Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
If current 890 chipset motherboards don’t fit your budget or build, the Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 may be just what the doctor ordered.
Once again, Asus has brought forward a very solid AMD motherboard at a very affordable price. The inclusion of the AMD 880G chipset allows for integrated Radeon HD 4250 graphics, as well as USB 3 and 6.0Gb/s SATA support, something most motherboards right now do not have. If current 890 chipset motherboards are too pricey or the wrong fit, the Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 may be just what the doctor ordered.
The M4A88TD-V EVO/USB is feature packed to say the least. As mentioned earlier, this board has 5 6.0Gb/s SATA ports with RAID support and also provides USB 3 connectivity via two ports at the back of the board. The 880G chipset also supports the latest hex-core processors from AMD, so you are covered in that arena as well. Two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots support CrossFireX, while the onboard Radeon HD 4250 can provide onboard graphics support if needed.
AMD AM3 Phenom II / Athlon II / Sempron 100 Series Processors
This motherboard supports AMD® Socket AM3 multi-core processors with unique L3 cache and delivers better overclocking capabilities with less power consumption. It features dual-channel DDR3 memory support and accelerates data transfer rate up to 5200MT/s via HyperTransport™ 3.0 based system bus. This motherboard also supports AMD® CPUs in the new 45nm manufacturing process.
AMD® 880G Chipset is designed to support up to 5200MT/s HyperTransport™ 3.0 (HT 3.0) interface speed and PCI Express™ 2.0 x16 graphics. It is optimized with AMD®’s latest AM3 and multi-core CPUs to provide excellent system performance and overclocking capabilities.
M4A88TD-V EVO Series brings you the multi-GPU choice of CrossFireX™. Expect a brand-new gaming style you’ve never experienced before!
PCIe 2.0 Support
This motherboard supports the latest PCIe 2.0 devices for double speed and bandwidth which enhances system performance.
High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) is a set of digital video standards that delivers multi-channel audio and uncompressed digital video for Full HD 1080p visuals through through a single cable. Supporting HDCP copy protection such as HD DVD and Blu-ray Discs, HDMI provides you with the highest-quality home theater experience.
DVI (Digital Visual Interface) provides high visual quality of digital display devices such as LCD monitor. The interface of this motherboard supports dual VGA output both DVI-D/HDMI and RGB.
True USB 3.0 Support
Experience ultra-fast data transfers at 4.8 Gb/s with USB 3.0–the latest connectivity standard. Built to connect easily with next-generation components and peripherals, USB 3.0 transfers data 10X faster and is also backward compatible with USB 2.0 components.
True SATA 6Gb/s Support
The AMD® SB850 Southbridge natively supports next-generation Serial ATA (SATA) storage interface, this motherboard delivers up to 6.0 Gb/s data transfer rates. Additionally, get enhanced scalability, faster data retrieval, double the bandwidth of current bus systems.
Dual-channel DDR3 2000 (O.C.) / 1333 / 1066 Support
The motherboard supports DDR3 memory that features data transfer rates of 2000(O.C.)/1333/1066 MHz to meet the higher bandwidth requirements of the latest 3D graphics, multimedia, and Internet applications. The dual-channel DDR3 architecture enlarges the bandwidth of your system memory to boost system performance.
Asus Core Unlocker simplifies the activation of a latent AMD® CPU—with just a simply switch. Enjoy an instant performance boost by simply unlocking the extra cores, without performing complicated BIOS changes.
Turbo Key II
Enjoy superb performance by auto-tuning your processor to an extreme yet stable state. Simply activate a dedicated switch on the motherboard to unleash extra processing capabilities.
The ultimate O.C. processor satisfies every level of overclockers—from die-hard enthusiasts to beginners. Auto tuning intelligently pushes the system to the fastest clock speeds while maintaining stability. Turbo Key boosts performance with just one touch; while TurboV offers more options to advanced overclockers to achieve world O.C. record. over, upgrade your CPU at no additional cost with CPU Level UP!!
Turbo Unlocker is the next evolution of an exclusive Asus performance boost feature. All it takes is one click in the TurboV EVO interface and Turbo Unlocker automatically and dynamically adjusts each core frequency to speed up performance based on actual system load. Turbo Unlocker gets you in touch with more performance exactly when you need it
Auto Tuning is an intelligent tool that automates overclocking to achieve a total system level up. This tool also provides stability testing. Even O.C. beginners can achieve extreme yet stable overclocking results with Auto Tuning!
GPU Boost overclocks the integrated GPU in real time for the best graphics performance. User-friendly UI facilitates flexible frequency and voltage adjustments. Its ability to deliver multiple overclocking profiles also provides Rapid and stable system-level upgrades.
Asus Turbo Key allows you to turn the PC power button into a physical overclocking button. After the easy setup, Turbo Key can boost performances without interrupting ongoing work or games, simply through pressing the button.
Express Gate™ is an Asus exclusive OS that provides you with quick access to the Internet and key applications before entering Windows®.
Asus 82 Phase Power Design
Unleashes ultimate memory performances with independent power to core components, while providing fast transient response and stability for the CPU under heavy loading or overclocking modes.
MemOK! quickly ensures memory boot compatibility. This remarkable memory rescue tool requires a mere push of a button to patch memory issues. MemOK! determines failsafe settings and dramatically improves your system boot success. Get your system up and running in no time!
System Level Energy Saving The Asus EPU (Energy Processing Unit) provides total system power management by detecting current PC loadings and intelligently moderating power usage for critical PC components in real-time–helping save power and money!
This special design prevents expensive devices and the motherboard from damage caused by power surges from switching power supply(PSU).
Asus Stylish Heatsink
The brand new 2 colors features 0-dB thermal solution that offers users a noiseless PC environment. The Paten Pending 2-colors design within the beautifully curved fins upgrade the visual enjoyment for the motherboard users, it also effectively cools down hot airflows generated by the north bridge chipset. Combined with usability and aesthetics, the Asus Patent 2-color Wing heat-sink will give users an extremely silent and cooling experience with the elegant appearance!
Asus Fan Xpert intelligently allows users to adjust both the CPU and chassis fan speed according to different ambient temperature. which is caused by different climate conditions in different geographic regions and system loading.Built-in variety of useful profiles offer flexible controls of fan speed to achieve a quiet and cool environment.
EZ Flash is a user-friendly BIOS update utility. Simply press the pre-defined hotkey to launch this tool and update BIOS from a floppy disk before entering the OS.
CrashFree BIOS 3
The Asus CrashFree BIOS 3 allows users to restore corrupted BIOS data from a USB flash disk containing the BIOS file. This utility saves users the cost and hassle of buying a replacement BIOS chip.
Freely share and distribute favorite overclocking settings The motherboard features the Asus O.C. Profile that allows users to conveniently store or load multiple BIOS settings. The BIOS settings can be stored in the CMOS or a separate file, giving users freedom to share and distribute their favorite overclocking settings.
Asus Q-Connector allows you to easily connect or disconnect the chassis front panel cables to the motherboard. This unique module eliminates the trouble of connecting the system panel cables one at a time and avoiding wrong cable connections.
The specially designed Asus Q-Shield does without the usual “fingers”—making it convenient and easy to install. With better electric conductivity, it ideally protects your motherboard against static electricity and shields it against Electronic Magnetic Interference (EMI).
8 Channel Audio Codec
The onboard 8-channel HD audio (High Definition Audio, previously codenamed Azalia) CODEC enables high-quality 192KHz/24-bit audio output, jack-sensing feature, retasking functions and multi-streaming technology.
S/PDIF-out on Back I/O Port
This motherboard provides convenient connectivity to external home theater audio systems via optical S/PDIF-out (Sony-Philips Digital Interface) jacks. It allows to transfer digital audio without converting to analog format and keeps the best signal quality.
This feature detects repetitive and stationary noises like computer fans, air conditioners, and other background noises then eliminates it in the incoming audio stream while recording.
The motherboard and its packaging comply with the European Union´s Restriction on the use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS). This is in line with the Asus vision of creating environment-friendly and recyclable products and packaging to safeguard consumers´ health while minimizing the impact on the environment.
What would a huge list of features be without a little more detailed specifications table? Check out all of the technical specifications below.
1 x eSATA port (6Gb/s ready)
The packaging of the M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 is similar to other Asus motherboards in that it does a great job of showing the major features of the board on the front of the box. Though not as important when purchasing online, this is a great help to the millions of consumers who buy in a retail setting.
A printed user guide and support DVD are included with the motherboard, as well as a case badge and Q-connectors for easy installation.
Also in the box are four SATA cables (2 x 6Gb/s and 2 x 3Gb/s), a single PATA cable, and the Q-Shield. The great thing about this motherboard’s Q-Shield is that the removal of the sharp metal tabs found on most I/O shields really makes installing this motherboard a breeze.
Once again, Asus has chosen their blue and light-blue color scheme. The large dual-color heatsink on the northbridge chipset is sleek and shiny, with the Asus brand name embossed in the corner
Back panel I/O ports are abundant, with the only real legacy port being the single PS/2 port. Four USB 2.0 ports allow for general peripheral connectivity, while the two blue USB 3.0 ports let users connect high-speed storage devices. The S/PDIF audio out and HDMI let this board function in an HTPC mode if needed. The on-board graphics also take advantage of the VGA and DVI ports. Firewire and E-SATA ports add to the external device connectivity options. A single gigabit LAN port provides network connectivity, and the 8-channel audio ports provide all the needed connections for great audio.
Along the right side of the motherboard, just above the main power connector are three very important features. The first is the MemOK! button. This button allows the motherboard to fix memory issues in order to make sure the system is stable. Next on the line is the Core Unlocker switch. This switch allows users unlock extra CPU cores without performing any BIOS changes. Last is the Turbo Key II. With a flick of the switch, users can enjoy auto-tuned performance increases without having to step foot in the BIOS.
We were fairly confident that with this test setup, we would get at least 600MHz out of the X4 640 during overclocking, due to the fact that the X4 620 we previously reviewed was able to gain 700 MHz. After tweaking voltages and bus speeds, we achieved a stable overclock speed of 3.675GHz. This wasn’t as high as we would have liked to see, but higher speeds were not stable and caused multiple BSODs. The final settings were a 15x multiplier and 245MHz bus speed. I also increased the core voltage to 1.440V to give it a little extra juice. All of these settings were made using the Asus TurboV overclocking utility provided on the support DVD.
“EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems. Furthermore, complete software, operating system and security information makes EVEREST Ultimate Edition a comprehensive system diagnostics tool that offers a total of 100 pages of information about your PC.”
The results we see here are very similar to the rest of the results. As the speed of the processor increases, so does the performance in each test. A boost in speed equals boost in performance.
This integer benchmark performs different common tasks used during digital photo processing.
It performs the following tasks on a very large RGB image:
Rotate90R (rotate 90 degrees CW)
Rotate90L (rotate 90 degrees CCW)
Random (fill the image with random colored pixels)
RGB2BW (color to black white conversion)
This benchmark stresses the integer arithmetic and multiplication execution units of the CPU and also the memory subsystem.
CPU PhotoWorxx test uses only the basic x86 instructions, and it is Hyper Threading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware.
The only anomaly here is that the 620 had a slightly better score than the 640 at stock speeds. This most likely is due to standard variances between benchmark runs.
This simple integer benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and the misprediction penalties of the CPU. It finds the solutions for the classic “Queens problem” on a 10 by 10 sized chessboard.
CPU Queen test uses integer MMX, SSE2 and SSSE3 optimizations. It consumes less than 1 MB system memory and it is Hyper Threading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware.
Again, this test brings back results exactly like we would expect; a nice stair step up with each increase in clock speed.
This integer benchmark measures combined CPU and memory subsystem performance through the public ZLib compression library Version 1.2.3 ( www.zlib.net ).
CPU ZLib test uses only the basic x86 instructions, and it is Hyper Threading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core (CMP) aware.
As expected, an overclocked CPU will out-perform a non-overclocked processor. The gain in performance is equal with both processors, with the 640 edging out the 620.
One intersting note about the Everest memory tests is how often the M4A785TD-M actually beats the M4A88TD-V EVO. Since this is a memory test, the results indicated that the Kingston RAM used in the 785 build performs slightly better than the Patriot modules used with the 880. These results hold true for the remainder of the memory tests in Everest.
As shown in all of the memory tests, the Kingston memory used with the M4A785TD-M took the cake against the faster clocked M4A88TD-V EVO.
“CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer’s performance capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more. MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based). The resulting values among different operating systems are 100% comparable and therefore very useful with regard to purchasing decision-making. It can also be used as a marketing tool for hardware vendors or simply to compare hardware among colleagues or friends.”
Cinebench does a great job with multi-core processors. As we can see, the Athlon II X4 640 in the M4A88TD-V EVO pulls ahead in the multi-threaded testing.
“This module in WinRar generates random data, which contains specially introduced redundancy, increasing the load to both the processor and memory. Data is then passed through RAR compression and decompression algorithms, and the output of the decompression algorithm is compared to the source data. If any differences are found, WinRar then reports “Errors found – Yes” in the command window. WinRar displays a size of processed data and compression speed, current and resulting, in kilobytes per second.”
“The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file, and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own.”
Once again, the performance from the 880 chipset in the M4A88TD-V EVO pushes it past the 785 in the older Asus board. Although the difference between the two is mentionable, for the most part it is unnoticeable in every-day situations. Either way, the M4A88TD-V EVO is a great motherboard.
“SiSoftware Sandra (the System Analyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software. It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what’s really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.”
The CPU overclocking increases performance by a high amount.
Although each testbed used a different memory kit, the results are very similar. Great performance was seen in all situations, with the newer Asus motherboard taking the lead with the overclocked Athlon II X4 640.
For complete information on 3DMark Vantage Please follow this Link:
The newest video benchmark from the gang at Futuremark. This utility is still a synthetic benchmark, but one that more closely reflects real world gaming performance. While it is not a perfect replacement for actual game benchmarks, it has its uses. We tested our cards at the ‘Performance’ setting.
While the scores for the overall test and the GPU stayed nearly the same for both CPU clock speeds, the CPU score sees a definite improvement when overclocked. While the GTX 260 is getting long in the tooth, it still puts forth a perfectly acceptable performance.
“PCMark Vantage is a PC benchmark suite designed for Windows Vista offering one-click simplicity for casual users and detailed, professional grade testing for industry, press and enthusiasts. A PCMark score is a measure of your computer’s performance across a variety of common tasks such as viewing and editing photos, video, music and other media, gaming, communications, productivity and security. From desktops and laptops to workstations and gaming rigs, by comparing your PCMark Vantage score with other similar systems you can find the hardware and software bottlenecks that stop you getting more from your PC. “
Throughout our battery of PCMark Vantage tests, the overclocking of the Athlon II X4 640 brings about much appreciated performance results.
The included overclocking and monitoring software was so outstanding, we decided to dedicate an entire page to it. The AI Suite software is included on the driver CD and is used to monitor various components of the motherboard, as well as provide access to overclocking functions.
The following image shows the expanded layout of the AI Suite. It provides easy to understand readings for things like CPU temperature, fan speeds and current CPU clock.
Clicking the fan button opens up the Asus FanXpert application that provides custom fan speed settings depending on the temperature of the CPU. There is a setting for everyone, and they are even customizable.
TurboV gives users the choice of using manual settings, going with an easy mode, or even letting the software and motherboard work together on their own to come up with a nice overclock. The image below shows the manual options.
Still in Manual mode, but now on the GPU Boost tab, users gain the ability to adjust the Radeon GPU settings for added performance.
The CPU Ratio tab allows for the ability to tweak the multiplier ratio on your CPU.
Moving over to the Easy Mode tab shows the reduced set of options, but still provides the ability to gain performance with the dialing in of a few sliders.
Auto Tuning removes the hassle of manually configuring options, but still gives great results. This option is great for users that may not be ready to move into manual settings just yet.
Last but not least, the Turbo Key feature of the TurboV EVO software allows users to setup a group of hotkey commands to toggle in and out of a TurboV profile. This option is great for gamers, as they can simply hotkey in the combination and activate the profile when opening starting a game.
Although manufacturers have been including software like this for quite some time, we were very impressed with what Asus had to offer. The software not only looks polished look, it also performs admirably.
Asus has once again brought an outstanding motherboard to the table. The inclusion of 6.0Gb/s SATA support and USB 3 let the M4A88TD-V EVO shine. The onboard Radeon HD 4350 GPU allows us to put this motherboard to use in situations that don’t require a behemoth of a video card but still need that extra oomph from a dedicated GPU, such as in an HTPC (for people who require more graphics support however, CrossFireX is included).
The included software really stands out, and is easy to use. There is no equal for the ability to make BIOS level changes right from the desktop. As if that wasn’t enough, the M4A88TD-V EVO also includes the core unlocker switch to assist in unlocking extra CPU cores, as well as the Turbo Key II to helps extend processing power.
In the end, the Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 packs a ton of great features into an affordable ATX motherboard. This motherboard is sure to fit into builds from the basic e-mail and web surfing PC to dedicated gaming rigs.
We are using a new addition to our scoring system to provide additional feedback beyond a flat score. Please note that the final score isn’t an aggregate average of the new rating system.
Bundled software adds value
Asus P5Q Turbo specifications
Asus Power Saving Solution
Asus Overclocking Tools
Asus Crystal Sound
Asus ROG Ally Review: All Sorts of Power Except One
There’s no denying the fact that the Nintendo Switch paved the way for modern handled gaming consoles. It was then taken to the next level by Valve introducing the Steam Deck. Now, Asus is trying its hand with the ROG Ally. And for the most part, they have managed to check all the boxes with their new device.
The Asus ROG Ally comes in two processor options — the AMD Ryzen Z1 and the Z1 Extreme. The company sent us the latter for review. It is priced a lot higher compared to the Steam Deck. In fact, it’s priced similarly to most entry-level gaming laptops. That said, the company does claim that ROG Ally is more powerful than the competition.
But is it so? Has Asus managed to create the best handheld gaming console out there right now? Let’s find out in our in-depth review of the Asus ROG Ally.
Design and Ergonomics
Starting with the design, the Asus ROG Ally feels like an Xbox controller with a display between its keys. Except, it’s a lot slimmer, while still maintaining a good sense of ergonomics.
At a little above 600g, the ROG Ally is very comfortable to hold with both hands, and you get a nice grip as well. Asus has ensured that there’s a nice slope to the sides, complete with the ROG branding.
In terms of the buttons, the entire layout is just the way there is on an Xbox controller. However, Asus has added two buttons on the rear, as well as two extra buttons on the front for shortcuts.
The left button is to launch the Command Center overlay, while the right button is designed to launch the Armory Crate. All these buttons are easy to access and feel comfortable to the touch.
Another thing worth highlighting is that the power button here doubles up as a fingerprint scanner as well. And in our testing, it worked very well.
There were slight issues at times, but that felt more down to Windows just being Windows, rather than the hardware being at fault.
Asus has worked a lot on their controller buttons, while also giving the users full control. Inside the Armory Crate, you can customize every aspect of the triggers as well as the sticks. You can adjust the sensitivity, change the dead zones, and even fine-tune the haptic feedback.
What’s more, is that the rear buttons can be used in combination with the other buttons. As such, you can assign macros or system tasks to work when you press two keys together.
Having said that, compared to the Steam Deck, one stark difference is the omission of a touchpad. While you can use the right joystick as a mouse, it’s not that comfortable.
Speaking about the joysticks, both of them come with RGB lighting underneath them. And of course, it’s all customizable, thanks to Aura Sync support.
Moving along, in terms of connectivity, there aren’t many ports here. Which is understandable given the form factor. You get a 3.5mm headphone jack coupled with a UHS-II microSD card reader slot. There’s also the ROG XG Mobile interface, which includes a USB Type-C 3.2 Gen2 port.
This single USB port is used for charging the console and to output to a bigger monitor. I do wish Asus had included at least one more USB-C port here, which would make connecting peripherals a bit easier.
If you do plan to use the ROG Ally for tackling the occasional productivity task with a keyboard and mouse, you should consider investing in a good Type-C dock.
The display is another department where the ROG Ally shines. The handheld console packs a stunning 7-inch IPS panel capable of a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. This easily makes it a lot sharper and crisper when compared to the Steam Deck’s 800p panel.
Also, while the panel does have a glossy finish to it, the 500-nits of peak brightness makes it brighter than Valve’s console. This also ensures it can be used under direct sunlight without much trouble.
Of course, since it’s meant for gaming, the display also gets the ability to work at a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. The panel is quite vibrant as well. With 100% sRGB coverage, the colors here look accurate. Whether you’re playing an open-world game, or just enjoying a movie, the display on the ROG Ally wouldn’t disappoint you.
For protection, Asus has used a sheet of Gorilla Glass Victus over the panel. You also get Gorilla Glass DX coating to tackle scratches. It’s a coating more commonly used on smartwatches, or on top of smartphone camera lenses. And similar to them, the panel is prone to fingerprints.
To the point where you constantly need to wipe the panel clean. This ends up being an issue, especially because this is a touch display, and the only practical way to interact with Windows OS is via touch. As such, this is another reason why I feel Asus really should have included a touchpad somewhere on the body.
Apart from the fingerprints, there’s practically nothing wrong with the display here. It’s bright, vibrant, smooth, and super responsive.
Aiding the display department is the front-firing dual speaker system. For the most part, the audio is great. It’s a lot louder than what you’d expect from a device of this size.
In terms of quality, let’s be honest, it’s not going to be satisfying any audiophiles. With that being said, the mids are balanced, the highs don’t creak, and there is a slight hint of bass too. All in all, the speakers work very well for all sorts of entertainment needs on the go. Especially when you factor in the size of these tiny speakers.
The only issue I faced was the fact that the audio in itself is quite uneven. And the power output varies a lot. During games, the audio would suddenly spike up, and then go down quiet. All without me interfering with the volume rockers on the top in any way. Then again, it could be an issue with our review unit, and hopefully, things would be better for you.
Okay so enough chit-chat, let’s get down to the performance section. The ROG Ally is powered by the AMD Z1 Extreme APU coupled with 16GB of dual-channel RAM.
The processor itself has controllable TDP, and Asus has made things quite easy for the end-user to change them. You get a Silent 10W profile, a 15W Performance Mode, and a 25W Turbo Mode. There’s also a 30W Turbo Mode which the device automatically switches to when plugged into a power source.
I ran plenty of games on the ROG Ally, and for the most part, the performance was pretty good. Of course, you have to keep your expectations realistic. You can’t go about gaming at the highest settings on it. Then again, on a 7-inch display, you don’t really have to. Even on Medium settings, everything looks pretty good and stunning. And thanks to AMD’s RSR feature enabled, you get better quality in games, even if the game itself doesn’t natively support AMD’s FSR technology.
Another thing that’s worth highlighting is that the performance of the Ally depends a lot on the game’s optimization. Of course, that’s true for pretty much every entry (as well as mid-range) gaming laptop. Titles like Forza Horizon 5 and GTA V were easily running upwards of 100 fps, without even breaking a sweat.
Even Metro Exodus was able to breach the 60 fps threshold, which is great for a device this size. But then you have titles like Cyberpunk 2077 and Far Cry 6 that didn’t fare too well. Even in the case of FIFA 23, while you can get nearly 60 fps on gameplay, the frames drop down to as low as 2 fps whenever any cutscenes are involved.
It’s worth noting that the performance of the Ally isn’t that good on the 10W silent mode, but improves a lot with the 15W mode. You also see a sizeable jump going from 15W to 25W. However, the difference between the 25W and 30W isn’t that noticeable.
With that being said, the performance is still pretty damn solid. I ran some synthetic benchmarks to showcase the raw power of this processor. And as you can see, the AMD Z1 Extreme is a pretty good processor.
As good as the performance is, our tests were done running the BIOS 322 firmware. Asus has rolled out a newer, BIOS 323 firmware. It claims to offer significant boosts, especially for the 15W Performance mode. We’ll be testing the newer version and will update this review with our findings.
Thermals and Upgradability
The Asus ROG Ally is cooled by not one but two fans inside, and they do their job well. The vents are located on the top, so no hot air comes on your hands. And while the processor does get toasty at times, there’s no noticeable surface heat. So you can essentially play on it at the highest settings without having to worry about your hands burning.
Regarding internals, Asus clearly stated that we weren’t allowed to pop the back plate off, which is common practice for many first-gen review products. But, Asus did give us a quick look at the internals during a familiarisation session with the product. So we can confirm that the SSD inside is the only thing that’s upgradable.
On that note, while it is a standard M.2 2230 SSD, opening the ROG Ally on your own would void the warranty. Instead, you can visit an Asus Service Center, hand them the new SSD that you wish to upgrade to, and they’ll do the job for you.
So far, everything has mostly been positive about the Asus ROG Ally. But it’s time for the biggest pro as well as the biggest con of this device. The Ally runs on Windows 11 Home. Without a doubt, Windows is just not optimized for touch displays, and navigating through Windows is a task. And the experience translates to the apps you use inside it as well.
The EA Play app just never scales properly, and good luck trying to open the keyboard while attempting to log in to it. Opening folders, searching through the Start menu, or even browsing on a web page for that matter isn’t that smooth.
With that being said, it’s clear that Asus knows all about it. And they’ve done their fair share to fix it. Thanks to the Ally running Windows, it’s essentially a Windows laptop only. So when you want to use it as a laptop, just plug in a USB Dock/Hub and connect your keyboard and mouse. Or you can even use the XG Mobile, and output to a bigger display on your desk.
As for the handheld mode where you want to game, you don’t even need to rely on Windows. Well, at least not to launch the games. Once you’ve installed games inside using whatever store you wish to, the Armory Crate will automatically recognize the titles. You can seamlessly launch your games from the Crate itself.
What’s more, is that you don’t even have to use Windows once you’re done with installing your library of games. Just set the Armory Crate to launch at boot, and voila. You’ll be automatically taken to your games library without you having to interact with the unoptimized Windows 11.
And it gets even better. The Command Center works as an overlay, which can be used for all your quick settings. So be it changing the TDP, adjusting the brightness, or even changing the resolution, you can do it all with ease. The Ally also allows you to easily capture screenshots as well as screen recording, and there’s a nice overlay to showcase the wattage and FPS meter too.
As for Windows itself, there’s talk of Microsoft working on a handheld version of Windows, which should theoretically make things better for the ROG Ally. But even without it, it’s only the initial setup that’s tough. When you want to use the Ally for work, just plug it into a dock and when you want to game, you don’t have to rely on Windows. So kudos to Asus for doing a fantastic job here.
Battery Life and Charging
You read the title and you must be wondering what’s this one power missing from this console. Well, battery life. Asus outfits the ROG Ally with a 40Whr battery, which is a big boy battery.
However, there’s a lot of horsepower on this thing too. No matter how you use it, no matter what games you play on it, and no matter what profile you’re running on – the maximum this thing will last is a little under 90 mins. That’s genuinely not a lot.
The good thing is the charging aspect though. Asus bundles a 65W charger with it with support for quick charging. You can take the handheld from 0 to 60% in less than 30 minutes, post which the charging speed does trickle down a bit.
But here’s another thing you can do. Essentially, just use a USB-PD power bank with it, and you can play while on the go. It’s worth highlighting that previous versions didn’t support unlocking the 30W mode while doing this, but the BIOS 323 update resolves this issue.
Asus ROG Ally Verdict: Who Is It Really For?
So, the big question: Is the Asus ROG Ally worth your money?
Currently, only the Z1 Extreme variant is available for purchase at a price of 700 (£699). Asus is also throwing in a 3-month subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. All things considered, I’d argue that this is a fair price for the device. However, I’d also argue that the ROG Ally isn’t for everyone.
With most gaming laptops, you can work on-the-go and game with the laptop plugged in. The Ally flips the picture. You can use the ROG Ally to game on-the-go, and work with it plugged into a dock. If that fits your use case, the Ally is a perfect fit.
Then there are the folks who only want a portable gaming console. Without a doubt, the ROG Ally is the most powerful gaming console, with the widest games library out there. You can even install emulators on it to play older-generation games from different consoles. And with how Asus has been rolling out firmware updates, things are bound to only get better.
What We Like
- Lightweight and ergonomic design
- Stunning and smooth display
- Loud audio output
- Customizable controls
- Adjustable TDP
- Excellent gaming performance
- Endless games library thanks to Windows
Asus TurboV EVO 1.02
Ferramenta que torna possível fazer o overclock de processadores em placas mãe da Asus em tempo real, inclusive com opções automatizadas.
Avaliação dos usuários: 5 / 5. Número de votos: 4
Descrição: O Asus TurboV EVO é um programa que torna possível fazer o overclock de processadores em placas mãe da Asus em tempo real, sem que você precise reiniciar o seu PC ou alterar parâmetros diretamente no software da BIOS.
Configurações manuais e automatizadas
Ele traz opções para aplicar as configurações de overclock de modo automatizado, o que pode ser ideal, por exemplo, tanto para para usuários sem muita experiência no assunto como também para quem simplesmente não queria arriscar aplicar uma configuração manual.
Nesse aspecto, inclusive, é que ele traz um de seus maiores destaques que diz respeito à ferramenta “Auto Tunning” que, por sua vez, é capaz o auxiliar a encontrar a configuração mais estável de overclock. Nesse caso, o programa realiza múltiplos testes em diversos cenários com voltagens e velocidades de CPU com o fim de encontrar e aplicar a melhor configuração para você.
Captura de tela do Asus TurboV EVO
Tamanho: 16,5 MB Versão: 1.02 Licença: Grátis Idioma: Português Desenvolvedor: Asus Plataformas: Windows Atualizado em: 05/03/2019
NOSSA AVALIAÇÃO GERAL O QUE ACHAMOS SOBRE
O Asus TurboV EVO traz realmente um otimizado ambiente para realizar o overclock de processadores em placas mãe Asus, dado que não apenas viabiliza que você possa fazer as alterações de modo manual, mas também traz opções automatizadas que são capazes, inclusive, de calcular as definições por meio de vários testes. Apesar disso, é importante sempre ter em mente que o overclock dos componentes, especialmente na opção manual, deve ser realizar sempre com cautela.