What you need to know
- Valve has updated its specs list for the Steam Deck with a small, but important clarification.
- The RAM, as it turns out, is actually quad-channel 32-bit LPDDR5.
- On Ryzen-based systems, particularly APUs like the Steam Deck, memory performance makes a huge difference to the overall system.
The Steam Deck has been official for barely a week and already we're seeing a small, but important update to its official specs list. This is more likely down to a typo than anything, but it concerns the RAM and it actually makes a significant difference.
As reported by the fine people at PC Gamer, the official spec sheet for the Steam Deck has been updated. The RAM specification now lists "5500 MT/s quad 32-bit channels". It's still LPDDR5 and it's still 16GB of it, but running in quad-channel not dual-channel as initially reported.
Why does this matter to you? Performance. It's well documented that Ryzen-based systems respond well to memory performance and bandwidth. In this case, the Steam Deck has an incredible amount of bandwidth for its GPU power.
On an APU system like the Steam Deck, it has extra importance as the CPU and GPU are both sharing the same pool of RAM. In a regular gaming PC, the GPU has its own VRAM and the CPU has access to the system RAM, on the Steam Deck both will be accessing the same memory. So the better the overall memory performance, the better your end experience.
Even before this update to the spec sheet, the Steam Deck is hardly cutting corners on its hardware. 16GB of RAM is unheard of in a regular laptop at this price point, now we find out this little nugget of goodness. Alas, if you didn't already get your reservation in you're probably going to be waiting a while to get one, but if you did, know that it's even better than you initially thought.
An ultimate PC handheld
Play your Steam library anywhere
Wanted more places to play your Steam library? Now you'll be able to with the Steam Deck. This machine comes in three iterations, each allowing you to play your games locally and portably.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine