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ASUS ROG Ally – Is it really the Steam Deck beater?

ASUS recently unveiled the Republic of Gamers Ally in prototype reveal videos by Linus Tech Tips and Dave Lee.

Potentially a competitor to Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch, ROG Ally has stiff competition and a massive market to conquer.

ASUS ROG Ally – What we know

ROG Ally combines a 120 Hz display with a Zen 4 and RDNA 3-based custom AMD Ryzen APU. ASUS claims that the Ally will feature more than double the performance of the Steam Deck.

Initially thought to be an elaborate April Fools’ joke, ASUS made little to no mention of the ROG Ally besides commenting on its design, XG Mobile compatibility and conceding that it features a Ryzen 7000 series APU.

In a later video by Linus Tech Tips, he confirmed the Ally to have an RDNA 3 and Zen 4-based APU instead of a Zen 3-based one, as was speculated by ETA prime. Despite its CPU Core and GPU details being under rewraps, we know for sure that it contains a Ryzen 7×40 APU. Interestingly, Linus claims that the ROG ALly is up to 2x faster than the Steam Deck.

Check out Linus dance around testing the ROG Ally:

If we compare the two, the ROG Ally will most likely be 2x faster than the Steam Deck at 30W, but just 50% faster at 50W. The Ally’s advanced cooling system featuring double fans will allow it to run at 20 dB in 15 W mode. We can’t be sure of how loud or hot the device will get when running at 30W.

Read also: Best Steam Deck Docks in 2023

Additionally, ROG Ally has a 7-inch IPS display running at 1080p in 16:9 and a 120 hZ refresh rate, with peak brightness at 500 nits. On the other hand, the Steam Deck maxes out at 400 nits. While display response times are currently unclear, Linus Sebastian states that it offers 7m/s. We also know that the device will utilize M.2 2230 SSD’s, which are likely to limit its storage capacity to 1 TB.

ASUS ROG Ally Dave2D

Source: Dave2D

Further specs include, UHD II MicroSD card reader, a fingerprint sensor that can be linked to your Windows account and a battery capacity to outdo the Steam Deck with a 40Wh battery. Sebastian also noted that the ROG Ally lacks hall-effect analog sticks and Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 connectivity. Instead, it comes with ASUS ROG’s proprietary XG Mobile port which is capable of delivering PCle Gen 3 x8 speeds.

Dave2D’s take on it:

Does all this “fancy” hardware matter?

Specs alone do not make the game in the handheld market. Plenty devices including GPD Win4, AyaNeo, AYN, etc, are all on the market longer or feature better specs. Yet, their market share is negligible compared to the Steam Deck.

Steam sells their device on the cheap, but makes up for the cost in game sales and commissions. The only way anyone can compete is either outperform “The Deck” with a better store, better specs and perks worth the switch or a better price.


Source: ASUS

ASUS is the only player big enough to take on Valve and Steam in at least two out of the three categories. They can undercut the price even further just to carve out a market and build momentum, or can make a premium open device, which essentially is better hardware to run your SteamOS on.

Performance and hardware wise, we expect ASUS to charge a premium for Ally. This means, we need to see unmatched hardware ability and potentially their own software adjustments to match Steam.

Read next: Best Retro Games for Handhelds and Steam Deck

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