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Thursday, December 7, 2023

AMD is quietly arming a complete new wave of Steam Deck opponents

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You’ve clearly heard of the Steam Deck, and maybe Asus drew your consideration to the upcoming ROG Ally with its not-an-April-Fools’-joke. However that’s apparently simply the tip of the iceberg for AMD-powered Steam Deck rivals, which have a minimum of 4 handhelds based mostly on slivers of silicon the chipmaker has but to disclose.

One of many causes we obtained so excited in regards to the Asus ROG Ally is that Asus hinted it may be the primary handheld since Steam Deck to supply a customized half particularly tuned for portables — and a rising physique of leaks means that collaboration with AMD known as the Ryzen Z1.

And at the moment, Geekbench leaks (which ought to all the time be taken with a grain of salt) counsel Asus may very well be utilizing two such chips: a six-core, 12-thread Ryzen Z1 with two RDNA 3 graphics compute models (CUs) and an eight-core, 16-thread Ryzen Z1 Excessive with six RNDA3 CUs, which may have larger efficiency and energy consumption.

However get this. A delivery manifest noticed by VideoCardz additionally exhibits an ROG Ally with one other unannounced identify: the Ryzen 7 7840U, a 3.3GHz chip with Radeon 780M graphics that’s suspected to be all but identical to that Z1 Excessive.

This wouldn’t be the primary time these boutique transportable PC makers have tried to problem the Steam Deck. A 12 months in the past, I wrote how they have been all gearing up with the off-the-shelf AMD 6800U laptop computer chip, which sadly didn’t change into environment friendly sufficient for a reliable transportable. (Read my Ayaneo 2 review for particulars.)

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However Aokzoe, a minimum of, appears fairly assured that it might probably match the Steam Deck with a 7840U: it’s been posting video after video of its A1 Professional’s efficiency to YouTube, together with one tiny clip the place the A1 Professional is working the identical recreation on the identical processor wattage and with comparable battery drain to the Steam Deck and nonetheless manages to run notably sooner.

If that’s what a 7840U can do, I’m heartened. (It wouldn’t be an excessive amount of of a shock contemplating we’re taking a look at Zen 4 and RDNA 3 as an alternative of the Zen 2 and RDNA 2 in the Steam Deck’s Aerith chip.)

Nevertheless it’s only a tiny glimpse for now, and we don’t know whether or not any of those firms can hit the proper worth with these chips or get Microsoft’s help to show Home windows into one thing simple and comfy to make use of on a gaming handheld. And AMD didn’t instantly reply to a request for this story.

One other factor that heartens me, although:

Final July, once I reached out to my AMD PR contacts about handheld gaming PCs, they advised me they didn’t actually have a contact who may deal with such a request, including:

We don’t have any additional particulars to share presently concerning AMD chips in handheld gaming PCs. We’ll actually be in contact with information and alternatives because it pertains to AMD sooner or later however sadly presently should not capable of join you instantly.

This week, they launched me to a selected one who might help me going ahead.

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