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Newer Steam Decks may be shipping with slower SSDs

It would appear that Valve has quietly changed some specs on its Steam Decks amidst new shipments.

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The Steam Deck is an interesting little machine. On one hand, it’s a very interesting new frontier for gaming, allowing for the play of Steam and further PC games on a mobile, yet powerful platform. However, it’s not without its quirks and Valve may have quietly introduced a new one. It would appear that updated specs for the Steam Deck include details of a lesser quality Solid State Drive (SSD), which may be included in new shipments of Steam Decks.

The new specs on the Steam Deck were spotted on its Steam product pages, as recently reported by PC Gamer. It would appear that both the 256GB and 512GB Steam Decks have been changed and now feature the following possible hardware:

256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)

512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)

According to reports, this change may have been made after May 28, according to the likes of Wayback Machine.

The Steam Deck has been quite an interesting new product from Valve, but new Decks may be featuring slightly lesser quality hardware in comparison to first shipments.
The Steam Deck has been quite an interesting new product from Valve, but new Decks may be featuring slightly lesser quality hardware in comparison to first shipments.

The concern about this change in specs is a two-lane build of the PCIe (like that found in the PCIe Gen 3 x2) will mean half the potential bandwidth in comparison to the four lane build in the original advertised PCIe Gen 3 x4. While this might do little to affect onscreen gaming and quality, it will likely mean slightly longer load times. Even so, Valve remains convinced it will not affect gaming performances except in “extremely uncommon cases.”

“Many Steam Deck components come from multiple suppliers for improved redundancy and production capacity,” Steam Deck designer Lawrence Yang told PC Gamer. “One of our SSD suppliers provides PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe SSDs, while another provides a x2 (2 lane) SSD. Our team has tested both components extensively, and determined that there is no impact to performance between the two models.”

We previously reviewed the Steam Deck and had mixed feelings about it. While its potential is intensely fun and exciting, the handling and various workarounds left something to be desired. It will be interesting to see if Valve’s change in tech will further affect this last part. Stay tuned for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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