Framework now sells 2TB Steam Deck upgrade drives

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See, while it’s fairly easy to replace the Steam Deck’s SSD, it’s not quite as easy to buy the right parts. The Steam Deck uses the smallest kind of modular SSD — the M.2 2230, which measures just 30mm long — and it’s only designed to fit a single-sided one, which has flash memory chips on one side.

Two M.2 2230 drives, one with an EMI shield. Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

More importantly, M.2 2230 drives are generally considered OEM products that aren’t sold to customers at all because they’re generally not designed to be replaced by anyone save a depot technician. When I asked Samsung for more info about one of its recent drives, a PR rep told me they wouldn’t be readily available for purchase.

and while I absolutely bought one off Amazon and another from eBay, I can’t say I got them from reputable sellers. They were probably shucked from existing tablet PCs like the Microsoft Surface line.

Here, though, Framework is not only selling some direct to consumers — it’s selling one of the highest-capacity ones that will fit in your Deck: the 2TB WD SN740.

The Steam Deck’s SSD is inside the silver square. That’s the EMI shield, which can slide off or pop open.

The Steam Deck’s SSD is inside the silver square. That’s the EMI shield, which can slide off or pop open. Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

I don’t know if the 2TB SN740 is a good drive for the Deck — Valve warns that some drives drain the battery a little faster, for example — but I’ve mostly heard positive stories on the Steam Deck subreddit. Also: while $300 isn’t a bad price for that capacity, know that I purchased my probably shucked 256GB drive for $40. and while it’s a relatively fast PCIe Gen 4 drive, know that’s not relevant here: the Steam Deck’s I/O capabilities aren’t fast enough to see much of a difference between compatible SSDs.

If you’re curious how hard it is to swap your Steam Deck’s SSD, check out my fan swap video below: the only difference is removing one extra screw, plus sliding the EMI shield off your existing drive and onto your new one. Be sure to remove your microSD card before opening the Deck, lest it gets guillotined.

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