Asus ROG Ally runs popular console emulators including Xenia for Xbox 360 and RPCS3 for PS3, God of War 3 emulated at 1080p 60 fps thanks to Ryzen Z1's AVX-512 support
The Asus ROG Ally with the Ryzen Z1 Extreme APU came across as a capable handheld gaming device in our review. The Ryzen Z1 Extreme is more or less akin to the Ryzen 7 7840U, and it supports AVX-512 instructions.
What this means is that the ROG Ally can is capable of running popular console emulators, including Xbox 360 Xenia emulator and RPCS3 for the PlayStation 3, while consuming just about 7 W to 15 W power in many cases.
YouTuber ETA Prime has tested out several emulators on the ROG Ally. Starting off with Launchbox Big Box on a 512 GB microSD card, the YouTuber demonstrated smooth transitions and easy import of games from various platforms.
The first emulator tested was PPSSPP, a PlayStation Portable (PSP) emulator. The Ally could play PSP games at 1080p 60 fps while drawing about 7 W of package power. Similar results were achieved with the 3DS Citra emulator, which demonstrates AMD's improvements to OpenGL support.
The Ally consumes 13 W at 3x settings but drops down to 7 W when played at the 3DS's original 1x setting. Dolphin emulator for GameCube and Wii also showed 1080p 60 fps performance at 7 W.
The ROG Ally was also shown to fare well with more demanding emulators and games. PCSX2 for the PS2 pulled about 16 W for 1080p 60 fps. The power consumption can be reduced to by dropping down the resolution to 720, which should still look decent on the 7-inch IPS display. The handheld was also able to handle the CXBX OG Xbox emulator, CEMU for the WiiU at 1080p 60 fps albeit at higher power draws.
Xbox 360 emulation using a canary build of Xenia resulted in an impressive 93 fps in Forza Horizon 2 while drawing 18 W on the SoC and 30 W in total. However, demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption can spike power draws with an average of 53 fps. Yuzu Switch emulation can also net 1080p 60 fps.
PS3 emulation with RPCS3 can draw up to 15 W SoC power yielding 1080p 60 fps in Tekken 6. Demon Souls can get a bit demanding at 1080p but lowering the resolution to 720p should still offer a great playable experience.
Finally, ETA Prime showed off God of War 3 running via RPCS3 emulation at 1080p 60 fps with occasional frame drops. This resulted in a 30 W SoC and 44 W total power draws while the Radeon 780M RDNA 3 iGPU coasted at 1,500 MHz.
RPCS3 greatly benefits from AVX-512 support in the Ryzen Z1 APUs, the technical details of which can be found here. Essentially, it allows for improved battery life and higher resolution gaming by providing additional TDP to the GPU.
Overall, the Asus ROG Ally seems to be a formidable gaming handheld that can run a wide variety of console games effectively. While power draws seem to be higher depending on the emulator and the game, dropping the resolution down and fixing the fps at 30 fps should be able to net long hours of playing on the move.