Embrace affection! Is the ROG Ally, which is impressively powerful straight from the package, the ultimate PC gaming handheld device, or could it be its own worst adversary?


The “ROG Ally”, recognized as the most potent PC gaming console, comes equipped with an AMD Ryzen Z1 processor Zen 4 + RDNA 3 low-power APU. It boasts a 7-inch 1080p 120Hz gaming screen, ABXY, D-pad, LT/RT/ LB/RB buttons, and a 10-point touch operation, ensuring comprehensive control for PC handheld users. ROG has meticulously incorporated its advanced cooling technology. With a weight of only 608g, this device is unquestionably the pinnacle of modern PC handhelds. However, it begs the question, is there a genuine need for a PC handheld? After a trip to Green Island with the Ally, I can assertively answer in the affirmative.

The ROG Ally (2023) RC71L features:
Operating System: Windows 11 Home
Processor: AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme 8C16T with 24MB Cache, 5.10GHz Boost, Zen 4
Integrated GPU: AMD Radeon 12 CU, 2.7GHz, 8.6 Teraflops, RDNA 3
RAM: In-built 16GB LPDDR5, 6400MT/s, dual-channel
Primary Display: 7 inches, FHD 1920 x 1080, 16:9, IPS, 120Hz, 7ms, 500nits, sRGB 100%, Adobe RGB 75.35%, Gorilla Glass DXC / Victus, 10-point touch, FreeSync Premium
Storage: 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (2230)
In-built Controls: ABXY buttons, D-pad, LT & RT Hall effect analog triggers, LB & RB buttons, View / Menu / Command Center / Armory Crate shortcut buttons, M1 & M2 customizable buttons, 2 x full-size rockers Bar, 6-Axis IMU, Fingerprint Recognition Power Button, Volume Button
I/O Ports: 1 x 3.5mm Headphone/Mic, 1 x ROG XG Mobile Interface, 1 x USB Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen2, DisplayPort 1.4, PD Charging), 1 x UHS-II microSD card reader (SD, SDXC, SDHC)
Audio: 2 Smart Amplifier speakers, AI noise reduction, Hi-Res certification, Dolby Atmos, built-in array microphone
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) 2×2, Bluetooth 5.2
Battery: 40WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
Charger: USB-C, 65W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 3.25A, 65W
Dimensions: 28.0 x 11.1 x 2.12 ~ 3.24 cm
Weight: 608g

ROG Ally PC Unboxing / Ryzen Z1 Extreme, Zen 4, RDNA 3

The ultimate companion for travel could well be a PC gaming console, unaffected by its surroundings. However, its most significant adversaries remain Wi-Fi connectivity, the Windows operating system, and the content of the games themselves. Plus, the flexibility of settings in PC games – a little familiarity with AMD RSR, FSR, FPS limiting, and other adjustments can allow players to assure that the ROG Ally can consistently maintain medium-quality 1080p graphics while still offering smooth gameplay and satisfactory battery life.

No matter where you are, as long as you have Wi-Fi, you can play PC games.
Sand, Sea, and ROG Ally.

The ROG Ally leverages the AMD Ryzen Z1 series handheld gaming console processors, which employ the Zen 4 processor architecture and RDNA 3 graphics core architecture. This configuration provides sufficient power to run the Windows 11 operating system and PC games smoothly. The Ryzen Z1 comes in two versions: the Ryzen Z1 Extreme and a standard variant.

The Ryzen Z1 Extreme features 8 cores and 16 execution threads, 12 RDNA 3 computing units, 768 SP stream processors, and a total cache of 24MB. On the other hand, the standard Ryzen Z1 variant is slightly toned down with 6 cores and 12 execution threads, 4 RDNA 3 computing units, 256 SP stream processors, and a total cache of 22MB.

AMD Ryzen Z1 Handheld PC Gaming Processor.
Ryzen Z1 vs. Z1 Extreme gaming performance comparison.

At present, ROG offers the ROG Ally (2023) RC71L model which utilizes the Ryzen Z1 Extreme. According to AMD’s briefing, the Ryzen Z1 Extreme outperforms the Ryzen Z1, particularly in hardware-demanding AAA titles where the standard Ryzen Z1 variant may struggle to maintain an average frame rate of 45 FPS. Given this, purchasing the standard Ryzen Z1 version may not be advisable.

The Ryzen Z1 Extreme boasts a computational performance of 8.6 Teraflops, in stark contrast to the Ryzen Z1’s 2.8 Teraflops. While AMD Radeon RSR or FSR technology can enhance game stability, there is a considerable performance gap between the two versions. The ROG Ally Z1 Extreme’s official price tag stands at $699, while the standard Z1 is priced at $599.

Considering the relatively small price difference, my preference leans towards the Ryzen Z1 Extreme version. However, if you’re more inclined towards indie games, eSports titles, or multiplayer games that generally don’t demand high-end hardware performance, the standard Z1 version should suffice. Yet, for AAA title enthusiasts, I would recommend going directly for the Extreme variant.

ROG Ally is priced in USD. 
The Taiwan Z1 Extreme version is NT$23,999.

7-inch FHD 1080p 120Hz IPS gaming screen, FreeSync Premium, Gorilla Glass protection

Sporting an eye-catching “bone-white” color, the ROG Ally stands out among a sea of handhelds. The device measures 28cm in length, 11.1cm in width, and a thickness ranging between 2.12 to 3.24cm. This size may be larger than other handhelds, but it’s a deliberate design decision. PC games use desktop screens for designing UI, HUD, and other interfaces, so reducing the screen size to make the Ally smaller could compromise the PC gaming and handheld experience.

The ROG Ally boasts a 7-inch FHD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a 7ms response time, courtesy of an IPS panel. The display offers a peak brightness of 500 nits and features FreeSync Premium technology for synchronizing the refresh rate with the FPS for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). Additionally, it covers 100% of the sRGB color space and 75.35% of Adobe RGB.

Considering that handheld screens are more prone to scratches due to portability and gameplay use, the ROG Ally has been outfitted with Gorilla Glass DXC surface coating and Victus anti-scratch protection technology to ensure durability.

Equipped with a 7-inch FHD, 120Hz, 10-point touch gaming screen.
Screen specifications 1920 x 1080, 120Hz, 8-bit, RGB.
ROG Ally display supports FreeSync synchronization.

In practical use, the ROG Ally provides impressive screen color performance, demonstrating quite satisfactory anti-reflective properties when used indoors. However, using it outside under sunlight can be a different story. Even though it boasts a peak brightness of 500nits, it might still prove insufficient in direct sunlight. Furthermore, bright sunlight coupled with high screen brightness will only hasten battery drainage. Therefore, it’s not advisable to use Ally under the sun extensively.

When it comes to gaming, the 7-inch screen size and 1920 x 1080 resolution result in a fairly small pixel pitch, which still provides pleasing image quality when games are set to medium effects and FSR performance. However, when comparing this with a larger 24-inch or more display, the differences become apparent. While handheld gaming on the Ally might feel as sleek as on a Switch, using it with an external screen may result in somewhat blurred visuals.

Diablo IV Game Remake.
Diablo IV game remake, unfortunately, no ancient unique equipment was photographed.
2077 Game Remake.
Spider-Man Game Remake.

Control: Configure analog mouse, handheld and 10-point touch assist corresponding to Xbox controller

The initial experience of setting up Windows 11 on the ROG Ally might feel unfamiliar and slightly off-putting as it requires a transition from the traditional keyboard and mouse to a combination of controller and touch input. It could take some time to adjust, especially given the occasional hiccups inherent to Windows – such as auto-closing Wi-Fi password windows mid-entry, or the system switching to Gamepad handheld mode when it identifies a background game app launch, disabling any operation.

Despite these quirks, the ROG Ally does offer a compelling user experience once you get the hang of it. Following the “Xbox controller configuration,” the ROG Ally features familiar game controller buttons like ABXY, D-pad, and LT/RT Hall effect analog triggers, alongside LB/RB buttons. As long as the game supports Xbox controllers, it can be seamlessly mapped onto the Ally. Additionally, the Armory Crate SE software enables customization of joystick sensitivity and trigger feel, lending a personalized touch to your gaming experience.

Left-hand grip: left joystick, D-pad arrow keys, View, control center and other buttons.
Right-hand grip: ABXY button, right joystick, Menu, Armory Crate, and other buttons.
LB, and LT buttons on the left front.
The RB and RT buttons are on the front right.

ROG has further supplemented the Ally with additional controls: the View and Control Center buttons on the left, Menu and Armory Crate shortcut buttons on the right, and two customizable M1 & M2 buttons on the back. The View and Menu buttons are standard on the original Xbox controller. The Control Center allows for switching between performance and operation modes on the Ally, while the Armory Crate shortcut button offers one-click access to awaken the Armory Crate or minimize its window.

On the back of ROG Ally, there are fan air intake holes and M1 and M2 customizable buttons.

In terms of controls, the ROG Ally offers three modes by default: “automatic”, “desktop” which simulates mouse mode, and “gamepad” controller mode. Under automatic mode, which is the default for first-time booting, the right joystick controls the mouse cursor, RB acts as the left mouse button, RT as the right mouse button, the left joystick simulates the directional keys, LB simulates the Tab key on the keyboard, and LT simulates Shift+Tab.

These key bindings will be crucial when controlling the initial Windows boot settings on the Ally. In instances where keyboard input is required, you can directly touch the screen. If the touch point is on an input interface, a touch keyboard will automatically pop up. Alternatively, you can quickly open the touch keyboard through the Control Center.

If you’re not comfortable with the desktop-style operation of the ROG Ally, you can directly interact with Windows through touch controls. When you touch an input box, the on-screen keyboard will automatically appear for your convenience.

Control Center: Quickly switch performance, operation mode and real-time monitoring

Once you get the hang of using the Desktop control mode to simulate mouse operations on the ROG Ally, you should familiarize yourself with the “Control Center” shortcut function. By pressing the Control Center button, a menu with shortcut functions will appear on the left side of the screen. These include screen brightness, volume, power switch, operational mode, control mode, on-screen keyboard, real-time performance information, FPS limiter, display desktop, built-in controller, and quick functions like AMD RSR, screenshot, and video recording.

Press the control center button to quickly open the control center control screen.

In general, it is advisable to keep the ROG Ally in “Performance” mode, only switching to “Turbo” when connected to a power source. The “FPS Limiter” can help conserve battery life by limiting the game’s frame rate to a chosen percentage. The “Game Profile” option allows you to customize ROG Ally’s key functionalities for individual games. If you find that the on-screen keyboard doesn’t automatically pop up when you touch the screen, you can use the keyboard button in the Control Center to manually open it.

Control Center shortcut function.

The “Real-Time Performance Information” feature is of utmost importance. It displays the CPU and GPU usage, APU wattage, FPS, temperature, and battery power in the upper-right corner of the screen. This helps you fine-tune game settings to ensure smooth performance without excessive power usage.

If after setting up, you find the FPS is too high and draining power, you can use the “FPS Limiter” to cap the FPS at 60, 45, 30, or 15 FPS. Ideally, 60 FPS would be preferable, but based on practical experience, 45 FPS coupled with FreeSync is still acceptable. After all, if you wish for extended gaming sessions and longer battery life, some performance sacrifice may be necessary.

The real-time performance information in the control center (upper right corner of the screen), as well as functions such as FPS limiter and RSR, can be directly opened, which is quite convenient to integrate.

Also noteworthy is the “AMD RSR” feature, which should be enabled by default. RSR stands for “Radeon Super Resolution”. This technology can be utilized when a game doesn’t support FSR acceleration. RSR reduces the game rendering resolution to 720p and subsequently enlarges and sharpens the image to match Ally’s 1080p screen, thereby maintaining better performance and lower functionality. While both RSR and FSR use similar technology, FSR requires game support, whereas RSR uses drivers to enhance various games and save power.

RSR settings for AMD software.

Top-mounted USB-C output DP video, PD 65W charging, fingerprint recognition power button, expansion Dock must buy

The primary I/O of the ROG Ally is situated on top of the device. Primarily, it charges via the USB-C PD on top. Additionally, the USB-C supports DP video output and USB transmission, making Ally compatible with USB-C HUBs, Docks, and other expansions often used with laptops. As for must-have accessories for ROG Ally, besides the travel case, the “ROG Gaming All-in-One Charger” is a must. Along with providing USB-C charging power, it also extends a USB-A and HDMI 2.0 output, which simplifies the process for players looking to connect to an external monitor.

I/O at the top, fingerprint recognition power button, charging/operation indicator light, volume button, USB-C and XG Mobile expansion port, microSD card slot, and 3.5mm headphone jack from the left.

In addition to the aforementioned features, ROG Ally also supports the ROG XG Mobile external graphics card. However, purchasing this may not be as cost-effective as directly buying a gaming laptop, so I wouldn’t generally recommend using it in this way.

On the top of the ROG Ally, you’ll find microSD slots, volume keys, and an important feature: the “fingerprint recognition power button.” Turning on the ROG Ally via this button takes about 2 seconds – a pretty quick startup speed – and you can reach the login screen in about 5 seconds. Logging in can be done through Windows Hello fingerprint recognition once it’s been set up. This usually works smoothly, although the fingerprint recognition area on Ally is relatively small. Those with larger fingers might need to position their fingers slightly more carefully for recognition to work properly.

Fingerprint recognition power button.

If you’re looking to maximize the functionality and connectivity of your ROG Ally, using a USB-C expansion hub designed for general laptops is a great option. These hubs can provide additional ports such as 2 USB-A and an SD card reader, making them a useful accessory, especially for editors who travel frequently.

For ROG Ally, an ideal USB-C expansion hub would feature at least 1 USB-C charging port, 2 USB-A ports, and 1 HDMI port. This setup offers flexibility and utility, providing options for charging, data transfer, and external display connectivity all through a single USB-C port. These multiport hubs can significantly enhance the versatility of your ROG Ally, especially when you’re on the go.

The USB-C expansion port for the laptop can be used directly.

Indeed, the performance of microSD cards can be quite inferior compared to SSDs, both in terms of read and write speeds. Prolonged write operations like downloading games can cause the speed to drop significantly. Furthermore, loading games from a microSD card can be noticeably slower compared to an internal SSD.

Your suggested solution seems quite practical. Upgrading your ROG Ally’s system SSD to a larger capacity, like 1TB, would provide ample space for installing and running games directly from the SSD, leading to a more seamless gaming experience.

As an alternative, using a USB-C SSD as auxiliary storage can be beneficial too. This approach allows you to store completed games or other large files externally, freeing up your system SSD for new game installations and other high-performance tasks. Remember that the performance of external SSDs may be somewhat dependent on the speed of the USB-C interface and could be slower than your internal drive.

Overall, your strategy aims to balance storage space with performance requirements, making the most of the capabilities of your ROG Ally for an optimal gaming experience.

The microSD card, due to its limited storage and slower pace, isn’t ideal for direct game storage. A more efficient method would be to pair it with a USB-C SSD to augment the available room, or alternatively, to upgrade directly to a 1TB or 2TB M.2 2230 SSD.
Steam downloads are stored on the microSD memory card, and the continuous writing is too slow, resulting in slow downloads.

The ROG Ally is equipped with a ROG USB-C 65W adapter, capable of supporting USB PD charging, allowing up to 65W of rapid charging.

ROG USB-C 65W Transformer.
Transformer Specifications.

ROG smart heat dissipation technology, anti-gravity heat pipe, dual fans, you can play whatever you want!

ROG Ally’s heat dissipation system is notably robust, incorporating dual fans and innovative “anti-gravity heat dissipation pipes” to manage the heat produced by the Ryzen Z1 Extreme. Typically, these heat pipes utilize an internal working fluid that rapidly vaporizes by absorbing heat, the steam then moves towards cooler areas and exchanges heat with this cooler environment. This process enables the steam to condense back into a liquid, which then recycles via gravity or the capillary force and pressure differences within the heat pipe.

Given that the ROG Ally is a handheld gaming console, designed to be played in various positions including sitting or lying down, an enhanced cooling solution was necessary. To this end, ROG incorporates a mesh cooling core to heighten heat conduction, thereby increasing the capillary structure pressure by over 15% for regular operation. From practical experience, the ROG Ally effectively discharges excess heat, ensuring that the handheld grips remain cool and the gaming experience is free from fan noise distractions.

ROG Ally can be easily opened by loosening the 6 screws on the back.
The system SSD is relatively easier to replace.

Armory Crate SE Special Edition, Control Center, Fully Customizable Buttons

The ROG Ally utilizes the specially designed Armory Crate SE Special Edition software, offering three primary functionalities: game library, settings, and content. The “game library” feature automatically organizes games from various platforms on the screen, allowing players to easily access their desired games each time they launch the Armory Crate SE software. It supports popular PC game platforms like Steam, Battle.net, Ubisoft, Xbox, EPIC, Origin, and more.

Armory Crate SE Game Library.

The second function within the Armory Crate SE software is the “Settings” feature, which includes options for control mode and the control center. The control mode can be customized independently for both the “game controller” and “desktop mode.” Notably, the back of the Ally device includes M1 and M2 buttons for additional button functions.

Each button on the Ally can be configured to have a primary function and a secondary function, allowing for simulations of gamepad functions, actions (commonly used Windows shortcuts), keyboard inputs, number keys, mouse inputs, and combined macro keys. Users can also adjust parameters such as the dead zone and external threshold for the left and right joysticks, as well as the dead zone and vibration intensity for the left and right triggers.

The “Settings” function within Armory Crate SE allows users to customize various settings for control mode and different functions. Additionally, users can specify which functions should be displayed in the control center located on the right-hand side of the interface. This provides flexibility in tailoring the control options and displaying the preferred functions for a personalized gaming experience.
For control mode, you can set “game controller” and “desktop mode” separately.

By default, the “game controller” settings offer sufficient functionality. However, users have the option to customize certain shortcuts through the “second function switch key” of M1 and M2. For example, you can assign a shortcut key for taking screenshots or set game-specific shortcuts like Ctrl+R for Diablo 4. Additionally, it is possible to display network latency and configure it according to personal preference. In the desktop mode, users can customize button settings. The first row of each button displayed on the screen represents the primary function, while the second row represents the secondary function. For instance, in the provided image, the View button’s second function is designated as a screenshot by the user.

Desktop Mode Key Assignment.
After clicking the button to be assigned, you can choose to set the primary or secondary function.

Each key on the ROG Ally can be assigned to various functions, including:

  1. Gamepad: The key can simulate the functions of a gamepad or controller.
  2. Action: It can be assigned to commonly used Windows shortcut functions.
  3. Keyboard: The key can be configured to input specific keyboard keys.
  4. Number keys: It can emulate the functionality of numeric keys.
  5. Mouse: The key can simulate mouse actions, such as left-click, right-click, scrolling, etc.
  6. Combined Macro keys: It allows the key to be assigned to a combination of multiple actions or commands.

These options provide flexibility for users to assign each key according to their preferences and specific gaming or application needs.

The buttons correspond to the gamepad.
Default Windows actions.
Corresponds to a keyboard key.
Corresponding to number keys, direction keys and keyboard function keys.
Corresponds to mouse operation.
The key combination means that the macro can be recorded by itself.
Left stick dead zone, external threshold setting.
Trigger settings.
Vibration settings.

On the settings page, there is an option to adjust the Operating mode on the ROG Ally. It is generally recommended to prioritize the “performance” mode for optimal gaming performance. However, if you are primarily using the device for video playback or streaming, you can adjust it to the “extreme speed” mode, which may provide a smoother experience for media consumption. The Operating mode can be tailored to suit your specific usage requirements and preferences.

Operating mode.
System monitoring information.
Power saving settings.
The internal display defaults to 4GB RAM.
Microphone radio setting and noise reduction function.

The “Content” function within the Armory Crate SE software offers several useful features including:

  1. Media Library: This allows you to access and view all the photos or videos captured with the built-in screenshot function.
  2. System Information: On the System page, you can find valuable information such as hardware specifications, available storage space, and other system-related details.
  3. Game Platform: This feature provides information and access to various game platforms supported by ROG Ally.
  4. Update Center: The Update Center provides a convenient way to check for and install software updates to ensure your device is running on the latest version.

The media library and system information sections are particularly useful as they enable you to easily manage your captured media and stay informed about your device’s hardware and storage status.

Content settings.
Media library, storing screenshots and videos.
System information.
Storage settings.
Update Center.

ROG Ally (2023) RC71L computer performance benchmark test

To test the performance of the ROG Ally with the Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, the following steps can be taken:

  1. Set the device to Turbo mode: Activate the Turbo mode on the ROG Ally to ensure maximum performance.
  2. Disable FPS Limiter and FreeSync: Turn off the FPS Limiter and FreeSync features to accurately measure the device’s performance.
  3. Utilize PC benchmark functions: Run common PC benchmark tools to assess the performance of the ROG Ally. Some popular benchmark software options include 3DMark, PCMark, and Cinebench. These tools provide comprehensive performance metrics for various aspects, such as graphics, CPU, and overall system performance.
  4. Test new AAA games: Select a few newly released AAA games to evaluate the performance of the ROG Ally. These games should be graphically demanding and representative of the latest gaming titles. Run the games at appropriate settings and monitor the frame rate and overall smoothness during gameplay to gauge the device’s gaming performance.

Regarding CPU information, CPU-Z can be used to view the specifications of the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor. According to the details provided, the processor is based on the Zen 4 architecture, manufactured using a 4nm process. It features an 8-core, 16-thread configuration and operates at a thermal power consumption of 28W TDP. The device is equipped with dual-channel 16GB DDR5 memory.

By following these steps and conducting thorough performance tests, you can gain insights into ROG Ally’s capabilities and assess its performance in both benchmark scenarios and real-world gaming environments.


The available data shown in GPU-Z has certain limitations. In the case of the Z1 Extreme, it utilizes a configuration consisting of 12 sets of RDNA 3 compute units, 768 SP (Stream Processors), and is equipped with 4GB of DDR5 memory.


CINEBENCH R20 and R23, which were developed by MAXON and are based on Cinema 4D, are useful tools for assessing the 3D rendering capabilities of computer processors. These software programs are also reliable for conducting rapid evaluations of CPU multi-core computing performance.

In the case of the Ryzen Z1 Extreme, it achieves a CPU score of 5710 points and a single-core score of 694 points in CINEBENCH R20. In the R23 version, its CPU performance reaches 14628 points for multi-core computing and 1783 points for single-core computing.


The AIDA64 memory test reveals that the ROG Ally utilizes dual-channel LPDDR5-3216 16GB memory. The memory read and write speeds are measured at 50772 MB/s and 91299 MB/s, respectively. Additionally, the memory delay is calculated to be 117.5ns.

AIDA64 memory.

To assess the overall performance of the ROG STRIX SCAR 17 (2023) G733, a PCMark 10 test was conducted. PCMark 10 evaluates various aspects of computer performance, including essential tasks such as application startup speed, video conferencing performance, and web browsing. The test also includes productivity tasks involving spreadsheets and paperwork, as well as digital content creation tasks such as photo/video editing, rendering, and visualization.

The ROG STRIX SCAR 17 (2023) G733 achieved an overall score of 7163 points in PCMark 10. This score is comparable to that of general business and clerical notebooks. Specifically, its performance in general computer work received a score of 10662 points, productivity tasks received a score of 10185 points, and digital content creation tasks received a score of 9186 points. During the test, the CPU reached its highest clock speed at 5.1GHz.

PCMark 10.

The system disk of the ROG Ally is equipped with a 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD. In terms of performance, the CrystalDiskMark test reveals that it achieves a sequential read speed of 4309.31 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 1797.5 MB/s.

Regarding the microSD memory card used in the test, it demonstrates sequential read and writes speeds of approximately 98.3 MB/s and 27.83 MB/s, respectively.

CrystalDiskMark System SSD Test.
CrystalDiskMark memory card test.

The 3DMark Fire Strike test is a quick evaluation of the ROG Ally’s performance, specifically focusing on the older DirectX 11 API and its capability to handle AAA games. In the Fire Strike test conducted at a mainstream 1080p resolution, the ROG Ally scored 7168 points overall. Specifically, its graphics performance achieved a score of 8143 points. These results provide an indication of the system’s ability to handle demanding gaming tasks and graphics-intensive applications.

3DMark Fire Strike.

3DMark Time Spy is a test scenario specifically designed to utilize the DirectX 12 API, providing a benchmark that reflects performance levels expected in AAA games. When subjected to the 1440p Time Spy test, the ROG Ally achieved a score of 3182 points overall. In terms of graphics performance, it received a score of 2854 points. These scores indicate the system’s capability to handle gaming tasks and graphics-intensive applications that make use of the DirectX 12 technology.

3DMark Time Spy.

In the 3DMark AMD FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) test, you can assess the performance difference when comparing the system’s performance before and after FSR is enabled. In the case of the ROG Ally, without FSR enabled, it achieves a frame rate of 15.71 FPS (Frames Per Second). However, when FSR2 Performance mode is activated, the frame rate significantly increases to 39.62 FPS. This indicates a notable performance improvement of 152.2% with FSR enabled, highlighting the benefits of utilizing FidelityFX Super Resolution technology.


ROG Ally (2023) RC71L – Game performance test

The game tests were conducted using several new AAA titles, including “Dian Yu Ren Ke 2077,” “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” “Spider-Man Miles Moore,” “Hogwarts Legacy,” and “Diablo IV.” The games were set to 1080p resolution with medium or low graphics settings, ray tracing turned off, and FSR2 performance mode enabled.

During the testing, it was observed that the Ryzen Z1 Extreme experienced difficulty running smoothly when “ray tracing” was enabled in these new titles. Additionally, due to the small screen size, the difference in visual quality after enabling ray tracing was not easily noticeable, so it was recommended to disable this feature directly in the game settings.

In addition to focusing on average FPS (Frames Per Second), the tests also considered a 1% Low FPS for comparison. If the average FPS remains stable but the 1% Low FPS is relatively low, it may result in occasional stuttering or a slightly less smooth experience. While FreeSync can help alleviate this issue, it was suggested that players consider the 1% Low FPS when adjusting game settings for a better overall experience.

In the game “Diablo IV,” the ROG Ally achieved an average FPS of 72.1 and 1% Low FPS of 40.7. However, in “Hogwarts Legacy,” the performance was poor, with an average FPS of 54 but a dismal 1% Low FPS of 10, making it essentially unplayable. On the other hand, “Spider-Man Miles Morras” performed well with an average FPS of 66 and 1% Low FPS of 29.

Regarding “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” on the Steam Deck, the average FPS was preset at 55, with a stable 1% Low FPS of 36. However, with the game’s settings on low, the average FPS was 56, with a 1% Low FPS of 28.

Therefore, it was recommended that players prioritize special effects and FSR performance settings when configuring the game. If the performance is still not smooth, reducing the special effects to low was advised. Additionally, enabling the default FreeSync and RSR settings of the system can further improve the gameplay experience. For better battery life performance, it was suggested to set the FPS Limiter at 60 or 45 FPS.

ROG Ally (2023) RC71L temperature test

I appreciate your honest feedback. It’s important to consider the heat dissipation capabilities of the ROG Ally when configuring its settings. In the tests conducted, it was observed that during the AIDA64 CPU stress test, the temperature reached 95°C at a maximum power consumption of 30W. In the Time Spy Stress Test, the temperature reached 85°C.

Based on these findings, the test settings were adjusted to prioritize longer battery life by using the “performance mode 15W” and setting the FPS limit to 45. Under these settings, the temperature during gameplay was measured at 68°C for “Dian Yu Ren Ke 2077” and 65°C for “Diablo IV.” These temperature levels were considered quite good.

It’s worth noting that during gameplay, the temperature at the backlight of the front screen of the ROG Ally reached 47°C. Additionally, temperatures of 39.4°C were observed above the center of the back, and 49.5°C at the air outlet. However, the temperature in the handle and button area remained unaffected by long-term gameplay, resulting in no significant increase in temperature in those specific regions.

ROG Ally frontal thermal imager during gaming.
Thermal imager on the back of ROG Ally during gaming.

ROG Ally (2023) RC71L battery life test

Power battery life is indeed a crucial aspect when it comes to PC handhelds. In the case of the ROG Ally, the battery life was assessed using various tests.

During the PCMark 10 Modern Office test, which is a general notebook test, the performance setting was adjusted to 15W with a target of 60 FPS. Under these conditions, the ROG Ally achieved an impressive battery life of 5 hours and 37 minutes. This duration exceeds the battery life of many gaming laptops.

For the main game test using “Diablo IV,” initially, the setting was set to “Extreme Speed 25W / 60FPS.” However, this resulted in a battery life of only 59 minutes, approximately 1 hour. The setting was then adjusted to “Efficiency 15W / 45FPS,” which allowed the game to last for 1 hour and 31 minutes.

When it comes to streaming content, such as watching the “One Piece” animation on Netflix, setting the device to “Mute 10W / 30FPS” provided a viewing time of 4 hours and 30 minutes. This demonstrates that the ROG Ally offers a good battery life even for extended entertainment sessions.

Overall, the ROG Ally proves to have commendable battery life performance across different usage scenarios, making it suitable for prolonged use, whether for productivity tasks, gaming, or multimedia consumption.


ROG Ally indeed offers excellent hardware performance as a PC handheld device. The Ryzen Z1 Extreme provides sufficient power to achieve stable 45FPS performance in AAA games. With the inclusion of FreeSync synchronization technology, it not only ensures a smooth and consistent gaming experience but also offers a battery life of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes for handheld gaming.

In terms of controls and operation, the device features Xbox-compatible joystick controls, including ABXY buttons, LB/LT/RB/RT triggers, and a D-pad. It also incorporates a fingerprint recognition power button, a 10-point touch screen, and a convenient “Control Center” shortcut menu along with the Armory Crate SE Special Edition. These features provide players with comprehensive desktop operation and game control functions.

However, the biggest challenge for PC handheld devices is the Windows operating system itself. There may be occasional awkward situations, such as windows automatically shrinking when entering a Wi-Fi password or pop-up windows requesting permission to connect while playing games. While users can gradually adapt and resolve these issues, the overall experience may not be as seamless as that of devices like the Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch.

Additionally, one drawback of PC handhelds is that players need to manually adjust game settings to optimize the gaming experience. However, ROG Ally provides “real-time performance information,” enabling players to adjust game settings based on FPS (Frames Per Second) while playing, ensuring a smooth and freeze-free gaming experience. It is recommended to set the ROG Ally to “Performance 15W / 45FPS” mode and adjust game settings to “Medium or Low Special Effects, FSR2 Performance,” while keeping the system default settings for “FreeSync and RSR.” However, it is important to note that the optimal settings may vary for each game, so players should experiment, test, and adjust settings accordingly.

ROG Ally is priced at NT$23,999 in Taiwan, which is a reasonable price for a Windows PC handheld device. It is well-suited for players who desire the freedom to play PC games without being restricted by their environment. Whether it’s during travel or other activities, the ROG Ally allows players to enjoy gaming on the go. For instance, it offers the convenience of launching farming sessions in Diablo 4 while on the move.

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Title: Embrace Affection! Is the ROG Ally, which is impressively powerful straight from the package, the ultimate PC gaming handheld device, or could it be its own worst adversary?