Anyone who bought one of Valve’s Steam Decks at launch got a very particular model of solid state drive installed in their device. Anyone buying one more recently has received a different drive, one that’s potentially slower.
As Hardwareluxx report (via PC Gamer), all Steam Decks that originally shipped with either a 256 or 512GB SSD would have had them connected via four “lanes”. Now some units are shipping with drives that connect via just two “lanes”, a change that could in theory result in slower performance since you’re essentially halving the drive’s bandwidth.
This swap wasn’t publicly announced via a press release or statement, and Steam Decks shipping with these newer drives haven’t been differentiated by a new model number. Indeed the only public mention of the change at all came from Valve quietly editing the handheld’s specs page back at the end of May.