Turns out the Steam Deck's final spec is more impressive than Valve first listed

Valve's Steam Deck specs from the official website, showing LPDDR5 memory at 5,500MT/s 32-bit quad-channel
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve has updated the Steam Deck specifications (opens in new tab) to correctly report the handheld's genuinely impressive memory specification. First noted with dual-channel RAM, the updated specification now correctly lists quad-channel 32-bit LPDDR5 memory with speeds up to 5,500MT/s.

The raw speed that Valve is touting for its handheld console, 5,500MT/s, hasn't actually changed since it was announced, but as Twitter user Locuza rightly points out (opens in new tab), something didn't add up with the initial LPDDR5 spec listed by Valve.

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The Steam Deck was first listed with dual-channel LPDDR5, however, that has now been corrected to quad-channel 32-bit LPDDR5. An important distinction, as this confirms the Steam Deck has a tremendous amount of bandwidth relative to its expected GPU performance.

Memory bandwidth is of particular importance for a device like the Steam Deck, and that comes down to Valve's choice of chip.

The Steam Deck is powered by an AMD APU—a slice of silicon containing both CPU and GPU—and if there's one thing that's incredibly useful for an APU, it's memory bandwidth. That's because both CPU and GPU share access to the same memory pool, thus doubling the demands on the memory component versus a conventional PC setup.

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(Image credit: Steelseries)

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A desktop PC with a discrete graphics card needn't worry in quite the same way. While it's still important to have plenty of memory bandwidth available to your key components, it shares the burden across two dedicated pools of memory—today, that's most commonly DDR4 memory for the CPU and GDDR6 memory for the GPU.

So even more reason to be excited by the Steam Deck? Indeed, Valve's handheld device is shaping up to be an exciting device, and following this correction it appears even more a well-considered one.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.