Image: Valve

Valve has updated its official specifications page for the Steam Deck to confirm that the 256 GB and 512 GB versions of the handheld may ship with different SSDs than what the company had originally advertised. Instead of a PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD, prospective Steam Deck owners who go for the 256 GB and 512 GB models might end up with a x2 storage solution that only leverages two lanes of the PCIe interface. This would indicate a halving in potential bandwidth, but Valve has clarified that it’s conducted tests and found no impact to gaming performance between the x2 and x4 SSDs. Steam Deck owners can figure out which SSD they have by going into the Hard Disk Drive option buried within the Device Viewer, which should show a code that can be used to identify the hardware. Valve has priced its 256 GB and 512 GB Steam Decks at $529, and $649, respectively. The base model costs $399 but only comes with 64 GB of eMMC storage.

Image: Valve

If you want to find out which version you have, hold down your Steam Deck’s power button and select Desktop Mode. Then search Device Viewer in the Applications Menu search bar. Under Devices, go to Storage Drives, and tap the Hard Disk Drive.

In the right panel it’ll have a code. Our 512GB review model has a Phison ESMP512GKB4C3-E13TS drive. That seems to be a custom 2230 SSD using Phison’s Gen3 x4 E13 controller. So, you want to check whether your code ends with -E13T, too, or something else entirely. If it includes a code like -E08 (Phison’s Gen3 x2 controller) then your Deck is one of those with a drive running on a Gen3 x2 interface.

Source: Steam Deck (via PC Gamer)

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14 comments

  1. I think this is par for the course. And may or may not represent a downgrade in actual performance for cheaper models. OR the tech has matured to where cheaper models can equal what they had originally.
  2. Yeah, but it doesn't look like Valve is offering a cheaper price though. I agree it would be a headache for them but performance or not, lesser drives usually cost less money and it would seem like those who get stuck with the x2 are picking up the tab of the ones who get the x4.
  3. I think I'm ok with a slightly slower nvme drive since, at least according to the announcement, it shaves months off the lead time. You can always replace the drive later on if it bugs you that much.

    Yeah, would have been nice if they had knocked a few dollars off the price, or given you the option to defer not to get a slower drive (I guess you can opt out, you can always pull your name out and get your deposit back) but knocking a few months off the lead time is pretty nice too.
  4. This happens ALL THE TIME with every product. Gaming consoles get cheaper to make as the tech matures. Hence the makers are able to start getting more profit. It's the whole point of mas production. Yes the slower drive is a rub... but as others have noted there are options..
  5. Gaming consoles get cheaper to make as the tech matures.
    Yeah but the hardware is never downgraded. If anything it only gets better.

    Yes the slower drive is a rub... but as others have noted there are options.
    Yeah at least you're not locked into using the NVMe drive the system comes with.
  6. Yeah but the hardware is never downgraded. If anything it only gets better.
    That isn’t true.

    PS3 comes to mind immediately - I’m sure I could dig up others
  7. That isn’t true.

    PS3 comes to mind immediately - I’m sure I could dig up others
    Yep and the PS2 slim was a step in the right direction as a win/win for both sides but that does seem to be the rarer exception.
  8. That isn’t true.

    PS3 comes to mind immediately - I’m sure I could dig up others
    So the two models of the PS3 that followed the fat PS3 were worse? Or are you talking about how later versions of the fat PS3 got rid of the PS2 back-compat, the extra USB ports, the card reader, etc? I was mainly thinking about the PS3 Slim and the top-loader PS3. I honestly have no idea how good either of them are compared to the different versions of the fat PS3. I just know later systems were more reliable, didn't have issues with things like the YLoD that a lot of launch versions had to deal with. My friend's launch-model PS3 died on him, but I used the BD drive from that to replace the broken one in my refurbed PS3 (which was the first model that did not have back-compat).

    PS4 Slim fixed some issues with the HDMI port f*cking up HDMI cables and a few other things compared to base PS4, but I guess I don't really know if the hardware was weaker or less reliable in any way. I was under the assumption it was generally better (lower power usage and heat output, for example).

    The first wave of PS2 Slims were definitely worse, they didn't have cooling fans and there were reports of units catching on fire. I have one of the PS2 Slims that has a cooling fan, but the memory card port on that thing is real wonky (doesn't always feel like reading memory cards), and the drive stopped reading discs. I don't have the original large PS2, but good gawd there were like a million internal revisions of that thing. So many different motherboards and internal changes. I was looking to buy one but I haven't figured out which revision is the best one to get.

    PS1 some of the early versions had power supply issues, overheating issues, and I forget what else. My first PS1 (which was a later unit but it still had the parallel I/O port) had a drive motor failure and stopped reading memory cards. I replaced it with one of the units after that, which did not have the parallel I/O port. I think the first version of the PS1 also had regular non-system-specific Composite ports (or at least the red/white audio ports). Not sure if you count getting rid of those ports a downgrade. The last version of the original-looking PS1 and then the smaller PSOne that followed after were better in most ways I think.

    XB1 S was decently better than original XB1 (and they got rid of the rid ESRAM or whatever it was), and it could even do 1440p which Doom 64 supported (and maybe some other games). I used less power, gave off less heat, and I think had slightly faster load times (if I recall correctly, base PS4 and XB1 had SATA-2 but all later versions had SATA-3).

    X360 kept getting better with newer revisions, like adding the HDMI port, adding internal flash storage, lower heat output and power usage, making sure newer units didn't RRoD or have E74 errors and whatever else, etc. They did get rid of the memory card ports though, and the physical eject button, with the Xbox 360 Model S (or whatever it was called). I think there was also a final X360 model that looked more like the base XB1. Not sure what's up with that thing.

    Original Xbox I'm not as familiar with whatever different revisions there were.

    DS got better screens with the DS Lite, newer faster CPU (and possibly other hardware upgrades) and SD card slot with DSi. Original DS had a better larger DPad and was just more comfortable to hold and use. The 3DS was upgraded to 3DS XL (easier to hold and larger screen size) and then the New 3DS (faster CPU and eye-tracking for the 3D).

    Every new version of the Game Boy was better than the one before, except GBC has a smaller screen than GB Pocket, and GBA Micro was a definite downgrade in usability compared to original GBA and the GBA SP (and it didn't have back-compat with GB and GBC games). The GBA SP was a nice upgrade over original GBA screen-wise, which it was actually lit (first front-lit then later back-lit). Although I found it more annoying to hold and use than original GBA, which also had better buttons.

    Genesis Model 2 and 3 had stereo audio out, but you could use the 3.5mm jack for the same purpose on the Genesis Model 1. Genesis 3 of course had no support for Sega CD, and I don't think 32X works on it either.

    One thing I do remember is that later revisions of SNES and Genesis stepped up on the copy protection/region lock, and stopped allowing devices like Game Genie to work on them.

    I don't recall all the later revisions of the Sega Master System and the SG-1000, but surely most of those newer revisions were better than the older ones (like the Sega Mark III).

    The 2nd main revision of the original Switch got better battery life, but I heard the screen was worse. The earlier Switches have a Tegra hardware flaw that forms the basis of how you soft-mod the system, so I'm glad I got one of those. The Switch OLED is definitely an improvement over the original Switch though, if you use the system has a handheld. Not sure how the screen in the Switch Lite compares to the original Switch, other than being smaller.

    I heard later versions of the Nintendo Wii ditched the GCN back-compat, and thus didn't have those controller ports either.

    Anyways I'm just rattling sh1t off the top of my head, I don't actually remember specifics. But there are clearly cases where systems got better and got worse (sometimes both) with newer revisions.
  9. So the two models of the PS3 that followed the fat PS3 were worse?
    No backwards PS2 compatibilty chip. No ability to run linux. Fewer USB ports.

    There were some benefits - larger HDD spaces, some Dolby stuff. But in the PS3 generation, everything subsequent to the Fat model was a significant regression in terms of features, and they shaved a lot off of it in an effort to make it more price competitive.

    Not saying systems don't get better over time - they certainly do, and as a rule, that is generally the case. Just taking exception to the world "never" - it certainly isn't a given than later revisions are always better. Mostly it seems to be in an effort to cut costs.

    I seem to remember a few Gameboy revisions that did the same - dropped features to cut costs, the revision wasn't quite as nice as the previous edition. I don't recall specifics there though.
  10. So the two models of the PS3 that followed the fat PS3 were worse? Or are you talking about how later versions of the fat PS3 got rid of the PS2 back-compat, the extra USB ports, the card reader, etc? I was mainly thinking about the PS3 Slim and the top-loader PS3. I honestly have no idea how good either of them are compared to the different versions of the fat PS3. I just know later systems were more reliable, didn't have issues with things like the YLoD that a lot of launch versions had to deal with. My friend's launch-model PS3 died on him, but I used the BD drive from that to replace the broken one in my refurbed PS3 (which was the first model that did not have back-compat).

    PS4 Slim fixed some issues with the HDMI port f*cking up HDMI cables and a few other things compared to base PS4, but I guess I don't really know if the hardware was weaker or less reliable in any way. I was under the assumption it was generally better (lower power usage and heat output, for example).

    The first wave of PS2 Slims were definitely worse, they didn't have cooling fans and there were reports of units catching on fire. I have one of the PS2 Slims that has a cooling fan, but the memory card port on that thing is real wonky (doesn't always feel like reading memory cards), and the drive stopped reading discs. I don't have the original large PS2, but good gawd there were like a million internal revisions of that thing. So many different motherboards and internal changes. I was looking to buy one but I haven't figured out which revision is the best one to get.

    PS1 some of the early versions had power supply issues, overheating issues, and I forget what else. My first PS1 (which was a later unit but it still had the parallel I/O port) had a drive motor failure and stopped reading memory cards. I replaced it with one of the units after that, which did not have the parallel I/O port. I think the first version of the PS1 also had regular non-system-specific Composite ports (or at least the red/white audio ports). Not sure if you count getting rid of those ports a downgrade. The last version of the original-looking PS1 and then the smaller PSOne that followed after were better in most ways I think.

    XB1 S was decently better than original XB1 (and they got rid of the rid ESRAM or whatever it was), and it could even do 1440p which Doom 64 supported (and maybe some other games). I used less power, gave off less heat, and I think had slightly faster load times (if I recall correctly, base PS4 and XB1 had SATA-2 but all later versions had SATA-3).

    X360 kept getting better with newer revisions, like adding the HDMI port, adding internal flash storage, lower heat output and power usage, making sure newer units didn't RRoD or have E74 errors and whatever else, etc. They did get rid of the memory card ports though, and the physical eject button, with the Xbox 360 Model S (or whatever it was called). I think there was also a final X360 model that looked more like the base XB1. Not sure what's up with that thing.

    Original Xbox I'm not as familiar with whatever different revisions there were.

    DS got better screens with the DS Lite, newer faster CPU (and possibly other hardware upgrades) and SD card slot with DSi. Original DS had a better larger DPad and was just more comfortable to hold and use. The 3DS was upgraded to 3DS XL (easier to hold and larger screen size) and then the New 3DS (faster CPU and eye-tracking for the 3D).

    Every new version of the Game Boy was better than the one before, except GBC has a smaller screen than GB Pocket, and GBA Micro was a definite downgrade in usability compared to original GBA and the GBA SP (and it didn't have back-compat with GB and GBC games). The GBA SP was a nice upgrade over original GBA screen-wise, which it was actually lit (first front-lit then later back-lit). Although I found it more annoying to hold and use than original GBA, which also had better buttons.

    Genesis Model 2 and 3 had stereo audio out, but you could use the 3.5mm jack for the same purpose on the Genesis Model 1. Genesis 3 of course had no support for Sega CD, and I don't think 32X works on it either.

    One thing I do remember is that later revisions of SNES and Genesis stepped up on the copy protection/region lock, and stopped allowing devices like Game Genie to work on them.

    I don't recall all the later revisions of the Sega Master System and the SG-1000, but surely most of those newer revisions were better than the older ones (like the Sega Mark III).

    The 2nd main revision of the original Switch got better battery life, but I heard the screen was worse. The earlier Switches have a Tegra hardware flaw that forms the basis of how you soft-mod the system, so I'm glad I got one of those. The Switch OLED is definitely an improvement over the original Switch though, if you use the system has a handheld. Not sure how the screen in the Switch Lite compares to the original Switch, other than being smaller.

    I heard later versions of the Nintendo Wii ditched the GCN back-compat, and thus didn't have those controller ports either.

    Anyways I'm just rattling sh1t off the top of my head, I don't actually remember specifics. But there are clearly cases where systems got better and got worse (sometimes both) with newer revisions.
    Whoa! A lot to unpack there. Good stuff though.

    I didn't know about the early PS2 issues. I must've gotten lucky. I went through 3 of the originals and was pissed (optic drives kept dying and I kept those things clean). I'm not sure when I got around to getting the slim but when I did I used that thing in our van with a portable DVD player that had inputs. Loved that thing and eventually donated it to the local goodwill about 7 years ago.

    I also had one of the original PS1 with the serial port. That thing was a champ and they even had a better GPU but slower CD-ROM drive than the PSone.

    I had an original Xbox that was gifted to me but I never really got into it. Just seemed big and clunky after having the PS2 slim.

    I didn't have any of the other things you mentioned but I knew people that did but don't remember anything about them to speak of.
  11. No backwards PS2 compatibilty chip. No ability to run linux. Fewer USB ports.

    There were some benefits - larger HDD spaces, some Dolby stuff. But in the PS3 generation, everything subsequent to the Fat model was a significant regression in terms of features, and they shaved a lot off of it in an effort to make it more price competitive.
    Yep, that's what killed it for me. When it came out I had decided to switch back to PC but it was always in the back of my mind and by the time I was willing to give it a shot, it had been neutered. Years ago I almost pulled the trigger on one I found on Amazon but decided to stay focused on the PC and put the money into a 2080 Ti.
  12. No ability to run linux.
    Yeah I did remember that, but I didn't mention it because they removed that through firmware updates, not hardware changes. That was some straight bullsh1t though.

    But in the PS3 generation, everything subsequent to the Fat model was a significant regression in terms of features, and they shaved a lot off of it in an effort to make it more price competitive.
    I mean I can't really argue with that, you got a point.

    I went through 3 of the originals and was pissed (optic drives kept dying and I kept those things clean).
    Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang man, what the f*ck?!

    I also had one of the original PS1 with the serial port. That thing was a champ and they even had a better GPU but slower CD-ROM drive than the PSone.
    Huh, did not know that, very interesting. All the original-looking models of the PS1 had 2x CD-ROM drives, but the PSOne had a faster drive eh? Sucks that the GPU got worse, that seems pretty retarded.
  13. Huh, did not know that, very interesting. All the original-looking models of the PS1 had 2x CD-ROM drives, but the PSOne had a faster drive eh? Sucks that the GPU got worse, that seems pretty retarded.
    Yeah, the original one I had was a refurbish from Gamestop or something. I honestly regret having given it away when I took that stuff to goodwill years ago. I had a roommate who had both and a huge projection TV where you could really see the difference. The textures on the old one were smooth(for the time) while the PSone had this dotted effect. We both used to buy those old PlayStation magazines and in one of them, there was an article about the differences. The PS2 was the saving grace in that you got the best of it all, at least until the optic drive tanked.

    Edit: Years later I found out Sony had lost a class action suit regarding the original PS2s. I was bummed because I would've joined it in a heartbeat but I read about it online ~2 years after it happened. I bought one new, and then 2 used ones. All died the same way. Stands to reason because back then it got a lot of use between PS1/PS2 and DVDs, but it sucked. On the flip side, I and my wife have plenty of stories about those old DVD players barely lasting 1-2 years before crapping out. We got together around that time and would take turns buying them. I think I only just finished getting rid of the last of them in a trash run this past winter lol!
  14. Edit: Years later I found out Sony had lost a class action suit regarding the original PS2s. I was bummed because I would've joined it in a heartbeat but I read about it online ~2 years after it happened.
    Sorry you missed out on $2.18. Thankfully the lawyers were still able to make millions

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