Valve downplays the impact of Steam Deck’s SSD downgrade

Valve has downplayed the performance impact of using slower SSDs in new shipments of the Steam Deck.

The change was first spotted by German publication HardwareLuxx, which noticed the 256 GB and 512 GB versions of the Steam Deck now ship with either a two-lane or four-lane PCIe Gen 3 SSD. Previously, these versions all came with a faster four-lane SSD.

Asked by PC Gamer for comment, Valve’s product designer Lawrence Yang said Valve “determined that there is no impact to performance between the two models,” and there were only differences between the two drives in “extremely uncommon cases.”

While the change may initially seem deceptive, it’s standard industry practice to source components from multiple manufacturers in order to create a secure and robust supply chain.

“Many Steam Deck components come from multiple suppliers for improved redundancy and production capacity,” explained Yang. “One of our SSD suppliers provides PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe SSDs, while another provides a x2 SSD.”

Yang added: “Our team has tested both components extensively, and determined that there is no impact to performance between the two models.”

For those of you tempted to replace the internal SSD, Valve has also warned users not to do this to preserve the health of the device.