Valve’s Steam Deck handheld device comes in three hard-drive sizes, but this one modder makes it so they can swap out the SSD for a different one.
Released in February, the Steam Deck has been the talk of the mobile gaming world, and the consensus is that it’s a really interesting device, capable of playing Steam games on the go and ushering in a new era for portable consoles. A month after launching, Valve asked for feedback on the Deck, and frequent updates are keeping the system in tip-top shape. As well as being versatile, it also turns out that the device is customizable in ways the developer perhaps didn’t intend.
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According to a recent report from Hot Hardware, a user on Twitter known as TheSmcelrea has managed to modify their Steam Deck physically. A number of photos show the opened piece of hardware, exposing the circuit board. Essentially, what they’ve done is upgrade the M.2 solid-state drive. The one that comes with the system is a 2230 SSD, whereas the user has inserted a 2242 SSD instead, which has faster read and write speeds. Despite the new physical size, the modder was able to put it all back together with little problems, and without any strain on the cables.
Out of the box, the Steam Deck uses NVMe or eMMC storage capacity, depending on the model purchased. The cheaper model features 64 GB of eMMC, while the middle and more expensive ones have 256 GB and 512 GB of NVMe, respectively. The report goes on to say that the 2242 version installed by TheSmcelrea is more common than the 2230 that comes shipped with the device. In this case, it could mean that, if others attempt to make such modifications, greater hard-drive storage could be installed at a cheaper cost than the more expensive Deck models.
It’s not uncommon for people to tinker around with new hardware once it gets released. For example, one user managed to attach an AMD graphics card to the Steam Deck, just to see what would happen. Given that the device was running a desktop GPU, it did show an increase in game performance. However, it was certainly unwieldy, essentially making it less of a mobile device, but it was all just a fun experiment anyway.
The Deck’s developer has maintained that its mobile device is a versatile machine. With Valve now offering Windows support for the device, the Steam Deck is showing itself to be something more than just a gaming console. Of course, that’s the bulk of its appeal, but since the beginning, it’s always been touted as essentially a mobile PC, which sets it apart from the likes of the Switch.