Actually a bit surprised no one discovered this sooner, but it turns out you can just salvage the motherboard out of the Steam Deck and use it as a console. Just connect a power supply, keyboard and mouse, and a HDMI cable via a USB-C dock, and you’re good to go. No battery needed. But you may want to throw in a CPU cooler for good measure.
That’s exactly what u/Ayeitsyaboii did on r/SteamDeck. “Yes, you can plug a bare motherboard into a dock and it’s fully functional with no extra steps,” they said. “I added a CPU cooler just to make it that much more ridiculous.” Though this user had used the LCD version of the motherboard, it’s likely that the OLED mobo will work just fine on its own as well.
Just imagine the possibilities here. You could make a custom case for the tiny mobo and turn it into a mini PC/console. Or you could just strap it to the back of your monitor with a VESA clip and have your all-in-one PC ready to go. Or put in a full-size NVMe drive instead of the shorter, more-expensive 2230 version. Cool the heck out of it and overclock it like no one’s business. Maybe plug in an external GPU?
“Hey Valve!” one Reddit user in the thread commented. “Sell us this in a cute box!”
iFixit used to sell the motherboard by itself, but I’m not seeing it available in the parts store now. If I recall correctly they were sold for $350 a pop anyway, so you might as well just buy a 256 GB LCD Deck for $400…or maybe get a refurbished 64 GB model from GameStop for cheaper, if you can actually find one. The closest one to me is 36 miles away…haha.
Images credit of u/Ayeitsyaboii.
WARNING: LGC will be shutting down March 7, 2024. See this post for more details.