OK, look, you are not really going to do that. Nevertheless it’s enjoyable a enjoyable thought, that is apparently actual and one thing you possibly can join on Indiegogo, so who is aware of what could be extra virtually potential sooner or later. It is an exterior graphics dock from GPD that plugs into the Steam Deck. And different game handhelds, together with the Asus RoG Ally and GPD’s personal Win 4.

We have seen this sort of factor earlier than with M.2 adapters jury rigged to the Deck and a desktop GPU. However the GPD G1 is a little more polished than that, albeit it is not expressly designed or optimised for the Steam Deck.

The issue with the Deck, after all, is that it would not have an exterior USB 4 / Thunderbolt interface, which is essentially the most environment friendly method of connecting an exterior GPU. As an alternative, it’s a must to undergo the hand held’s inner M.2 interface. 

M.2, after all, is primarily designed for storage. Nevertheless it does use an unmodified PCIe protocol and sometimes in a storage context provides 4 lanes of connectivity. That is sufficient bandwidth for a mid-range GPU for positive and is even tolerable for larger finish graphics with an occasional efficiency hit.

Anyway, for the Deck, utilizing the GPD G1 means cracking open the case, eradicating the M.2 SSD if current and inserting GPD’s M.2 adapter, often called Oculink, to which you then join the G1 exterior GPU. 

The cable stands proud and right angles to the Deck’s chassis and also you basically must run with the again cowl disconnected. The output is to an exterior show solely. You’ll be able to’t run the exterior GPU on the Deck’s built-in show. Oh, and never solely do it’s a must to run the OS on the microSD card since you’ve got pulled the M.2 SSD, you additionally must run Home windows, as the entire shebang will not be suitable with SteamOS.

At the moment, you are taking a look at $697 for the GPD G1 GPU dock itself, plus the M.2 Oculink adapter and a cable that connects that adapter to the dock. The Dock by itself is $655.

Oh, and sure, the dock does include a GPU, AMD’s Radeon RX 7600M XT. That is principally the identical because the RX 7600 desktop GPU with an an identical 2,048 shader rely.

In different phrases, entry stage stuff by present desktop GPU requirements. Anyway, as we write these phrases, you are taking a look at an estimate transport date of September for the Dock, cable and adapter bundle.

Steam in your palms

Steam Deck with an image from Elden Ring overlayed on the screen

(Picture credit score: Future, FromSoftware)

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Steam Deck – The emulation dream machine: Utilizing Valve’s handheld {hardware} as the final word emulator.

The Dock has additional options, together with a trio of USB-A ports, an SD card reader, a pair of DisplayPort output, plus HDMI 2.1. It isn’t solely clear whether or not the Dock is upgradeable with alternative GPUs, however we don’t assume so.

In the long run, that is one thing of a distinct segment product with pretty restricted enchantment. it makes extra sense operating with GPD’s personal Win 4 handheld gaming PC as a result of that unit has the Oculink adapter in-built and so all it’s a must to do is join the cable. The Dock additionally helps USB 4 / Thunderbolt, so any handheld with a kind of may also connect with the Dock with a easy cable attachment.

Both method, you are still left with not what quantities to low-end discrete graphics that can doubtless be matched or crushed by AMD’s next-gen APUs after they arrive. Nonetheless, in case you dream of shopping for a Deck or comparable handheld and utilizing it as your do-everything PC, then an exterior GPU like this makes that extra viable and we are able to think about that in the future this sort of answer would possibly really be the best way to go.

For now, it is costly, enjoyable, however maybe not as refined an thought because it may very well be. Nonetheless, we like the concept.