Steam Deck teardown

The Steam Deck is one of the most exciting devices for PC gamers, as it brings portable gaming to the PC space. While Valve doesn’t recommend opening up a Steam Deck, the company showed off what’s inside in a new teardown.

While Valve was happy to show off the guts of the Steam Deck, the company doesn’t recommend opening yours up when it arrives. However, the portable device is targeted squarely at the enthusiast market, which means at least some percentage of buyers will want to get in there and tinker.

“Even though it’s your PC, or it will be once you’ve received your Steam Deck, and you have every right to open it up and do what you want, we at Valve really don’t recommend that you ever open it up,” a Valve representative said in the video. “The Steam Deck is a very tightly designed system, and the parts are chosen carefully for this product with its specific construction, so they aren’t really designed to be user-swappable.”

It looks like opening up the Steam Deck is as simple as unscrewing the back in a couple of places and then hopping in. Valve showed off the custom thumbstick and how to take them out. The company says it’ll even offer a way to get “replacement parts, thumbsticks, SSDs, and possibly more” in the future.

As far as what’s inside the Steam Deck, we learned that it uses an m.2 connector for storage, and you can technically use an aftermarket SSD, though Valve doesn’t recommend it. Additionally, it’s the smaller 2230 size, much like the Surface Pro X, so that’s something you’ll need to keep in mind if you decide to purchase a drive with a larger storage capacity.

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The first batch of Steam Deck devices are set to ship in December, but that’s for anyone who got in quickly with their preorders. If you purchase one now, you’ll need to wait until 2022 to get it.

Steam Deck

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Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He is now a Mobile Analyst for PCMag. Dave started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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