Valve introduces an SSD in the Steam Deck that works at a lower speed

Valve has acknowledged that it has applied a downgrade to the hardware configuration Steam Deck to add an SSD drive that works at a lower speed than the one originally incorporated. The company has already said that this change does not impact performance, but the debate is already served.

The original Steam Deck specs showed that models with 256 and 512 gigabytes of storage used an SSD over PCIe Gen 3 x4, however, in the current English specs there is a notice saying that some 256GB and 512GB models ship with a PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD. In our tests, we saw no impact on gaming performance between x2 and x4”.

The intention of this downgrade that one can find in certain units of the Steam Deck would be to guarantee production and supply to customers. Valve announced last week that it intended “ship more than twice as many Steam Deck units each week”something for which I would have added PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD drives.

Steam Deck designer Lawrence Yang told PCGAMER that “Many Steam Deck components are sourced from multiple vendors to improve redundancy and production capacity. One of our SSD vendors provides PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe SSDs, while another provides a x2 SSD (2 lanes)”.

Specifications of the Steam Deck according to the web in English.

The RGetting a dual lane PCIe Gen 2 SSD means bandwidth is limited to 2GB per second instead of 4GB/s offered by the four lanes (x4). However, Valve insists that it has thoroughly tested both components and that haven’t seen any performance impactsomething that if it is really true, it would be due in part to the layout of the Steam Deck itself, whose architecture is that of a standard x86 mini-PC, but served in the form of a hybrid video game console.

In short, the buyer now faces a lottery in which their Steam Deck can incorporate a PCIe Gen 3 SSD with two or four lanes. Possibly at the performance level, the impact is not significant and Valve’s reasons are understandable seeing the problems it is having with the official dock, but ending up paying the same for different features will surely not be a dish to everyone’s taste.

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