Following reports that the latest BIOS update for the ASUS ROG Ally has caused in-game performance to drop, ASUS has acknowledged the claims and says a potential fix is in the works.
Senior Manager of Marketing Content at ASUS, Whitson Gordon, says “Some users are reporting lowered performance on the latest BIOS 3.19,” and if you wish to hold off on the update, you can until a fix is made.
According to ASUS, engineers are looking into this problem with the intention of fixing it, but there’s no current timeframe given for when the remedy will go live.
Later in the video that’s since been set to private, Gordon touches briefly on the charger problem. At the moment, a host of third-party chargers (and docks for that matter) aren’t fully compatible with the Ally’s 30-watt mode. I mentioned this in my guide to getting docked mode up and running, and no matter which dock I used, I couldn’t get the Ally to use the full 30 watts of power.
That means, the only way to get the 30-watt mode working is to plug in the official charger. Although, oddly enough, Games In Hand recently told me the official Steam Deck dock does let the Ally use the 30-watt mode when docked. Strange, right?
Gordon notes there’s more info on this issue coming in the future. It sounds like it’s something ASUS is aware of, though, so here’s hoping it gets fixed soonish.
So, what’s going on with the BIOS update? Our friends at Overkill.wtf still have a loan unit and a current retail Ally to compare games on. From the site’s findings, games generally performed worse with the latest BIOS update.
Some examples for you. Shadow of the Tomb Raider ran at 68 frames on average on the 3.17 BIOS, but dropped to 59 frames on the 3.19 BIOS. Cyberpunk 2077, meanwhile, averaged 53 frames previously but went to a less-than-ideal 39 frames post-update. Eep.
Writing for The Verge, Sean Hollister also backed up this claim in his review, saying:
“…I also saw my framerates dip by up to 20 percent, seemingly because newer BIOS revisions don’t maintain the same clockspeeds.”
Here’s hoping ASUS can get the problems fixed ASAP.
I reached out to ASUS earlier with queries about the current crop of issues and received the following responses.
On the touchscreen ceasing to function when switching display modes:
“We have identified a bug that causes the touchscreen to be unresponsive when switching the ROG Ally display between 60Hz and 120Hz using the command center,” ASUS tells me via email. “To resolve this issue, we have released a new driver (V31.0.14058.3001) that addresses the problem. Users can download the driver from MyAsus.
“However, it’s important to note that this driver update may lead to compatibility issues with the AMD HD6850m XT XGMobile, causing it not to be recognized correctly by the ROG Ally. We apologize for this inconvenience and assure you that we are actively working on a future update to address this compatibility concern.
“In the meantime, we recommend users with the AMD XGMobile to refrain from installing the driver update and to keep their display at 120Hz. If users have already installed the new driver, we kindly request them to uninstall it to avoid any compatibility issues.”
On the issues regarding joystick deadzones being larger than they should be:
“We have received reports from a small number of users regarding joystick input lag and larger deadzones than expected in certain games on the ROG Ally. We would like to clarify that the minimum deadzone of the joysticks on the ROG Ally is comparable to other platforms available in the market, and it should not feel noticeably different.
“However, we take these user reports seriously and are committed to resolving any issues. If users encounter unusual joystick lag or deadzones while using Ally, we encourage them to reach out to our customer support team. It would be greatly appreciated if they could provide as many details as possible about their specific experiences, including the games affected, the device being used, and any relevant settings.
“By gathering this information, our customer support team will be better equipped to investigate and address these concerns. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and remain dedicated to providing a seamless gaming experience on the ROG Ally.”
On audio distortion:
“We have been made aware of reports from some users experiencing audio distortion when using low-wattage settings. We want to assure our users that we are actively investigating this issue and developing a solution. Our dedicated team is currently working on an update that will specifically address and resolve the audio distortion problem.”
And finally, if your Ally becomes unresponsive, there are some tips to get it running properly again while ASUS works on a fix.
“If you encounter a situation where your device becomes unresponsive, there are a few steps you can take to restore it to normal functionality. First, hold the power button for a few seconds to initiate a restart. In most cases, this will resolve the issue and bring your device back to its normal state.
“If your device still fails to power on normally after the restart, follow these steps:
- Plug in the official ROG bundled charger to ensure a power source.
- Ensure that both the charger and the device are properly connected and receiving power.
- Wait for a few seconds to allow the device to receive power.
- Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds.
- Release the power button and press it once to power the device on.
“In the rare event that none of these steps resolve the problem, we recommend reaching out to the shop from which you purchased your device or contacting our customer support for further assistance. Our support team will be ready to assist you in resolving the issue promptly.”
In other Ally news, if you’ve yet to check out my review of the ASUS ROG Ally, I was blown away by the power of the console. It’s imperfect, sure, but the ASUS ROG Ally is the current handheld to beat.
Update: Added a response from ASUS.