Even if you get the most expensive version of Valve’s Steam Deck, you’re stuck with just 512GB of storage space. That might sound like a lot, but some of today’s most popular games eat up almost 100GB of that space. Finding a larger replacement drive is about to get a lot easier. Laptop maker Framework has started stocking the tiny SSD you need to upgrade the Steam Deck. It won’t be cheap, though.
The Steam Deck is designed to be easily repairable — Valve even posted teardown videos showing how to disassemble the handheld console prior to release. Valve partnered with iFixit to make sure all the components are available for purchase, but there aren’t any official upgrade options. If you want more storage, what you need is a larger 2230 M.2 SSD, and those are surprisingly hard to find. It just so happens that Framework has a hookup.
According to Framework, it orders many SSDs from Western Digital for use in its laptops. So, it was easy to add another line to the order to stock the 2TB SN740 2230. They’re priced at $299 in the US and $399 in Canada — more than half the cost of the Steam Deck itself. These compact drives are much shorter than the M.2 SSDs you see in desktop PCs. The 2230 drives are 22mm wide and 30mm long, but the more common 2280 drives are, as you might have guessed, 22mm wide and 80mm long.
This jives with Framework’s mission to build modular, upgradable technology. The company’s laptop starts at $1,049 with user-selectable ports and easily swappable internal components. Framework says it jumped at the chance to help consumers upgrade another piece of hardware. There’s definitely demand, too. The first batch of 2TB drives went on sale on the Framework US and Canadian marketplace on Feb. 9, and by later that day, they were sold out.
There are instructions on iFixit that guide you through the SSD swap, which should take between 20 minutes and an hour. You’ll have to open the case, remove the internal metal shield covering the main board, and finally, remove the screw holding the stock SSD in place. Framework plans to continue stocking the 2230 drives, and you can sign up to be notified when they’re back. The company is also considering making the WD 2TB SN740 2230 available in Europe and Australia.
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