Updated Steam Deck specs have even better RAM than we thought

Steam Deck
(Image credit: Valve)

Valve has corrected the Steam Deck specs to point out that the system's memory is considerably better than first reported. 

As Twitter user Locuza spotted (and our friends at PC Gamer reported), the initial specs claimed 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM boasting 5.5GB per second in a dual-channel setup. The memory specs have now been updated to show quad 32-bit channels, giving the system a much healthier 128-bit memory bus with ample bandwidth. 

Like the PS5 and Xbox Series X, the Steam Deck uses a custom AMD API which basically smashes the CPU and GPU together, meaning they have to share memory. Gaming PCs with dedicated graphics cards will separate system memory (RAM) and graphics memory (VRAM), but the Steam Deck's processors use a combined pool of LPDDR5 RAM. This makes memory bandwidth, not just speeds, especially important since the system is sort of burning the candle from both ends. Even if you have really fast memory, if you don't have enough room for both processors, you can see bottlenecks. But with 128 bits to go around, the Steam Deck ought to be in good shape.

Locuza offered a more pointed comparison in a follow-up tweet. According to their calculations, this memory setup will afford the Steam Deck GPU more GB/s per teraflop (an increasingly common metric for raw computational power) than what the PS5 and Xbox Series X can deliver. It's not necessarily a tremendous margin, and the new-gen consoles are unquestionably more powerful overall – you can see how the Steam Deck compares to Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X in our breakdown – but simply put, the Steam Deck's memory is punching above its weight. 

This is all very good news for the folks who've fought through the Steam Deck pre-orders process and are expecting their own handheld to arrive in December (or sometime after, depending on what shipment wave you fall into). When system specs are corrected after a reveal, it's usually for an unimportant clarification or a downgrade, but this is a pretty substantial upgrade overall. 

Speaking of upgrades: Valve says you shouldn't replace the Steam Deck's SSD.

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.