Steam Deck gets undervolting support
The handheld device, driven by the AMD Van Gogh APU, has now gained undervolting support along with enhanced safety measures.
The latest Steam Deck operating system preview now includes support for undervolting, a feature that earned attention from gamers a few months ago until Steam made it more challenging to use. Valve never intended to completely block this feature, but issues arose when users employed unsupported settings, potentially resulting in bricked devices.
The recently launched SteamOS 3.5.1 Preview incorporates a protective measure for users opting to undervolt, assuring that if they reduce the voltage to levels that could render the device inoperable, there is a simple way to revert to a functional state. This solution is uncomplicated: the new firmware version 118 will automatically reset the voltage settings for the AMD SoC when a user performs a CMOS reset. In previous iterations, these settings remained unaltered.
To initiate a CMOS reset, users need to simultaneously press and hold the ‘volume down’ button, the ‘three-dot button’, and the ‘power button’. To access the BIOS, hold down the volume down button during system boot.
As with all modern processors, undervolting AMD APUs can yield visible performance enhancements. The processor becomes more energy-efficient, generates less heat, and often performs equally if not better. Users report a maximum undervolting option of -50 mV.
Additionally, it has been noted that the firmware upgrade from version 116 to 118 removes access to AMD PBS (Precision Boost) and CBS (Custom Bios settings). Nevertheless, undervolting may still deliver improved outcomes, and with the firmware update, undervolting could potentially yield even better results.
SteamOS 3.5.1 Preview
- Fixed a case where an SD card with filesystem errors would be mounted as read-only.
- Fixed the custom performance overlay presets file inheriting the default settings from the steam presets.
- Fixed internal display rotation being erroneously reported to the game.
- Actually added undervolting controls.
- Fixed a 3.5 regression with HDMI output.
- Fixed a long-standing issue where the internal display backlight would always stay on.
- Fixed bug with HDR applications showing in wrong colorspace if they moved their window during swapchain creation.
- Fixed HDR not working in 32-bit applications.
- Added HDR Analysis to developer settings.
- Disabled HDR exposure in “My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure” as it enables it without rendering in HDR.
- Fixed a case where the desktop could be empty and apps would fail to launch.
- Fixed a bug where switching to the Plasma Desktop transition could result in broken colors.