Valve’s announcement that you shouldn’t mod your Steam Deck is giving us serious flashbacks.
We don’t have a Steam Deck, though if we do ever get our hands on one you can bet we’ll be wrapping it in cotton wool. But it turns out that some people have been fiddling with the Steam Deck and, amongst other things, medding with the heat pads.
As reported by Eurogamer, designer Lawrence Yang has stated: “Hi, please don’t do this. The charger IC gets very hot and nearby thermal pads should not be moved… this mod may appear to work but will significantly shorten the life of your Deck.”
Why remove the pads? Because by taking them out, you can fit a slightly thicker and faster SSD drive in. But this, in turn, diminishes the Steam Deck’s cooling ability, meaning your device could overheat or wear down over time.
Hi, please don’t do this. The charger IC gets very hot and nearby thermal pads should not be moved. In addition, most 2242 m.2 drives draw more power and get hotter than what Deck is designed for. This mod may appear to work but will significantly shorten the life of your Deck. https://t.co/Kmup7Zov13
— Lawrence Yang (@lawrenceyang) June 25, 2022
All this is reminding us, big time, of the Game Boy Advance and its disappointingly non-backlit screen. Some people discovered you could tweak the GBA’s potentiometer with a screwdriver, making the display brighter but more washed out. A lot of people took things too far and, as a result, broke their GBA.
We remember being in our local Game store and seeing people get turned away with their broken consoles, precisely because they admitted they’d engaged in these sort of ill-advised shenanigans. If your Steam Deck does fail due to the removal of those pads, and Valve can prove it, they could, likewise, turn you away. Valve have, previously, put out a teardown video to dissuade people from tearing down the Steam Deck themselves.
In short, don’t meddle with your Steam Deck unless you absolutely know what you’re doing and are prepared to live with the consequences.