The beta patch seems to have significantly reduced fan noise, but temperatures have increased as a result.
In order to fix the fan whining problem we’ve been hearing about so much recently, Steam Deck users may now download a new beta version – provided they’re willing to instal a patch currently in development. We’ll get to that later.
Anyone who has a Steam Deck and is annoyed by a high-pitched whine from one of the fans may have missed the outcry over the topic of loud fans (with some folks even resorting to odd measures like opening their device and sticking electrical tape inside as a kind of fudged fix).
However, a new software patch for the Steam Deck is now available, but it is still in beta.
There is no particular mention of fan whining in the patch notes. Nevertheless, Valve writes in its description of the changes that it has “Added an OS-controlled fan curve to enhance the experience in low use conditions, and adjusted how the fan reacts to various scenarios and temperature.”
“Fixed an issue where OS fan control did not immediately continue after waking up the device from sleep” is another fan-related action.
According to PC Gamer, which discovered the update, the tinkering manoeuvres seem to be tied to the fan noise problem, since there have been several posts online from Deck owners who indicate that installing this patch cures the whining issue (or the worst of it).
“The change was visible almost immediately” while playing Euro Truck Simulator 2 as a test, our sister site said, noting that the pitch of the fan noise was much lower with the latest patch.
The drawback? That’s what PC Gamer reports: the game moved from pushing temperatures of 63-68°C (on high graphics settings) to 75-79°C, which is a significant increase (closing on 20 percent higher).
Let’s not be too fast to judge this one.
This seems like an odd trade-off to make in order to fix an issue such as the reported fan noise, but it’s not really. The CPU is running hotter because of it. In other words, it isn’t a terrific scenario, but it’s also not especially worrisome for the Steam Deck in absolute terms. PC Gamer also tested Elden Ring, which reached a maximum temperature of 80°C, so it’s not a big deal.
Remember that this is still a beta update, so some issues and defects are to be anticipated. Hopefully, they will be sorted out by the time it is released. There may be little or no impact on system temperatures after this update is released.
To put it simply, beta releases are anticipated to have some hiccups, and this is why you shouldn’t run them on your device if you don’t want to risk encountering the unexpected at some point.
For the most part, this shows us that Valve has a grip on the fan problem, and hopefully Steam Deck users won’t be forced into any further and more complicated measures such as iFixit’s repair system.