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New Steam Deck Dock Houses Full-Sized M.2 NVMe SSDs, Does 4K at 60Hz

M.2 Docking Station for Steam Deck
(Image credit: JSAUX)

Computer accessories maker Jsaux has released its new HB0604 docking station for the Steam Deck that comes with a built-in 2280-sized M.2 slot for NVMe SSDs. This cool invention is a workaround for the Steam Deck's non-upgradable SSD limitations that allows users to connect a full-sized M.2 drive with the Deck's USB Type-C port. The dock also has an HDMI 2.0 port that supports up to a 4K output at 60Hz, or 2K at 120Hz.

The dock is a full 6-in-1 docking station that can feed power, storage, USB, and display data to the Deck via a single USB Type-C connection. I/O connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports, a single Type-C port with 100W charging capabilities, an HDMI 2.0 port supporting up to 4K at 60Hz, and an ethernet port for wired internet connectivity.

M.2 Docking Station for Steam Deck

(Image credit: JSAUX)

Drive accessibility is the only limitation of this combo. For obvious reasons, you can't access the M.2 drive without using the dock. But this problem shouldn't be a big deal for gamers who regularly connect the Deck to an external monitor or TV.

Another perk of the Type-C dock is that any number of Type-C devices can use the docking station, including laptops, other Windows-based gaming handhelds, and even Android smartphones. So naturally, we don't think the Steam Deck will play well at the higher 4K and 2K resolutions supported for the display. 

The dock's M.2 slot supports NVMe and SATA but is limited to maximum speeds of 900 MB/s, a limitation of the Type-C connection. Unfortunately, the M.2 slot in the console is only a Gen 3 x4 supported version, but on the flip side, we doubt the Deck would be able to take full advantage of PCIe 4.0 SSD bandwidth.

The only potential issue with the dock is its incredibly high price of $99.99 — and that's without an SSD. With one, such as a 1TB SSD, you're looking at roughly an extra $100 on top of the docking station's price. For an extra $200, you're just $50 short of the top-end 512GB Steam Deck model compared to the $399 64GB baseline variant. Or you could grab a 1TB MicroSD card for $120 and save an additional $80.

As a result, gamers will need to regularly take advantage of the dock's internet or display connectivity for the added cost to be worth it. Valve has already said that gaming performance with the microSD card slot is sufficient, so adding more high-speed SSD performance to the Steam Deck probably won't do much for performance. However, the extra capacity will be appreciated. 

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • atomicWAR
    Its great to see 3rd party hardware support move so quickly to fill this gap Valve left with their yet to be released steam deck dock.

    Yet...I had my steam deck just about two weeks before I returned it. I wanted to love it but I still felt a bit like I was in an open beta test. I have a stoopid number of games of which only about a 1/6 th of were "playable" and only a third of those were "verified". Until Valve can get somewhere in the realm of half of all titles playable and 95% of new titles, the steam deck will remain a niche of a niche product.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    So you change handheld gaming device to PC... Hmm... I can see the irony in here ;)
    Reply
  • _dawn_chorus_
    atomicWAR said:
    Its great to see 3rd party hardware support move so quickly to fill this gap Valve left with their yet to be released steam deck dock.

    Yet...I had my steam deck just about two weeks before I returned it. I wanted to love it but I still felt a bit like I was in an open beta test. I have a stoopid number of games of which only about a 1/6 th of were "playable" and only a third of those were "verified". Until Valve can get somewhere in the realm of half of all titles playable and 95% of new titles, the steam deck will remain a niche of a niche product.

    I had mine in the first month after release, and then I might have agreed with you, but in the past few months the experience has improved dramatically.
    Not sure when you had your Deck but of the 100 or so games I have cycled through mine I have had about 2 that would outright crash and another couple that had some controller input issue. Switching between proton GE and Steam OS I've made many, many "unsupported" games play just fine. I've been consistently impressed by the device.
    Reply
  • husker
    "The dock also has an HDMI 2.0 port that supports up to a 4K output at 60Hz, or 2K at 120Hz. "
    I believe the Steam Deck is built for 1280x800 resolution gaming, which is approximately equivalent to 720p . I think to get playable rates at those increased resolutions will require some kind of external video card as well.
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    _dawn_chorus_ said:
    I had mine in the first month after release, and then I might have agreed with you, but in the past few months the experience has improved dramatically.
    Not sure when you had your Deck but of the 100 or so games I have cycled through mine I have had about 2 that would outright crash and another couple that had some controller input issue. Switching between proton GE and Steam OS I've made many, many "unsupported" games play just fine. I've been consistently impressed by the device.

    I got mine in August. I only just returned it. Game crashes (even verified titles),lack of game support compared to libarary size... Still beta sorry. I am glad its better and maybe steam deck 2 will get my money. But up til now, no thank you.
    Reply