Steam Deck update brings BIOS overclocking and improved graphics driver to SteamOS

Steam Deck gaming handheld
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

On May 9, Valve's Steam OS received a preview update for Steam Deck LCD and OLED models that added overclocking support into the BIOS of the launch LCD model, among other boons. This Steam OS 3.6.0 preview update, dubbed "Remote-Controlled", is already available for download on existing Steam Decks by simply opting into the Preview channel in your Update settings.
We've included a quick summary of the key patch notes.

Steam OS 3.6.0 Preview Patch Note Highlights

  • The BIOS for Steam Deck LCD now has overclocking controls.
  • Other BIOS fixes and adjustments, including being able to set SD card as boot device.
  • Compatibility improved for various Bluetooth audio devices, as well as Apple AirPods.
  • Arch Linux base and Linux kernel have both been updated, and future system updates should be quicker.
  • Finer control of wake-from-Bluetooth.  Support for Bluetooth A2DP and BAP have also been added, as well as a Flatpal-related issue causing temp files to accumulate.
  • Display updated to improve uniformity/Mura Compensation, display color balance at low brightness, and gamma uniformity.
  • Graphics driver updated to Mesa 24.1, which should come with lots of performance and accuracy improvements.
  • Desktop mode now uses KDE Plasma 5.27.10 as a desktop environment, with thumbnail previews for videos in file browser and improved support for microSD cards.
  • Patches to Deck Dock support and firmware will improve VRR display support and add HDMI CEC features.
  • A ton of miscellaneous fixes.

Most of the patch notes fall roughly into the categories of "compatibility fix" or "polish". Of course, core updates to underlying Linux components including the graphics driver should manifest performance improvements in games, and those looking for the most cutting-edge performance possible on Steam Deck— especially modified Deck LCDs— can relish in the new existence of OC settings in the BIOS. 

For the most part, though, the most impactful patch notes will be the minor fixes, like "Improved reliability of microSD card usage scenarios", or "Worked around misdetection of some SanDisk microSD cards". The update itself is titled for new settings added to pick which Bluetooth devices can wake the system from a suspended state, which includes only controllers by default.

Freelance News Writer
  • ezst036
    I'm not sure where you could get hold of an original Steam Deck at that has never received one single update, but I think it might be a worthy review to compare "Steam Deck 1.0" to Steam Deck today with all these updates and see how different it is.

    Most importantly, how differently (probably better) it performs. (I think probably excluding overclocking, or OC separate)
    Reply
  • TheyCallMeContra
    ezst036 said:
    I'm not sure where you could get hold of an original Steam Deck at that has never received one single update, but I think it might be a worthy review to compare "Steam Deck 1.0" to Steam Deck today with all these updates and see how different it is.

    Most importantly, how differently (probably better) it performs. (I think probably excluding overclocking, or OC separate)

    I think you're being extremely silly if you think launch Steam Deck and its version of SteamOS, GPU drivers, etc are somehow going to have better gaming performance or compatibility than a presently-updated unit. The device basically released in Early Access, and I say this as an early adopter.
    Reply
  • ezst036
    TheyCallMeContra said:
    I think you're being extremely silly if you think launch Steam Deck and its version of SteamOS, GPU drivers, etc are somehow going to have better gaming performance or compatibility than a presently-updated unit. The device basically released in Early Access, and I say this as an early adopter.

    I meant that the new one would be faster.

    Did this really need clarification? Really?
    Reply
  • TheyCallMeContra
    ezst036 said:
    I meant that the new one would be faster.

    Did this really need clarification? Really?

    To be frank, it did because text is a limited medium and people are confusing.

    But yeah, I see what you mean now. Newer updates are a straight upgrade in every way, I assure you. I'm actually going to be testing OC performance vs pre-OC perf on my own Deck soon to see if it can't now force 40/60 FPS in games where it used to not be possible.
    Reply
  • Lucky_SLS
    We need the next version of steam deck with Zen 5C cores for longer battery life and less heat output!
    Reply