Until just recently, the idea of a 'handheld PC gaming console' would've been a contradiction in terms. For decades, PC gaming invariably required the player to be tethered to a wall-powered system. Recently, that's begun to change. Our continued investments in performance and power efficiency have helped create a nascent market for handheld gaming PCs. The newly released AMD Ryzen™ Z1 and AMD Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme processors are designed to support that market with purpose-built processors that deliver the performance, battery life, and graphics quality PC gamers expect in a handheld experience people used to think was impossible.
And now we're excited to announce the Asus ROG Ally as the first handheld PC gaming console to feature the Ryzen™ Z1 and Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme processors. The new portable system relies on high-bandwidth LPDDR5 to deliver the performance PC gamers expect without compromising battery life. Built-in technologies like AMD FreeSync™ technology will help keep frame rates smooth and the device supports a range of TDPs from 9W-30W.
Why Z1 From AMD?
There's nothing particularly new about tiny, handheld PCs; such devices date back decades. Historically, however, these systems were focused on business productivity or corporate users. They ran MS-DOS, Windows CE, or another embedded operating system. Games existed for some of these platforms, but they were scarcely gaming-oriented.
Recent innovations in handheld PC gaming have challenged this long-standing paradigm and the Ryzen™ Z1 and Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme are designed to accelerate the pace of innovation in this emerging space. AMD brings the engineering passion to deliver these improvements thanks to decades of experience designing both high-end graphics cards and top-notch x86 CPUs.
Of course, building a gaming platform requires more than just performant hardware. That's why Ryzen™ Z1 and Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme-powered handheld PC gaming consoles will offer a full range of features and capabilities via the AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition™ application , giving gamers the tools they need to play fast, save power, stream games, and help reduce input latency. These new chips put handheld gaming first and foremost without compromising on compatibility or flexibility that PCs are historically known for when compared to traditional gaming consoles.
Gamers who purchase a system based on the Ryzen™ Z1 or Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme will have access to the AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition application software suite and its features, including Radeon™ Chill designed to save power, AMD Link for game streaming, and Radeon™ Boost for incredible performance.
The Ryzen™ Z1 and Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme are powerful enough to deliver the performance that PC gamers crave without compromising on other features of the device. Let's take a look at comparative 1080p performance from both chips.
The Ryzen™ Z1 Series was purpose-built with high performance and immersive experiences in mind. We really tried to work in optimizations on both the hardware and software level to enhance those experiences.
This chart reflects data gathered in native 1080p with low detail settings. The Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme maintains an average frame rate of 82.94 fps across the entire suite of tests, while the Ryzen™ Z1 averages 54.4 fps. If performance in a given title isn't as high as the end-user wants, features like Radeon™ Super Resolution (RSR) can be used to help improve performance. Watch what happens when we enable it.
For the Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme upscaled with Radeon™ Super Resolution (RSR):
For the Ryzen™ Z1 upscaled with Radeon™ Super Resolution (RSR):
The slide above shows the Z1's average frames per second across the same set of titles when 720p output is scaled up to 1080p. Average performance across the entire test suite increases 18%, from 54.4 fps to 64.34 fps. The Z1 Extreme has access to the same upscaling capabilities if it happens to need them, but the additional onboard graphics cores significantly improve performance in native 1080p.
The performance of both chips is high enough to give you, the player, additional flexibility when it comes to choosing your detail settings. A hypothetical 1080p game that runs at 60 fps at low detail might run at 50 fps when in medium detail and 40 fps when set to high. It's up to the end user to decide which suits them best. Higher baseline performance typically gives the end user more room to experiment when balancing detail settings against frame rates.
Putting the PC in 'Handheld PC Gaming Console'
The "PC" in "handheld PC Gaming Console" isn't just there for show. Devices like the Asus ROG Ally run full operating systems. They support a wide array of cloud gaming services and game stores. They have access to the same backwards compatibility and breadth of software as any other x86 processor. Attach a keyboard, mouse, and external display, and you might not even realize you were using a handheld gaming PC at all.
The Ryzen™ Z1 and Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme can provide the capabilities of a desktop or notebook PC, including video output, keyboard and mouse support, and the ability to connect to an external GPU for even better graphics performance in gaming and/or professional applications. Not all of these features may be available on every system, but the Ryzen™ Z1 and Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme both support them.
Shrinking a PC down to pocket(…ish) size while adding handheld gaming capabilities changes how people interact with the device and, by extension, how they interact with gaming. Doing so while retaining a full Windows desktop, x86 compatibility, and robust peripheral support courtesy of USB-C, invites people to reimagine what a gaming PC actually looks like. Future devices powered by the Ryzen™ Z1 and Ryzen™ Z1 Extreme will push the boundaries of what people expect a PC can do and enable handheld gaming without compromising the performance, utility, and flexibility that PC gamers want (or expect).
So, well don't just take our word for it, read the reviews out there and maybe even pre-order an ROG ALLY powered by the AMD Ryzen™ Z1 Series starting May 11!
The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this document, it may contain technical inaccuracies, omissions and typographical errors, and AMD is under no obligation to update or otherwise correct this information. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this document, and assumes no liability of any kind, including the implied warranties of noninfringement, merchantability or fitness for particular purposes, with respect to the operation or use of AMD hardware, software or other products described herein. No license, including implied or arising by estoppel, to any intellectual property rights is granted by this document. Terms and limitations applicable to the purchase or use of AMD’s products are as set forth in a signed agreement between the parties or in AMD's Standard Terms and Conditions of Sale. GD-18
GD-157-Radeon Anti-Lag is compatible with DirectX 9/11/12 APIs, and Windows 10/11. Hardware compatibility includes Radeon GCN and newer dGPUs and Ryzen 2000 Series and newer CPUs, including hybrid and detachable graphics configurations. No mGPU support. GD-157.
GD-158-Radeon Boost is compatible with Windows 10/11 in select titles. Hardware compatibility includes Radeon RX 400 dGPUs and newer, Ryzen 2000 Series CPUs and newer, including hybrid and detachable graphics configurations. No mGPU support. Radeon Boost Variable Rate Shading is compatible with AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Graphics only. For a list of compatible titles see https://www.amd.com/en/technologies/radeon-boost. GD-158.
GD-156-Radeon Image Sharpening is compatible with DirectX 11/12 and Vulkan APIs. DirectX 9 support with Radeon RX 5000 Series GPUs only. Compatible with Windows 10/11. Hardware compatibility includes Radeon GCN and newer dGPUs, Ryzen 2000 Series processors and newer CPUs, including hybrid and detachable graphics configurations. No mGPU support. GD-156.
GD-159-AMD Link requires AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition 22.3.1 or newer. Game streaming on a phone or tablet requires Android 7.0 and later or iOS 14 and later, with a high-speed internet connection. For TV support, Apple TV 4K running tvOS 15.x and later, or Android TV 7.0 and later are required. Streaming at 4K or higher requires compatible streaming hardware. Requires AMD Radeon RX 400 Series discrete graphics or newer. Graphics card must support hardware encoding for host capabilities to function. Supports Windows 10/11. Controllers must be compatible with game and headset, consult vendor prior to purchase. GD-159.
Z1-1: Based on testing by AMD as of 4/5/2023. Testing results are average FPS in the following games: Red Dead Redemption 2, Borderlands 3, CS:GO (HIGHESTDETAILS), Grand Theft Auto V, Company of Heroes 3, Forza Horizon 4, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry 6 (LOWEST DETAILS). All tests run in turbo mode, 1080p (upscaled 720p with Radeon Super Resolution). System configurations: Processor: AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme and AMD Ryzen Z1 processors in an ASUS ROG Ally handheld. All system configs: Turbo Mode enabled, 16GB LPDDR5, Micron 500MB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics integrated, Graphics Driver 22.40.03.15, Windows 11 Home 22H2. Manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results.
Z1-2: Based on testing by AMD as of 4/5/2023. Testing results are average FPS in the following games: Red Dead Redemption 2, Borderlands 3, CS:GO (HIGHEST DETAILS), Grand Theft Auto V, Company of Heroes 3, Forza Horizon 4, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Far Cry 6, Middle Earth: Shadow of War (LOWEST DETAILS). All tests run in turbo mode, 1080p native. System configurations: Processor: AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme and AMD Ryzen Z1 processors in an ASUS ROG Ally handheld. All system configs: Turbo Mode enabled, 16GB LPDDR5, Micron 500MB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics integrated, Graphics Driver 22.40.03.15, Windows 11 Home 22H2. Manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results.