Steam Deck Can Do 4K Gaming, But With External GPU

It is possible to connect an external graphics card to Steam Deck through its M.2 slot to enable 4K gaming at 60 frames per second.

Steam Deck was never supposed to achieve 4K output with its current display. While the handheld could have been designed to support 4K gaming, developer Valve intentionally scrapped support for the high resolution to ensure a sweet spot between the screen size and readability.

That being said, the limitation was still not enough to deter one user to make their Steam Deck capable of 4K gaming through the use of an external graphics card.

In a new YouTube video published earlier today, ETA Prime demonstrated how it is possible to connect an external graphics card to Steam Deck through its M.2 slot. Interestingly enough, the handheld does not support any Nvidia graphics card in such a configuration but can run a Radeon RTX 6900 XT graphics card.

Despite the Steam Deck processor creating a bottleneck due to the powerful Radeon RTX graphics card, the external graphical boost still helped produce impressive 4K results on the handheld.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Grand Theft Auto 5 were both able to run on Steam Deck in 4K with over 60 frames per second. Cyberpunk 2077 and Elden Ring also ran decent but at only 1080p resolution.

Last year, product designers Greg Coomer and Lawrence Yang stated that Valve is “already looking ahead to the future” because Steam Deck “is a product line which will have a long life”. The next iteration of the handheld will apparently see Valve experiment with 4K gaming.

Steam Deck 2, or whatever it gets called, will potentially hit markets sooner than expected. Valve believes that a new model will become applicable in only a couple of years and when that happens, there is a good chance of the hardware hitting 4K targets.

The first wave of units rolled out a couple of months back. More recently, Microsoft and Valve collaborated to release a beta version of Microsoft Edge on Steam Deck that features full support for Xbox Cloud Gaming and by extension, full support for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as well.

Saqib is a managing editor at who has halted regime changes, curbed demonic invasions, and averted at least one cosmic omnicide from the confines of his gaming chair. When not whipping his writers into ...