Gear Up for Gaming | Introducing Five 2230 SSDs for Your Steam Deck
Before Valve introduced the Steam Deck, there were already several PC handheld manufacturers in the market, such as AYANEO, GPD, and others. However, none of them had the extensive support of Steam, the largest online store for PC gaming, to the extent that Steam Deck does. Additionally, the Deck boasts an astonishing level of repairability; it allows you not only to directly insert an SD card to run independent games with low read performance requirements but also to directly replace the built-in 2230 SSD. This also makes the $399 64GB version quite cost-effective.
Recently, Valve has even released an advanced Steam Deck OLED version. It supports a refresh rate of up to 90Hz, is equipped with faster WiFi 6E, a larger battery, and a more energy-efficient 6nm AMD APU, estimating a considerable increase in gaming time.
Moreover, the new lineup has elevated the minimum storage to 256GB at the same price. However, considering the size of today's AAA games, often reaching 50GB, most players are likely to opt for expansion after purchasing the Steam Deck. So today, we're here to recommend some good 2230 SSDs for your Deck.
First, we have an American company that specializing in high-performance PC components and gaming peripherals-Corsair.
Corsair MP600 Mini
The Corsair MP600 Mini adopts high-density TLC NAND flash memory, which offers an ideal mix of performance and endurance. However, it only comes in a 1TB option with a 3-year warranty.
In terms of performance, it utilizes PCIe Gen4 technology and is backward compatible with Gen3, achieving maximum sequential read/write speeds of 4800MB/s. With this device, you can load games, boot Windows, open and transfer files faster than the standard drive. And according to Amazon US's product review interface, its actual read/write speeds reach around 3500MB/s, within an acceptable margin of error.
Sabrent Rocket 2230
Next is the Sabrent Rocket 2230. It delivers Gen4 NVMe performance within a compact size. Achieving speeds of up to 5GBps and handling up to 800K IOPS. Furthermore, it maintains backward compatibility with Gen3 and Gen2 PCIe slots. It offers options of 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB with a 5-year warranty.
In terms of performance, it features the new PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD controller with exceptional 3D TLC, achieving sequential read/write speeds of 4750MB/s and 4300MB/s, respectively.
Western Digital SN770M
Next is a well-known data storage company familiar to most tech enthusiasts—Western Digital. This SN770M utilizes their own optimal 3D TLC NAND controllers and comes in a 2230 form factor. It's suitable for various PC handhelds, including ROG Ally and Steam Deck, enabling swift game installations and level loading. Moreover, it offers three common capacities of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, with a five-year limited warranty.
In terms of performance, the 1TB and 2TB versions achieve sequential read/write speeds of 5150MB/s and 4900MB/s, respectively. Additionally, it can also be used for expanding supported laptops, meaning if your handheld is idle, you can detach it for other devices in need. Furthermore, Western Digital provides dedicated software, Dashboard, for Windows users to manage the drive.
Western Digital SN740
The Western Digital SN740 is an OEM version that also utilizes their own 3D TLC NAND controllers, available only in 256GB and 512GB versions without specified warranty details.
In terms of performance, it supports PCIe Gen4, backward compatible with PCIe 3.0, with read and write speeds around 5000MB/s. It also supports a range of laptops.
Next is a product from Colorful. For those of you who don't know, Colorful is a Chinese technology company primarily known for manufacturing graphics cards, motherboards, and other computer hardware components.
Colorful CN700 2230
Colorful CN700 claims to use premium-grade particles and has original flash guaranteed. It supports the new generation PCIE4.0 technology, offering only a single 1TB capacity choice. Additionally, it claims to be a "Golden partner" for handheld gaming consoles.
In terms of performance, sequential read/write speeds can reach 5000MB/s and 3500MB/s, equipped with efficient graphene heat patches, more efficient compared to traditional copper foils. It's compatible with various devices such as mobile gaming laptops, handhelds, and tablets.
Summary of ChargerLAB
Overall, the number of M.2 2230 solid-state drives available for sale is far less than the 2280 specification. Our goal is to select good products suitable for the Steam Deck from this relatively limited selection.
In terms of capacity, the available capacities for the five SSDs are mostly within the range of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. As mentioned earlier, considering the significant increase in the size of AAA games today, capacities above 1TB are a better choice. Not only do they meet current needs, but they also offer better cost-effectiveness.
Regarding performance, all five SSDs support PCIe 4.0 and are backward compatible with PCIe 3.0. Although the Steam Deck only supports a maximum of PCIe 3 x4 in the m.2 slot, you can still use them in supported laptops in the future.
Furthermore, among the five SSDs mentioned, Western Digital's SN740 is an OEM version available in only a few third-party stores, naturally offering less in terms of after-sales support compared to the other four. However, it stands out for its high cost-effectiveness. For users who prefer less tinkering, these mentioned 2230 SSDs are excellent choices in terms of both after-sales support and performance.