Valve has clarified that its quiet switch of SSDs in the Steam Deck will have “no impact to performance” following concerns that the hardware had been downgraded.
Polygon reported that Valve had changed the Steam Deck specs, with some 256GB and 512GB models coming with a different SSD than what was initially advertised. A switch from the PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe SSD to the PCIe Gen 3 x2 NVMe SSD appeared to be a downgrade, but Valve has refuted this to IGN.
“Many Steam Deck components come from multiple suppliers for improved redundancy and production capacity,” a Valve spokesperson said. “One of our SSD suppliers provides PCIe Gen 3 x4 NVMe SSDs, while another provides a x2 (2 lane) SSD. Our team has tested both components extensively, and determined that there is no impact to performance between the two models.
“SSD performance is currently gated by factors not related to PCIe bandwidth. In extremely uncommon cases, differences in read / write speed caps may minimally impact file transfer speeds, but OS performance, loading times, game performance, and game responsiveness are identical between the x2 and x4 drives.”
The new strategy to improve production capacity appears to be working as earlier this week Valve announced that it will double the number of Steam Decks it will ship. The company has otherwise had a slow but steady rollout period for its handheld PC, that started in February with Valve boss Gabe Newell hand delivering them in Seattle.
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