Valve seems to be quietly updating the Steam Deck’s internal hardware layout and cooling systems, as some users have noticed.
These changes, implemented without any fanfare, indicate that Valve is making adjustments to its handheld gaming PC.
Steam Deck Quietly Revamped Its Hardware
Although Valve has confirmed there’s no Steam Deck 2 in the pipeline, it hasn’t ruled out making subtle alterations for new device owners.
While these tweaks likely won’t significantly impact game performance, they could be intriguing for other reasons.
Region-Specific Variant: A Fresh Steam Deck Design
Users have uncovered a seemingly region-specific variant of the Steam Deck with all internal differences of its hardware. Examples include a slightly redesigned motherboard, a new fan, an altered heat sink setup, and a substantially modified EMI shield. Interestingly, this version seems to have an earlier revision number than previously sold devices, raising questions about whether it’s a realized version of an earlier design document or a response to new part suppliers.
Aesthetic and Functional Improvements
Some users might find the new EMI shielding more visually appealing, particularly when paired with transparent third-party Steam Deck shells. The availability of a new fan is also noteworthy, as previous Deck users could receive one of two fan versions—one prone to high-pitched whistling under heavy loads.
Although not as ambitious as projects like the piezo-electric cooling solution, the new fan could potentially outperform the older versions.
Performance Enhancements: Software Takes Center Stage
Despite these changes, Valve likely isn’t seeking to drastically alter the Deck’s hardware functionality. Instead, the company is focusing on enhancing the device’s software, with the new hardware revision delivering performance equivalent to previous revisions.
Software improvements, such as the local network transfer feature that allows offline game transfers, native ray tracing enabled, and the rumored solid-state cooling system on Steam Deck, are equally exciting and hold the key to the device’s ongoing evolution.