We would all like to have a Steam Deck in our hands, since playing our favorite Steam games from anywhere is at least its attraction. However, and with a view to the second batch, it seems that have trimmed the Steam Deck’s NVMe SSD interface to PCIe x2 instead of x4. Why this decision by Valve for your PC in the form of a portable console? Will it affect performance or is it rather a hidden improvement?
When we reviewed the Steam Deck’s hardware, one of the things we discussed was that using an M.2 2230 type NVMe SSD seemed like overkill. The main reason is none other than that such a transfer speed has consumption that is counterproductive for the device’s battery and especially for the entire thermal design. Well, it seems that Valve has solved this problem and in a way that nobody expected.
Valve cuts the SSD interface of its Steam Deck to PCIe x2
Well yes, nowat transfer speed with the NVMe SSDfor the models that have it, will be half in the new shipments of the Steam Deck. And this is not a rumor or speculation on our part. It is official from Valve, since they have updated the specifications on the product website.
Before you throw your hands together, let us tell you that in the case of the PC there is no game that takes advantage of the capabilities of solid state drives at such high speeds. The DirectStorage API has not been used in any game released on Steam so far. Put another way, games aren’t going to see a cutback, a performance for it. Since most of them are meant to run smoothly on a hard drive, which itself is slower than a SATA SSD.
Why would Valve have made this cut? The answer from our point of view lies in those flash memory storages on a chip that have appeared in recent times. Which cost less than NVMe SSDs, can be cabled via PCIe x2 into the Steam Deck, and generate less heat than an M.2 as they are designed for mobile devices. Let’s not forget that Valve does not recommend changing the internal storage drive to its users. So it is still a change to lower costs and reduce battery.
A prelude to what will come later
There is no doubt that the use of solid state drives marked a before and after in video games, but games need to be designed for it. Especially when it comes to programming the data dump to RAM. At the moment, and this includes consoles, there are no games that take advantage of such technology. On PC due to the fact that the tools to implement it have recently appeared, on consoles due to the fact that we are in an intergenerational period where games are designed for PS4 and Xbox One. That is, for hard drive
When games that require if or if an NVMe SSD to run are on the market, then that’s when a Steam V2 will make sense. At the moment we can not forget that the base model, which is the one that developers have to take as a reference, has a 64 GB eMMC unit, not to mention that many games are loaded from MicroSD. Which are still interfaces a little faster than the magnetic disk that has been used for decades in our computers.
How can I make sure my model uses the old SSD?
The answer is simple, you can’t. Since you cannot go to a physical store and look closely at the serial number on the box, since the distribution comes directly from Valve and they are the ones who decide what consignment you will receive. The only way would be to open up your console, but in any case, since you’re not going to see a performance loss in games with the change, you shouldn’t worry about it either. Of course, we would like to know if we are going to see an increase in battery life with the new models or at least less internal heating, which are still improvements.