Steam OS 3.5.5 is finally here, and a surprise extra
I'm thrilled to share my experience with the latest update, Steam OS 3.5, now available in the stable channel. Running the full stable version 3.5.5, I've noticed several significant enhancements.
Firstly, the color vibrancy updates are a game-changer, especially for those who used Vibrant Deck on Decky Loader. Though it requires some tweaking, the improvement in display quality is remarkable. The update also introduces HDR and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) support. However, I'm still figuring out how to get VRR working, so if anyone has insights, please share!
Another notable feature is the new scaling access options for stretch and zoom scaling, which greatly enhance gameplay visuals. They've resolved the touchscreen orientation issue when using external screens, which now remains in landscape mode.
For performance enthusiasts, the update fixes the SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) issue, which previously caused major performance drops unless manually disabled.
External storage devices now auto-mount, a handy feature unless you're already using an auto-mount script. The update includes major improvements in graphics drivers and a rebase with new firmware, ensuring smoother operation and better game compatibility.
The color vibrancy settings, found under display options, offer a significant visual enhancement. The new overlay layout displays frames per second and battery usage more efficiently, which is especially useful for gaming on the go.
HDR support is now included, although I'm still experimenting with VRR, particularly under specific conditions like USB-C to HDMI connections.
Additionally, there are new layouts in soundtracks and an expanded range of startup movies available from the point store, including titles like Elden Ring, Hades, and Persona 5 Royale.
For gamers, it's important to note that changing back branches resets frame buffer settings so you may need to do that again, but the 4G issue still remains with Red Dead Redemption 2 capping at 30FPS around water, so be sure to stick to 1G if you play RDR2 a lot.
Lastly, the Steam Deck OLED model launched recently, with reasonable stock availability and shipping times. The special edition, however, is limited to the US and Canada, offering 1TB models with anti-glare screens.
Overall, Steam OS 3.5 brings a host of improvements and new features to the Steam Deck, enhancing both its functionality and gaming experience. The updates, particularly in display and performance, make a significant difference, and I'm excited to see what the future holds for this versatile gaming device.