Modder creates a Steam Deck not knowing Valve’s handheld exists 

DIY goodness.

Ryzen Deck mod created without knowing what Steam Deck is.

By now, almost everyone’s aware that Steam Deck is one of the best gaming handhelds out there. For one unsuspecting creator who somehow didn’t even know it existed, however, they’ve taken measures into their own hands by building a bespoke portable device.

After nine months of 3D printing the thing, r/SBCGaming subreddit user Raven0606 shared images of their ‘Ryzen Deck’. This isn’t what it was originally called, of course, but the Redditor changed the name as a homage to Steam Deck after learning about Valve’s hit gadget.

Raven0606 says they’ve mulled over a handheld retro gaming device for years, taking inspiration from Araymbox’s gamePi. Ryzen Deck is something of a Frankenstein’s Monster. The gamepads come from an original Xbox controller that’s split in half and hooked up to an Arduino Micro board. These feed into a motherboard salvaged from a mini PC with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600G on top.

This APU isn’t quite as powerful as most of the key gaming handhelds on the market, but it handles itself well. Apparently, it can run light games at 30fps at 28W TDP and even ramp up to 45fps at 65W for The Witcher 3. Not bad for a first attempt. Raven0606 says the next step is to “get some DDR5 laptop/Minisforum and cut the mainboard out of it” for a second version.

As bulky as it looks from the chassis, it’s deceivingly light. Weighing 1,560g / 3.44lbs, it’s a touch heavier than Steam Deck LCD, but practically a featherweight compared to Lenovo Legion Go. The maker says they used particularly heavy components, such as a 200g cooler so that the thing doesn’t melt. Raven0606 plans on resting it on their lap anyway, so it fits the bill.

The 108Wh battery also adds a chunk to the overall heft. The creator has yet to test it fully but estimates it’ll last around three hours on average, but it can drain in as quickly as 90 minutes. Mileage varies depending on tasks and game settings, but they typically run it using a 28-65W TDP for “light gaming” with music playing through Bluetooth speakers.

They already have plans to lengthen the battery life with a detachable pack that feeds into the cooler. This is “why the bottom looks strange on the back,” as the mechanism is designed to plug into the case.

The main detractor is that it runs Windows, but a 1280x800p HDMI interface touchscreen helps navigation. It only runs at 60Hz, but remember that this is supposed to be a retro gaming machine. Anything more than that would simply chomp at the battery life.

I can’t wait to see what Raven0606 has in store next. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to make your own Steam Deck-like handheld. Offering words of encouragement akin to Nike’s slogan, they say: just do it, chase your dreams. “If something is fun for you and you got a big goal – you can make it. Just don’t forget the fun part, take breaks, and get back to your project fully focused.” Don’t feel guilty if you’d prefer to grab an Asus ROG Ally from Amazon, though. Different strokes for different folks.