If you’re thinking of getting a Steam Deck, then you need to consider which version to buy. Thankfully, unlike gaming PCs that offer countless hardware options, you only need to choose between three different Steam Deck models. The other good news is that they all have identical hardware specs, apart from the storage type/size and an anti-glare screen on the most expensive version.
While the most significant difference between the Steam Deck models is the storage, it’s also something you should consider carefully before you buy. You need to think about what type of games you play as well as how many you wish to store on your Steam Deck at any one time.
Many of the top AAA titles need over 50GB of storage, with some topping out at well over 100GB. So, if that is the type of game you enjoy playing, the higher priced Steam Deck models are likely the best buy.
If you are more into playing puzzle games or smaller indie titles, then you might not need as much space and the 64GB Steam Deck could satisfy your needs.
It should be noted the cheapest 64GB version uses the slower eMMC storage, while the more expensive models use NVMe storage. This could make a difference to the time it takes a game to load, for instance.
Don’t buy just yet!
Before you rush to the Steam site to place your order, also be aware that the Steam Deck allows you to install games on both microSD cards and USB storage.
A microSD card is the most convenient, as you can hide it away in the card slot and, while the internal storage will always be quicker, it appears a good card doesn’t slow loading times by much. Just make sure you buy a microSD card that meets the UHS-1 standard and factor in the extra expense before choosing.
Also, be aware that there are limitations on external storage. For example, if you wish to install games from the Epic store through Heroic Games Launcher, you can currently only put those games on the internal SSD.
The last consideration before you buy is the fact that you can also upgrade the Steam Deck’s internal SSD. Not only can you do this on any of the models available, but you can even install a larger drive than the 512GB offered by Valve. Please be warned that this isn’t for the fainthearted but, if you don’t mind a bit of DIY, you could always buy the cheapest 64GB Steam Deck and then update the drive yourself.