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ASUS ROG Ally receives changes and improvements with new BIOS update but no MicroSD card fix

The ROG Ally has received some useful improvements with BIOS 323 but no MicroSD card fix. (Image source: NotebookCheck)
The ROG Ally has received some useful improvements with BIOS 323 but no MicroSD card fix. (Image source: NotebookCheck)
ASUS is offering a new BIOS update for the ROG Ally aimed at improving the gaming handheld in various areas. The company is not yet ready to patch an outstanding MicroSD card issue though, despite officially acknowledging it before the update's release.

ASUS is now rolling out a new BIOS update for the ROG Ally globally, the fourth released so far. To recap, the company introduced BIOS 322 at the start of the month with a modified fan curve and a bug fix for a potential boot issue. In comparison, BIOS 323 contains more changes, although not one for the device's documented MicroSD card reader issue. For reference, ASUS acknowledged this issue just over a week ago with the following message on Discord:

Good evening everyone. HQ has released a new statement regarding their work on the Ally's SD card reader:

We want to thank the community for the passionate response we've received for the ROG Ally. Your support has been both immense and invaluable, so we've been hard at work to improve a number of things. After confirmation from internal testing, under certain thermal stress conditions the SD card reader may malfunction.

To alleviate the issue, we will be releasing an update that further fine-tunes the default and minimum fan speeds on the device to improve reliability while keeping fan noise in check, as we know this is a concern for many of you.

If you are currently experiencing issues with your SD card reader, please contact [email protected] (US) or contact customer service for your region to RMA your unit, which we will inspect for any issues and repair.

Instead, BIOS 323 adds 30 W TDP support for third-party chargers and docks. Additionally, the latest BIOS update should reduce glare in lowlight conditions by dropping the ROG Ally's minimum panel backlight from 25 nits to 10 nits. Also, ASUS claims to have optimised performance when Performance mode is active and the ROG Ally is plugged in. On top of that, the device will no longer reset the amount of memory assigned to the GPU after a BIOS update finishes. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen how ASUS will address the ongoing MicroSD card problem. ASUS has also offered the following explainer about BIOS 323:

Today’s release includes an update that addresses the concern from many users that have found certain third-party USB-C docks and adapters will not allow the Ally its full 30W Turbo mode when plugged in, even when using high-wattage USB-C power adapters. We've heard your concerns about this issue, and have adjusted how the Ally draws power.

With the way certain third-party docks are designed, and how they allocate a power contract, or “handshake,” the Ally was unable to confirm the full capabilities of the dock. As a result the Ally was not instructed to attempt to draw more than the agreed contract of power available. This was a function of the dock and charger, and not the Ally.

The new change allows the Ally to simply draw power as is available to it from the dock. In most cases, when using high-powered chargers, this should work seamlessly — you'll get your 30W Turbo mode and the battery will stay charged. However, if your charger is not powerful enough, you'll still get 30W Turbo mode but may find that the battery drains very slowly. This may happen with some dock and charger combinations and not others, depending on their power usage — even if the charger is 65W. If you find that your Ally's battery drains in this 30W mode, please replace your dock and/or charger with one capable of higher wattages.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 07 > ASUS ROG Ally receives changes and improvements with new BIOS update but no MicroSD card fix
Alex Alderson, 2023-07-25 (Update: 2023-07-25)