ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck – {Hardware} Comparability


ASUS introduced a potent Steam Deck competitor Could 11th and launched the spec sheets for 2 fashions that fluctuate in additional methods than the completely different Steam Deck choices from Valve. We’ll be wanting on the official tech specs for every system and evaluating them aspect by aspect. There’s some juicy variations forward, so let’s get began!

ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck: APU


First, we’ll be evaluating the APU between every system, which is the mix processor (CPU) and graphics unit (GPU) that makes the humorous man on the display do the little dance. Larger-performance APUs can course of extra little dances per second. Along with RAM, they decide how fairly the humorous man’s face and home look.

The Steam Deck includes a comparatively older Zen 2 APU from AMD, whereas the Ally has a more recent Zen 4 APU. This permits for a denser structure of processing items within the Ally, rising efficiency but additionally rising the quantity of energy drawn. With the smaller structure comes an elevated core and thread depend: the bottom Ally has 50% extra cores and threads than the Steam Deck, whereas the acute Ally has double the core and thread depend.

Processing speeds are a lot quicker on the Ally as properly, proper round 1.5GHz increased on each fashions in comparison with the Steam Deck. CPU-intensive video games will nearly actually run higher on the Ally in comparison with the Steam Deck, and the elevated CPU efficiency will assist push framerates nearer to the 120fps most. Efficiency on this regard appears fairly spectacular!

ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck: RAM


Subsequent we’ll be taking a look at RAM, which is the place the information that’s needed for energetic processes and open purposes is quickly saved for quick entry. Extra RAM means extra processes will be labored on without delay, and quicker RAM means extra processes will be finished in the identical period of time.

Whereas the Steam Deck options quad-channel RAM (in comparison with the Ally’s dual-channel), there ought to be no considerable distinction in efficiency between the 2 on this regard. Nevertheless, the 16% quicker RAM velocity might introduce a slight efficiency benefit to the Ally, as AMD APUs are infamous for loving high-speed RAM.

The general capability of every is similar throughout all fashions on this lineup, with every system that includes 16GB of RAM as the one possibility. Thankfully, that ought to be a lot for virtually each fashionable sport. The RAM speeds of each gadgets are fairly quick, and can possible ship the identical efficiency within the majority of video games. Not a lot of a distinction on this facet, so let’s transfer on!

ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck: Storage


Storage is simple—it’s the capability for all software program or information current on the system. Each handhelds function Stable State Drives (SSD) throughout all the lineup, with solely the lowest-spec Steam Deck that includes a special kind of SSD that will run a little bit slower than the others we’re taking a look at. However hey, that one’s solely 64GB in any case, so it’s not such as you’d be capable to run any main brand-new AAA releases from it anyway!

Storage is the one main distinction between the assorted variations of the Steam Deck, with the most cost effective mannequin having solely 64GB of eMMC SSD storage. The 2 costlier Steam Decks function quicker NVMe SSDs at both 256GB or 512GB. ASUS took the freedom of constructing the storage choice for you, with similar 512GB NVMe SSDs on the bottom and excessive fashions. The Ally includes a technology 4 PCIe connection, which has double the switch price of the PCIe 3.0 within the 256 and 512GB Steam Decks and a little bit over triple the switch price of the PCIe 2.0 within the 64GB.

Whereas this feels like a loopy enhance in speeds over the Steam Deck, no sport ought to ever attain the utmost switch velocity of a PCIe 3.0 SSD, and a PCIe 2.0 SSD ought to solely trigger one or two frames misplaced per second at most. The one noticeable distinction between them then, if any, could be barely improved loading instances on the quicker drives. Since these storage choices are so successfully comparable, and since fashionable video games are ballooning in dimension increasingly yearly, regardless of which you select… I see a MicroSD card buy in your future! So, simply maintain that in thoughts.

ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck: Display screen


Screens are extremely necessary on handheld gaming gadgets, and the Ally does it’s finest to one-up the Steam Deck’s display in almost each method—and if the tech specs are any indication, it succeeds. Essential components of a display embody the decision (the variety of pixels on the display), the refresh price (the variety of pictures the display can show per second), and the brightness (which is measured in nits).

Just like the APUs, the screens are a significant level of distinction between the Steam Deck and the Ally, with every model sporting the identical display throughout all of their respective fashions. Each the Deck and the Ally embody an IPS LCD display that’s about the identical bodily dimension.

However the Ally has elevated decision (1080p in comparison with 800p), double the refresh price, and 25% increased most brightness. These ought to all come collectively to provide a brighter, crisper, smoother picture on the Ally—however on the sure value of elevated warmth and diminished battery life, except you dial again the efficiency. Enjoying video games with low useful resource necessities on the Ally will profit most from the 120hz refresh price, creating the chance for extremely and persistently clean gameplay. The additional brightness received’t are available a lot use except you regularly play someplace with out correct shade, like a pleasant seaside or the guts of a dying star.

ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck: Connectivity

The ports between each gadgets are largely the identical, with every that includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, a MicroSD card reader, and a USB-C port able to high-speed video and audio streaming. The Ally additionally lists that the USB-C is a mix port with the “ROG XG Cell Interface”, a kind of exterior graphics card you possibly can join to extend the efficiency of the Ally; however then it isn’t so transportable, is it?

As for wi-fi connectivity, each function full Bluetooth compatibility to tether your favourite controllers and headphones.

ROG Ally vs. Steam Deck: Miscellaneous

Working System

The Steam Deck makes use of the Arch-based SteamOS that was customized created for the system. It’s a reasonably clean UI with some respectable settings choices, however it lacks compatibility with third-party applications. Home windows will be put in and dual-booted from, however the extra restricted specs of the Steam Deck will maintain the efficiency again.

The Ally, conversely, will come loaded with Home windows 11 from the beginning, permitting for a wider vary of compatibility with many applications. For most individuals, Home windows 11 isn’t that a lot of a deterrence, however to some folks it’s a dealbreaker. It would most likely lavatory down the efficiency a little bit because the working system isn’t constructed particularly for gaming like SteamOS is on the Steam Deck, however Home windows 11 opens the door to many purposes past simply taking part in video games on Steam.


Each have the identical battery capability at 40KWh. Valve estimates that the Steam Deck’s battery powers 2-8 hours of gameplay, and its APU solely attracts half the facility of the Ally at each minimal and most wattage. We are able to conservatively estimate the battery life vary for the ROG Ally could also be half of the Steam Deck: round 1-4 hours of gaming time, however in fact this may increasingly range once you consider background processes like Window 11 and gaming software program suites, in addition to any optimizations ASUS implements.

Dimension and Weight

The Ally weighs about 9% lower than the Steam Deck (608 grams and 669 grams, respectively), and has thinner, flatter grips that cut back the general weight. It’s additionally a little bit narrower, decreasing its footprint on desks and tables whereas sustaining the identical display dimension because the Steam Deck. Top stays nearly the identical, solely 6mm shorter on the Ally, as each gadgets function little or no vertical bezel across the display. Not dangerous! Somewhat extra compact whereas remaining large on options.

Touchpads and Grip Buttons

If you end up unhappy by the sixteen buttons on an ordinary controller structure, fortunately each the Ally and the Steam Deck have further enter buttons on the again of the grips. Whereas the Ally has two paddle-style buttons on the again, the Steam Deck options 4 bigger buttons which might be extra flush with the curves of the grips. The Steam Deck moreover options twin contact pads on both aspect of the display, one thing that the Ally lacks completely, which cannot solely simply allow mouse management but additionally present an additional set of inputs (an necessary function in video games like Arma or Squad).


Left, in inexperienced: Two buttons on the again of the Ally | Center, in blue: 4 buttons on the again of the Steam Deck | Proper, in crimson: Two contact pads on the entrance of the Steam Deck

Worth and a Verdict (Based mostly on One Opinion (Mine))


Now onto an all-important facet: pricing!

The weaker 256GB model of the Ally is $599 whereas the extra highly effective 512GB model is just $100 extra at $699.

The Steam Deck is on the market in three costs: $399 for the 64GB, $529 for the 256GB and $649 for the 512GB.

The more and more costly Steam Deck fashions additionally embody extras like carrying instances, Steam profile bundles, and extra premium show glass. Notably, the Ally is the one system that really has efficiency variations between the fashions, and the distinction is completely huge, to the purpose the place saving $100 isn’t actually definitely worth the loss in efficiency. You’re saving simply 14% of the value to have your efficiency diminished by roughly 67%, primarily based on the utmost variety of teraflops per second. You’re additionally dropping lots of processing energy by lacking out on two cores and 4 threads, in addition to a little bit little bit of most clock velocity.

Conversely, the Steam Deck delivers a constant efficiency throughout the board beginning on the base $399 model. This mannequin’s worth places the Steam Deck at a really aggressive place in comparison with the Ally, which begins at 50% extra however provides a sizeable efficiency bump. The $529 and even $649 fashions solely achieve a quicker and bigger SSD—and let’s be actual, no matter mannequin you’ll most certainly find yourself with a massive-capacity MicroSD card jammed into the reader that can by no means depart till entropy destroys the universe.

Should you’re trying to play a handful of video games that aren’t too demanding, it looks like the $399 Steam Deck is your finest wager. If graphic constancy and retaining efficiency regular is extra necessary, then it’s most likely price strongly contemplating the Ally, whether or not that’s the efficiency model or not.

As soon as the Ally is launched and a mainstream Steam Deck competitor hits the cabinets, it’s actually going to beg the query of who the 2 costlier Steam Deck fashions are marketed in the direction of, as there’ll quickly be a $600 various that’s considerably extra highly effective and gives simply as a lot high-speed storage as even the $649 Steam Deck. So perhaps a worth lower will come to these higher-tier Deck variants? Solely time will inform!



For now, that is solely the announcement. As extra testing is launched and we get a greater thought of the actual efficiency of the Ally and never simply what ASUS tells us, its place relative to the Steam Deck will get clearer. The most important considerations come from battery life; these are some excessive specs for a handheld!

The display is brighter, increased decision, and with double the refresh price; the APU pulls as much as twice the wattage; and within the background you’ve obtained Home windows 11 and no matter further gaming suites you may have working, too. This battery goes to be carrying the load of the world on its again, ceaselessly doomed to a full recharge after only a few hours of gaming. To each lithium-ion battery conscripted by ASUS into one other ROG Ally, I salute you.

What are your ideas on the ASUS ROG Ally? Would you think about spending the additional cash for the efficiency? Tell us what you assume and, as at all times, thanks for studying!


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