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After many leaks, AMD has now formally announced their brand new Ryzen Z1 Series, which directly target the handheld gaming space like the Steam Deck. 

The chips being announced today are the Zen 4 based Ryzen Z1 and Ryzen Z1 Extreme that come with RDNA 3 architecture-based graphics. AMD also announced clearly that the ASUS ROG Ally will be the first device launching with them.

From the press release:

“At AMD, we’re continually advancing the next generation of gaming experiences, from consoles to desktops to on-the-go handheld devices,” said Jason Banta, corporate vice president and general manager, Client OEM at AMD. “Ryzen Z1 processors deliver gamers an elite gaming experience and extreme portability in exciting gaming form factors.”

Model Cores/Threads Graphics Cache
AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme
8/16 12 AMD RDNA 3
compute units
24 MB
AMD Ryzen Z1 6/12
compute units
22 MB

The processors support USB4 and the latest LPDDR5 and LPDDR5X memory standards.

AMD also said in their press release that more info on the ROG Ally will be announced on May 11th.

“Having a great gaming experience doesn’t mean you have to be tied to a chair or a charger,” said Shawn Yen, product management director of Gaming Business Unit, Asus. “With the new Ryzen Z1 Series processors, we’re working with AMD to deliver the power, visuals and efficiency needed to enable a superior portable gaming experience — whether you’re traveling, commuting for work or simply want to game untethered.”

On the official AMD page for the new processors, AMD give more details and yet they're showing a Nintendo Switch and a Steam Deck in pictures before the Ally:

The question is why are they showing two devices not using these chips? An error left in, or are we just supposed to assume it's to showcase power from low to high without naming them directly? Curious. Or even upcoming new versions of both with these new chips (not likely).

Update 20:12 UTC: AMD removed the Switch and Steam Deck so it's now just the Ally:

So at least now we know what processor the ROG Ally will use but can it really compete with the Steam Deck? Until we know pricing, nothing is clear on that. With more power comes more battery drain too, there's so many unknowns about it.

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erik-reider Apr 25, 2023
So the APU in the Ally isn't so "custom" after all
Purple Library Guy Apr 25, 2023
QuoteWith more power comes more battery drain
I think that's Iron Man's version of the Spiderman mantra . . .

Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 25 April 2023 at 2:59 pm UTC
cybik Apr 25, 2023
Quoting: erik-reiderSo the APU in the Ally isn't so "custom" after all

It probably was, until AMD just had the realization they should standardize it :D
mindedie Apr 25, 2023
TDP, clock speeds, total cache or L3 cache? Rebranded 7#00U? No much info but at first glance look like 6800U (8/16 Zen 3+, 12 RDNA2) and 6600U (less Graphics compute units 6 RDNA2 vs 4 RDNA3) with upgraded architectures. In few weeks or so speculation/guesswork will end...
Raaben Apr 25, 2023
I know Valve said they have no immediate plans for new hardware, but I'd love a Deck with a newer chip like this in it.
Mar2ck Apr 25, 2023
Isn't going from 4 GPU cores to 12 quite a big jump? I would've expected a Z1 Pro or something with 8 GPU cores to fill in the gap.
sarmad Apr 25, 2023
I'm guessing the difference between this and the one in the Steam Deck isn't big enough to warrant a 2nd gen Steam Deck yet, otherwise Valve would've rushed to use it as well.
Marlock Apr 25, 2023
Quoting: cybik
Quoting: erik-reiderSo the APU in the Ally isn't so "custom" after all

It probably was, until AMD just had the realization they should standardize it :D
iirc AMD's custom cpu division has been spearheading several improvements that not much later end up in their normal CPUs at least since its creation when they poached the PS4 and Xbox Series consoles (eg: direct storage data loading to the gpu eliminating trip through ram/cpu)
emphy Apr 25, 2023
QuoteWith more power comes more battery drain too

Not necessarily; there's two generations of improvements for the cpu, and one for gpu in there compared to the deck, and from the desktop zen4 parts we know that the new gen is easily tweaked to have lower power consumption than zen3 whilst still handily beating the older gen in performance.

Last edited by emphy on 26 April 2023 at 12:10 am UTC
TheRiddick Apr 26, 2023
I would like to see them make that 40CU APU for handhelds. That be cool.
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