What you need to know
- A modder successfully managed to upgrade a Steam Deck to have 32GB of RAM.
- Doing so required a heat gun, a steady hand, and a firmware mod.
- The end result was a Steam Deck with double the RAM the console ships with, though we don't recommend general users try the mod themselves.
When the Steam Deck burst onto the scene, it quickly became one of the most popular handheld gaming consoles on the market. But while the Steam Deck is impressive, it has its limits. For example, the console only ships with 16GB of LPDDR5 memory. Modder Balázs Triszka decided that wasn't enough, so they swapped out their Steam Deck's internals to bump the system up to 32GB of RAM.
While Triszka proved that it's possible to increase the RAM of the Steam Deck, it's not something most people should do. The Steam Deck's RAM is soldered to the console's PCB. That means you need a heat gun and a steady hand to disconnect the memory that ships in the Steam Deck.
Things could be worse for those looking to mod the Steam Deck. Triszka pointed out that there isn't glue under the chips. That means if you can get past the soldered connections, you can swap out the console's RAM.
Modding the Steam Deck to increase its memory also requires firmware modification. Triszka shared a screenshot on X (formerly Twitter) that demonstrates the Steam Deck recognizing the increased RAM.
Today I did another #SteamDeck mod. Upgraded the memory to 32GB! Let's bring the upgrades to the next level! (Yes, I cleaned the flux off later.) pic.twitter.com/mHFMPLVqUIAugust 3, 2023
The Steam Deck can already handle many of the best PC games, but doubling its RAM wouldn't hurt. The popularity of the console has led modders to try several ways to customize it. Our colleagues at Tom's Hardware have tested out a variety of SSDs on the Steam Deck. We've also made the Steam Deck run Windows 11.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.