The Ryzen Z1 Series Aim to Supercharge Handheld Gaming PCs

The Ryzen Z1 Series Aim to Supercharge Handheld Gaming PCs

Now that ASUS has revealed more details about the ROG Ally, the main highlight of its spec sheet is the processor powering it. AMD has made its Ryzen Z1 series official, which is a 4nm-based processor that’s geared towards handheld gaming PCs–with the ROG Ally being the first to use it.

There are two variants: the higher-end Z1 Extreme has 8 Zen 4 CPU cores and 16 threads, along with 12 RDNA 3 GPU cores and 24MB of cache. AMD promises up to 8.6 teraflops of graphic performance, which is close to the 10.28 teraflops a PlayStation 5 has to offer–all while being geared toward handheld gaming devices.

There’s a tamer vanilla version that offers 6 CPU cores and 12 threads, along with 4 GPU cores and 22MB cache. Despite that, the regular Ryzen Z1 is significantly more powerful than the Steam Deck’s custom Zen 2-based Aerith chip.

How do those specs translate to real-life performance? AMD claims that the Ryzen Z1 series can do 60FPS gaming on demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Forza Horizon 4 at an upscaled 1080p resolution–where AMD Radeon’s Super Resolution is utilized. In native 1080p resolution, demanding games would hover at below the 60FPS mark for the Ryzen Z1 Extreme.

While AMD Senior Technical Marketing Manager Don Woligroski mentions the use of LPDDR5 as the limiting factor, the numbers they presented are not bad–considering all of these tests were ran using an “advanced engineering sample” of the ROG Ally. One disclaimer though: Woligroski said that all of these tests were run using the ROG Ally’s Turbo mode, which pushes the TDP to as much as 30w depending on the game–ASUS has yet to disclose what’s the battery capacity (and battery life) of the ROG Ally. To give you a clearer picture, the Steam Deck runs at 15w TDP, and it can do around 2 hours with its 40wHr battery.

The Ryzen Z1 series remain exclusive to ASUS for now–but there’s a possibility that future Ryzen Z series chips will be made available to other brands.

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