Asus says its Steam Deck rival may be coming 'sooner than you expect'

The Rogy Ally as a pattern with pink and purple
(Image credit: Future)

Asus, the big tease, has been hinting all over about the upcoming ROG Ally, the company's own Steam Deck rival. While there's no official release date as yet, Asus has taken to Twitter to let us know "it may be sooner than you expect." Alongside this little stir, rumours are now coming thick and fast around a leak that potentially nails which GPU this powerful little handheld gaming device's custom SoC is going to be built around.

As we previously reported, the now totally real ROG Ally looks like a serious contender to the Steam Deck, with the rumour mill placing the processor as a custom AMD SoC built on TSMC's 4nm process node. That's according to reports from Dave2D, who also talks of it housing a Zen 4 CPU and an RDNA 3 GPU behind that 1080p screen. 

By way of comparison, the Deck's Aerith APU sports Zen 2 and RDNA 2 hardware in its 7nm semi-custom APU. In order to hit the 120Hz refresh rate of the Ally's 7-inch panel, some serious handheld power is going to be needed, however it turns out.

With VideoCards fronting a shipping manifest leak, we're now of the impression the ROG Ally will be coming with a semi-custom variant of the AMD Ryzen 7 7840U APU, which sports a Radeon 780M GPU. That's the same APU found in the GPD Win Max, and in the AOKZEO A1 Pro, though it is likely to have been altered slightly. 

Importantly, the Radeon 780M supports DirectX 12 Ultimate which should help improve the Windows gaming experience, since Asus has already confirmed it's choice of OS.

Asus has a history of packing low TDP Ryzen HS-series processors into its mobile machines, and since the ROG Ally is going to need some special treatment in that department as a gaming handheld, we're likely going to see TDP improvements over the standard processor. Otherwise, there's no word on the company's plans for the custom SoC.

The ROG Ally shipping manifest also clearly shows the Asus model number RC71L and RC71X, which are easy enough to find on the Asus website, as well as in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) listings. These L and X codes hint at the possibility of at least two Asus ROG Ally models, though whether that will mean a difference in storage, power, or simply in colour is unclear.

Either way, Asus is keeping us on edge with little notes like this one spotted on Twitter today, and you can bet it won't be long before the Steam Deck has some powerful competition. The Tweet also provides a link so you can get notified when a ROG Ally launch date is confirmed. 


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Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been demystifying tech and science—rather sarcastically—for three years since. She can be found admiring AI advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. She's been heading the PCG Steam Deck content hike, while waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.