One of Valve’s most recent SteamOS updates, touched on by The Phawx, shows AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) saving a decent amount of battery in games like Control.
AMD FSR is an upscaling technology that renders games in a lower resolution before upscaling them to save on performance. While the main draw of FSR is to produce more frames, its application on the Steam Deck is much more interesting when looking at the wattage and its effect on battery life given the limitations of the 60Hz screen. While AMD FSR is typically baked into games by their respective developers, Valve’s latest SteamOS update appears to have added in GameScope, which allows FSR to be used in games that don’t natively support the upscaling tech.
During their tests, The Phawx noted various resolution and battery life changes. In Ghostrunner, FSR enabled drops the overall system power down to 19 watts from 25.6, nearly a 25% reduction. This drop in wattage results in nearly half an hour of additional battery life.
Likewise, enabling FSR in Control via GameScope can yield its own benefits. Setting FSR to a strength of five, which The Phawx notes as the default setting when FSR is enabled, drops the wattage from about 24.1W to 16.9W for a gain of nearly half an hour of battery life. The Phawx notes that setting the game’s resolution to 540p instead of 720p can net an extra hour of battery life without the need for FSR since the graphical downgrade is minimal.
With the Steam Deck release approaching fast, more reviewers and users will be able to share their own findings. While lower settings are typically a guaranteed way to save on performance and battery life, it looks like users will be able to get a bit more creative with the Steam Deck.