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ASUS ROG Ally Z1 Extreme up to 55% faster than cheaper Z1 version

The Ryzen Z1 ASUS ROG Ally is a great budget alternative PC gaming handheld, but the Ryzen Z1 Extreme still reigns supreme with its 31% - 55% performance gains.

An image of the ASUS ROG Ally on a white desk setup.

The ASUS ROG Ally hasn’t been out for long, and already the PC gaming handheld has proved to be tough competition for the Steam Deck, but its price point can be a sore spot for those wanting to make the jump to PC gaming on the go. The latest model of the ROG Ally, the ROG Ally Ryzen Z1 was recently released in an effort to create a budget-alternative for the gaming handheld, and now ASUS has provided a look at how this version stacks up against its more expensive variant.

The Ryzen Z1 version of the ASUS ROG Ally, hasn’t earned its spot on our best handheld gaming PC list, given that it’s not out yet. However, the device is more than capable of playing some of the best PC games available today, according to Asus’ gaming charts.

Starting at $599, the Ryzen Z1 version of the device is a great entry way into the world of PC gaming handhelds, being an entire $100 cheaper than the Ryzen Z1 Extreme. Yet this lower price point could be due to its less-than-stellar performance, which ASUS itself has put to the test.

ASUS unveiled benchmark results on its website, comparing the performance of the Ryzen Z1 to that of the Extreme Z1, while running games like Elden Ring, Cyberpunk 2077, and Diablo IV. The in-game average FPS of each handheld when plugged in and using Turbo Mode, was tested, and according to ASUS, the Ryzen Z1 was able to run all of the the AAA titles at 30 FPS or higher at 1080p. Games like EA Sports Fifa 23 even managed to reach 57 FPS, and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 reached upwards of 63 FPS.

Despite the impressive performance of the Ryzen Z1, the Extreme Z1 still dominated the results, performing 42% higher on average and peaking at 55% faster when running Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, though that’s to be expected with its significantly more powerful GPU. The Extreme Z1 version of the ROG Ally handheld has 12 RDNA 3 GPU cores, along with 8 CPU cores, which compares to just four RDNA 3 GPU cores, and 6 CPU cores for the Ryzen Z1 version. In fact, it’s impressive that the non-Extreme version performs as well as it does considering the GPU spec difference.

While testing at 1080p gives a good insight into the power and limitations of the Ryzen Z1 version of the handheld, ASUS also shared benchmark results of the two devices when running games at 720p, and upscaled using Radeon Super Resolution (RSR). Yet again, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme is shown to have better performance results, though the difference drops to an average of 34%, suggesting the GPU is less of a limitation at this resolution.

While the Ryzen Z1 variant can play a lot of the big PC games of the year at a stable 30 FPS, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme version of the handheld is still significantly better in terms of performance. As it stands, if you’re interested in adding an ASUS ROG Ally to your PC gaming setup, it’ll boil down to your budget, and whether saving $100 is worth that significant performance difference.

Check out our ASUS ROG Ally review, if you’re unsure if making the jump to PC gaming on the go is for you. Our guide to the best Steam Deck games is a great starting off point of what titles play well on the go, though their performance on either version of the ASUS ROG Ally may differ.