AMD officially unveiled the new Ryzen Z1 and Ryzen Z1 Extreme processors, which are specifically designed for handheld gaming PCs and are built on TSMC’s 4nm process.
For starters, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme features eight Zen 4 cores for a total of 16 threads, as well as 12 RDNA 3 cores and 24MB of cache, delivering a nominal 8.6 TFLOPS of raw graphics performance, close to 10.28 TFLOPS for the Sony PS5 and well ahead of Steam Deck’s 1.6 TFLOPS.
In contrast, the Ryzen Z1 has only 6 cores, 12 threads, 4 GPU cores and 22MB of cache, which is theoretically about 55% better than Valve’s custom “Aerith” chip (Zen 2 + RDNA 2).
AMD also gave some gaming performance figures, for example, you can play demanding 3A titles like Drakengard 2 at 1080p 60fps+ and go over 120fps in Extreme Racing: Horizon 4 (figures based on the ASUS ROG Ally handheld with Z1 Extreme) “Turbo mode” with up to 30W performance release).
Of course, that’s mostly thanks to AMD Radeon Super Resolution, otherwise, you’d only be able to play 720p games.
AMD also says that both the Z1 and Z1 Extreme will support Radeon Chill, which automatically adjusts to your chosen framerate target to dramatically improve endurance performance. Of course, the ASUS ROG Ally also has its own frame-limiting feature.
AMD senior technical marketing manager Don Woligrowski said “I think what’s happening is: the limiting factor is not CU, it’s LPDDR5” “In many cases, faster memory is what these games really need.”
AMD says that the Z1 and Z1 Extreme are exclusive to ASUS for now, but we may see other partners launch models based on these or the new generation of Z-series chips in the future. For now, this line is a partnership between AMD’s gaming division (for Radeon GPUs) and the client side (for Ryzen processors).
As for the Ryzen 7840U, this chip appears to be identical to the Z1 Extreme, but it’s not an exclusive sku, so it could appear in any rival handhelds. Specific details Woligroski couldn’t say though, “We haven’t officially announced any parts for the 7000U series.”
The AMD press release also reveals that ASUS will announce pricing and “more information” about the launch date of the ROG Ally on May 11, so stay tuned.