Is Steam Deck better than PC?

Quick response: Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Both steam deck and a gaming PC have features and capabilities that are better than the others.

With Valve’s Steam Deck launching earlier this year, gamers finally have the ability to play PC games on a handheld device.

The steam deck is one of the most unique hardware releases in gaming in recent years.

It offers an affordable handheld option that lets gamers take part in some sweet PC gaming action at a relatively affordable price.

Of course, there are many differences between the Steam Deck and your average desktop gaming PC. But the two devices can perform relatively similarly at the end of the day. So which option is better?

Is the steam deck better than a gaming PC?

Short answer: Possibly if you are looking for very specific things.

Sure, that technically answers your question. But it doesn’t tell you much about either of those options, does it?

That’s because there’s no real, simple answer to this question. Both steam deck and a gaming PC have features and capabilities that are better than the others.

Steam Deck plays Elden Ring on screen
Image: KnowTechie

For example, a dedicated gaming PC will most likely be able to play more games without a ton of extra work.

That’s simply the difference between a Windows OS and the dedicated Linux-based OS in the steam deck.

So the real question is, in which areas is that steam deck better than a gaming PC? And for that we need to look at each option individually. We’ll start with that steam deck.

How is a steam deck better than a gaming PC?

steam deck consoles
Image: valve

Let’s take a look at those steam deck and what it does better than your average gaming PC.

What is a steam deck?

If you don’t know, a steam deck is a handheld gaming PC specially designed for gamers to enjoy the Steam game library.

It’s relatively similar to other handhelds we’ve seen in the past. It’s similar to the Nintendo Switch, although it’s a fair bit larger.

Steam Deck Price

It starts at $399 for a 64GB version and goes up to $649 for the 512GB model. So what can that steam deck better than a gaming PC?

The steam deck is more portable

Steam deck is played
Image: valve

The primary winning feature of the steam deck is that it is a handheld device. And compared to a desktop computer you can see how that steam deck wins the award for portability between the two.

Sure, there are gaming laptops that are portable too. But none is as wearable as this one steam deck.

The steam deck is about 12 inches long and only 4 1/2 inches wide. That’s a lot smaller than any gaming laptop you can find.

And when you’re talking about a desktop, there’s really no question. A desktop requires a constant power source. And even the smallest gaming PC you can find won’t be able to compete with this steam deckthe portability.

The steam deck is cheaper

Although the steam deck is a new device, it is still significantly cheaper than a gaming PC.

The most expensive steam deck which you can buy costs $649. And you can get one for just $399, even though it has a lot less storage.

The steam deck is also fully playable with a simple purchase. Compare that to a gaming PC and you’ll likely need to spend at least $1,000 for a basic gaming setup.

With a gaming PC, you don’t just have to buy the computer itself. But you also need to buy peripherals like monitors, mice, and keyboards.

$1,000 for a gaming PC is the bare minimum these days.

And if you want a machine powerful enough to keep up with the latest games and graphics, you’ll likely find yourself a lot closer to $2,000 plus.

An operating system for the Steam platform

Full List of Valve Steam Deck Games
Image: KnowTechie

If you’re familiar with PC gaming, you’re probably familiar with Steam. The platform has thousands of games and has been the home of PC gaming for decades.

And the steam deck was built from the ground up for the Steam platform. Valve is the parent company of Steam and steam deck.

The company wanted to build a handheld hardware dedicated to the Steam library.

So if you play Steam games on the steam deckknow that the device is running the best possible version of Steam.

Their game library is always nice and organized, and the user experience is unlikely to be beaten on any device.

So that pretty much sums up how a steam deckarguably one of the best PC handhelds, is better than a gaming PC.

How is a gaming PC better than steam deck?

Cyberpower Gaming PC
Image: KnowTechie

If you thought there were no benefits to the steam deck via the gaming PC, now see how the handheld device can keep up.

But now we’re going to consider how a gaming PC can be better steam deck. Keep in mind that “gaming PC” is a pretty broad term.

All steam deck Versions basically work the same, but there’s a wide variety of gaming PCs out there. Nevertheless, a gaming PC definitely has the potential to outperform the PC handheld in some areas.

Gaming PCs can be much more powerful

Gaming pc on the table
Image: Unsplash

Probably the biggest difference between a gaming PC and the steam deck is that a gaming PC has the potential to be a lot more powerful than that steam deck.

Simply put, a gaming PC can be built with much more powerful hardware than what you’ll find in the steam deck.

For what it is, the steam deck is a pretty powerful machine.

It features an AMD APU similar to the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. And its AMD RDNA 2 graphics card is equivalent to an Nvidia GTX 1050.

But the GTX 1050 is a five year old graphics card. On top of that, it was a beginner card.

As you can imagine, PC hardware has come a long way in the last five years. And today’s hardware can be exponentially better.

We’re talking 4K resolution, much better frame rates, better graphics performance, whatever.

If you could get a top-of-the-line gaming PC today and put it next to one steam deck, it would destroy the handheld in terms of performance. But it will also cost a lot more money.

You can play more games on one PC

PC gaming
Image: Youtube

A dedicated gaming PC can play a lot more games than that steam deck. While this is partly because a gaming PC is much more powerful, steam deckThe operating system of is the main reason.

Because that steam deck Built with a unique Linux-based operating system, it cannot play games optimized for Windows only.

Even hundreds of games on Steam won’t work on the Steam Deck because they don’t work with a Linux operating system.

However, there is a workaround for this. You can install Windows on your Steam Deck since it’s technically a full PC.

But the user interface of the steam deck is not optimized for Windows, so you might encounter some problems.

And even if you have Windows installed on it steam deckStill experiencing performance issues in some games.

Many of today’s AAA games are simply too demanding to run on the steam deck.

gaming pc steam deck: Which one is right for you?

Valve Steam Deck Games
Image: valve

As you can see, both have advantages steam deck and a dedicated gaming PC. Depending on what you’re looking for, you’ll need to decide which one is right for you.

Gaming PCs can be much more powerful than one steam deck

Today’s PC hardware far outperforms the handheld. And you can get a lot more out of demanding titles.

In addition, you can access a lot more games on a PC than on the steam deck. For serious gamers, this is probably one of the biggest differences.

Is the steam deck It is worth it?

The steam decks claim to fame is its portability. It’s the first-ever handheld gaming PC that you can take with you on the go to enjoy your Steam library.

It’s also a lot cheaper than your average gaming PC, so you don’t have to spend as much money.

Both options have their advantages and meet different needs. If you’re looking for the absolute best in gaming then you should go for a PC.

But if you’re looking for a cheaper option that you can take with you and play with just your hands, check out the Steam Deck.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below, or transfer the discussion to ours Twitter or Facebook.

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