Equipping the Asus ROG Ally with AMD RDNA 3 graphics might just pay off. Early leaked benchmarks of the Radeon 780M GPU show us that the gaming handheld might actually blow the Steam Deck out of the water.
According to the benchmarks, the integrated GPU might be able to run AAA titles at a smooth 60 frames per second (fps), making it superior to many discrete graphics cards. Is it time for Valve to start worrying?
ETA Prime on YouTube was able to test out the 2023 version of the Asus TUF A15, which comes equipped with AMD’s Ryzen 9 7940HS, the flagship of the Ryzen 7040 mobile lineup. More importantly, the chip also sports RDNA 3 graphics, including the Radeon 780M integrated GPU. Spoiler alert: this is one capable APU.
It’s still unclear which exact chip is going to power the Asus ROG Ally, but we do know it’s going to be a custom Zen 4 APU. There are a few such chips that are slowly starting to surface as part of AMD’s Phoenix mobile range, but regardless of which one ends up in the handheld, the Radeon 780M stays the same, so the graphics performance is likely to be similar.
ETA Prime tested the laptop in 3DMark Time Spy and found that the iGPU consumed around 45 watts at most; it scored 2,830 points in the benchmark. It’s likely that it could’ve hit even higher if it was overclocked. As noted by Wccftech, that kind of score puts the GPU above the Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti (laptop version) and AMD’s own Radeon 680M, but it does fall quite a bit behind the mobile RTX 2050 and GTX 1060.
With that said, the iGPU definitely manages to impress in gaming scenarios. At 1080p, the YouTuber was able to run Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on high settings and still hit well over 100 fps. CS:GO is not the most demanding game in terms of graphics, though, so perhaps the 81 fps in GTA V (very high settings) and 86 fps in Forza Horizon 5 is more impressive for this APU. Lastly, the chip maintained around 69 fps in Horizon Zero Dawn.
We also got a peek at the performance in Cyberpunk 2077, a game that’s notorious for being heavy on the GPU (and pretty much everything else). After some tweaks, ETA Prime was able to make the iGPU hit a clock speed of 3GHz. With that, the laptop was able to run Cyberpunk 2077 in 1080p at above 60 fps. This is on low and medium settings, but it’s still impressive for an integrated GPU.
Needless to say, these benchmarks spell good news for the Asus ROG Ally. Even if the custom chip doesn’t have the same performance as the Ryzen 9 7940HS, it’s still going to be a force to be reckoned with thanks to the RDNA 3 graphics. Rumor has it that it might offer twice the performance of the Steam Deck. That should be enough to make Valve worry about its newly claimed position in the handheld sector.
Still, the Asus ROG Ally is not likely to perform on the same level as a laptop sporting a Zen 4 APU — obviously. The much smaller chassis might cause thermal problems and power constraints. Compared to the Steam Deck, it’s also probably going to cost more. But if it can really run the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 at a seamless 60 fps inside a handheld, it’s still going to be a major win for AMD and Asus alike.
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