Instead of laptops, Steam Deck clones may hold Intel’s budget GPUs

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The newest gaming handheld from AYANEO is expected to be powered by Intel Arc.

image credits: pcmag

With new announcements this week from both longtime Valve rival AYANEO, who unveiled a follow-up to its successful ‘Next’ portable PC, and AOKZOE, who boasted its upcoming A1 handheld, which will be powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor, the Steam Deck alternatives just keep coming.

The Next II will use a dedicated graphics card, in contrast to its predecessor, which is the intriguing aspect (which ran on AMD APUs with integrated graphics). There are both AMD and Intel versions; the former will use a Ryzen 6000 CPU and a Radeon RX 6000 GPU, while the latter will use an unnamed Arc graphics card and a 12th-generation Alder Lake Intel processor. According to VideoCardz, this card may be a small ACM-G11 GPU like the Arc A350M or A370M.

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As a result, the AYANEO Next II becomes the first portable gaming PC to use a dedicated GPU. This is a significant development for the format and may call into question the viability of future products using iGPUs. The Next II is also far more similar to the original Steam Deck in terms of design than AYANEO’s earlier attempts, featuring a pair of square touchpads flanking the screen in addition to the customary button layout found on consoles.

Opinion: Intel Arc A3 should be used with Steam Deck clones

The future of Arc has recently felt a little hazy due to ongoing delays and the subpar first performance of Intel’s Arc GPUs. Recently, the desktop version of the less expensive Arc A380 was quietly introduced in China, and it doesn’t really appear all that amazing. The inexpensive A3 segment of the Intel Arc range will struggle in the face of strong, affordable options elsewhere.

The Arc A350M and A370M graphics cards that may be found in the AYANEO Next II are rather entry-level and are likely to perform poorly in gaming laptops. However, portable PCs like the Steam Deck and its numerous clones don’t necessary require as much power as a laptop made just for gaming.

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The A3 Intel GPUs might prove to be a great choice for any manufacturer trying to riff on Valve’s desired portable due to their low power requirements and strong thermal performance. Although the performance isn’t as good as other dedicated GPUs, Intel has a good chance to stand out in a market where everyone uses integrated graphics.

Although Team Red has been involved in the GPU game for a lot longer and has more recently pushed for higher gaming performance from its CPUs, Intel will still find it challenging to compete with AMD. The weak RX 6400 is the most likely Radeon GPU to be included in the Next II, however AYANEO hasn’t verified this. If so, Intel’s chances are strong. However, Intel may have a difficult competition if the Hong Kong-based firm can fit an RX 6500 XT or better inside its new portable.

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