Following on from the recently released Ally info, we now have a better idea of what the ASUS ROG Ally will be running under the hood.
Below you’ll find all the confirmed specs and a look at what this device will be capable of.
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ASUS ROG Ally Specifications
It’s safe to say, ASUS has gone all out on making the ASUS ROG Ally the most powerful handheld on the market.
Indie games, emulation, AAA gaming, and up to 120 frames per second – this console is designed to do everything. What’s most impressive is the Ally can even be hooked up to an external graphics card to increase performance further. That means you could theoretically turn the Ally into a home gaming PC and upgrade it somewhat. It doesn’t need to just be confined to being a handheld. Pretty cool, right?
ASUS also claims despite the massive increase in power, the Zero Gravity cooling system should be able to help keep things cool and quiet. How true that is isn’t something I can answer until I’ve gone hands-on, but a recent test from Dave2D did back up that claim.
In a video, Dave2D says the noise output comes in at 20 dB. For comparison, the Steam Deck measures around the 37 dB mark. That’s quite the jump!
|ASUS ROG Ally Specs|
|Chipset||AMD Ryzen Z1 with RDNA 3 graphics|
|Cooling||Dual fans, heatsink fins, heat pipes|
|Operating System||Windows 11|
Is the ASUS ROG Ally More Powerful than the Steam Deck?
In a word, yes, the ASUS ROG Ally is more powerful than the Steam Deck. On paper, anyway.
In terms of hardware, ASUS opted for more powerful hardware in every major element. In short, the Ally should be able to play modern AAA games with much smoother and crisper visuals than the Steam Deck.
Of course, we’re yet to see the ROG Ally in action, so take this comparison with a pinch of salt. How ASUS integrates Windows 11 with the handheld is one of the main factors to consider.
I’ve seen other handhelds optimized for Windows and they work decently. But “decently” isn’t enough when your device is going up against the Steam Deck. ASUS really needs to nail the operating system in place if it’s got any hope of swiping Valve’s crown.
There’s also the lack of dual trackpads that multiple readers aren’t sold on. On the Steam Deck the trackpads are great for navigating the desktop environment. The concern, then, is that the Ally will be difficult to browse on when dealing with the main Windows 11 operating system.
In ASUS’ defense, the company has stated the joysticks can be used to get around Windows 11. It’s not perfect, but I use my Steam Deck docked most of the time, and using a thumbstick to move the mouse is easy enough. Well, once you’ve changed the mouse speed to your liking, that is.
|Feature||ASUS ROG Ally vs Steam Deck|
|Chipset||AMD Ryzen Z1 with RDNA 3 vs AMD APU Zen 2 and RDNA 2|
|Resolution (handheld mode)||1080p vs 800p|
|Refresh Rate||120Hz vs 60Hz|
|Brightness||500 nits vs 400 nits|
|Operating System||SteamOS (Linux) vs Windows 11|
|Weight||608g vs 669g|
|RAM||Up to 16GB vs 16GB|
|Storage||Up to 512GB SSD vs Up to 512GB SSD|
There’s no getting around the fact the ASUS ROG Ally is more powerful than the Steam Deck. That’s a fact. But when it comes to handhelds, it’s never that simple.
ASUS could get away with charging over $1000 for the Ally and the price would still make sense. But at that price, it’s not a Steam Deck competitor, it’s a premium offering in a similar vein to the OneXPlayer. Everything always comes back to price. If the ASUS ROG Ally is designed to take on the Steam Deck, it’s going to have to be priced accordingly. A few hundred more, sure, but it’s gotta sit in the same ballpark.
It’s hard to say at this point which way ASUS will go. I’ve not heard anything solid regarding pricing, so it could go either way. And remember, ASUS isn’t in Valve’s position where they can make money back from the sale of games. Surely that will play a factor in the pricing.
Either way, we should have full pricing info on May 5, 2023, ahead of the full reveal event on May 11, 2023.