The guys over at ETA Prime decided to attach an external full-size desktop graphics card to Valve’s Steam Deck console. Since the Steam Deck does not have a Thunderbolt port the only way to connect an external GPU is through the M.2 slot. Currently the Steam Deck does not support NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards, but it will work with AMD Radeon card, which is not a surprise since the Steam Deck is based off the AMD Platform.
With everything all connected ETA Prime ran 3DMark Fire Strike, getting a graphics score of 26855. This is compared to the 4856 score of the integrated RDNA2 graphics. We can definitely see that the Steam Deck’s Van Gogh APU (Zen2) and M.2 connection are bottlenecking the RX 6900 XT.
Next up was 3DMark Time Spy where the RX 6900 XT has a graphics score of 15579 compared to the 1576 of the integrated RDNA2 graphics. This makes the RX 6900 XT almost 10x faster!
With the RX 6900 XT the Steam Deck is able to play games in 4K like Witcher 3 (~108 FPS, Ultra) or GTA 5 (~73 FPS, Very High). It can also play newer games like Elden Ring or Cyberpunk 2077 with FPS between 47 – 70 at 1080p and high settings. Check out the full video below!