The Smach Z is a handheld PC designed for gaming, which has been under development for years, but it’s finally expected to ship in 2018.

Recently we got an early look at the motherboard and case designs. And now Smach and AMD have announced the system will be powered by the upcoming Ryzen Embedded V1000 processor.

Update: It looks like Smach is opting for the Ryzen V1605B version, which is a 4-core/8-thread processor with Radeon Vega 8 graphics.

The processor is one of AMD’s lowest power chips based on Zen architecture, with a TDP range between 12 and 15 watts for the version that will be used in the Smach Z, but I’m told it will offer graphics performance similar to what’s available from a Ryzen 5 2500U laptop chip while still being energy efficient enough to fit into a handheld with a 6 inch display.

Smach CEO Daniel Fernandez says the processor can handle “any AAA game,” although I suspect you may have to adjust the settings of some games for optimal performance.

The Smach Z is expected to have a 6 inch, full HD display, at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and physical gaming buttons and touchpads to the sides of the screen. Unlike rival game system the GPD Win 2, the Smach Z does not have a physical keyboard. But this is a system designed first and foremost for gaming, and it has a higher resolution display and should feature better graphics performance.

There’s been a lot of speculation in recent years over whether the Smach Z would actually ever ship. With a new processor, a main board design, and plans to show off prototypes at Embedded World next week, it’s starting to look like the answer could be yes.

Update:

Smach Z handheld gaming PC specs finalized: Ryzen V1605B, up to 8GB RAM



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35 replies on “Smach Z handheld gaming PC to feature AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 processor”

  1. Nothing has changed on their indiefoto page or Kickstarter page can someone link me to any updated pages as I’m interested in buying one but not with the shitty merklin soc that’s currently stated to be inside this

  2. Are the 2 large circles touchpads? If so, why 2? Maybe some sort of analog stick alternative?

  3. I’m interested in seeing how well this performs. Definitely going to keep an eye on this.

  4. Based on specs, would this be able to run NieR:Automata? If so, at what settings? Thanks!

  5. With this APU and RAM, what kind of “AAA” games can this play not at low settings? Thanks!

  6. I didn’t crowd fund this since it’s too risky to spend that kind of money on it. Glad they’re finally making some tangible progress. I really hope they can pull this through. I may get one once/if it goes retail. We’ll see.

    Hopefully, some tech bloggers who’re going to Embedded World cover this. It’d be nice to see some videos of it (hopefully) running.

  7. That’s awesome. Anyone know if they plan on increasing the RAM and storage? Doesn’t seem like the current specs match the APU. Games can be several GB in size and some games that this can run may need more RAM.

    Anyway, hoping SMACH can successfully release this.

    1. I’m definitely interested in this as a gaming handheld since it has a pretty decent APU. The 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage is a concern though. I hope they bump that up.

      I’d probably lug around a battery pack while on the go though. Not a big deal since I’d be carrying a bag anyway.

  8. Interesting. Anyone know what ports this will have? That RAM and storage are on the low side. Are those numbers official?

  9. Given that AMD mentioned the SMACH Z in there press release, I wonder if AMD is helping them with the design and such.

    1. That’d be nice if AMD is helping them somehow. At least I’m sure the press release is nice advertising for the Smach Z.

    2. Seems like AMDs helping them. They look to have had early access to this APU.

  10. Nice, if this actually comes out, I’d buy it. Even if it has a loud fan, it’d totally be worth it.

  11. With this APU, I’d totally overlook any loud fan. That 4 GB RAM seems a little low though.

    I’d like to see some videos of it at Embedded World next week. Hope this device makes it to production.

    1. A removable battery would be great. I wouldn’t mind carrying extra to prolong the battery life to at least a decent amount of time. I doubt a single battery would last very long.

  12. Are you still complaining about GPD Win 2’s fan? Well, with Smach Z expect a jet engine or vacumm cleaner level fan sound to avoid heavy throttling at the lowest TDP. Going to be heavier and much bulkier also, I suspect. “12 and 15 watts” is like a small soldering iron like this example https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/antex-12w-mains-soldering-iron-yu90x But Smach Z must graduate from vaporware status first because I’m still hearing about delays such as final PCB production problems. Whatever form Smach Z will appear at the Embedded World likely not be playable nor fully functional. Also that basic 4GB will be single channel.

    1. They do not have access to or the R&D buying power to develop something of the caliber of Microsoft’s Surface ultrathin heatpipe or Acer’s own implementation. So unless AMD has something they can offer in this respect, expect a vacuum-loud fan to cool this device.

      1. From what I’ve heard earlier, the current heatsink is too bulky and they are trying to make it thinner. This adds to the delays as well.

      1. Its also likely to have very short battery runtime as well. I’m talking about the rest of the hardware like that 1080p display, not just the SoC only. Higher resolution displays meant higher power consumption as well. Furthermore the GPD Win 2’s 4.5W SoC already require 2x4900mAH for a total of 9800mAH battery. This Smach Z’s new SoC wattage is roughly 3X higher.

        1. That 7W is for under heavy gaming when both CPU and GPU are fully stressed, but GPD Win 2’s SoC can go down to as low as 3.75W under lower loads. However Smach Z’s new SoC minimum lowest is 12W at lower loads. See the difference?

  13. Even at lowest 12W still too much for handheld size device. Expect bigger heatsink, much louder fan and bad battery life. Expect also more delays as usual.

    1. Agreed. Even the New Surface Pro and the fanless Surface Pro 4 M3 have to throttle down to around 10W of power consumption due to cooling restraints. Add in the Iris-level power requirements of the Vega Graphics and the picture becomes clear. A fan will be absolutely necessary for near throttle-free gaming.

        1. Ironically, I replied about that “magical” copper sponge months ago on–as I recall–Reddit, commenting there that it was ludicrous to believe it could cool a 12W-15W TDP microprocessor.

        2. Passive cooling requires large surface area and open airflow environment. None of those are available in handheld size devices. For passively cooled devices like mobile phones are around 1W to 2W while small tablets and phablets are around 2W to 4W. Additionally larger tablets with 10 inch or greater screens are around 4W to 6W. Since this SmachZ has a 6 inch screen that is around the size of a phablet so 12W to 15W is too much to dissipate.

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