Steam Deck Gives Lower Frame Rates With Windows 10

Windows 10 can now be installed on Steam Deck to replace its Linux-based SteamOS but which might cause performance loss in some games.

Windows 10 can now be installed on Steam Deck to replace SteamOS, its default Linux-based operating system, but at the potential cost of performance loss.

According to benchmarks conducted by LinusTechTips on the weekend, games like Hitman 3 and Doom Eternal run in lower frames per second on Windows 10 compared to SteamOS. Hitman 3, for example, drops from 34fps on SteamOS to 19fps on Windows 10. Doom Eternal similarly drops from 60fps to 45fps.

Elden Ring, as another example, suffers from performance loss on Windows 10 as well but by a slim difference of 7fps, which should still be doable on Steam Deck. There are likely other games too which remain to be tested but drop frame rates on the handheld when running on Windows 10 instead of SteamOS.

Steam Deck received Windows 10 drivers last week but without a dual-boot option. Windows 10 hence has to be installed cleanly by overriding SteamOS. Valve noted that a dual-boot wizard tool is in the works but needs more time.

Something else to note is that Steam Deck only supports Windows 10 for the time being. The handheld does not support Windows 11 due to its platform module firmware restrictions. Valve is working around that to add support for the newer operating system but until supported drivers arrive, Windows users are stuck with running Windows 10.

Accounting for the dropping frame rates on Windows 10, Steam Deck users might well have to think twice before ditching SteamOS. Those who have already installed Windows 10 on their Steam Decks can always bring back SteamOS by going through a relatively simple recovery process.

Valve designed Steam Deck to function as a portable PC in the form of a console. Users have the freedom to treat the handheld just like a desktop system by not only installing Windows but also Windows-based software and applications. That includes game launchers and game stores such as Epic Games Store.

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 ...