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Valve Warns Steam Deck Owners Against Gaming In Hot Weather

Steam Deck
Steam Deck (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Valve, via an official tweet (opens in new tab), has recommended Steam Deck owners not to game on their devices outside in the scorching weather. The warning comes as a result of the heat wave that is cooking in the U.K. and Europe.

The Steam Deck manufacturer highlights that the handheld gaming device performs the best in ambient temperatures between zero and 35 degrees Celsius. If the temperature exceeds the limit, the Steam Deck's built-in mechanism will throttle performance to protect itself. Temperatures in the U.K. have surpassed the 40 degrees Celsius mark, a new record high for the U.K.

Valve explains that the custom quad-core AMD APU (codename Aerith) inside the Steam Deck operates without hiccups up to 100 degrees Celsius. Once the temperature exceeds that threshold, the Steam Deck will throttle the chip, degrading overall performance. In a worst-case scenario where the temperature hits 105 degrees Celsius, the Steam Deck will power down completely to prevent overheating and safeguard the device's integrity.

Valve isn't the first manufacturer to recommend its customers not to use their devices in the sizzling environment. A week earlier, Nintendo took to Twitter (opens in new tab) to issue a similar warning to Nintendo Switch owners. The Japanese manufacturer considers that 35 degrees Celsius is the maximum safe ambient temperature. Nintendo also recommended that Switch users clean the air intake and outtake ports and leave at least 10cm of space around them.

If you're gaming on the Steam Deck, stay inside until the weather improves.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • ThatMouse
    I'm surprised they let it get that hot. At 100 degrees, would you not literally see steam coming from your Steam Deck?
    Reply
  • Armbrust11
    I think these warnings are for the health and safety of the battery not the CPU. 🔋

    RE: do CPUs produce steam? The answer is potentially, if used to heat water. But putting your CPU in contact with with water is generally a bad idea. And even so, it would take a long time. A stove usually is at least a thousand degrees and usually closer to two and it still takes several minutes to bring water to a boil.
    Reply
  • Neilbob
    Armbrust11 said:
    A stove usually is at least a thousand degrees and usually closer to two and it still takes several minutes to bring water to a boil.

    Huh? Rather off-topic here, but I think you may be overstating how hot a stove can get :D

    The boiling point of water is 100C (212F), and most ovens top out at about maybe 250C (482F). A thousand or two would almost certainly be enough to make the oven melt and your house catch on fire.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Armbrust11 said:
    A stove usually is at least a thousand degrees and usually closer to two and it still takes several minutes to bring water to a boil.
    The red-hot coil element glow is about 700C. The temperature of the element has nothing to do with how long it takes to boil water though: the element only glow red-hot because of exceedingly poor heat transfer between the element and your stove-top kettle/pot. Even a 120V electric kettle will boil water faster than stove-top simply due to the far more efficient heat transfer between the heater and water, save for the possible exception of induction cooktops. In an ideal world, 120V countries should mandate something like two 5-20 outlets or local equivalent in kitchens to accommodate 240V kettles, induction cookers, toaster ovens, etc.
    Reply
  • Makaveli
    Neilbob said:
    Huh? Rather off-topic here, but I think you may be overstating how hot a stove can get :D

    The boiling point of water is 100C (212F), and most ovens top out at about maybe 250C (482F). A thousand or two would almost certainly be enough to make the oven melt and your house catch on fire.

    I lol'd when I read that post also what kinda stove was he using there boss perhaps rocket fuel to power it
    Reply
  • DougMcC
    ThatMouse said:
    I'm surprised they let it get that hot. At 100 degrees, would you not literally see steam coming from your Steam Deck?

    Only if you have enough water (enough for the steam to be visible to the naked eye) in there for some reason, in direct contact with something that hot, which would probably have prevented operation of your device due to electrical short.
    IOW: yeah, your electronics have steam coming out of them all the time. Just not enough for you to notice.
    Reply