Valve Designer Warns Steam Deck SSD Mod Will Shorten Its Lifespan

A screenshot from an October 2021 Steam Deck teardown video where Valve strongly advises against modifying the handheld PC.

Valve’s Steam Deck is a cool one portable pc you probably don’t want to change too much. However, if the creative juices start flowing and you feel the need to tinker with it, Valve user experience designer Lawrence Yang recommends at least a mod that increases the literal size of the Deck’s SSD. The reason? Changing the m.2 2230 SSD significantly “shortens” the life of the device.

PC gamer published a blog on June 24 report on a Canadian modder named Belly Jelly who posted some photos from their latest project: They found out the portable console may contain a physically larger internal memory card than the one who comes with. So, as any modder does when making an intriguing discovery like this, Belly Jelly tried a larger 2242 m.2 NVMe SSD because it “doesn’t collide with anything on the motherboard or put extra stress on cables.” Belly Jelly noted that: a larger card “makes the heat spreader bend a little bit”, which can affect the deck charging options.

This is where Valve’s Lawrence Yang stepped in. In response to: PC gamer‘s story and Belly Jelly’s bulging Steam Deck mod, Yang direct warned people: “Please don’t do this.” Yang explained that the integrated charging circuits get “very hot” and that tangentially connected thermal pads “shouldn’t be moved.” More specifically, Yang seemed to disapprove of using 2242 m.2 SSDs because they: “pull more power and run hotter than the deck was designed for.”

“This mod may seem to work, but it will significantly shorten the life of your deck,” Yang said.

Kotaku has reached out to Belly Jelly, Valve and Yang for comment.

Yang’s opposition to swapping the SSD is consistent with Valve’s previous posts on the matter. Valve said in a july 2021 IGN interview that the internal memory card cannot be upgraded. The company then repeated this in a teardown video from October 2021 where it mentioned that tinkering with the portable device could lead to power consumption problems or worse, death. Even clarified the site of the device that the m.2 2230 SSD with socket is “not intended for end-user replacement”. So seriously, be careful when you are playing with the inside of your Steam Deck. Things can get messy.

And modder Belly Jelly agreed, saying people should do it at their own risk.

Anyway, if you’re still wondering where your Steam Deck is now, Yang confirmed it on Twitter Valve will start shipping more wearable devices this Thursday for people who are part of the Q3 order queue. He also clarified: The edge That Valve starts doubling the units this week also.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *