Steam Deck’s SteamOS 3.5 update unlocks VRR/HDR for external displays, undervolting, and Starfield enhancements.

September 17, 2023 by our News Team

  • Supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) output for external displays
  • Introduces a new color profile called "Boosted," which emulates the sRGB color gamut
  • Addresses the 400/200MHz bug, causing the CPU and GPU frequency to be stuck at low values

Steam has just announced a major update for its SteamOS firmware for the Deck handheld console. This highly anticipated update, known as SteamOS 3.5, brings some exciting new features to the table. Based on AMD hardware, the Deck now supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR) output for external displays. However, it’s worth noting that VRR is not supported on the Deck’s main screen.

The update also includes an underlying Arch Linux update, which adds support for the new KDA Plasma 5.27 and updates the Steam Deck">Steam Deck’s Desktop Mode. Changes have been made to the tiling and widgets, providing users with a fresh new interface.

One notable improvement is the color rendering on the Deck’s screen. The update introduces a new color profile called “Boosted,” which emulates the sRGB color gamut. This results in a warmer screen with more vibrant colors. Users who prefer the previous color settings can easily switch back to the “Native” profile.

In addition to these enhancements, Steam has also addressed some important fixes for the 400/200MHz bug. This bug caused the CPU and GPU frequency to be stuck at low values when using a low TDP profile. Thankfully, this issue has now been resolved.

To download the SteamOS 3.5 update, users can go into the system update channel and enable the preview option. It’s important to note that this is not the final release of the OS, so users can revert to the stable OS channel if they encounter any issues.

Overall, this update brings significant improvements to the Deck handheld console, enhancing its display capabilities, performance, and overall user experience. Steam continues to demonstrate its commitment to delivering a top-notch gaming experience on its hardware platform.

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Background Information

About AMD: AMD, a large player in the semiconductor industry is known for its powerful processors and graphic solutions, AMD has consistently pushed the boundaries of performance, efficiency, and user experience. With a customer-centric approach, the company has cultivated a reputation for delivering high-performance solutions that cater to the needs of gamers, professionals, and general users. AMD's Ryzen series of processors have redefined the landscape of desktop and laptop computing, offering impressive multi-core performance and competitive pricing that has challenged the dominance of its competitors. Complementing its processor expertise, AMD's Radeon graphics cards have also earned accolades for their efficiency and exceptional graphical capabilities, making them a favored choice among gamers and content creators. The company's commitment to innovation and technology continues to shape the client computing landscape, providing users with powerful tools to fuel their digital endeavors.

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Technology Explained

CPU: The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of a computer, responsible for executing instructions and performing calculations. It is the most important component of a computer system, as it is responsible for controlling all other components. CPUs are used in a wide range of applications, from desktop computers to mobile devices, gaming consoles, and even supercomputers. CPUs are used to process data, execute instructions, and control the flow of information within a computer system. They are also used to control the input and output of data, as well as to store and retrieve data from memory. CPUs are essential for the functioning of any computer system, and their applications in the computer industry are vast.

GPU: GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and is a specialized type of processor designed to handle graphics-intensive tasks. It is used in the computer industry to render images, videos, and 3D graphics. GPUs are used in gaming consoles, PCs, and mobile devices to provide a smooth and immersive gaming experience. They are also used in the medical field to create 3D models of organs and tissues, and in the automotive industry to create virtual prototypes of cars. GPUs are also used in the field of artificial intelligence to process large amounts of data and create complex models. GPUs are becoming increasingly important in the computer industry as they are able to process large amounts of data quickly and efficiently.

HDR: High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a technology used to create images and videos with a greater range of luminance levels than what is possible with standard digital imaging. It allows for a greater range of colors and details to be captured in an image, resulting in a more realistic and vibrant look.

Refresh Rate: The technology refresh rate is a measure of how often a computer system is updated with new hardware and software. It is an important factor in the computer industry, as it determines how quickly a system can be upgraded and how well it can handle new applications. The refresh rate is usually measured in years, and it is important for businesses to keep their systems up to date in order to remain competitive. A higher refresh rate means that the system can handle more applications and can be upgraded more quickly. This can be beneficial for businesses that need to keep up with the latest technology trends. Additionally, a higher refresh rate can help reduce the cost of maintaining a system, as newer hardware and software can be more efficient and cost-effective.

Steam Deck: Steam Deck is a revolutionary technology that has revolutionized the computer industry. It is a cloud-based platform that allows users to access their applications and games from any device, anywhere in the world. Steam Deck is a great way to access the latest games and applications without having to install them on your computer. It also allows users to access their games and applications from multiple devices, making it easier to stay connected and play with friends. Steam Deck also offers a variety of features such as cloud storage, game streaming, and more. This technology has made it easier for gamers to stay connected and play their favorite games without having to worry about hardware or software compatibility. Steam Deck is a great way to stay connected and enjoy the latest games and applications.

VRR: Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) is a technology primarily used in displays, such as computer monitors and televisions, to improve the viewing experience, especially for gamers. VRR synchronizes the refresh rate of the display with the frame rate of the content being shown. VRR technologies, like AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync (for PC monitors), and HDMI VRR or VRR through software updates (for TVs and gaming consoles), allow the display to adapt its refresh rate dynamically to match the frame rate of the content. For example, if a game is running at 45 frames per second (fps), the display will adjust its refresh rate to 45Hz, eliminating tearing and reducing stuttering.

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