Steam Deck 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 popular gaming PCs ever made, the $400+ device has clearly captured the attention of those who have been waiting for a Switch-like gaming laptop. But what about the companies that were Already made Switch-like gaming laptops? They now have their chance for revenge.
That’s because all of Steam Deck’s major competitors – GPD, Aya, and OneXPlayer – have now confirmed that they’re making handheld devices around AMD’s Ryzen 6000U chips. Reportedly, the 6800U, with its integrated Radeon 680M graphics, has the potential to crush a semi-dedicated Aerith SoC at the heart of Steam Deck.
OneXPlayer founder and CEO Jack Wong assured me in a live interview with subtitles that the company’s R&D team is already working with the 6000U chipset. Meanwhile, GPD announced a new 10.1-inch Win Max 2 clamshell with the Ryzen 7 6800U in March, and YouTuber Cary Golomb just revealed that GPD already has a supply of the 6800U chips you need.
Since this was posted on GPD Discord, it looks like it’s okay to share now. GPD have a new supply of 6800U.
GPD Win Max 2 6800U testers should be ready by June!
Unreal and I would never have imagined that this would be possible so soon! pic.twitter.com/kVrdwn866g
Cary Golomb (@carygolomb) May 17 2022
And last week, Aya did not announce anything other than two Mobile devices based on the 6800U, including the Aya Neo 2 and Aya Neo Slide, have a Motorola Droid-esque design that fits a five-row staggered keyboard beneath a sliding screen.
As my colleague Emma Roth explained in that post, the Radeon 680M can push 3.38 teraflops of raw graphic performance, more than double the 1.6 teraflops of Steam Deck on paper, and has 12 RDNA 2 compute units compared to your 8 CUs Get it with Deck – In addition to the faster Zen 3 Plus architecture for its CPU.
Will that result in actual games, and will the laptop chip provide better (or even decent) battery life in a mobile device? That’s a trickier question, and GPD, for example, tries to make it appear at a resolution of 1920×1200 instead of a Steam Deck 1280×800 screen, which can immediately nullify any frame rate advantage.
but thanks DiaryWe already have some early performance numbers for the 6800U and 680M graphics in a real laptop, and they’re quite promising — and at least when paired with a faster processor, they can rival a discrete graphics chip like the GeForce 1650, it seems. You can also find some videos of this integrated graphics in action here, although note that this is with the Ryzen 7 6800H, not the 6800U, which is much less thermally restrictive than what you see in a handheld device.
Performance is just one of the things that Steam Deck does well enough to get gamers’ attention, of course – but the biggest problem for companies like GPD, Aya and OneXPlayer is that Steam Deck was cheaper And More powerful than anything they could produce. Their laptops usually 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, only the older, weaker Vega.
OneXPlayer founder Wong tells me that Steam Deck hasn’t exactly been a problem for his company so far, although it’s a double-edged sword. “They are drawing the public’s attention to the field of mobile gaming,” he said via an interpreter. “We had a niche audience before, but now more and more people know us and there are more options.”
Wong says his company has grown to 100 people and has already sold 50,000 gaming laptops in North America — growing faster than the company’s previous One Netbook, which managed to sell for roughly the same amount. Wong says the company also has a large audience in Japan and China, and his strategy wouldn’t be to compete with Steam Deck on price. Like competitors, he says he wants to build the best laptops possible.