After years of development, Smach finally started showing gameplay videos of the Smach Z handheld gaming PC last year, and began bringing working prototypes to trade shows this year.

Last month YouTuber The Phawx started posting in-depth hands-on videos of a prototype he received from Smach. And now Smach is showing off the latest versions of its hardware at GamesCom in Cologne Germany.

Among other things, the company has confirmed that the Smach Z will come with two different processor options.

Up until now, Smach had been saying the Smach Z would feature a Ryzen Embedded V1605B processor with Radeon Vega 8 graphics.

But according to packaging spotted earlier this year, it looked like there would also be an option to buy a version with a more powerful Ryzen Embedded V1807B processor and Radeon Vega 11 graphics.

Smach says it’s worked in “closer collaboration with the AMD team” to make the more powerful version possible. In addition to having three additional GPU cores, it runs at significantly higher speeds (although it’s also expected to consume more power, which could cut into battery life).

Here are some key specs for the two chips:

  • Ryzen Embedded V1605 – 12-25 watt TDP/4-cores/8-threads/2 GHz base freq/ 3.6 GHz Turbo/1.1 GHz Radeon Vega 8 GPU/DDR4-2400 RAM
  • Ryzen Embedded V1807B – 35-45 watt TDP/4-cores/8-threads/3.35 GHz base freq/3.8 GHz Turbo/1.3 GHz Radeon Vega 11 GPU/DDDR4-3200 RAM

Note that while the official specs for the V1807B say it has a starting TDP of 35W, the version used in the Smach Z seems to be running at 15 watts, just like the V1605B chip used in lower performance models.

According to at least one game developer who had a chance to play with a Smach Z featuring the V1807B processor at GamesCom it was “running very good.” That person also tried the V1605B model and had no trouble playing the 2016 version of Doom as well as Cuphead and Rocket League.

The biggest issue at the moment seems to be that it’s difficult to map the Steam Controller-style touchpads and buttons for use in games, so right now they’re set to emulate mouse and keyboard functions. But Smach is apparently developing a tool that will make the process easier.

Smach says it plans to begin shipping its handheld gaming PC to customers by the end of the year. It’s still up for pre-oder from the Smach website for $699 and up (you’ll only be charged a $10 reservation fee). But there’s no option to configure the system with a Ryzen V1807B chip yet, so it’s unclear how much more you’ll have to pay for a model with that processor.

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9 replies on “Smach Z handheld gaming PC will support up to Radeon Vega 11 graphics”

  1. If I had to choose between either the V1605 or the V1807B, I would choose the GPD Win 2.

    The V1605 has really bad battery life and is thermally constrained, so I don’t even wanna know how life would be like moving from the 15W option to the 45W option instead. We’ve seen AMD bridge the gap on many fronts, but it looks like Intel still leads the race on the Ultracompact segment with their ancient Atom X7 (Z8750 – 4W) and their old Intel Core M (8W) products. Things will improve when moving to a Navi-8 iGPU, and Zen2 CPUs, and shifting to a 7nm node. But until that time, the wisest move would be to keep your money to yourself… or use an Android Phone for your mobile development or gaming needs.

    1. The article is wrong about power consumption. Both the 1605 and the 1807 displayed at gamescon are running at 15w, AMD specs page lists 35w as the minimum for the 1807 but they managed to get it running at 15w anyway. The smach z’s heatsink isn’t anywhere near big enough to dissipate 45w of heat, hell, if you watch the phawx videos you’ll see it struggling to dissipate 25w of heat. It’s meant to run at 15w and you can probably bump it to 20w for a performance boost if you don’t care about battery life.

      As for GPD, they’re developing the win MAX as an upgrade to the win 2 and they’re using the 1605.

      1. Since I didn’t have the info about how it turns in the Smach Z at the time I wrote this article, I just gave the specs available about the chips, but I’ll update the article.

      2. Since I didn’t have the info about how it turns in the Smach Z at the time I wrote this article, I just gave the specs available about the chips, but I’ll update the article to reflect that the 1807B is running at a lower TDP than usual on this particular device. Thanks!

  2. so far mostly exhibits and that cheesy video is all that they can show, plus phawx to show some proof of existence. Everything else is unclear particularly delivery date.

  3. Still no definite shipping deadline except for ‘end of 2019’. Don’t forget that terribly short battery life of just over an hour and twenty something minutes with the current prototype. Additionally I don’t think they started manufacturing at all given the state of that prototype. How long will this drag on?

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