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Which Steam Deck Version Should You Buy: 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB?


Valve’s Steam Deck has taken the gaming world by storm, offering a portable yet powerful gaming experience. With three storage options available—64GB, 256GB, and 512GB—the question arises: Which version should you go for?

Is the larger capacity worth the extra bucks? Do you really need all that space? I got my hands on a Steam Deck at the end of 2022, and it’s been a game-changer, literally. Here’s my take on which version might be the best fit for you.

Table Comparing the Different Versions

Feature64GB Version256GB Version512GB Version
Expandable StorageYes (microSD)Yes (microSD)Yes (microSD)
Display7-inch LCD7-inch LCD7-inch LCD
Anti-Glare Etched GlassNoNoYes
Frame RateUp to 60 FPSUp to 60 FPSUp to 60 FPS
Exclusive Carrying CaseNoYesYes
Game Download SpeedSlowerFasterFastest

Steam Deck Specs

Regardless of the version you choose, the core hardware remains the same:

  • CPU: AMD Zen 2 4c/8t, up to 3.5 GHz
  • GPU: AMD RDNA 2, 8 compute units up to 1.6 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM (5500 MT/s)
  • Display: 7-inch diagonal, 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio), 60Hz refresh rate, and touch screen
  • Audio: Stereo speakers, dual microphone array, and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: 5,313mAh (charger included)

Should You Buy the 64GB Steam Deck?

Priced at $399, the 64GB version is the most budget-friendly option. The key difference lies in its eMMC storage, which is slower than the NVMe SSD storage in the pricier versions. However, Valve has designed the Steam Deck to be easily upgradable. If you’re tech-savvy, you can replace the eMMC storage with a higher-capacity NVMe SSD, potentially saving you money.

Recommended SSD Replacements:

  • SABRENT Rocket 2230 NVMe SSD
  • Kioxia 2230 NVMe SSD
  • Western Digital 2230 NVMe SSD
  • Toshiba 2230 NVMe SSD

You Should Buy the 64GB Version If:

  • You’re comfortable upgrading the storage yourself.
  • You’re looking for a budget-friendly option.
  • You plan to use a screen protector.

You Shouldn’t Buy the 64GB Version If:

  • You’re not comfortable with DIY upgrades and don’t want to rely on microSD cards for extra storage.

Should You Buy the 256GB Steam Deck?

The 256GB version, priced at $529, offers a middle ground with faster NVMe storage. This version eliminates the need for immediate storage upgrades, making it a convenient choice for those who aren’t tech-savvy.

You Should Buy the 256GB Version If:

  • You don’t want to upgrade the storage yourself.
  • 256GB is sufficient for your gaming needs.
  • You plan to use a screen protector.

You Shouldn’t Buy the 256GB Version If:

  • You’re comfortable upgrading the storage yourself and want to save some money.

Should You Buy the 512GB Steam Deck?

The 512GB version comes with a $649 price tag and offers the fastest storage and an anti-glare etched glass screen. While the storage is a clear advantage, the etched screen could be a double-edged sword, especially if you’re considering using a screen protector.

You Should Buy the 512GB Version If:

  • You want the best storage and display features, and you’re willing to pay the premium.
  • You don’t plan to use a screen protector.

You Shouldn’t Buy the 512GB Version If:

  • You’re comfortable upgrading the storage yourself.
  • You want to use a screen protector, as it may interfere with the etched screen.

Final Thoughts

Your choice ultimately depends on your budget, technical skills, and gaming needs:

  • 64GB: Best for DIYers and budget-conscious gamers.
  • 256GB: A balanced option for those who want convenience without breaking the bank.
  • 512GB: Ideal for those who want the best features and are willing to pay the premium.

Whichever version you choose, the Steam Deck offers an unparalleled handheld gaming experience. It’s a revolutionary device that has exceeded my expectations, and I’m sure it will do the same for you.

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