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Modded Steam Deck “Ultimate” gets gobs of storage, enhanced cooling, upgraded thumbsticks and much more

Why it matters: For a first-gen device, Valve’s Steam Deck is pretty flexible with regards to DIY repairs and upgrades. Although Valve may not want one to execute a boatload of tinkering, you’ll be able to upgrade the handheld’s SSD without an excessive amount of fuss. iFixit also sells a number of replacement parts but these really only scratch the top of what’s possible. With some imagination (plus some quality-of-life compromises), it is possible to further build on Valve’s vision as Linus Tech Tips recently demonstrated.

To generate the “Ultimate” Steam Deck, Linus Sebastian and crew started with the addition of a 1TB SanDisk Extreme memory to the handheld. In addition they got their practical a 30mm Micron 2TB NVMe SSD engineering sample. Micron said they weren’t sure if it could even work in the Steam Deck but spoiler it can.

The team also upgraded the Steam Deck’s thumbsticks, deciding on a couple of electromagnetic joysticks from GuliKit. The default Steam Deck thumbsticks are potentiometer-based and may wear out as time passes, resulting in issues like drifting. GuliKit’s sticks use magnets that ought to eliminate such issues and so are more precise.

In a previous video, the team added an enormous passive cooler from Thermalright the HR-09 2280 with their Steam Deck. The mod type of worked, however, not as fully intended. Instead of keeping the machine cooler, it just prolonged just how long it took to heat up. After about 50 % one hour, it got in the same way hot as before.

With the most recent round of upgrades, they added a cooling fan to the passive sink. Another small passive heatsink was affixed to a little battery management chip that gets very toasty under load.

(iFixit includes a good tutorial on tearing down the Steam Deck)

Continuing on, Linus and crew added a dbrand Kill Switch to safeguard the console. Some modifications were necessary for the case to match with the heatsink protruding the trunk but this is easily handled with a rotary cutting tool. In addition they made custom thumbstick protectors and added a tempered glass screen protector in addition to body skins to reduce scratches.

The team additionally affixed a 10,000mAh power bank to the trunk of the Steam Deck for added battery life.

To state the build is overkill will be an understatement nonetheless it does address many of the handheld’s shortcomings. Not absolutely all of the mods are graceful plus they certainly then add additional weight to the entire package, pushing it from 1.49 pounds stock to 2.42 pounds. Still, it shows what’s possible if you are ready to invest a little bit of money and time in to the handheld sufficient reason for any luck, maybe Valve will incorporate a few of these ideas into future builds.

I’m personally looking towards seeing what the modding community can accomplish after the Steam Deck Dock launches. Water cooling, anyone?

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