News Steam Deck Designer Warns Against SSD Mod

Alvar "Miles" Udell

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Translation: We designed the Steam Deck to be as inexpensive as possible, using components which just meet the design spec to increase profitability and eliminate the possibility that end users can improve the device, thereby enabling us to then release a "Pro" variant with the upgrades end users desire and charge a premium.
 

pclaughton

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Translation: We designed the Steam Deck to be as inexpensive as possible, using components which just meet the design spec to increase profitability and eliminate the possibility that end users can improve the device, thereby enabling us to then release a "Pro" variant with the upgrades end users desire and charge a premium.
Forgive me if I'm assuming incorrectly, but you think this is a bad thing? Designing with components to allow expansion would make it more expensive. Most users will never mod the device and won't even think about its internals beyond changing the SD card, so you'd be asking them to pay a higher price point for functionality they won't use.
 
Translation: We designed the Steam Deck to be as inexpensive as possible, using components which just meet the design spec to increase profitability and eliminate the possibility that end users can improve the device, thereby enabling us to then release a "Pro" variant with the upgrades end users desire and charge a premium.
Do you even know what the steam deck is?!
They made a product that is normally $1500 for $400
They released a video on how to take it apart and change components even before it was released.
They released a list of replacement parts available to basically anybody.
https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Game-Console/Steam-Deck

Yes they had to make it small, duh, and that means that the list of drives you can use is extremely narrow because everything is extremely close to each other and can be influenced by nearby stuff.
 

_dawn_chorus_

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Translation: We designed the Steam Deck to be as inexpensive as possible, using components which just meet the design spec to increase profitability and eliminate the possibility that end users can improve the device, thereby enabling us to then release a "Pro" variant with the upgrades end users desire and charge a premium.
That is probably the most bad faith way you could spin this. Valve has been very accommodating with the Deck's user reparability and upgradeability. The only reason you might want to do this mod is because the RESELLERS that sell 512Gb and up 2230 drives are charging outrageous prices for them since the Deck increased their demand and 2242 drives are about $50-$70 cheaper.
 

Alvar "Miles" Udell

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You see it your way, I'll see it mine. When I read words to the effect of a certain component gets too hot because of its design and the M.2 connector wasn't designed to deliver adequate power for larger drives, that says to me it was designed and built to a price, especially when you consider they charge $120 to upgrade from 256gb to 512gb of storage. Why should they design it to be upgraded for half that (SK Hynix Gold P31 500GB $62 or Intel 670P 512GB $50) when they can design it in such as way that it costs twice that to upgrade, officially or otherwise?

Every manufacturer does this, be it a mass market item like Nintendo or a flagship class cellphone like the Galaxy S22 series, both of which faced lawsuits and investigations, Steam is no different.
 
Translation: We designed the Steam Deck to be as inexpensive as possible, using components which just meet the design spec to increase profitability and eliminate the possibility that end users can improve the device, thereby enabling us to then release a "Pro" variant with the upgrades end users desire and charge a premium.
This is basically every successful companies motto since the beginning of time.
 
You see it your way, I'll see it mine. When I read words to the effect of a certain component gets too hot because of its design and the M.2 connector wasn't designed to deliver adequate power for larger drives, that says to me it was designed and built to a price, especially when you consider they charge $120 to upgrade from 256gb to 512gb of storage. Why should they design it to be upgraded for half that (SK Hynix Gold P31 500GB $62 or Intel 670P 512GB $50) when they can design it in such as way that it costs twice that to upgrade, officially or otherwise?

Every manufacturer does this, be it a mass market item like Nintendo or a flagship class cellphone like the Galaxy S22 series, both of which faced lawsuits and investigations, Steam is no different.
As a Steam Deck owner, I can tell you first hand you have no clue what you're talking about, sorry.

The thermal and power envelope of the whole device is really tight, so the advice they give out is absolutely important. Could have they made it so it accommodates bigger drives? Yes, but then the device itself would have been way more expensive: you need different cooling, a bigger battery and a thicker dissipation area for everything, not even taking into account a potential re-design of the PCB and case.

Everyone in tech knows that smaller = costlier. There's a reason why laptops are more expensive than whatever equivalent desktop you can buy and so on. Then Valve managed to pack the equivalent of a compact laptop into a hand held device under $600. Check the market for the other handheld devices and compare. See if any of them offers a 2280 NVMe and costs under $1K, if it exists.

Do I think the Steam Deck can be thicker and accommodate a 2280? Maybe. I personally want a bigger battery and if that means making the Steam Deck thicker, heavier and still sacrifice the 2280 NVMe, I'd give Valve my blessing, because storage is NOT the weak point of the Steam Deck, not by a long shot.

Regards.
 

DavidC1

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Translation: We designed the Steam Deck to be as inexpensive as possible,
I think you need a better translator.

@thisisaname Not always but it can because the larger size allows putting more chips in which can be used for higher bandwidth and thus more power.

I'm pretty sure there's also a way of modifying it without running into thermal troubles but in general people don't know enough to do so. So people with middle ground in terms of knowledge and want to take a risk is likely in most trouble by doing such mods because their skill is not up to their confidence level.
 
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This is why we can't have nice things.
Many loud mouthed idiots can't tell a good product from bad ones and will complain regardless.
 
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You see it your way, I'll see it mine. When I read words to the effect of a certain component gets too hot because of its design and the M.2 connector wasn't designed to deliver adequate power for larger drives, that says to me it was designed and built to a price, especially when you consider they charge $120 to upgrade from 256gb to 512gb of storage. Why should they design it to be upgraded for half that (SK Hynix Gold P31 500GB $62 or Intel 670P 512GB $50) when they can design it in such as way that it costs twice that to upgrade, officially or otherwise?

Every manufacturer does this, be it a mass market item like Nintendo or a flagship class cellphone like the Galaxy S22 series, both of which faced lawsuits and investigations, Steam is no different.
If they hadn't designed it for modularity, they'd have storage soldered in - it's even cheaper, easier to cool and even easier to glue thermal pads on. This is a design compromise to allow some modularity while still reaching targets of compactness, cooling and power usage.
When you have designed a handheld with as much modularity, repairability, comfort of use, processing power a such a low price, you'll be allowed to criticize. Until then, please shut up keep an open mind.
 

WrongRookie

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Even though SD cards are technically slower, we found in testing that the SD card solution is perfectly adequate, and frame rates are identical to running games on the internal M.2 drive
I think you're missing the point. There's no SD card that has 2tb..and even if there is, it'll be very expensive. Atleast with SSD, you can get a sata m.2 and get 2tb at a lower price...
 
I think you're missing the point. There's no SD card that has 2tb..and even if there is, it'll be very expensive. Atleast with SSD, you can get a sata m.2 and get 2tb at a lower price...
Nobody needs their whole steam archive on the deck, and if they do let them pay for it.
It's a portable system, decide on the games that you are actually going to play and live with it, at least that's what I would do instead of risking damaging my deck.
 
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WrongRookie

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Nobody needs their whole steam archive on the deck, and if they do let them pay for it.
It's a portable system, decide on the games that you are actually going to play and live with it, at least that's what I would do instead of risking damaging my deck.
Except the problem with that is that games have massive file sizes. 2TB is pretty much needed to store atleast four AAA games...
 
Except the problem with that is that games have massive file sizes. 2TB is pretty much needed to store atleast four AAA games...
I have to ask: what games are using 250GB of space that can run in the Steam Deck? Keep in mind most games that depend on intrusive DRM locks are not supported by the Deck because they just don't run in Linux at all.

Regards.
 
I have to ask: what games are using 250GB of space that can run in the Steam Deck? Keep in mind most games that depend on intrusive DRM locks are not supported by the Deck because they just don't run in Linux at all.

Regards.
Ark:survival is about 300Gb and is deck certified and also was free some time ago.
But yeah, that's a huge outlier, most AAA games are around 50Gb (bluray console size)
 
Ark:survival is about 300Gb and is deck certified and also was free some time ago.
But yeah, that's a huge outlier, most AAA games are around 50Gb (bluray console size)
That's seriously a lot XD

Are there others like that?

And, I think I mentioned this before, but the SD performance of the Deck is quite impressive, so you have more storage that way.

Regards.
 

DavidC1

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@DavidC1 The biggest problem I had in my answer was finding the peak power draw so list maximum idle power but that was about it.
Their engineer is also saying the charger IC gets hot and it looks like it's right next to the SSD. So if you put a bigger SSD there it'll go on top of it and potentially block airflow.

Also something about the heatspreader?

Peak power draw isn't often listed and we don't know the exact specs of the default SSD. It's also a Gen 3 device. In your link the 3 SSD sizes all show about the same bandwidth so power draw will be similar.
 

thisisaname

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Their engineer is also saying the charger IC gets hot and it looks like it's right next to the SSD. So if you put a bigger SSD there it'll go on top of it and potentially block airflow.

Also something about the heatspreader?

Peak power draw isn't often listed and we don't know the exact specs of the default SSD. It's also a Gen 3 device. In your link the 3 SSD sizes all show about the same bandwidth so power draw will be similar.
Rather a bad place to put your charging IC right next to your SSD.
 

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