Looking for the best SSD for Steam Deck? We’ve tested the best to let you know which one you should pick up and insert into your portable PC.
Valve’s Steam Deck is a gorgeous piece of hardware. But, despite its PC-like architecture, Valve never really intended for us to open it and replace the SSD drive, especially given its relatively obscure form factor.
The drive inside is a “2230” NVMe SSD isn’t often in the public eye. These are mostly used by smaller devices like Microsoft’s Surface laptop. A 2230 NVMe SSD is a cutdown version of a regular NVMe drive. We’re used to seeing the longer 2280 sizes in things such as gaming PCs. Though, they function pretty much the same – albeit a little bit slower.
2230 NVMe drives make a lot of sense for the Steam Deck, but ever since launch, it’s been difficult to attain one from a reputable manufacturer. Luckily, this has all changed as of 2023.
Just be warned, that replacing the Steam Deck’s internal storage is not the simplest process, which we’ve documented here. If you’re particularly squeamish at opening up electronics, you should instead consider adding external storage.
So far, only Sabrent and Framework are making 2230 form-factor SSDs available at a consumer level. There are other options from manufacturers like Western Digital, though they are slightly more difficult to get your hands on, and you do need to do some research in order to purchase the right one.
The best Steam Deck SSD: Sabrent Rocket 2230
Right now, for the money and security, the Sabrent 2230 NVMe drive is the best Steam Deck SSD you can get right now.
We’ve done the tests between the Sabrent drive and a Western Digital SN530, however, the differences in real-world usage are not too different.
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The reason for this is that the Sabrent Rocket 2230 uses PCIe 4, but the Steam Deck is limited to using slower PCIe 3 speeds. We might see an upgrade on a Steam Deck 2, but for now, performance isn’t really a big issue when choosing your Steam Deck’s drive.
The main reason we recommend Sabrent’s Rocket 2230 NVMe SSD is due to availability. Sabrent is one of few companies actually offering brand-new drives that you can confirm, are brand-new. A lot of eBay and third-party sellers might have come into a lot of 2230 drives, but they might also be used.
We’ve had no issues with these eBay-bought drives. However, first-time buyers not willing to risk getting a drive that’s potentially already seen heavy use should stick with the Sabrent Rocket 2230 for their Steam Deck.
For the $20 extra dollars or so, you’re going to find that the Sabrent drive is the better choice overall.
Where to buy Steam Deck 2230 NVMe SSD drives
While we’ve recommended the Sabrent 2230 NVMe, you can find all our vetted sources for SSDs from eBay and Amazon below.
|Drive||Size||Price (subject to change)|
|WD SN740||2TB||OUT OF STOCK|
|Sabrent 2230 NVMe SSD||1TB||$159.99|
|Kioxia (Toshiba) BG4 256GB/512GB||256GB||$19.99|
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