Best ssd for steam deck

best ssd for steam deck

Best ssd for steam deck

 best ssd for steam deck

Often for much less than the cost of buying a larger capacity Steam Deck directly from Valve, you can replace the Steam Deck’s stock SSD hard drive with one of your own. The 5 best ssd for steam deck are small and have very large capacity to hold the massive data needed for gaming. They also need to be fast. 

As part of this guide, I’ll show you the best Steam Deck SSD upgrade options that you can buy and install into your Steam Deck. These are different from Steam Deck MicroSD cards, which can be inserted into the Deck as supplemental storage space, so they will have to be physically swapped in with the old one.

As you upgrade the Steam Deck hard drive, you’ll be able to install plenty of Steam and non-Steam games on there. Once you’ve done this, I’ll explain some of the technical specs and details you’ll need to pay attention to when replacing the hard drive.  Read more on  best ssd with rgb

What are the Best Steam Deck SSD Upgrade Options?

Western Digital 1TB SN530

Samsung PM991

Western Digital 512GB SN530

Toshiba KGB40

Next, I’ll go over these SSD options in more detail and explain why these are the ONLY three hard drives I’d recommend.

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Steam Deck SSD size

The Valve Steam Deck SSD is a solid-state drive in the M. 2 2230 form factor, launched on February 25th, 2022. It is available in capacities ranging from 256 GB to 1TB

Western Digital 1TB SN530

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 best ssd for steam deck
Western Digital 1TB SN530

For Steam Deck SSD 2230 upgrade, I recommend the Western Digital SN530. This is because of its 1TB capacity, which is twice as large as any of the default options from Valve.

It is also one of the reasons I like this solid-state drive, which shows that it is certified to fit perfectly into Steam Deck. If you opened up the back housing of your Deck, you will see that the form factor fits exactly to your Steam Deck.

There is also one more advantage to this SSD. It has a speed of 2400/1950 MB per second, and it has an average mean-time-to-failure (MTTF) of over 1.75 million hours. This is the Steam Deck SSD that you need if you are searching for one.

This drive is future-proof, but the options below are more cost-effective.

Key Features

Western Digital 1TB SN530

The memory can be read and written sequentially at speeds of up to 2450/1900 MB/s

Up to 400K/400K IOPS random read/write

An SSD that has been certified by Steam-Deck

The Samsung SN530 1TB has many things I like

With this solid-state drive, you’re getting a lot more space than you can get from Valve. Plus, it’s very fast, so you’re going to have a smooth and fast playing experience.

Up to 2400/1950 MB/s of sequential read/write

Reading/writing at random (IOPS): 400K/400K

M.2 2230 is the form factor

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Samsung PM991

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Samsung PM991


There is no denying that Samsung’s PM991 is marketed towards gamers and power users, and that they don’t mess around: the drive has a read/write speed of 2200/1200 MB/s. This SSD is 512GB, which is the largest option offered by Valve.

Despite not going too deep into technical details, the Samsung PM991 is equipped with some of the best solid-state drive technology available for NVMe, resulting in outstanding performance in your Deck when it’s installed. There are several generic brands that sell this chip, and all of them should be equivalent.

Steam Deck SSD replacement is a good option.


Key Features

Samsung PM991

Up to 2200/1200 MB/s sequential read/write speeds

IOPS up to 120K/240K during random reads/writes

The M.2 2230 form factor measures 22mm x 30mm.

I like the Samsung PM991 for the following reasons:

As Samsung is a household brand and their SSDs are some of the best on the market, I was pleased to find the Samsung PM991 to be easy to install and compatible with the Steam Deck.

This Samsung SSD is a generic model with 512GB of capacity and a 2230 30mm form factor, compatible with Dell HP Lenovo and other OEM systems. Its model number is MZ-9LQ512A, which can be used with Dell.

Solid State Drive Compatible with Dell HP Lenovo and HP HP Omnia MZ9LQ512HALU MZ-9LQ512A Samsung PM991 M.2 2230 30mm NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4

The form factor of the device is M.2 2230 (22 x 30 mm).

PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe interface

2200/1200 MB/s sequential read/write

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Western Digital 512GB SN530

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 best ssd for steam deck
Samsung PM991

While SSD upgrade hard drives can be challenging to find, the Western Digital SN530 provides a great value.

This Western Digital SN530 storage device offers sequential read/write speeds of up to 2400MB/s, as well as random read and write speeds of 310K/150K IOPS.

There are several things to like about this SSD, including its durability and very long life. The Western Digital SN530 replaces the stock SSD in the Steam Deck.


Key Features

Easily reads and writes data at a speed of 2400/1750 MB/s.

Has a form factor of 22mm x 30mm (M.2 2230).

The Western Digital SN530 has a lot to offer

In terms of storage capacity, the Western Digital SN530 has 512 GB of storage space for a really nice price, so it’s a great upgrade option for people who play high-intensive Steam games.

The Western Digital SDBPTPZ-512G is a solid state drive designed for Dell HP Lenovo laptops, desktops, ultrabooks, and tablets. It is 512GB capacity.

Solid State Drive With 512GB for Dell HP Lenovo Laptop Desktop Ultrabook Surface SDBPTPZ-512G Microsoft Windows 8.1 PCIe Gen3 x4 PCIe SN530 M.2 2230 30mm

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Toshiba KBG40

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 best ssd for steam deck
Toshiba KBG40


Toshiba’s KBG40 Solid State Drive offers a read/write speed of up to 1,400 MB/s and a write speed of up to 2,200 MB/s.

You can use it to upgrade the storage in your Deck.

256GB of storage is less than other options on the list, but the KGB40 fits well in the Deck due to its single-sided memory and 2230 interface.

However, if you buy the 64 GB version of the Toshiba KBG40, you will be able to upgrade the SSD for the Steam Deck for a great price.


Key Features

Formatted and pre-wiped.

Heat dissipation of the highest quality.

The Toshiba KBG40 is one of my favorite products

A good performance and good rating are two of the things I like about the Toshiba KBG40. It is reliable and fairly easy to set up.

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Reasons to Upgrade the Internal Storage in the Steam Deck

There are a number of reasons why you might want to replace the internal hard drive on your Steam Deck, including:

It’s too small to store your Steam Deck data on your existing hard drive.

A problem has occurred with the Deck’s internal hard drive.

You can use any of the above options, no matter what the reason is.

There are a few requirements you must meet if you want to install your own solid-state drive on the steam deck. I’ll cover these shortly.

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Requirements for a Steam Deck SSD Upgrade

M.2 Connection Type

In place of the previous mSATA standard, the M.2 connection type allows for external expansion cards. It replaces physical card layouts and connectors used with mSATA. In smaller devices such as the Steam Deck, M.2 offers different module lengths and widths, so it is more suitable for solid-state storage applications.

For the Steam Deck SSD, you’ll need M.2 PCI Express NVMe as the logical device interface.

2230 Physical Size

Choosing the right SSD for your Steam Deck isn’t just about the size. There are many factors to consider when deciding to upgrade, including cost, capability, and compatibility.

M.2 2230, which is 22mm x 30mm, is the standard physical size for an SSD going into the Deck.

Don’t buy a 2242 or any other size SSD, but make sure it’s the 2230 size.

Single-sided Memory Modules

Neither double-sided nor single-sided memory modules will fit into Steam Decks. However, double-sided memory modules will fit. Single-sided memory is treated as a single “bank” of memory and is accessed by the Deck all at once. However, double-sided memory modules will not fit into the Steam Deck enclosure since the memory modules are too high.

NVMe Protocol (optional)

Since the Steam Deck supports both eMMC and NVMe, we recommend going with NVMe, which offers a superior performance. In addition to offering fast response times and high throughput, NVMe is an option for solid-state storage devices. By connecting flash storage via PCI Express, it delivers low-latency, high-speed performance. Moreover, it’s a long-term investment.

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How to Swap the Hard Drive in Your Steam Deck?

I guess despite what we said above, some users will still want to go ahead and install a new SSD in their Steam Deck, so let’s take a look at how to go about that. For further instructions and illustrations, check out the following guide written by u/CyrexArtwork from Reddit.

The following steps will guide you through the process of removing the old SSD and installing the new one:

  1. The Steam Deck must be removed by removing four long screws from its corners
  2. In the middle, there are four small screws that need to be removed.
  3. The circuit board or ribbon cables should not be damaged if the screws are removed. Use a plastic tool to pry open the case at the top middle.
  4. The top should separate after you pry it, so you should stop and then start prying it at one side. You should be careful not to damage the clips holding the rear shell on, however.
  5. You need to remove the three screws on the top left, bottom left, and top right corners of the metal shield that covers the battery when the rear is removed.
  6. The cloth pull tab can be used to gently remove the battery.
  7. The SSD can be accessed by removing the battery, removing the screw, and lifting it up and out.
  8. Placing the metal shield on the new SSD requires the removal of the metal shield from the old one.
  9. Follow the previous steps in reverse order to reassemble the unit.

Bootable USB drive

Upon installing the new SSD, users will need to make a bootable USB drive with the Steam Deck operating system (download the version here). As soon as this step is finished, insert the USB drive into the Steam Deck and press Volume + and Power until a tone is heard. Select the USB drive and wait for the boot manager to appear in the boot manager screen. Click the Reimage Steam Deck option and confirm the operation. Once the installation is completed, you can use the USB drive to install the operating system.

The Steam Deck should behave exactly the same way it does when a user takes it out of the box after rebooting. The OS should eventually act correctly if it fails to install updates. After loading, users should check the reported size against the available storage. It should reflect the size of the new drive if it fails to install updates.