Steam Deck will include a FPS limiter to help with battery life
Valve implements a sophisticated FPS limiter for Steam Deck that allows users to refine performance to extend battery life. As The Verge notes, Valve has revealed that Steam Deck will include a built-in frame rate limit option that limits performance for longer battery life in exchange. It seems that these settings allow the user to have more control over performance of the games running on the device, allowing him to prioritize the performance of the game and extend battery life of the hardware.
The 30 fps target refers to the ground that Valve considers playable in its performance tests, and the games that Valve has tested so far have shown that this target is achieved or exceeded. However, the company has added the option of limiting the frame rate to keep thermal battery usage low. Games tested on the Steam Deck meet and exceed 30 fps with the optional limiter, which allows players to choose a frame rate that extends the battery life of mobile devices.
An optional frame rate limiter will allow users to balance power and battery life, writes Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais. Valve has made it clear that it aims for a frame rate of 30 fps for most games that can be played on its upcoming Steam Deck platform. The company has previously stated that Portal 2 is good for six hours of battery life at 30fps if the user plays the same game for four hours at the unlocked frame rate, among other things.
If you want your own games to run at a performance level of more than 30fps, you need to go to the option menu and turn on the FPS limiter that Valve has included with the platform. While 30 fps is the minimum frame rate, Steam Deck has the potential to run games at a much higher frame rate with optimizing the settings as it aims for a resolution of 720p.
In a meeting with The Verge, Valves Pierre-Loup Griffais said that most games that Valve tested are able to oversize the 30 FPS limit most of the time, demonstrating the performance of the console. The company's programmers and designers are confident that the game will run and handle everything they throw at it later this year, provided, of course, that the game supports both Valve's SteamOS and its Linux compatibility software Proton. We haven't seen any games that can't handle that and we're confident about our performance going forward.
You don't have to have a perfect gaming experience to run at a limited frame rate. According to Valve, a game like Portal 2 can expect up to 2 hours of additional battery life at 30fps compared to the frame rate limitation. However, PC games that will be more demanding in terms of battery life should aim for 800p and 30fps.
It is possible to use an optional limiter that allows players to choose between better performance and longer battery life by locking the game to 30 Hz to save power. Reducing the number of FPS will reduce the power consumption of the GPUs and reduce the battery life.
In response, Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter said that Valve has confirmed to him that Steam Deck will not have a variable refresh rate screen (VRR), which defies the idea of V-Sync, which could result in some unpleasant frame-tempo issues when trying to lock games at 30 Hz on the deck screen. This does not mean that Valves is tweeting about Steam Deck, which has a built-in limiter to give players the ability to impose a hard cap on games, but it does give them the option of choosing between better performance or a lower FPS to expand the Steam Deck's battery life. The delimiter can be activated as an overlay, and it will be remembered if the player chooses this setting in the game.
Details of the process, the performance of having part of the game library on an SD card, the fact that Valve found some games that the new Steam Deck couldn't handle and some of the key people behind the Steam Deck project have mentioned some a little about actual performance of the new system. According to one developer, Steam Deck is powerful enough to run some games on Steam, and with AAA titles enabled, Valve can play it with a respectable 30 FPS.