The gaming industry has witnessed a significant increase in the demand for storage space, with games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 requiring massive storage for a full install. The newly announced Steam Deck from Valve aims to address this issue by providing ample storage options. While the factory-spec Deck offers a maximum 512GB storage capacity, a website called Storage Review has pushed the boundaries by upgrading it to a mind-boggling 61TB. In this article, we will delve into this extreme gaming solution and examine its pros and cons.

The standard 512GB model of the Steam Deck may pose storage limitations, especially when it comes to accommodating large AAA games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which requires a whopping 213GB for the full visual experience. Recognizing the need for more storage space, Storage Review decided to take matters into their own hands. By utilizing an M.2 to U.2 adapter, they successfully installed a Solidigm P5336 61.44TB drive, typically found in server farms. This upgrade not only expands the storage capacity exponentially but also offers the exciting possibility of having multiple AAA games installed simultaneously.

While the 61TB upgrade sounds impressive, it does come with its fair share of challenges. The Solidigm drive’s power requirements and physical size demand modifications to the Steam Deck’s design. To accommodate the massive drive, users would need to remove the rear casing and connect it to an ATX PSU of its own. As a result, the portability of the Steam Deck is compromised, making it less ideal for on-the-go gaming. However, this solution does contribute to solving the battery life problem, as the additional power draw from the drive can be offset by connected power.

Performance Considerations

Storage Review observed a mixed bag of performance improvements with the 61TB upgrade. While sequential performance increased compared to the factory 256GB drive, 4K random reads experienced a slight decline. These findings have minimal practical implications, as the average user would not notice a significant difference in gaming performance. The primary concern lies in the astronomical cost associated with such an upgrade.

The main obstacle for most gamers considering the 61TB upgrade is undoubtedly the price. The Solidigm P5336 61.44TB drive comes with a staggering price tag of approximately $3,500. This exorbitant cost is undoubtedly prohibitive for the majority of consumers and limits the appeal of this extreme storage solution to a select few with deep pockets.

In the real world, where budget constraints play a significant role, the Steam Deck’s factory-spec storage options may be more practical. The standard Deck utilizes the 2230 M.2 specification, which is less common than the longer 2280 M.2 specification. Despite being slightly more expensive, 2230 M.2 drives are still relatively affordable. Consumers can find a regular M.2 2280 2TB drive for under $100, while a 2TB 2230 drive would cost around $140. These alternatives offer sufficient storage capacity to install several space-heavy games, providing a reasonable compromise between storage needs and affordability.

The introduction of the Steam Deck with the possibility of a 61TB upgrade opens up interesting discussions about the future of gaming storage. As games continue to increase in size, developers and manufacturers will need to find innovative solutions to cater to the storage demands of gamers. While the extreme 61TB upgrade may not be a practical solution for the average gamer, it does highlight the ever-growing need for larger storage capacities and more efficient storage technologies in the gaming industry.

The Steam Deck with a 61TB upgrade offers a glimpse into the future of gaming storage. While the extreme storage solution may not be suitable for the average gamer due to its high cost and compromised ergonomics, it showcases the potential for addressing the ever-increasing storage demands of modern AAA games. As technology advances, we can expect to see more affordable and user-friendly options that strike a balance between storage capacity and accessibility. In the meantime, gamers can explore alternatives within the Steam Deck’s factory-spec storage limits or opt for budget-friendly options that still provide ample space for their gaming needs.


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