When you’re fortunate sufficient to trace down a Steam Deck, chances are high you have already skilled the sweaty palm syndrome with this handheld console — simply as our very personal Jess Conditt did in her evaluate. Worse but, the machine is liable to throttling and even crashing on account of overheating, to the purpose the place modders got here up with their very own creative solutions. For the remainder of us who do not wish to void the guarantee, although, Hong Kong-based Unitek is now providing the Cooler Dock Pro for Steam Deck. That is primarily Valve’s official dock boosted with a thermoelectric cooler on the again, should you do not thoughts paying the additional $30.
Very like the official dock, Unitek’s model cushions your Steam Deck — or any moveable machine, for that matter — with a strip of soppy silicone, and there is a brief USB-C cable dangling from the again for connecting to the console. The thermoelectric cooler, RGB-lit fan and metallic contact plate are all housed inside a hinged module, which permits for minor tilt angle adjustment whereas supporting the Steam Deck.
The Cooler Dock Professional comes with a set of ports just like these on Valve’s dock, however with some positioned on the entrance as a substitute — the latter embody two USB-A and one USB-C (as much as 10Gbps), accompanied with two RGB lights. On the again, you get a USB-C PD socket (as much as 100W passthrough), HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4 and Gigabit LAN. It is price noting that this dock helps Multi-Stream Transport i.e. daisy-chaining a number of screens within the console’s Linux desktop mode. When you’re utilizing only one video output, you may stand up to 8K at 60Hz or 4K at 120Hz; however should you’re utilizing each ports, then it is both twin 4K at 60Hz, or 8K at 30Hz on one and 1080p at 60Hz on the opposite.
Unitek has added one further USB-C port on the left, which is devoted to the cooler module. If you wish to use simply the cooling perform whereas on the go i.e. no shows nor equipment linked to the dock, you may merely plug an influence financial institution into that 10W USB-C socket.
Unitek claims that whereas working Apex Legends, the Steam Deck’s common floor temperature was round 46°C (114.8°F), however when used with the Cooling Dock Professional, this determine dropped all the way down to 34.5°C (94.1°F) — falling inside the recommended ambient temperature vary. For a extra excessive take a look at, we ran Forza Horizon 5 on extremely graphics settings, by which case the Steam Deck would usually fail to start out a race, nevertheless it managed to final for round six minutes on the Cooling Dock Professional. The corporate added that when lowered to excessive graphics settings, the sport would crash after round 45 minutes of gameplay, however with its dock, it stored working even after an hour. After all, your mileage might differ from one sport to a different, nevertheless it’s extra about prolonging your Steam Deck’s lifespan.
The $119 Unitek Cooling Dock Professional is now obtainable for pre-order, with shipments ranging from round mid-December. There’s additionally a less expensive $89 Cooling Dock for individuals who solely want an HDMI 2.0 port (capped at 4K at 60Hz). It must be famous that there is no energy provide included with both mannequin (however they do include a 2-meter 100W USB-C cable), whereas Valve’s $89 official dock features a 45W brick. Likelihood is you might have already got a appropriate energy provide; Unitek recommends that you will want 60W or above to get essentially the most out of the Cooler Dock Professional.
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