Anyone who has been blessed with a steam deck who arrived with the first round of Q1 orders will likely be aware of a glaring problem: the ridiculous wail of fans. This caused annoyance on the Steam Deck forums and saw a lot of people sending their Decks back to Valve for RMA.
When asking the question “How tall is the Steam Deck?” we found that it’s not the decibels that actually make the fan a problem. Especially when traveling with our Deck out, we couldn’t hear him because of the general noise inside the plane’s cabin. No, it’s the tone that really takes the cookie. It’s enough for you to be relegated to the couch for the night after playing with your Deck at full power in bed.
People all over the web have tried all sorts of hacky fixes to try and control the mosquito noise piercing their eardrums. One Reddit user even reported improvements after jam electrical tape into your Steam Deckand while we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this as a solution, it did seem to work for some users.
If your Steam Deck fan is whimpering like a baby who’s had his candy stolen, you can always wait iFixit to go out with replacement fans. Or you can do what we did and go for the latest Steam Deck OS beta software update.
The beta operating system patch notes they don’t actually say anything about how to improve fan moaning specifically, but it’s become clear from scouring the comments on various Reddit posts that many have seen improvements since the update. The downside, as many report, is the increased GPU temperature.
Shoot Euro Truck Simulator 2 on the Deck, we found our baseline to test. At high graphics settings, we reached around 63–68°C at full load, with the fan tone humming to something in the 1000Hz region. This translates to a C6, which is a super high note, not one you want to constantly listen to as you try to relax on the open road.
After downloading the new beta operating system, the difference was evident almost immediately. Even in the menus there was a noticeable shift in tone, and it sounded genuinely quieter in-game. The fan seemed to have calmed down, but it turns out the trade-off is a pretty steep rise in GPU temperatures.
High graphics came close to 75°C and peaked at 79°C in the beta OS – not ideal, but still in the acceptable temperature zone for a portable gaming machine.
It is important to note that this update It’s It’s still in beta, so the developers at Valve are probably still tweaking it as feedback comes in. Be sure to report what you find if you install it so they have a larger sample to make decisions. We hope they find a good medium, because 10°C is a lot of heat to bear just to silence those fans.
Perhaps the best option for now is to invest in one of the best gaming headphones to block out the noise, rather than putting more pressure on that little custom AMD GPU.