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Best Steam Deck microSD: top overall, fast, 1TB picks

We select the best microSD cards for the Steam Deck.
Last Updated on November 14, 2023
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When it comes to expanding the storage of your Steam Deck, selecting the best microSD card is crucial. In this article, we delve into the best microSD cards for the Steam Deck, ensuring that you have ample space for all your games without compromising on performance.

A microSD card is an essential accessory for any Steam Deck user, offering the flexibility to store a larger library of games and media. Whether you’re a casual player or a hardcore gamer, the right microSD card can significantly enhance your gaming experience.

Products at a Glance

How we picked the best Steam Deck microSD

Our selection process for the best Steam Deck microSD cards involves a thorough examination of several critical criteria. We prioritize cards that offer the best combination of speed, capacity, and value for money. By analyzing publicly available benchmark specifications and user reviews, we assess the performance of each card in real-world portable PC gaming scenarios.

Price is another crucial factor in our evaluation. We aim to recommend memory cards that provide the most storage space per dollar without sacrificing performance. Additionally, we look at the warranty and support offered by the manufacturer, ensuring that you have recourse in the rare event of card failure. If this guide is a bit too specific, check out our guide to the best Steam Deck accessories. On the other hand, we also have a guide to the best Steam Deck dock if you’re after something niche.

Our Recommended

Best Steam Deck microSD: top overall, fast, 1TB picks

1
PROS
  • High read/write speeds.
  • Large storage capacity options.
  • Durable and reliable.
CONS
  • Pricier than some competitors.
  • Limited to 512GB capacity.
  • May overheat under continuous heavy use.

The Samsung Pro Plus microSD card stands out as the Editor’s Choice for Steam Deck users, offering a harmonious blend of speed, capacity, and durability. With options ranging up to 512GB, it ensures ample storage for an extensive game library. The Pro Plus excels in performance with read speeds up to 160MB/s and write speeds up to 120MB/s, making it ideal for fast game loading and smooth performance.

One of the key benefits of the Pro Plus is its exceptional reliability. Designed to withstand harsh conditions, it’s water, temperature, X-ray, magnet, and drop-proof, ensuring your game data remains safe. Additionally, its high-speed performance means that games and media are not only stored but also accessed and played seamlessly, enhancing the overall gaming experience on the Steam Deck.

The Samsung Pro Plus is perfect for Steam Deck users who require a high-performance microSD card for intensive gaming sessions. Its combination of rapid data transfer speeds and robust build quality makes it an ideal choice for gamers who prioritize both speed and reliability in their gaming experience.

2
PROS
  • Exceptionally fast read/write speeds.
  • High capacity up to 1TB.
  • A2 rated for app performance.
CONS
  • Premium price point.
  • May require formatting for optimal performance.
  • Overkill for less demanding applications.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro emerges as the fastest microSD card option, an ideal choice for users seeking top-tier performance for their Steam Deck and one of the best SD cards in general. Known for its lightning-fast read speeds of up to 170MB/s and write speeds of up to 90MB/s, the Extreme Pro ensures quick game loads and efficient data transfer. Its capacity ranges up to 1TB, offering plenty of space for a vast array of games and media.

What sets the Extreme Pro apart is its unmatched speed, which significantly reduces loading times, making it perfect for fast-paced games and high-performance applications. Additionally, it is A2 rated for faster app performance, ensuring that not only storage but also game execution is swift. The card’s robust build quality, including waterproof, shockproof, and X-ray-proof capabilities, guarantees that your data remains secure in various environments and extreme temperatures.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro is ideally suited for Steam Deck gamers and power users who require the fastest possible data speeds for a seamless gaming experience. Whether it’s for competitive gaming or for handling large, graphically intense games, this microSD card ensures that performance is never compromised.

3
PROS
  • Large 1TB capacity.
  • Affordable pricing.
  • A1 rated for app performance.
CONS
  • Slower than high-end options.
  • Overkill for casual users.
  • Not the fastest for heavy-duty tasks.

The SanDisk Ultra microSD card is an excellent choice for Steam Deck users looking for substantial extra storage without breaking the bank. This card offers a generous 1TB internal storage capacity, making it the Best 1 TB option for storing a large library of games, apps, and media files.

One of the standout features of the SanDisk Ultra is its cost-effectiveness, providing a high-capacity storage solution at an affordable price. The card’s A1 rating for faster app performance signifies that it can run applications efficiently, which is crucial for gamers who multitask or use their Steam Deck for more than just gaming.

Ideal for Steam Deck users who need expansive storage for a diverse range of content, the SanDisk Ultra strikes a perfect balance between price, performance, and capacity. It is especially well-suited for gamers who want to store an extensive game collection and multimedia files without frequently swapping cards.

4
PROS
  • Optimized for gaming performance.
  • Durable and reliable.
  • Good balance of speed and capacity.
CONS
  • Limited to 512GB capacity.
  • Slightly slower than top-tier options.
  • May not be the best for non-gaming tasks.

The PNY XLR8 microSDXC Gaming card emerges as the Most Versatile option, designed specifically with gamers in mind. Offering capacities up to 512GB, it provides ample space for games, downloadable content, and updates. The card boasts impressive performance with read speeds of up to 100MB/s and write speeds up to 90MB/s, ensuring quick access and saving of game data.

A significant advantage of the PNY XLR8 is its optimization for gaming. It delivers smooth performance and fast data transfer, enhancing the gaming experience on the Steam Deck. The card’s durability is another key factor, as it is built to withstand the rigors of portable gaming. It is resistant to various environmental factors, including water, shock, and magnets.

This micro SD card is particularly well-suited for gamers who want a balance of speed, capacity, and gaming-focused features. Its performance is geared towards providing a reliable gaming experience, making it an excellent choice for Steam Deck users who frequently play graphics-intensive and demanding games.

Features and Considerations

When choosing the best microSD card for your Valve Steam Deck, there are several factors to consider. Firstly, the card’s speed class is paramount. Look for cards with a UHS Speed Class 3 (U3) or Video Speed Class 30 (V30) rating, which ensures fast read and write speeds, crucial for gaming performance.

Durability is another critical factor in your purchase. Gaming can be intensive, and a microSD card that can withstand constant read/write cycles and potential physical damage is a must. Also, consider the brand reputation. Established brands often offer better reliability and warranty support.

What SD format is best for Steam Deck?

The best SD format for the Steam Deck is the ext4 format. It’s essential to format your SD cards and storage devices in ext4 to fully integrate them into your Gaming Mode library. This format ensures optimal compatibility and performance with the Steam Deck, allowing you to access and manage your games and media seamlessly. Using ext4 format, you can maximize the efficiency and utility of your microSD card with the Steam Deck.

 

Our Verdict

Our Editor’s Choice, the Samsung Pro Plus, stands out with its top-tier performance, offering rapid read/write speeds and exceptional durability, ideal for gamers who demand the best in terms of reliability and efficiency. It’s the go-to option for those who seek a premium storage solution.

For diverse needs, the SanDisk Extreme Pro offers the fastest speed, making it perfect for users who prioritize quick game loading and performance. The SanDisk Ultra is the best choice for those who need 1TB of storage without a hefty price tag, suitable for extensive game libraries. Lastly, the PNY XLR8 microSDXC Gaming card is ideal for a versatile gaming experience.