Steam Deck: Benchmarks, Battery Life, and More


As we’re getting closer to the shipment of the Steam Deck to the general public’s hands, and as Valve gradually lifts the various embargoes attached to the device, today we’ve learned even more about it, thanks to the explosion of new videos that have come out.

The Phawx, Linus Tech Tips, and Gamers Nexus have all received a review unit. Games that they could talk about were:

  • Portal 2
  • Control
  • Ghostrunner
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Devil May Cry 5
  • Street Fighter V
  • Dead Cells

DMC 5 benchmark on Steam Deck

They could not talk about the SteamOS experience itself, or games outside of this list. However, they could shed some light as far as benchmarks, battery life, and thermal dissipation. Thanks to Reddit user 95OctaneDrink, we can get a quick summary of these videos:

Performance: Only seven games could be shown but except some minor problems in Forza, everyone is happy with what it can do right out of the box, but you can improve it a lot if you tweak some things.

Ergonomics: It’s one of the heaviest but its ergonomics makes it really comfortable to hold, generally everything is good to use but it’s a little bit worse if your hands are small, trackpads are the only thing not up to a big standard due to lack of haptic motors.

Video/Audio: Incredible color and audio compared to the competition.

Battery life: If you stick to 30 FPS youll get more or less what was announced(2-8 hours).

Storage: SD cards are not as bad as we thought, at least on tested games.

Software: Theres some issues with it still and Valve doesn’t let reviewers talk about this until the 25th, so they have time to fix everything for the final release. (They are pushing updates almost daily.)

Ghostrunner benchmark

According to the Phawx, the battery lasted as long as six hours while playing Dead Cells. Meanwhile, cranking the framerate up to 60 FPS and having medium-to-high graphics settings on Control only made the battery last an hour-and-a-half to two hours. The battery life will last longer, however, if the framerate is capped to 30 FPS.

Dead Cells benchmark vs competition

Load times on MicroSD cards were barely any longer than compared to the internal NVMe storage, although in some cases it could be 15-20 seconds longer.

Deck battery life vs competition

Looks like Control runs about 20 FPS faster on the Steam Deck vs. the GPD Win 3 and Aya Neo Next…and the latter two devices are using Windows!

Control benchmarks vs competition

In other words, the Steam Deck is a beast. We kinda figured that already, but it’s nice to see the numbers in action. Thanks to FeranthurReturn from the ChimeraOS Discord for the screenshots!