The Taiwan giant has officially revealed the ASUS ROG Ally handheld gaming console, which will be powered by the AMD Ryzen Z1 series and will retail for $599 USD. The ASUS ROG Ally is without a doubt the closest competitor to Valve’s Steam Deck. The latter begins at $399 US and rises to $649 US for the 512 GB model. The ASUS ROG Ally starts at $599 USD for the 256 GB Ryzen Z1 and $699 USD for the Ryzen Z1 Extreme model, despite the fact that the performance is on another level.
ASUS has officially collaborated with AMD on the Ryzen Z1 processor family. These chips are primarily intended for handheld gaming consoles and are available in two variants: the basic Z1 and the higher-end Z1 extreme. The Zen 4 CPU and RDNA 3 GPU are found in both processors. The Ryzen Z1 Extreme has 8 cores, 16 threads, 12 RDNA 3 cores, and 24 MB cache, whereas the Ryzen Z1 has 6 cores, 12 threads, 4 RDNA 3 cores, and 22 MB cache.
While the specifications look comparable to the AMD Ryzen 7040U “Phoenix” APUs, the Ryzen Z1 chips offer better power management and a TDP rating ranging from 9W to 30W. These new APUs are supposed to give 50% more performance than the Steam Deck at 15W and twice as much performance while running at its maximum 35W performance level. There’s also the added benefit of FSR and RSR support, which can boost performance even more. Some raytracing and FSR benchmarks of the RDNA 3 iGPU may be found here.
One significant benefit of having a low TDP range, such as the one provided by the ASUS ROG Ally, is that you may switch to silent mode for light-weight activity such as watching YouTube or streaming Netflix and obtain far longer battery life than the usual 15W mode provides.
The ASUS ROG Ally mobile gaming console’s overall design choices reflect comparable concepts we already see in the handheld sector, from chunky handles to ergonomic grips, and looks quite similar to Valve’s Steam Deck, One-Netbook’s OneXPlayer, and others. It also appears that the business investigated detachable gamepads, which only a few have used in their designs.
The screen on the ASUS ROG Ally is a 7-inch 120Hz panel (5ms response time) with a maximum resolution of 1080P FHD and up to 500 Nits brightness. The new console will reportedly weigh 669g. The new ASUS ROG Ally will have two thumbsticks, a D-Pad, and the ABXY button arrangement found on all contemporary handhelds, with the exception of Nintendo, which chose to reverse those buttons. Other buttons and trigger sticks can be found on the top and back of the device.
The ASUS ROG Ally can also support the ASUS XG Mobile external GPU (eGPU), which has NVIDIA graphics as powerful as the RTX 4090 family. While this eGPU adds a lot more power to the handheld’s capabilities, it also costs $2000 US, which is a costly price to pay unless you are a gamer on the move who needs the greatest possible solution next to you all the time in tiny designs.
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