Steam Deck model differences: Which version should I buy?

Valve has just announced the Steam Deck, a new touchscreen handheld console designed for PC-oriented players. Clearly designed to compete with the Nintendo Switch, the Steam Deck offers enough power to play AAA games on-the-go or on the TV screen. Unlike its competitor, however, there are three different versions of the new console available to purchase. What are the differences between each Steam Deck model, and which version should you buy?

What are the Steam Deck model differences?

What are the Steam Deck model differences?

There are three different Steam Deck models, and the main difference between them is storage. The lowest-priced $399 model includes 64GB of eMMC storage, while the more pricey versions offer either 256GB or 512GB NVME SSD storage. The 512GB Steam Deck also includes anti-glare etched glass and an exclusive carrying case.

Frankly, it’s a smart move on Valve‘s part. As far as internal components go, all Steam Decks are basically built the same. You don’t really have to choose between a less- or more-powerful model. Instead, the big question comes down to how much storage capacity you need. The catch is that Valve’s Steam Decks that come with increased storage capacity also come bundled with a few extras:

  • The 64GB model costs $399, uses eMCC internal storage, and includes a carrying case
  • The 256GB model costs $529, uses an NVMe SSD for storage, and includes a carrying case plus an exclusive Steam Community profile bundle
  • The 512GB model costs $649, uses an NVMe SSD for storage, and features premium anti-glare etched glass. It also includes an exclusive carrying case, exclusive Steam Community profile bundle, and an exclusive virtual keyboard theme

For now, it’s unclear what the exact storage speed differences are between each model. However, no version of the Steam Deck runs on old-school platter hard drives. The actual read speeds could vary depending on which SSD Valve selects, but the eMMC storage should be zippy enough for more casual players.

As for which Steam Deck you should get, it’s hard to say. The 256GB model appears to be the best value: Both storage upgrades cost $120-$130 more, but the 256GB model offers four times as much storage as the base model. However, the full upgrade doubles the storage once again, plus offers upgraded glass.

Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about power: All three Steam Deck models have the same CPU and GPU under the hood. The main differences between them involve type, speed, and amount of internal storage capacity available. Thankfully, regardless of which model you choose, you’ll be able to expand storage via the MicroSD card slot.