Although Valve’s Steam Deck handheld console is one of the most interesting novelties of this market during the last yearwe must not forget that we are talking about a portable video game console, designed to be used anywhere and that, therefore, maintains the balance between portability, measured in size and weight, and the components with which it is built, and which depends, of course, on their performance to move the games from the Steam catalog.
In other words, the hardware of the Steam Deck is compliant, it is very good for what it is and, as we have been able to see in some tests over the last few months, it is capable of moving some fairly demanding titles with enough dignity, such as the sensational Portal. But of course, I emphasize “what it is for”, and that is that we cannot ask a portable console to offer components and performance comparable to those of a gaming PC, right?
Well, maybe it’s not entirely true, after all, and it’s thathe modders, sometimes, surprise us with assemblies worthy of admirationand that although in practice they are not entirely useful (if not at all) at least they show us that many things are not impossible, even if we thought so, and that with ingenuity, free time and a good budget, it is possible put a Saturn IV rocket motor in a Seat Panda.
And if you think I’m exaggerating, I invite you to watch the video that YouTuber ETA PRIME recently uploaded to his channel. A video in which, as I have already advanced in the title, you can see, step by step, how to connect an AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT graphics card to a Steam Deck. A process that, furthermore, is not particularly complex, and that does not require manipulation that could damage either the graphics card or the Steam Deck.
And how has he achieved it? Well, do you remember that the Steam Deck has a PCI-Express M.2 x4 connector? Well, with that starting point, it is only necessary to have an external eGPU module, which allows us to connect the card to said Steam Deck interface. From there, and with a few adjustments, it is possible to play several titles with 4K resolution and graphic settings in Ultra mode, something that a normal Steam Deck could not even dream of.
Now, at this point it is important to clarify that, although it works and is fun to watch, we are not talking about a really practical option. First, of course, because we sacrifice the portability of the console, but above all because the performance is not, not even remotely, what we would like. And it is that, given this enormous disproportion between the GPU and the CPU, the bottleneck is a constant, as we can imagine, and we can also confirm it by seeing, in the video, that many games do not work correctly, something that we can blame to this performance mismatch.