After a flurry of customer complaints and reviews, it looks like there’s a fix coming for the ridiculously loud fans on the Steam Deck, courtesy of iFixit.
Since its launch in late February, some Steam Deck owners have complained about the high-pitched whirring of the handheld’s fans, with some finding it particularly annoying like our fellow PC Gamers – although our own Matt Hanson wasn’t particularly disturbed by noise.
Hi! We plan to sell the replacement fans, and have been looking for any that we will have available.April 18, 2022
The difficulty seems to be the availability of the 50mm x 10mm 5V fan, which could have inconsistent performance as there aren’t many of them in supply chains, and Valve has been looking at different fans to address the issue.
Fortunately, iFixit is on the case. The online self-repair clearinghouse has partnered with Valve to provide Steam Deck repair and modding support – and in response to a user request on Twitter, iFixit confirmed that he is looking to sell quieter replacement fans for the Steam Deck.
It’s not yet known if and when such replacement fans will become available, but hopefully it won’t be too long.
Analysis: a new victory for the right to repair
The right to repair has been in the news lately, driven both by legislation and advocacy on behalf of consumers, but also as companies like Apple and Google relax previously rigid stances on the issue.
The question of who owns a product once it is purchased should be simple, but it really isn’t. Due to the increasing amount of proprietary technology in everything from cars to iPhones, many manufacturers are preventing customers from accessing the products they have purchased.
The companies say that due to the deeply intertwined nature of so many of these components, tinkering with the innards of a product raises more concerns than just a voided warranty; this could pose serious safety issues for customers and those around them.
Consumer advocates, however, pushed back against the age-old legal principle that once you’ve bought something, no one should be allowed to tell you what you can and can’t do with it, as long as you’re not breaking any laws. .
Many engineers today first embarked on engineering by disassembling and reassembling existing products, and the right to repair was therefore seen as a crucial means for engineering education to a person starts and progresses. Take that away, and what happens to the future of the engineering profession itself?
Thankfully, common sense seems to be making headway in this space, and Valve in particular should be credited for leading the way with the Steam Deck.