Computer

AYA NEO Next vs Steam Deck, which is the best portable console?

A fully portable gaming PC is a reality with systems like the Steam Deck and the AYA NEO Next, both of which will compete this year for public interest. Which of the two systems is the best to take our favorite PC games anywhere, even to your future vacation destination?

The Steam Deck is not the only PC in the form of a portable video game console that exists on the market that we will see during this 2022 since the so-called AYA NEO Next will compete in the same space. However, despite the fact that both share an AMD APU with different specifications and form factor, the differences end at that point, and they are two very different approaches.

AYA NEO Next vs Steam Deck

The first thing we have to take into account is the SoC, since while Valve has contacted AMD to have an ACustom PU for your Steam Deck this is not the case of the AYA NEO Next whose APU is a AMD Ryzen 7 5825U. This means that both have their strengths exchanged. While in the Valve console we have a 4-core CPU based on Zen 2 and an RDNA 2 GPU with 8 Compute Units, in the case of your competitor we have 8 Zen 3 cores, but using a Vega architecture GPU that despite having 8 CU is much lower in terms of graphics capabilities.

Regarding the second point, we find RAM memory, where in both cases the memory configuration is UMA and, therefore, the CPU and GPU share it. On the Steam Deck we have 16GB LPDDR5 with a 88Gb/s bus, while in the AYA NEO Next is 32 GB LPDDR4X at 4,266 MHz speed and bandwidth 68GB/s. Taking into account how the performance of the graphics card is directly related to the speed of the RAM assigned to it and since RDNA 2 is a much superior architecture to Vega, it is clear that Valve’s console is the winner.

Nor can we forget about storage, in the case of the AYA NEO we can see how they have ruled out the MicroSD slot and have decided to opt for a 2TB NVMe SSD storage, which although it is an impressive figure is the main culprit that the device cost more than 1200 dollars as an entry price compared to the 400 of the initial model of the Steam Deck, which although it lacks an NVMe SSD unit is ideal as a retro system and emulator.

The Steam Deck trackpad

Track Pad Steam Deck

valve integrated two trackpads, one for the thumb of each hand on your Steam Controller that your new laptop has inherited, which are really handy for gaming games that usually require a mouse to play as is the case with MOBA or real time strategy games. On the other hand, the AYA NEO Next, unlike the Steam Deck, lacks them and we will have to make do with the use of analog sticks for these games, which are much more uncomfortable for this type of game.

The operating system

Steam Deck

While it is true that we can install Windows with Steam Deck your operating system is SteamOS that will allow us to run Windows games through the Proton interpreter with a high level of compatibility and without the CPU having to load up with background processes and applications that they don’t matter on a video game console. What’s the point of having the antivirus process or the firewall process on a system where you’re just going to play? The security they provide probably, but this should fall to the OS itself.

Although it is true, as we said a few days ago that we consider that the four Zen 2 cores of the Steam Deck are a bit short for future games and we believe that a version based on Ryzen 6000 would be better, the fact that the AYA NEO APU despite having 8 Zen 3 cores has to load a full operating system with all that this implies limits its capacity.

Where is AYA NEO better compared to the Steam Deck? In applications and games that depend on the power of the CPU. On the surface it should run some much better emulators for it, but being priced at three times the base model of the Steam Deck is what makes it lose some of its potential appeal. For that price we can get a Steam Deck with a 512 GB NVMe SSD and an important collection of games purchased on Steam that we can enjoy without problems.

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