Smach wants to offer several processor options for its upcoming Smach Z handheld. In addition to the Ryzen Embedded V1605B with Vega 8 GPU, the V1807B with Vega 11 should also come to the console. The device should be released by the end of this year.
The Ryzen Embedded V1807B-soc is adjustable to a TDP between 35 and 54W, but Smach presumably configures the chip differently to keep consumption within limits. The manufacturer says to work closely with AMD for the adjustment. Like the V1605B, the V1807B is a quad-core, but the cpu cores are clocked higher and the gpu is a Vega 11 instead of a Vega 8. The faster variant also has support for ddr4-3200 memory instead of ddr4-2400 . Both chips are based on AMD’s Zen architecture and made at 14nm.
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Smach will show new prototypes of his handheld at the gamescom trade show this week. A developer was present and shared his experiences on reddit. He played Rocket League and Cuphead on a Smach Z containing the Ryzen V1605B soc. The former game ran at 50 to 60 fps according to the developer. He also played Doom 2016 on the device, which went smoothly at 30fps.
The developer could also try a Smach Z variant with the Ryzen V1807B; on it he played Metro Last Light. That graphically demanding game would run well, although it is unknown at which settings and framerate. The trade fair visitor had the impression that this version generated less heat.
According to the developer, the device does not get too hot; the heat would only be felt at the rear. Earlier this month, a teardown video appeared showing a prototype of the Smach Z being taken apart. It shows the fan that should provide cooling.
The developer has some comments about the operation of games. The touch-sensitive circles on the Smach Z were set to simulate keyboard and mouse input, and that wouldn’t work very well. The company behind the handheld is still working on a configuration tool that should make the operation comparable to the Steam Controller.
Smach aims to release its Smach Z handheld by the end of this year and has been accepting pre-orders for some time now. The version with V1807B-soc is not yet on the website and it is not known what the additional cost is. The version with V1605B, 4GB ram and 128GB costs from $ 699. Variants with more ram, storage space and a camera can be ordered at an additional cost. Customers do not have to pay yet, but can reserve a copy for $10.
The Smach Z has been in development for years. The project started in 2014 under the name Steamboy. In 2015, the team tried to raise money with a Kickstarter campaign, but failed. The handheld reappeared on Kickstarter in 2016 and it did manage to raise money. After that, the company raised more money through Indiegogo.