Steam Deck: Valve replaces a component behind its customers

Hardware news Steam Deck: Valve replaces a component behind its customers

It’s a unfortunate discovery that some owners of a Steam Deck console from Valve have recently made. In fact, it turns out that the manufacturer didn’t equip all of its devices with the same type of SSD, and did so with caution.

When Valve recently announced that delivery of pre-ordered Steam Decks in recent months will accelerate, which is good news for buyers, the studio didn’t say it all. The last days, an observation made by portable console owners is likely to shock most of them.

And for good reason: some Steam Deck users have noticed that their copy is not equipped with an NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD, but an NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD.. This little surprise is likely to be less than pleasant, especially since it’s done behind the back of the customers.

SSD replaced by Valve: Europe is also concerned

In practice, a careful update to the details shown in the different versions of the Steam Deck site took place at the end of May, but it flew under the radar, as Valve had not yet openly talked about the subject. If the 256 GB and 512 GB versions of the console were initially presented as equipped with an NVMe SSD with PCIe Gen 3 x4, now, There is also mention of an NVMe SSD with PCIe Gen 3 x2with a small asterisk referring to the following sentence: “Some 256GB and 512GB models have a PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD. In our tests, we didn’t see any difference in game performance between x2 and x4”.

Screenshot of the French Steam Deck page

The statement “Some models” clearly means that this is the time to decide which version each user will inherit. And all the markets now seem to be worried.

PCIe Gen 3 x4 vs PCIe Gen 3 x2 NVMe SSD, what is the difference?

If Valve means in its product sheet that it is “no difference” between the two SSD types, in theory, an NVMe SSD that uses 2 lanes would go up to 2 GB / s, while an NVMe SSD that uses 4 lines could go up to around 4 GB / s. That means NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD models have a potentially 50% less throughput.

In practice, it is likely that the difference will not be felt during the game. Valve, questioned by PC Gamer, however shows that “In extremely rare cases, differences in read and write speeds may have little effect on file transfer speeds”before adding that “OS performance, load times, game play, and game response are the same on x2 and x4 SSDs.”

That won’t stay that way this little hardware pirouette allows Valve to save money making its game consoles. If the manufacturer does not provide further details about this material change, one can also imagine that the handling of the component parts, performed on time for several months, has nothing to do with this. options. However, a little more transparency might be appreciated by buyers which, for the most part, places an order at a time when the Steam Deck technical sheet has not been updated.

To determine if your Steam Deck has an NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x2 or x4 SSD, switch your console to Desktop Mode by holding down the power button. Then go to DeviceViewerthen in the menu Applications. Then follow the path Devices> Storage Drives> Hard Disk Drives. Then you have access to the reference of the model you own: an Internet search allows you to quickly check what type of SSD is fitted to your Steam Deck.

Our model is well equipped with an NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD.

Steam Deck: Valve replaces a component behind its customers

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