A Steam Deck Mod to Allow You to Install a Larger NVMe SSD

Steam Deck currently has 3 models that differentiate each other by their storage capability. The top-tier model offers 512GB of storage which is plenty for the majority of gamers. However, there are a number of games that require lots of storage spaces such as Grand Theft Auto V, Witcher 3, and Red Dead Redemption 2. If you want to keep installing more games on your Steam Deck, you need a bigger SSD.

Modifying your devices can sometimes be tricky- especially when you go against the manufacturer’s recommended specs. But that didn’t stop one Canadian modder from upgrading his Steam Deck‘s SSD. Against Valve’s warnings, they swapped out the 2230 form factor SSD it comes with for a 2242 M.2 NVMe SSD.

While you might have been thinking about increasing the storage capacity of your Steam Deck, now you know it’s possible to go physically larger, too. The results were impressive and definitely worth the risk for this intrepid modder. Plus, it just goes to show that sometimes it pays to think outside the box- or in this case, outside the recommended specs.

When we heard about the modder’s Twitter overview, we were intrigued. The new SSD apparently doesn’t have any negative effects on the motherboard or any cables. However, we were somewhat concerned to hear that the heat spreader did bow a tiny bit. Despite this, the modder assures us that the SSD is still functioning properly.

If you’re really concerned, you can also try covering the backplate with something. If anything, they claim that this will make things worse by potentially causing overheating in the future. They write that while this didn’t prevent the backplate from clipping back on properly, it did not cause any issues later down the line.

The modder in question went with a 512GB KingSpec PCIe 3.0 x2 SSD, which has a read speed of around 1100 MB/s. This is unfortunately the maximum size and speed that can be achieved with the current form factor of the Deck, but it’s still a marked improvement over the original storage capacity and speeds.

While sticking 1TB of storage into your Deck is possible without modding the internal components, it may require some time and effort. If you must have a large microSD card, consider purchasing one that is extra-large instead of doubling the size of your existing card.

When testers compared the difference between a micro SD and the NVME SSD inside the Steam Deck, they found that the load time for the micro SD was 2 seconds slower than that of an NVME SSD. In other aspects, there was no discernible difference. So if you’re concerned about how quickly it performs, don’t sweat it- the microSD will still offer excellent speeds.

While it’s possible to do, it’s not something that the company recommends. Plus, there’s always a risk involved when you start tinkering with your devices. But if you’re feeling brave and want to give it a shot, you now know that it can be done.

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