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SSD now stands for Slower Steam Deck after downgrade

If you’re still waiting on your 256GB or 512GB Steam Deck, hang in there. It’s coming. With Valve ramping up shipment, the handheld PC should be in your hands soon enough. But it might be slower than expected when it does. As it turns out, Valve has quietly tweaked the specs of the Steam Deck, swapping out PCI express 3.0 x4 SSD with PCI express 3.0 x2 SSD. Do you really think we wouldn’t find out, Valve?

Technically, we didn’t find out, but Hardware Luxx did. Using Wayback Machine to roll back to Valve’s initial product page, the Steam Deck got advertised as being a machine with PCIe Gen 3 x4 hardware on board. But now, specs show that some 256CG and 512GB models might ship with a 2-lane SSD instead. At least, that’s what the English version of Steam states.

steam deck ssd changes

According to Valve, future owners of their Steam Deck have nothing to worry about. The manufacturer has done extensive testing and found no significant drop in performance. Maybe, just maybe, if you reeeeeally stress your Steam Deck to its maximum capacity, you might experience slower loading speeds.

My question is: If Valve didn’t notice any difference, why did they opt for x4 SSD in the first place? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to equip the Steam Deck with an x2 SSD from the get-go? Or did they already do that without us knowing about it? Did I overcharge the guy I sold my Steam Deck to?

So many questions, Valve…