Modder updates Steam Deck to play Witcher 3 at max settings

A Steam deck outputs Witcher 3 in 4K thanks to a $1,000 graphics card upgrade.

want to get The witcher 3 and Grand Theft Auto V runs at 60 fps in 4K on the steam deck? You can, as long as you’re willing to shell out big bucks for Frankenstein Valve’s latest PC gaming device.

Tech modder and emulation enthusiast ETA PRIME recently did just that to create Steam’s most powerful deck yet, and published the results on his YouTube channel (about VGC). Unsatisfied with the device’s existing specs, he decided to see how far he could upgrade it. After failing to get an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 or 3090 to work, ETA opted for a Radeon RX 6900XT instead.

The results were still impressive, but they came at a hefty price tag, requiring him to add a plug-in power supply to power the new power-hungry GPU, which itself is larger than the entire Steam Deck.

To get this “overkill” upgrade to work, ETA used an M.2 dock to connect the graphics card externally and plugged the whole thing into a 750-watt desktop PC power supply (complete with some tape, to hold everything together). The setup then fed into a 4K display and managed to output games like The witcher 3 and GTA V with over 60 fps on ultra settings.

However, due to the CPU bottleneck, newer games ran a little rougher. elden ring ran in 4K and still around 45 fps on high settings Cyberpunk 2077 was, in ETA’s words, “everywhere”. The last game he tested was God of Warwhich fluctuated constantly by just over 40 fps.

All in all, the experiment is anything but cheap. The Radeon RX 6900XT starts at $1000 direct in stores. Add in the cheapest model Steam Deck ($400), AC adapter ($100) and M.2 slot ($85) and you’re already talking close to $1,600. That’s enough to get you a more powerful pre-built gaming PC, but what fun would that be?

“It’s not something I would recommend,” ETA said at the end of the video. “The Steam Deck is designed to be portable. This was just a test to see if it would work and yes it definitely works.” Modder updates Steam Deck to play Witcher 3 at max settings

Curtis Crabtree

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