Steam Deck Tear-Down: Build Quality, Disassembly, & VRM Analysis



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Our Valve Steam Deck tear-down and full disassembly shows all the parts, PCBs, cooling design, and talks about component-level details of the VRM and ICs.
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If you missed it, we have a full hardware review of the Steam Deck on the channel already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeQH__XVa64 (WATCH THIS VIDEO for full details on thermal design, airflow design, power, gaming benchmarks, and more on the Valve Steam Deck)

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We also went through the specs of the Steam Deck here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkolKam3kjU
Watch our factory tour series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQU5lK29br8&list=PLsuVSmND84QuVMZuk2HGUtCSYXR7nmC5a

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This tear-down of the Steam Deck talks about the battery, the fan and replacement fans (wasn’t easy to find!), heatsink design, screw placement, MOSFET, inductor, voltage regulator, and battery charging IC specs, and more. We’ll cover the VRM current capabilities in this as well, with a lesson on how they work and what they do (for anyone new to this stuff to get introduced). Our hardware review of the Steam Deck is already live on the channel and covered everything else, like battery life, but our focus here is “repairability,” access, overall build quality, and design details.

TIMESTAMPS

00:00 - Steam Deck Teardown & Component Analysis
01:24 - Walk Around of the Steam Deck
02:12 - Steam Deck vs. Switch vs. Switch OLED Comparison
02:53 - Opening Up the Steam Deck
06:00 - Basics of the Thermal Design (See Other Video)
12:17 - Explaining a VRM & Why It Matters
13:45 - Power Component Analysis
14:58 - Power Capabilities
16:15 - VRM Layout & Configuration
17:50 - Teaching Moment for These Parts
19:02 - Battery Charging Circuit Quality
20:56 - MORE TEAR-DOWN
22:10 - So Much Thermal Paste
24:40 - Cables & Connections
28:30 - Controller Boards
30:06 - Conclusion: Build Quality, Shortcomings, & Highlights

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Host, Test Lead, Writing: Steve Burke
Testing: Patrick Lathan
Research: Patrick Stone
Video: Andrew Coleman
Video Production: Keegan Gallick
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