As many online detectives theorized, the cause of the issue is down to heat, or more specifically, the ASUS ROG Ally not venting well enough to avoid damage.
“After confirmation from internal testing, under certain thermal stress conditions the SD card reader may malfunction,” says ASUS senior manager of content marketing, Whitson Gordon.
“To alleviate the issue, we will be releasing [an] update that further fine-tunes the default and minimum fan speeds on the device to improve reliability while keeping fan noise in check, as we know this is a concern for many of you.”
Fan noise has been the biggest concern of late. Following the latest BIOS update, the fan has gone from fairly silent to upwards of 70dB (roughly the same volume as speech on a busy street). It’s very noticeable and very offputting. Although I should note, I was able to lower the CPU temps massively, and in turn keep things quiet, by disabling the CPU boost mode.
Gordon goes on to note if you have any issues with the SD card reader to contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the US or your regional customer service for help with your unit or to get any issues repaired.
So, that solves the mystery of randomly dying SD cards. The question now is how violent will the fans be to offset this design floor. The ROG Ally was a quiet device before the last update, but that silence, it seems, came with a damaging cost.
As always, stay tuned to RetroResolve and I’ll be sure to keep you up to date with the latest happenings.