Steam Deck launched games with an external graphics card Radeon RX 6900 XT
The owner of the Steam Deck was able to successfully connect an "external" video card to this portable console so that it could output games at 4K (60 frames per second) or more.
ETA Prime's Youtube channel posted a 10-minute video showing the steps they took to make it work. It is also reported that this is not really a practical solution and was only done to see if it was possible in principle.
Using a handheld device and removing its SD drive from the M.2 expansion slots, they managed to replace the Radeon RX6900 XT GPU with it. To do this I also had to connect the GPU to the adapter to match its size, seal it with glue and connect it to an external power supply.
As ETA Prime explains, "It's definitely overkill, and with the GPU connected to the Steam Deck, it's no longer a portable system.
After removing the SSD card, ETA Prime had to boot the console using a copy of Windows 11 stored on the Micro SD card, while his games were stored on an external SSD with a USB-C connection.
By connecting the Steam Deck to the monitor and booting it up, it was able to run The Witcher III at 4K resolution with Ultra settings and at about 108 frames per second. Also managed to run Grand Theft Auto V at about 70 frames per second in 4K Very High.
However, it is also noted that the results are ultimately limited by the Steam Deck's internal processor, and that newer games will be somewhat limited no matter how powerful the connected GPU is.
To demonstrate this, it was shown how Elden Ring runs at maximum settings at 1080p resolution and only achieves about 46 frames per second, while the frame rate in Cyberpunk 2077 varies greatly from 40 to 80 frames per second.
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