Three months after the launch of the ASUS ROG Ally, a new model of the Steam Deck rival has arrived on the scene, boasting a more affordable MSRP. This new price has come at the cost of some specs, but the Asus ROG Ally is now officially cheaper than Steam Deck 512GB and could be more performant to boot.
ASUS previously announced this configuration of the ROG Ally when it first brought the device to market, but it’s only recently become available to purchase. Now, the handheld is available in two configurations which are otherwise identical save for the type of AMD Ryzen APU inside it.
In place of the Ryzen Z1 Extreme that powers the $699 version of the ASUS ROG Ally, the new $599 model packs the cut down Ryzen Z1 instead. This cheaper chip features fewer cores and compute units (CUs), which will undoubtedly affect performance. However, it remains to be seen how they compare in real-world tests, as well as against the Steam Deck.
While its reduced core count doesn’t faze me much, from eight to six, the cutbacks to the iGPU do give me pause. A 66% reduction, from 12 to 4 CUs, is anything but a minor change, and I’ll be curious to see how this impacts frame rates. For further context, the Steam Deck boasts eight compute units, but these are built on the RDNA 2 whereas the ROG Ally benefits from the newer RDNA 3 microarchitecture.
The ASUS ROG Ally is now available from Best Buy and ASUS, starting from $599. Check out our Steam Deck vs ASUS ROG Ally guide to figure out which handheld gaming PC is right for you.