Valve Warns Modding Steam Deck SSD Will ‘Shorten the Life’ of the Device

A modder recently showed how it’s possible to insert a bigger SSD into the Steam Deck, but one of Valve’s designers warns against doing this.

Since the Steam Deck launched in February, gamers and those from the media have been getting to grips with the device. With Valve now adding support for Windows, it’s beginning to truly live up to its intended purpose as being more than just a console and more like a portable PC. Given this versatility, some have attempted to modify the device to their own ends. However, a recent bout of tinkering has caught the attention of one of the company’s designers.


Valve’s Lawrence Yang issued a warning in a recent tweet to anybody who wishes to attempt to install a larger SSD into their Steam Deck. The message urges people not to do the modification, adding that doing so can “significantly shorten” the lifespan of the system. The reason behind this, according to Yang, is that the charger IC already gets very hot and the addition of a 2242 M.2 hard drive requires shifting the protective thermal pads, which should not be done. A larger hard drive also draws more power than the standard SSD that comes with the Steam Deck and this, again, is likely to cause the device to become too hot.

The tweet comes shortly after someone actually managed to swap out the SSD. A user installed a larger hard drive into their Steam Deck, replacing the factory installed 2230 M.2 for the aforementioned 2242 version. Despite the larger size of the new drive, they were able to close the Deck properly and get it up and running, even resulting in some faster read/write speeds. In theory, such a practice will allow people to buy larger storage capacity and modify the system with the much more common 2242 drive. However, as Yang has pointed out, this modification may work but will likely be detrimental in the long run.

Modding the device is something that a few have been keen to do since it released a few months back. For example, one person managed to install a Game Boy camera onto their Steam Deck, while another was able to externally connect a full AMD RX graphics card for improved game performance.

Given that Valve’s portable PC supports thousands of games, it is primarily used as a gaming device. However, it’s the fact that it can be used essentially in a similar vein to a home computer that is part of the appeal. With that, the modding community has clearly seen the potential for the system, and while there are some pretty neat ideas out there, it seems that the company does not recommend people physically modify their Steam Deck.

Source: PC Gamer

Source: Gamerant

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