You are currently viewing The Steam Deck OLED makes the unique mannequin out of date

The Steam Deck OLED makes the unique mannequin out of date

Valve took the world by storm when it revealed the Steam Deck in 2021, with the machine happening to promote tens of millions of models over the following few years. Issues grew to become much more thrilling in 2023, when Valve launched the up to date Steam Deck OLED — fixing a lot of the unique’s points whereas additionally bundling in a vibrant new show. Our Steam Deck OLED review discovered it to be greater than only a minor replace to the hand-held PC, and it’s arguably probably the greatest methods to sport in 2024.

Nevertheless, the unique Steam Deck isn’t out of date simply but. A number of fashions of the unique Steam Deck are nonetheless up for buy, they usually’re seeing good worth cuts as they slowly get phased out. However must you go for the cheaper Steam Deck or the brand new Steam Deck OLED? And what precisely is the distinction between these two fashions?

Right here’s a better have a look at the hand-held PCs that can assist you determine which is finest.

Pricing and availability

Steam Deck held between two hands.
Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

The unique Steam Deck with an LCD show launched in February 2022, with a worth between $400 and $650, relying on whether or not you wished further storage, a scratch-resistant display screen, and a few distinctive digital rewards. There have been initially three choices — 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage — however Valve will solely promote the 256GB mannequin shifting ahead.

On the time of writing, the 64GB and 512GB fashions are nonetheless accessible, however Valve says it should solely promote them whereas provides final. All three of the unique fashions have new, decrease costs now that the Steam Deck OLED is offered. You’ll spend $350, $400, or $450 for the 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB fashions, respectively.

The Steam Deck OLED launched on November 16, and in contrast to the earlier model, it didn’t promote out instantly. Valve has two fashions accessible. There’s a 512GB mannequin for $550 and a 1TB mannequin for $650. The 1TB mannequin additionally comes with an etched glass show that’s immune to glare.

The Steam Deck OLED sitting in a case.
Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

On prime of the 2 fashions, Valve had a limited-edition model of the 1TB mannequin with a translucent shell accessible for $680. Sadly, this has since offered out.

There’s probably not a nasty selection right here by way of pricing. In order for you a deal, the perfect mannequin to purchase proper now could be the $450 LCD model with 512GB of storage. That’s the perfect bang to your buck. Nonetheless, the OLED fashions aren’t too costly. Valve really stored pricing the identical in comparison with the unique costs on the LCD fashions, all whereas boosting space for storing.


Steam Deck LCD Steam Deck OLED Steam Deck OLED
CPU AMD Zen 2 CPU 4c/8t 7nm course of AMD Zen 2 CPU 4c/8t 6nm course of AMD Zen 2 CPU 4c/8t 6nm course of
Graphics AMD APU RDNA 2 8c 7nm course of AMD APU RDNA 2 8c 6nm course of AMD APU RDNA 2 8c 6nm course of
RAM 16GB LPDDR5 5500MHz 16GB LPDDR5 6400MHz 16GB LPDDR5 6400MHz
Storage 256GB SSD 512GB SSD 1TB SSD
Show 7-inch LCD, 1280×800 7.4-inch HDR OLED 7.4-inch HDR OLED
Refresh Charge 60Hz 90Hz 90Hz
Connections Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
Battery 40 Whr, 2-8 hours 50 Whr, 3-12 hours 50 Whr, 3-12 hours
Weight 1.47 kilos 1.41 kilos 1.41 kilos

On the floor, the Steam Deck OLED feels like a Change OLED-style improve with new show expertise, however that’s not the case in any respect. The Steam Deck OLED is far more of a revision than its naming scheme may let on. Our initial teardown of the Steam Deck OLED revealed that Valve touched practically each side of the machine. It is a refresh, however it’s an enormous one.

There’s quicker reminiscence, assist for next-generation wi-fi applied sciences like Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.3. The burden is down a little bit too, which is at all times welcome in a transportable gaming machine.

Someone uninstalling joysticks on the Steam Deck.
Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

One of many largest adjustments, although, is in battery life. With a much bigger battery and extra environment friendly elements, Valve has managed to extend general battery life by as much as 50%. It’s now claiming that, in excellent circumstances, the Steam Deck can run for as much as 12 hours, which is manner past what you’d count on.

A giant a part of that’s the redesigned APU. The Steam Deck OLED makes use of the identical APU as the unique, however it’s constructed on a 6nm node. That permits it to be far more environment friendly than the unique mannequin, which, coupled with a bigger battery, results in large enhancements in battery life. It additionally permits the Steam Deck OLED to run a bit quicker, which we’ll dig into shortly.


The Steam Deck OLED on a pink background.
Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

The standout function of the Steam Deck OLED is, in fact, the OLED display screen. Colours look beautiful, and that’s due in no small half to the truth that the OLED has a barely bigger display screen than the unique mannequin. It additionally will get a lot brighter, with assist for HDR and a peak brightness that’s near 1,000 nits. These are enormous specs for a handheld, making the unique display screen seem like a toy by comparability.

The show can be 90Hz, reasonably than 60Hz like on the unique mannequin, which ought to make something you play on it look a lot smoother when you can run video games at a excessive sufficient body price to note it. That is arguably the larger change for gaming, as players are big fans of high refresh rates, and with good purpose. In titles like Lifeless Cells the place you’ll be able to make the most of the upper refresh price, the Steam Deck OLED is a game-changer.

The unique display screen is satisfactory, however simply barely. It’s a 60Hz LCD show that’s comfortable cracking 300 nits of brightness, and it throws out all hopes of dealing with HDR content material. It’s not offensive, however players on the lookout for essentially the most immersive expertise ought to select the OLED mannequin.


One sudden good thing about the Steam Deck OLED is efficiency. It’s not loads quicker than the unique mannequin, however it’s nonetheless quicker. You’re a number of frames in some video games, or put one other manner, a efficiency enhance within the low single digits. That soar, mixed with the 90Hz display screen, can nonetheless make a ton of distinction.

A chart compares Steam Deck LCD and OLED benchmarks.
Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

Throughout our suite of video games, the Steam Deck OLED notched the biggest enhance in Dying Gentle 2, although it managed a lead of some frames in practically all of the titles we examined. One vital sport to name out right here is Horizon Zero Daybreak. With the Steam Deck LCD, you had been struggling to hit 60 frames per second (fps), however the Steam Deck OLED achieves that mark.

That’s largely been our expertise with the Steam Deck OLED. It might solely supply a number of further frames, however these frames actually matter. A very good instance is Elden Ring. This sport runs tremendous on the Steam Deck LCD, however it should typically drop beneath 30 fps if you’re out within the open world. That’s not the case on the Steam Deck OLED, the place it typically runs above 30 fps. The largest enhance right here is consistency, with the additional energy of the Steam Deck OLED pushing video games over the sting.

A chart compares Steam Deck OLED and ROG Ally benchmarks.
Jacob Roach / Digital Tendencies

The efficiency soar additionally will get the Steam Deck OLED a lot nearer to aggressive handhelds like the ROG Ally with the Z1 Excessive. When matching the decision, you’ll be able to see the Steam Deck OLED now will get inside spitting distance of the ROG Ally, whereas the LCD model struggled to maintain up.

The opposite large profit for the Steam Deck OLED is the 90Hz show. Take a sport like Unusual Brigade for instance. It might probably run at near 80 fps on the Steam Deck LCD, however you gained’t really discover that further smoothness. In these less-demanding video games, the Steam Deck OLED supplies a significantly better expertise by permitting you to really see all the frames which might be being rendered.

Even when the Steam Deck OLED offered an identical efficiency, it will be the winner right here. The truth that it’s quicker is simply the cherry on prime.

Battery life

The Steam Deck OLED comes with a much bigger battery than the unique mannequin, which mixed with a extra environment friendly APU, permits it to realize a lot larger battery life. We have to put these battery life enhancements in context, although.

They aren’t constant throughout video games, so the battery enhancements vary from an additional half-hour to a number of further hours relying on what sport you’re taking part in. In a demanding sport like Diablo 4, you’ll be fortunate to get 90 minutes out of the Steam Deck LCD. On the Steam Deck OLED, you’ll comfortably cross the two-hour mark earlier than reaching to your charger.

The massive enhancements are available in much less demanding video games. With the Steam Deck LCD, there’s a bizarre higher restrict on battery life. Even in video games like Lifeless Cells or Vampire Survivors, you gained’t get greater than five-and-a-half or six hours. The Steam Deck OLED massively improves right here, simply providing between eight and 9 hours of battery life in these much less demanding video games.

It was one of many first issues we seen with the Steam Deck OLED. In a run of Lifeless Cells, the OLED mannequin drained about 5% of its battery in half-hour. On the unique, you’d at the least drop 10% in that very same time.

The Steam Deck OLED is the brand new Steam Deck

The Steam Deck and Steam Deck OLED sitting next to each other.
The Steam Deck LCD (prime) and Steam Deck OLED. Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Tendencies

It’s straightforward to put in writing off the Steam Deck OLED as only a Steam Deck with a nicer display screen, however it’s a lot extra. Enhancements in efficiency and battery life go an enormous manner towards making the machine really feel higher to make use of, and that’s backed up by probably the greatest shows you could find on a handheld.

Valve remains to be promoting the Steam Deck LCD, however it’s finest to save lots of your pennies for the OLED mannequin if you would like a superior expertise.

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