Even before the first Steam Deck units went out to the public, Valve made it clear they were 100% supportive of user repairs and even modding of the handheld. A new mod, however, was struck down by the system’s designer as potentially dangerous.
“Hi, please don’t do this. The charger IC gets very hot and nearby thermal pads should not be moved,” Steam Deck designer Lawrence Yang said.
Yang was responding to a PC Gamer article reporting on an SSD mod for the Steam Deck, where a user replaced the original 2230-sized SSD with a more common 2242-sized drive.
The main issue with this mod is that it requires the removal of the thermal pad that the original model SSD is sized to and compatible with, hence the new SSD runs a lot hotter in comparison – and thus the entire Steam Deck runs hotter. The other model SSDs tend to draw more power as well, thus, also, making them run hotter.
He added, “In addition, most 2242 m.2 drives draw more power and get hotter than what Deck is designed for. This mod may appear to work but will significantly shorten the life of your Deck.
The original modder also responded to Yang, noting while they agree and to “mod at your own risk!”, they haven’t seen a change in thermals within SteamOS. The modder did not while the SSD’s thermal pad had to be removed, the thermal pad on the charging IC is “still making contact just fine.”
We managed to get our hands on a first batch Steam Deck, you can find our first thoughts and unboxing here:
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