Valve just updated its Steam Deck spec sheet and the upcoming gaming handheld is even more impressive than we initially thought.
Spotted by Twitter user locuza, the original listing showed that the Steam Deck has dual-channel LPDDR5 RAM with a transfer rate of 5,500MT/s, which was too slow the memory transfer rate of the Steam Deck. The updated specs show it with quad-channel memory, not dual-channel, allowing for even greater memory bandwidth.
A discussion and curiosity is now resolved. Van Gogh, which is used by Valve’s Steam Deck, has 4 UMCs. I was expecting 4x 16-Bit (a memory channel under LPDDR5 is actually 16-Bit wide). The official spec claimed 5.5 Gbps (dual-channel), which didn’t make sense to me. It was corrected pic.twitter.com/orgzMKJldEJuly 19, 2021
The updated spec sheet may seem like a minor change, but in the case of the Steam Deck, it’s a pretty significant one. Quad-channel memory will allow for faster performance, which will be a major selling point for a handheld console like the Steam Deck, which is expected to play some pretty demanding PC games.
How Better Memory Bandwidth Makes Us More Excited For The Steam Deck
The difference between quad-channel memory and dual-channel memory may not seem like a big deal, but since PC Gamer breaks it down, the distinction will be very important to the AMD APU at the heart of the Steam Deck.
The AMD Zen 2 APU in the Steam Deck combines the CPU and the GPU into one chip that shares a single memory pool, so with dual-channel memory you would essentially have two different processors fighting over those two channels.
This would essentially reduce the memory to a single channel for all CPU and GPU tasks, so even with the incredibly fast transfer speeds you would lose the benefit of an extra channel. Having quad-channel memory solves this problem, so you will experience much better performance while gaming than you would otherwise.