Valve’s Steam Deck Designer Warns Against Changing SSD, Here’s Why

steam deck

Lawrence Yang, a user experience designer at Valve, recently took to Twitter to warn Steam Deck owners against modifying the SSD (Solid State Drive) in their console, as doing so would “significantly shorten the life of the system” (via PC Gamer).

Yang’s statement comes as a response to a PC Gamer Article published June 24 in which it reported how a Canadian Deck owner dubbed “Belly Jelly” replaced the handheld console’s integrated 2230 M.2 (22mm x 30mm) form factor SSD with the larger 2242 M.2 (22mm wide and 42mm long) NVMe .

Yang warns owners not to install the mod, as using SSDs larger than 2230 M.2 can lead to overheating problems in the charger IC and basically kill the console’s life. In addition, larger M.2 drives traditionally draw more power than the 2230 M.2 models than designed. In addition, thermal pads do not need to be removed as they are a very necessary part of temperature management for the complex engineering of the Deck.

While the mod in question “may appear to work,” it will “significantly shorten the life of your deck,” Yang added, suggesting it’s best avoided.

‘Hello, please don’t do this. The charging IC gets very hot and nearby thermal pads should not be moved. In addition, most 2242 m.2 drives draw more current and run hotter than Deck was designed for. This mod may seem to work but will significantly shorten the life of your deck,” Yang tweeted.

The original mud and Twitter user Belly Jelly (@TheSmcelrea) agrees with Yang’s statement that this mod was done at your own risk and mostly shared as a “proof of concept”.

“Maybe we might as well respond to this, I absolutely agree with this man. Mud at your own risk! I take risks by opening the device and working on it, and it’s mostly just a proof of concept,” Belly Jelly tweeted.

“I’m not too concerned about the charging IC itself as the thermal pad there still makes great contact, nothing in that area was directly affected by the mod. The SSD itself is a pretty power-efficient model too, so again “I’m not too concerned about that.”

In the thread, modder explains that the device’s thermals have shown no changes to the sensors available to read into the OS.

“But again, the heat shield is slightly bent. I also had to remove a thermal pad that sits on top of an inductor, which is now covered by the 2242 SSD. Do it at your own risk,” added the modder.

The modder also warned against using a double-sided SSD, saying it won’t work. They further warned that some people have damaged their consoles while trying similar mods, so proceed at your own risk.

“Finally, I intend to move on and find ways to deal with my own concerns regarding the mod,” Belly Jelly concluded.

Valve continually recommends that customers do not attempt an upgraded SSD in the device, as all models use socketed 2230 M.2 modules that are not intended for end-user replacement. If you’re looking for more storage, it’s always recommended to get a larger internal SSD for faster loading speeds.

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