AMD Ryzen Z1 “Zen4” processors target Windows-based handheld gaming consoles

AMD has just unveiled the new power-efficient Ryzen Z1 “Zen4” Series processor family designed for handheld gaming consoles running Windows and equipped with AMD RDNA 3 architecture-based graphics.

The new series features two processors at launch, namely the Ryzen Z1 hexa-core processor with 4 RDNA 3 Compute Units and the Ryzen Z1 Extreme octa-core processor with 12 RDNA 3 Computer Units for “ultimate high-performance for handheld gaming”.

AMD Ryzen Z1

Highlights of Ryzen Z1 and Z1 extreme specifications:

AMD Ryzen Z1
AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme
# of CPU Cores
6
8
# of Threads
12
16
L2 Cache
6MB
8MB
L3 Cache
16MB
AMD Configurable TDP (cTDP)
15-30W
Graphics Core Count
4
12

Both processors support LPDDR5/LPDDR5x memory, and USB4 interface, as well as the following AMD technologies:

  • AMD Link – Mobile app to connect your phone, tablet, TV, or Windows-based PC, and stream games.
  • AMD Radeon Super Resolution – In-driver feature upscaling lower resolutions set in-game to the native resolution of the active display for higher FPS performance.
  • AMD Radeon Boost – Dynamically lowers the resolution of the entire frame when fast on-screen character motion is detected via user input, allowing for higher FPS.
  • AMD Radeon Anti-Lag – Reduce input lag in GPU-limited cases.
  • AMD FreeSync Technology – Enables variable refresh rate aimed at avoiding tearing and reducing stuttering caused by a misalignment between the screen’s refresh rate and the content’s frame rate
  • AMD Radeon Chill – Dynamically regulates framerate based on in-game movements & provides power savings that reduce GPU temperatures.
Asus ROG Ally handhelp gaming console
Asus ROG Ally

While the press release claims compatibility with Windows 11 and other operating systems, it appears the Ryzen Z1 Series processors are optimized for Windows 11, and AMD highlights support for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (sold separately) to access hundreds of PC games on Ryzen Z1 handheld devices. So it’s unclear whether any efforts will be made to have Linux running on the new processor, at least from AMD themselves.

Asus ROG Ally portable game console will be one of the first devices powered by the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor with availability and pricing information to be announced by Asus on May 11. More details about the new processors can be found on the product page.

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9 Comments
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Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

For a “custom” APU, the Z1 Extreme seems identical to the 7940HS/U. Then the 6-core Z1 gets a 2/3 cut on graphics, as if that makes any sense.

Asus will be able to charge a lot for the 8-core, not sure about the 6-core if that’s slower than the Steam Deck.

David Willmore
David Willmore
10 months ago

If it’s a Zen4 core, then it may be faster than the Steam Deck even with fewer cores. It’s certain to be more power efficient. Throw in the high speed LPDDR5x memory and it should do really well.

If I had any use for one of these devices, I’d be very excited by this, but the games I play are either way too heavy for this or are Keyboard/Mouse games that just don’t work with buttons and d-pads or even analog sticks/pads.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

I’m sure the CPU performance will be excellent. But it’s 4 CU RDNA3 vs. 8 CU RDNA2 (Steam Deck). Maybe emulation will be where it gets the edge, especially since some of them can use AVX-512.

David Willmore
David Willmore
10 months ago

Fewer CUs, but more capable ones and higher clocking will pose a tradeoff. Add in the higher memory BW and that should help.

Freekiecakie
10 months ago

>For a “custom” APU, the Z1 Extreme seems identical to the 7940HS/U.

The Z1 is just a 7940 tuned for low voltage / wattage.

andelf
andelf
10 months ago

Making it “customized”. it seems to be somewhere in-between a U and an H-model. Tdp of a U model with H-model cores

m][sko
10 months ago

6,8 cores for games?

TLS
TLS
10 months ago

Yes? What’s your question here? Most modern games can use that many cores no problem.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

Xbox Series X/S and PS5 use 8 cores, so that’s going to be the gaming standard for the rest of the decade.

It’s also worth noting that 8 CPU cores are tiny on recent process nodes, to the point where we will likely see 12-16 cores in AMD’s mobile CPUs soon.

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