Steam Deck : Valve change un composant dans le dos de ses clients

Steam Deck: Valve changes a component behind the backs of its customers

News hardware Steam Deck: Valve changes a component behind the backs of its customers

This is a very unpleasant discovery that some owners of a Steam Deck console from Valve have just made. Indeed, it turns out that the manufacturer has not equipped all its devices with the same type of SSD, and has done so discreetly.

If Valve recently announced that the delivery of pre-ordered Steam Decks in recent months was going to accelerate, which is good news for buyers, the studio hasn’t said it all, however. The last days, an observation made by the owners of the portable console tends to make many of them cringe.

And for good reason: some Steam Deck users have noticed that their copy was not equipped with an NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD, but an NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD. This little surprise tends to greatly displease, especially since it was done behind the backs of customers.

SSD replaced by Valve: Europe also concerned

In practice, a discreet modification of the specifications displayed on the various versions of the Steam Deck site took place at the end of May, but it has flown under the radar, as Valve hasn’t openly communicated on the matter. If the 256 GB and 512 GB versions of the console were initially presented as equipped with an NVMe SSD in PCIe Gen 3 x4, now, there is also a mention of an NVMe SSD in PCIe Gen 3 x2with a small asterisk that refers to the following sentence: “Some 256GB and 512GB models come with a PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD. In our tests, we saw no difference in game performance between x2 and x4”.

Screenshot of the French Steam Deck page

The statement “Some models” clearly implies that it is chance that decides which version each user inherits. And all markets currently seem to be concerned.

PCIe Gen 3 x4 vs PCIe Gen 3 x2 NVMe SSD, what’s the difference?

If Valve explains on its product sheet that there is ” no difference “ between the two types of SSD, in theory, an NVMe SSD that uses 2 lanes goes up to 2 GB/s, while an NVMe SSD that uses 4 lines can go up to around 4 GB/s. It means that NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD models have potentially 50% less throughput.

In practice, it is very likely that the difference will not be felt during the game. Valve, questioned by PC Gamer, nevertheless indicated that “In extremely rare cases, differences in read and write speeds may have minimal impact on file transfer speeds”before adding that “OS performance, load times, game performance, and game responsiveness are identical between x2 and x4 SSDs.”

It not remain that this little hardware pirouette allows Valve to save money in the manufacture of its game consoles. If the manufacturer does not give more details concerning this material variation, one can also imagine that the management of component stocks, which has been done at just-in-time for many months, is not unrelated to this choice either. However, a little more transparency would probably have been appreciated by buyers which, for the most part, placed an order during a period when the technical sheet of the Steam Deck had not yet been modified.

To find out if your Steam Deck has an NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x2 or x4 SSD, switch your console to Desktop Mode by holding down the power button. Then go to DeviceViewerthen in the menu Apps. Then follow the path Devices > Storage Drives > Hard Disk Drive. You then have access to the reference of the model you have in your possession: a search on the Internet allows you to easily check what type of SSD is fitted to your Steam Deck.

Our model is well equipped with an NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD.

Steam Deck: Valve changes a component behind the backs of its customers

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