The cheapest version of Valve’s Steam Deck comes with just 64GB of internal storage, but that might not be as much of an issue as it sounds, with early tests suggesting games will run surprisingly fast off a micro SD card. YouTubers who have their hands on the devices early have started testing the Steam Deck’s load times, with some games running only slightly slower, or in some cases at the same speed as off the SSD, PC Gamer reports.
The speed testing comes courtesy of tech YouTubers Linus Tech Tips and The Phawx, both of whom have been able to put the Steam Deck through its paces ahead of the handheld device’s launch on February 25. The results, when it comes to loading games off an external micro SD card, are promising, especially during a time when a lot of games come with huge install sizes.
While the number of games available for testing at this point are limited–and likely the best optimised for the system at launch–The Phawx found that load times on games like Dead Cells and Street Fighter V were almost exactly the same between SSD and micro SD, with the longest delay around 2 seconds long. Other games like Portal 2 and Ghostrunner took a longer time to load on the micro SD, with the longest delay coming in at around 17 seconds.
Both YouTubers concluded that players had very little to lose from loading their Steam Deck games directly from a micro SD card, which is good news with the Steam Deck’s internal storage maxing out at 512GB for the most expensive model. Even the entry-level 64GB model will make a great gaming machine with a 1TB micro SD slotted in.
The Steam Deck’s portable hardware does have some drawbacks, with other tech tests showing that players will have to be more mindful of their game settings to get the most out of the device’s battery life.