The Steam Deck started shipping two months ago today, and it’s gotten a lot better since then, but this week may be the best one yet — because we’re finally addressing the biggest issue with the $400 portable PC. are doing. Yes we are talking about fan.
When the deck launched, it shipped its AMD Zen 2 and RDNA 2 silicon with an extremely noisy fan for cooling, and owners like me have been dealing with its volume and constant moaning since day one. He ran ContinuousEven when I wasn’t doing anything with the system, and always had relatively light games like . I was also walking on the ramp Vampire survive.
My Steam Deck fan from Delta Electronics.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge
even worse, it groan, Or at least some Steam decks have that problem — the Reddit community found that Valve actually ships the deck with one of two different fans, one from Delta and the other from Huying. I have a Delta One, and that’s why most other people complain about what I’ve seen. Valve wouldn’t comment on fan selection, and iFixit can’t say whether you’ll be able to swap one out for a better one when replacement parts become available.
We are aware of the noise issue, and we are trying to source those with no noise, but it will depend on what is available to us.
— iFixit (@iFixit) April 18, 2022
But this week, Valve took a big step toward making it better with a beta software update — and I can confirm it’s a whole new experience. The fan won’t turn on when the system is just sitting there – it’s now silent when idle, unless you heat up the chip by downloading some content or at least opening large folders of games.
It no longer accelerates as fast, either, mine typically waits until the system crosses 65°C before raising the fan speed to a new level – although I have noticed it Was getting pretty tasty before max fan speed was hit, and even noticed some stuttering. in elden ring When I turned on the GPU it topped out at around 87°C.
One problem: none of the valve changes fixed the whip. My delta fan may not accelerate as fast, but it still has that little jet engine.
You know what fixed it? electrical tape.
No turning of the valve fixed the groan, so: electrical tape?
u/oligarky ambulance found on reddit that the bus On pressing behind the shell of the steam deck, near the Valve logo, was enough to put an end to the groaning. So he opened his steam deck and put four small strips of electrical tape in the same spot inside the shell – just behind the fan. Here are some before and after videos made by him.
The steam deck already has its own electrical tape; new bits will go just under the circle on the left,
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge
That’s what I did: first pressing on the back to see if it could work, then opening the steam deck and adding tape. The whip was all erased. Don’t get me wrong, the fan is still getting louder! But it’s now mostly a gust of wind, not a squeak.
Should you try it at home? Not necessarily, because we don’t know why it works, or it could have side effects – such as heat or wear. “We don’t recommend changing the airflow path because we don’t know how it will affect thermals,” Valve’s Lawrence Yang told me.
u/OligarchyAmbulance and I don’t see any noticeable difference in temperature yet, but between the valve warning and the fact that opening the deck is a little harder than some teens, I don’t know if I would just anyone recommend it.
But it seems pretty clear that this fan problem is hardware, not just software — and if Valve doesn’t have a plan or recommendation for how to stop the sound, I’m guessing some gamers are going to take matters into their own hands. Will take
The fan curve isn’t the only neat addition in this week’s beta update for the deck, by the way. It also adds an experimental way to vary the screen refresh rate between 40 and 60Hz, which can improve battery life and smoothness when your game is running over 30fps, but may not quite hit 60fps.