The Steam Deck kicked off a new trend for gaming PCs in the form of handheld game consoles. Now, AMD has announced a new range of chips that are dedicated solely to these kinds of handhelds.
AMD has announced the new Ryzen Z1 and Z1 Extreme CPUs, two new chips that are meant to supercharge the performance of the new generation of handheld devices we’ve seen coming out in the past few months. While most handhelds have been using laptop chips, these chips are built from the ground up for handhelds.
Let’s dive into the specs. The AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme is sporting eight Zen 4 cores, 24MB of cache, and 12 RDNA 3 graphics cores. According to AMD, this chip is capable of up to 8.6 teraflops, which, if true, means that this chip can get pretty close in terms of graphics output to a Sony PlayStation 5. Not too shabby. The regular Ryzen Z1 has six cores rather than 8, as well as a slightly lower 22MB of cache and just four CPU cores. Still, both of these chips are a considerable upgrade over the custom Zen 2 chip that the Steam Deck employs.
The numbers look promising, too. AMD is promising “60 FPS and beyond” on titles such as Far Cry 6, Forza Horizon 4, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider for the Ryzen Z1 Extreme. This is, of course, in “low” settings in 1080p, upscaled from 720p using FSR — remember that this is using essentially integrated graphics, so it won’t be able to achieve the same performance an RTX 4090 gets. For the regular Ryzen Z1, it may dip below 60fps in titles such as Red Dead Redemption 2, but performance is still promising.
The chips are, currently, exclusive to ASUS — the ROG Ally announced a few weeks back is the very first device powered by this chip range. We might see them in other handhelds by other vendors in the near future, though.
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