Steam Deck’s top three rivals are planning their revenge with AMD’s 6800U

The steam deck just spent five weeks at number one on Valve’s bestseller list – on top of the five weeks it spent at number two. As one of the most affordable gaming PCs ever made, the $400+ machine has clearly caught the eye of those who’d been waiting for a Switch-esque portable gaming PC. But what about the companies that were? already making Switch-esque portable gaming PCs? They now have their chance for revenge.

That’s because all of Steam Deck’s main rivals — GPD, Aya, and OneXPlayer — have now confirmed they’re building handhelds around AMD’s Ryzen 6000U chips. And the 6800U, with its integrated Radeon 680M graphics, reportedly has the potential to crush the semi-custom Aerith SoC at the heart of the Steam Deck.

The GPD Win Max 2 is a mini laptop with extra buttons and joysticks.
Image: GPD

OneXPlayer founder and CEO Jack Wong confirmed to me in a live translated interview that the company’s R&D team is already working with the 6000U chips. In the meantime, GPD has announced a new 10.1-inch Win Max 2 clamshell with a Ryzen 7 6800U in March, and YouTuber Cary Golomb Just Revealed that GPD already has stock of the 6800U chips it needs.

And last week Aya announced not one but two portable devices based on the 6800U, including the Aya Neo 2 and an Aya Neo Slide with a Motorola Droid-esque design that fits on a five-row staggered keyboard beneath a slide-out screen.

The Aya Neo Slide will also have an AMD 6800U.
Image: Aya Neo

As my colleague Emma Roth noted in that post, the Radeon 680M can deliver 3.38 teraflops of raw graphics performance, more than double the Steam Deck’s 1.6 teraflops on paper, and has 12 RDNA 2 compute units compared with the 8 CUs you have. get with Deck – plus a faster Zen 3 Plus architecture for its CPU.

Will that show up in real games, and will the laptop chip offer better (or even decent) battery life in a portable computer? That’s a more difficult question, and GPD, for example, tries to render it at 1920 x 1200 instead of the Steam Deck’s 1280 x 800, which could immediately negate any framerate advantage.

But thanks Notebook Checkwe already have some early performance figures for the 6800U and 680M graphics in a real laptop, and they’re definitely promising – and, at least in combination with a faster processor, they can compete with a discrete graphics chip like the GeForce 1650, it seems. You can even find some videos of those integrated images in action herebut note that this is with the Ryzen 7 6800H, not the 6800U, and much less thermally limited than you’d see in a handheld.

Performance is just one of the things the Steam Deck does well enough to grab the attention of gamers, but the biggest problem for companies like GPD, Aya and OneXPlayer is that the Steam Deck has been cheaper and more powerful than anything they could produce. Their handhelds typically cost two to three times the price of an entry-level Steam Deck, and they didn’t have access to AMD’s newer RDNA 2 graphics, just the older and weaker Vega.

The OneXPlayer Mini, with Intel Xe graphics
Image: OneXPlayer

OneXPlayer founder Wong tells me that the Steam Deck has not been a complete problem for his company until now, but rather a double-edged sword. “They’re bringing public attention to portable gaming,” he said through a translator. “We used to have quite a niche audience, but now more and more people are getting to know us and there are more opportunities.”

Wong says his company has grown to 100 people and has already sold 50,000 of North America’s portable gaming PCs — and it’s growing faster than the company’s previous other One Netbook businesses, which have managed to sell about the same number. to sell. The company also has a large audience in Japan and China, Wong says, and its strategy won’t be to compete on price with the Steam Deck. Like rivals, he says he wants to build the best portable PCs possible.

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