Vietnam’s TikToker has gone to great lengths to fit a full-fledged 240mm AIO liquid cooler into their Steam Deck handheld game console. video It shows the whole creation process. This included building a custom baseplate for the deck and drilling some holes in the rear clamshell to make room for the AIO. But that hard work resulted in a 32% thermal drop, giving the Steam Deck’s tiny Van Gough APUs plenty of thermal headroom to reach their peak boost clocks.
Despite its success, this mod was not for the faint of heart and required the Steam deck’s hull to be punctured and damaged. If you care about the longevity of your Steam decks, this probably shouldn’t be tried.
Tiktoker made this mod with just a few parts, so it’s very simple. First, he created a custom heat spreader out of metal designed to be sandwiched between Decks’ metal cooling solution and his AIO pump itself, allowing effective heat transfer between the two components. .
Next, cut a square out of the rear clamshell of the steam deck to expose the outer portion of the APU’s cooling solution, and attach the metal heat spreader securely to the cutout on the back of the deck and secure it with four screws as well. bottom. Two thermal pads were then placed on top and bottom of the makeshift heat spreader before the modified outer shell was put back on the steam deck. Finally, he connected the pump to a makeshift heat spreader with four screws.
To no one’s surprise, this mod worked quite well, dropping my CPU and GPU temperatures from an average of about 85 degrees Celsius to about 60 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the Steam deck’s CPU and GPU should be able to hit peak boost clocks without issue, as long as there’s enough power available for both components.
Using a liquid cooler is as extreme as possible with the Steam Deck, providing over 15x the cooling required by the deck’s SoC (assuming the AIO is rated for 250W heat dissipation). This mod proves how easy it is to cool your deck using desktop CPU cooling. I’m sure there will be custom coolers that are even more optimized for decks, with things like low-profile air coolers. This greatly improves portability and provides very good heat dissipation, especially when thermal paste is used.