Popping the finest Steam Deck SD card into Valve’s handheld gaming PC opens up a world of prospects, no matter which mannequin you’ve gone for. After all, even the 512GB model will solely simply match Call of Duty: Warzone, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla earlier than it struggles with storage.
Fortunately, it’s fairly straightforward to develop storage with the finest SD card for Steam Deck from manufacturers like Samsung, SanDisk, or Lexar. Those of you that don’t need to deep dive below the hood to put in an NVMe SSD into your Steam Deck can use the microSD card slot on the underside to cram as much as 1TB of storage – no less than till a 2TB card lastly hits cabinets. You would possibly even get away with one you’ve beforehand used together with your smartphone if you happen to don’t thoughts formatting it, however you’ll want to ensure it has good learn speeds and sufficient storage first – quick write speeds are a bonus.
Generally talking, microSD playing cards are somewhat slower than the eMMC storage discovered in the bottom Steam Deck, so that you’ll need to hold all of your favorite video games on the machine itself. That stated, microSD playing cards allow you to take extra video games, motion pictures, TV exhibits, and software program on the go.
Here are the perfect Steam Deck SD playing cards:
1. SanDisk Extreme microSDXC
Naturally, the perfect SD card for Steam Deck must be as massive as potential with out sacrificing its learn speeds – no disrespect to loading display ideas, however we’d quite be enjoying the sport. The SanDisk Extreme microSDXC 1TB mannequin can’t hit its 160MB/s learn velocity ceiling due to the Steam Deck’s personal limitations, nevertheless it nonetheless performs higher than its competitors with heights of 100MB/s. This is the candy spot with the Steam Deck’s personal limitations in thoughts.
Western Digital claims that the SanDisk Extreme microSDXC card is waterproof, shock proof, and even x-ray proof. We don’t suggest placing any of these claims to the take a look at, nevertheless it additionally comes with a lifetime guarantee if you happen to do, which is greater than most options. If 1TB is a bit too wealthy to your style, it additionally comes in 512GB, 400GB, 256GB, 128GB, 64GB, and 32GB flavours, though you would possibly battle with something in double digit territory.
2. Samsung EVO Plus or EVO Select
Different names, completely different colors, however the identical specs below the hood: the Samsung EVO Plus and EVO Select are nearly equivalent. Amazon has unique rights to the Select in some international locations, however with the identical speeds, classifications, and warranties, it’s value procuring round for the most affordable one accessible. Better but, they’re typically accessible in multi-packs.
Write speeds are barely slower than SanDisk’s various, however learn speeds deal with the perfect at 100MB/s. This is a lot for operating indie video games on the Steam Deck with no hitch.
3. Lexar Play
You’ll save probably the most cash by dropping to a 512GB, 256GB, or perhaps a 128GB mannequin, however the Lexar Play is commonly the most affordable 1TB available on the market due to gross sales. It’s designed with smartphones and the Nintendo Switch in thoughts, nevertheless it’s as much as the job of operating your Steam library with out concern.
SD card classifications
When you have a look at an SD card, you would possibly see what seems to be like a bunch of gibberish. Much like gaming screens and their unruly string of letters and numbers, every of those has a that means and the Steam Deck has limitations.
For instance, the Steam Deck adopts UHS-I, which tops out at round 100MB/s learn speeds and 90MB/s write speeds. You’ll have the ability to use the quicker UHS-II customary as a result of it’s backwards appropriate, however you gained’t get the upper rated learn and write speeds. Since you’ll must format the microSD card to the Steam Deck’s working system, it’s not value spending the additional on one branded UHS-II until you’re plugged into the Linux ecosystem with different units, too.
Why not strive the perfect exterior SSD for gaming as a substitute?
The greater the V-rating, the higher. V30, V60, and V90 present what the minimal sustained write velocity is, being 30MB/s, 60MB/s, and 90MB/s respectively. Write velocity isn’t as necessary as learn velocity, given you’ll need to obtain your video games in advance, however nobody likes ready round.
The quantity that appears prefer it sits inside a circle (it’s truly the letter C) is the velocity class. Class 10 is the quickest and the default advice for HD video recording, however that is much less necessary for the Steam Deck.
The ‘A’ quantity is the appliance efficiency class, and A2 is of course higher than A1. Both are designed for smartphone working techniques, like Android, that means the usual is much less related to the gaming efficiency of the Steam Deck however may assist once you’re hopping from one piece of software program to a different.
Can I take advantage of my Nintendo Switch SD card?
The brief reply is sure, however you possibly can’t swap the SD card between units on the fly. The Nintendo Switch makes use of microSD playing cards which have the identical kind issue and they’re going to match into the Steam Deck, however you’ll must format it, that means you possibly can’t retailer each PC video games and Switch video games on the similar time. You’ll additionally need to contemplate the specs of the microSD playing cards you personal, as they may not hit the heights that the Steam Deck calls for.