May 25, 2022

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Valve says you shouldn't fix an annoying Steam Deck fan this way

Valve says you shouldn’t fix an annoying Steam Deck fan this way

Steam Deck has started shipping 2 months ago todayand it was obtained A little better since then, but this week might be our best yet—because we’re finally dealing with the biggest problem with our $400 laptop. Yes, I’m talking about the fan.

When the deck launched, it shipped with a super noisy fan for cooling the AMD Zen 2 and RDNA 2 silicon, and owners like me have been dealing with its size and its constant moaning since day one. Run continuouslyeven when I haven’t done anything with the system, and I’ve always ramped up even in relatively lightweight games like Vampire survivors.

My Steam Deck Fan, from Delta Electronics.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

worse than that whine. Or at least some Steam platforms have this problem – Reddit community Find out that Valve is already shipping the Deck with one of two different fans, one from Delta and Post from Huaying. I’ve got a delta, as well as most others complaining of moaning from what I’ve seen. Valve won’t comment on fan selection, and iFixit can’t say if you’ll be able to switch with a better one When spare parts are available.

But this week, Valve took a huge step towards improving it Beta software update – and I can vouch that it’s a whole new experience. The fan no longer works when the system is sitting there – it’s now completely silent when idle, even or unless you warm up the chip by downloading some content or at least opening large folders of games.

It no longer escalates at the same speed, with my system generally waiting for the system to exceed 65°C before raising the fan speed to a new level – although I did notice that it got quite warm before it reached full fan speed, and I even saw some stuttering in elden ring When it topped out at about 87 degrees Celsius on the GPU.

One problem: None of Valve’s mods fixed the whining. My delta fan may not ramp up as fast, but it still has a very small jet engine.

You know what fixed it? electrical tape.

u/OligarchyAmbulance was discovered on Reddit That’s simply Press on the back of the Steam Deck cover, near the Valve logo, was enough to quell the whining. So they opened their steam surface and stacked four small strips of electrical tape over the same spot inside the casing – right behind the fan. Here are some before And distance The videos they created.

Steam Deck already has its own electrical tape; New bits will go Just below the circle on the left.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

I did the same thing: first press on the back to see if it might work, then open Steam Deck and add the tape. The whine was almost a blur. Don’t get me wrong, the fan is still noisy at full bore! But it’s mostly a rush of air now, not a squeak.

Should you try this at home? Not necessarily, because we don’t know why it works, or if there are bad side effects – like heat or abrasion. “We don’t recommend changing the airflow trajectory because we don’t know how that will affect temperatures,” Valve’s Lawrence Yang told me.

u/OligarchyAmbulance and I don’t see any noticeable differences in temperature yet, but between Valve’s warning and the fact that opening the deck is a little trickier than some think, I don’t know if I would recommend it to anyone.

But it seems clear that this fan issue is with the hardware, not just the software – and if Valve had no plan or recommendation to turn the audio off, I think more than a few players would take matters into their own hands.

The fan curve isn’t the only nifty addition in this week’s beta update for Deck, by the way. he adds Experimental way to change screen refresh rate between 40 and 60Hz, which may improve battery life and smoothness when your game is running more than 30fps, but can’t reach 60fps.

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