Some Steam Decks ship with an x2 SSD instead of an x4 SSD

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Valve made a change to the specifications of the top two versions of the Steam Deck last month, which it seems plenty of people (including me) completely missed. It's not a massive change but still one to be aware of as not all Decks are the same.

The Steam Deck is split across three models either with a 64 GB eMMC, 256 GB NVMe SSD or a 512 GB NVMe SSD (and the top model has the anti-glare etched screen too). Sometime around May 28th though, the SSDs shipping in the Steam Deck changed and now come in two possible editions and you won't know what you have until you get it and check.

On the specifications page, it now lists this:

  • 64 GB eMMC (PCIe Gen 2 x1)
  • 256 GB NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)
  • 512 GB high-speed NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3 x4 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)

With Valve noting "*Some 256GB and 512GB models ship with a PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD. In our testing, we did not see any impact to gaming performance between x2 and x4".

You can see the change thanks to the Wayback Machine on May 27th and then May 28th.

Really, it shouldn't make all that much of a difference, especially considering the Micro SD slot can load and run even some of the highest-end games just fine. This is quite likely one of the ways Valve has been able to ramp up production to ship more than double each week, along with the two different fan models you might also see.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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25 comments
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Izaic 29 Jun
Also, for all those people whining about this change, would you rather get your steamdeck now, or wait another year for it? Because if valve doesn't do small changes like this, that is what will happen. As long as you don't encounter issues and it works just as well as the other units, why should you even care?
randyl 29 Jun
Quoting: IzaicAlso, for all those people whining about this change, would you rather get your steamdeck now, or wait another year for it? Because if valve doesn't do small changes like this, that is what will happen. As long as you don't encounter issues and it works just as well as the other units, why should you even care?
I'd rather they sell what they marketed. Like mirv said, they should just say nvme ssd. They're doing this to try and differentiate the price point between the 64GB model and the two higher end models. Bad messaging on their part in my opinion. If it doesn't make a difference then they shouldn't point it out. If they do then they should sell what they advertise.
1mHfoksd1Z 29 Jun
Quoting: pete910
Quoting: TermyBut changing it an hoping no one will notice is bound to be perceived as deceptive and not taking the customer serious...

Indeed,

Imagine if ford changed one of their engines from a V8 to a straight 4 ! There would be hell to pay.

Whilst this is an extreme it's the same principal and should be be illegal without it being WELL publicized. Especially to those that have pre ordered.

I agree with what you said but there are two issues (just in my opionion, IDK how the law works in this regard):
- Nobody pre-ordered it. Technically, we just reserved a place in the queue. So, as long as we get whatever's on the page when the purchase is actually done, I don't think there's anything we can do about it
- The Deck was never really advertised as having x4 SSDs. Only the capacity and (to a slightly lesser extent) type (NVMe) was advertised. The mention that it was x4 was as "hidden" as the x2 one is now. So, since this detail remained consistent (e.g. they didn't try to hide it more after the change) I don't think that's breaking any rules

Aaaanway. I still think they should address this more, as a customer service. If they really care about the Valve-customer relationship, they should explain this further. Hopefully they'll do it in a new video once Q2 officially ends?


Last edited by 1mHfoksd1Z on 29 June 2022 at 8:29 pm UTC
Beamboom 29 Jun
This is actually so common that people would probably be surprised. Over a certain timespan, purchase a stack of the same model of some computer, tear them apart and you *will* find differences.

And it's been like this since forever. I recall home computers back in the 80s when we had a ball tinkering with those things: The same model could even have different chipsets on the motherboard. All depending on what production line it came out of.
Quoting: 1mHfoksd1Z- Nobody pre-ordered it. Technically, we just reserved a place in the queue. So, as long as we get whatever's on the page when the purchase is actually done, I don't think there's anything we can do about it
That's a rather good point.
What about the price difference between a PCIe Gen 3 x4 vs PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD of the same brand?
WMan22 29 Jun
Frankly I couldn't give less of a crap (at the moment). I expect a loading time difference of like half a second or at least within margin of error, most of what I'm gonna be running I'm gonna be running off of a MicroSD anyway. I can see why people might be upset but we haven't seen benchmark differences yet as far as I know so it's too early to tell if this is a "It's whatever, I'm just glad to get my steam deck sooner" or "oh man what were they THINKING"

Don't get me wrong, this isn't me defending playing two barrel russian roulette with hard drive quality within the same pricetag skews, I know how it feels like to watch someone defend a really bad decision and I don't intend to frustrate people in that manner, it's just more me saying we don't know if this will really make a meaningful enough difference to get the pitchforks out yet like we had to with what happened with the REMake games and their bad engine updates that doubled the filesize of the games and introduced bugs.
denyasis 29 Jun
Quoting: BeamboomThis is actually so common that people would probably be surprised. Over a certain timespan, purchase a stack of the same model of some computer, tear them apart and you *will* find differences.

And it's been like this since forever. I recall home computers back in the 80s when we had a ball tinkering with those things: The same model could even have different chipsets on the motherboard. All depending on what production line it came out of.

I'm actually surprised that isn't common knowledge. Do people really believe everything is made exactly the same and sole sourced? Everything that's mass produced has multiple suppliers resulting in varying parts. Hell, there might even be assembly/quality differences if Deck's are made in different factories. I've run into that before with other items.


Last edited by denyasis on 29 June 2022 at 11:15 pm UTC
Quoting: BeamboomThis is actually so common that people would probably be surprised. Over a certain timespan, purchase a stack of the same model of some computer, tear them apart and you *will* find differences.

And it's been like this since forever. I recall home computers back in the 80s when we had a ball tinkering with those things: The same model could even have different chipsets on the motherboard. All depending on what production line it came out of.

Absolutely. Those companies usually made no effort to communicate those changes at all too. So Valve is ahead by at least communicating the changes, no matter how minor they are.
Pengling 30 Jun
Quoting: BeamboomAnd it's been like this since forever. I recall home computers back in the 80s when we had a ball tinkering with those things: The same model could even have different chipsets on the motherboard. All depending on what production line it came out of.
Sometimes even the LEDs were different, even down to there being different shades of what was ostensibly the same colour. I wonder if anyone was ever upset to get the lime-green LED instead of the darker green one?
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