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It’s official: Asus admits ROG Ally has a problem with thermals

Asus has just confirmed that the ROG Ally handheld has a problem with thermals, and if you’re unlucky, this issue could lead to a broken microSD card. The problem has already been reported online by various affected users, but now, Asus spoke up and revealed how it’s going to be addressed.

The good news is that a fix is on the way. The bad news is that it may have an impact on the ROG Ally’s noise levels.

The Digital Trends website on the Asus ROG Ally.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

While the ROG Ally is the greatest rival to the Steam Deck, it’s certainly not without faults — and Asus now admits to it. According to Whitson Gordon, who shared a statement from Asus on Discord (which was later shared by Tom’s Hardware), the MicroSD card reader may cause problems.

“After confirmation from internal testing, under certain thermal stress conditions the SD card reader may malfunction,” said Gordon in the statement. While this is pretty vague, it falls in line with previous user complaints.

The issue appears to be that the SD card reader is located in a hot spot — literally — inside the console. Close to the power delivery VRMs, it seems to be prone to heating up beyond what’s safe for the card that sits inside. As per Tom’s Hardware, some affected users may be able to re-use those cards in another device, but in other cases, the SD cards have to be disposed of after attempting to use them inside the ROG Ally. The SD card reader must be reaching some hefty temperatures indeed.

Fortunately, Asus says it’s about to release an update that will address the issue. The update will optimize fan speeds to improve thermals and save all those SD cards from burning up. Of course, there’s a downside — if the fans are working overtime, the handheld may get noisy, or at least noisier than it is right now. All in all, a little more fan noise is a small price to pay for knowing that nothing is burning inside your gaming console, so it’s a good trade-off if the noise levels won’t be off the charts.

If you own an Asus ROG Ally and you find that the SD card reader is malfunctioning, Asus is opening a return (RMA) program. This should help affected consumers either replace their faulty devices or receive a refund. Users in the U.S. should contact cl-adrian@asus.com, and those from the rest of the globe are advised to reach out to their local Asus customer service department.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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