternatives than the Steam Dock.

Valve is actively verifying whether games can be played or not on the console, with a list that is always growing.

How much is the Steam Deck?

The Steam Deck comes in three variations, starting with a piddly 32GB storage space, jumping up to 256GB and 512GB on NVMe drives. These cost 349, 459 and 569 respectively.

Storage shouldn’t be an issue though, as the Steam Deck will support UHS-I microSD cards.

Where to buy the Steam Deck?

You can currently buy the Steam Deck via Steam directly, but when it finally unleashes into the public, please don’t buy the scalpers’ collections off of eBay.

When is the Steam Deck shipping?

Theoretically, those who have gotten their orders in the earliest should see them post-Feb 25th or on the day of, but those of us who were too slow or caught up in the mayhem, won’t be able to see them until Q2 2023 or later. This means the second quarter of 2023, so some time in April or later.

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