Another Steam Deck alternative? GPD WinMax 2

Albeit a pretty pricey one. OTOH it’s ridiculously powerful (potentially anyway) for it’s size. I have a customer that’s considering one and contacted me primarily to see if I knew anything about GPD as a company. They are actually a solid outfit even though quite tiny and niche.

We have tested a couple of their devices in the past and found the build quality and support to be very good. Obviously not for everyone, but only a select few. I hope our customer actually buys one as he will submit it to us for certification and I’ll get to try it out.

Definitely scratches my tiny PC itch though…
This Handheld Gaming PC Promises You Can Do Actual Work on It (

PS: I do expect it could substitute for a warming stone if you push it.


10 inch, that is already in the territory of a Surface go, that lose half the appeal of those tiny PC. Arguably it’s probably more compact than Surface go, but you won’t be putting it in a purse or a big cargo pants pocket.

Bigger size would mean better cooling and bigger battery probably. My biggest concern of those devices is the battery life, as most problem I had with Chinese tablet batteries had to do with battery and power IC. Especially when it come to crowdfunding devices with limited replacement parts and difficulty repairing/ warranty. The Steam deck is a lot more fail-safe in that regard, as I can easily bring the publicity available repair instructions to a random repair shop to have them repair it for me.

PS: That warming stone has a high possibly of burning up in your pocket because of blocked ventilation. :joy:

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Agreed, which is why I’d like to see one before making any judgements positive or negative. I think they are actually trying for the same buyers that might be looking at something like a Tab s8 for gaming in combo with the xbox app.

The argument being why do that, when you can have full windows ?

OTOH, I think the Steam Deck while it has some real drawbacks, is a remarkably well executed piece of hardware, all things, including price, considered.

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I don’t see it as a Steam Deck alternative. For that, look to the upcoming AYANEO 2/GEEK or others with handheld design, 7”-8” screens, and the Ryzen 6800U running Windows.

This device is more like a travel companion that can do real work, especially if connected to an external monitor, and play AAA games reasonably well after work is done.

The keyboard just gets in the way of gaming and the clamshell design is also poor for gaming. IMHO anyway. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I don’t either actually given the size, but their marketing materials they shared with us does.

It’s not real clear in the article but they are going to include a cover/adapter that gives essentially makes the keyboard a large gamepad. I haven’t seen it yet, but that’s how it was described to us.

It looks like we will get one to test in the near future so when we do I’ll post more

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@Hifihedgehog isn’t the biggest fan of them.

Honestly, as a jack of all trades device it looks fantastic. If it had Wacom EMR… one can but dream.

Sure, it isn’t very ergonomic, especially for gaming. Though I wouldn’t call the Deck that either given the weight (to me, the Switch is as big and heavy as a dedicated handheld gaming device should be).

And for general computing it’s small and not great ergonomically.

But they threw the kitchen sink in there. Good choice of APUs. Two M.2 slots, one 2280. A SIM slot. By the looks of it good game controls (hall effect) and good extra buttons. MPP 2.0 ain’t too shabby either. Great port selection for the size (not this stupid dongle life). And the price is nice too.

GPD are one of the more reliable Chinese OEMs. They aren’t great by any stretch, but not terrible. In the compact x86 device space they are also one of the older ones (though the likes of Chuwi have been around longer).


That definitely depends on the person. One of the reasons I gave up my Switch was because my hands would cramp, it’s so small.

And use case.

Sure, the Switch is a bit small, but that makes it very portable and also lighter and therefore comfortable for extended play. It’s just about small enough that it can be an accessory.

I’ll trade weight for controller comfort. I still have the Switch Pro controller that I bought in an attempt to alleviate the pain. It solved the discomfort but trying to juggle two pieces on the couch or wherever was too much. I ended up just plugging it into the dock & a monitor and using the controller that way. Portability: zero.

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I’m curious what @Hifihedgehog issues with them are. They are the epitome of a “whitebox company” primarily, but the limited dealings I’ve had with them in the past have been quite positive.

OTOH it’s somewhat inherent with a whitebox company that what you get out directly correlates with what you put in. In other words, if your goal is the cheapest device, that’s what you’ll get from them.

A bit of an exaggeration there.

It doesn’t fit your use case, but it does others’, and that’s clearly quite a lot of people.

Many people do want something that’s small enough to almost be an afterthought that they can take and even play on the move. And for those who don’t mind some bulk there are thrid-party controllers that are bulkier but available.

I don’t like this attitude that has been rife in the gaming community, of ‘my way and everything else is pointless’. Another forum I frequent had to start banning people for it, it got so bad.

Well, I related my experience. I’m not talking about anybody else’s experience, nor the objective merits of the Switch. I have no problem if all the other people in the world love the thing. That has nothing to do with whether or not it fits into my life.

As things stand right now I’ll likely give a pass to all the handhelds and mini-gaming rigs. I can’t justify that much money for two or three favorite Windows games that I miss after moving to the Mac mini. I think I can somehow survive without. And I’m not dissing the Steam Deck or AYANEO or GPD or whatnot by saying that none of them will likely enter my life.

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I have to admit I’m quite tempted, but not sure I can justify it. Got the 1netbook Onemix Yoga 4 last year, which also has a 10 inch screen, a less powerful (but decent) Intel i5-1130G7, 16GB RAM and a 360 degree hinge. The ability to yoga is one of my main attraction points missing in the GPD, although I actually don’t use the tablet mode that often, partly because pen support is a bit weird on Linux: for some reason, it only draws when I keep the stylus button pressed. I wonder if it’s some configuration issue with the Linux driver for the digitiser, in which case the GPD device might have the same issue.
So main drawbacks of the GPD for me:

  • slightly increased weight (1kg vs ~750g)
  • slightly bulkier (227 x 160 x 23mm vs 227 x 157.3 x 17mm)
  • no yoga tablet mode

Attraction points of the GPD over the OMY4:

  • much more powerful CPU (and probably iGPU)
  • AMD processor finally supporting use of eGPU via USB 4
  • maybe better cooling (the OMY fan can get quite loud under heavy use, it sounds like the Win 2 Max might have a better fan design, although that’s hard to tell before someone actually tests it)
  • stronger battery (see weight/bulk above, 67Wh vs 38.8Wh)
  • integrated gaming controllers for the after-work gaming use described by @Dellaster (not sure how much I’d really use the controllers for gaming, as I haven’t had a portable gaming device of this sort)
  • space for two nvme hard drives (not sure I need that, atm in fine with a 2TB drive, but having the option for an extra drive is nice)

In terms of service I had a bad experience with one netbook - it took them 5 months to get my device fixed when the touch screen had issues after 3 months of use last year (eventually I got it back and quite like it as a device). I wouldn’t expect GPD to be much more reliable, unfortunately given the stories online.

I’m sorely tempted, but not sure if I should afford this right now or rather hold on to the omy4 for another year and look for testen 7800u devices next year. The eternal question of tech upgrades… :wink:

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I cannot speak to GPD’s engineering team, but there is at best a stark divergence in their corporate ethics in their marketing department that compels me on moral and ethical grounds to refuse to recommend them at this time. Namely, GPD’s marketing team has been on record lately for being caught red-handed in hurling libel against Valve (source: GPD: Steam Deck is WORSE than WIN 3, it is a Closed Platform, and besides, you’ll need Windows to play Pirated Games : SteamDeck ( as well as appropriating third-party content without proper authorization or attribution (source: GPD are getting quite desperate against the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux). Specifically, in their libelous attacks against Valve, this marketing piece that immediately follows is stunningly bad, going as far as calling the Steam Deck a closed platform which is pure malarkey. Never mind that they are officially encouraging the use of pirated games as the basis of their argument! In fact, if GPD had a corporate nexus in the United States, I reckon they would put themselves immediately within the crosshairs of Valve’s legal department for publicizing such inflammatory claims:

Today we are talking about the recently hyped Steam deck! Because many players are interested in this product, however, more rational players have different views on it of course. I will analyze this product from the configuration perspective and Gabe’s existing resources.

First of all, let’s take a look at the detailed comparison table of WIN 3, WIN Max 2021 and Steam deck.

As you can see above, the Steam Deck is using a custom APU, the CPU part is still ZEN2 architecture, there is nothing outstanding. What is the level of Steam Deck’s CPU? If we have to compare it with AMD’s product, it’s the AMD Ryzen 3 5300U. The 5300U is ZEN2 architecture, 4C/8T design, base frequency/routing frequency is 2.6GHz/3.8GHz respectively. Steam Deck is also ZEN2 architecture, 4C/8T design, base frequency/routing frequency is 2.4GHz/3.5GHz respectively. 5300U is obviously slightly higher than the latter. This does not take into account the full-core frequency, but we can roughly estimate between 3.0~3.2GHz. What is the level of 5300U? It’s just a little bit better than the Ryzen 4500U, so the Steam Deck’s custom APU is even worse than the 5300U, it is obviously not much better, with a single-core Raid of 3.5GHz, which is lower than both the 1165G7’s 4.7GHz and the 1195G7’s 5.0GHz.

What is the level of Steam Deck’s GPU? Both the 1165G7 and 1195G7 are Iris Xe cores with 96EU/768 stream processors and 1.6TFlops of single-precision floating-point computing power. The number of stream processors is the same as that of the previous generation Vega 8 core, and Steam’s officially announced single-precision floating-point computing capability for the core is 1.6TFlops. Although RDNA 2 is a new architecture, the floating-point capability has not improved much, if it is Vega 8, the single-precision floating-point operation is about 1.2~1.4TFlops, and the RDNA 2 is only improved to 1.6TFlops. tied with the Iris Xe 96 EU.

If you rank the single-core, multi-core, and core performance, where does Steam Deck’s custom APU stand? The CPU rank has already been mentioned. Considering that the RDNA 2 has far fewer stream processors than the Xe 96EU, the improvement is partly based on the speed increase from the shared DDR5 memory for graphics and partly based on the architecture update. But overall, I still believe that the RDNA 2 core is weaker than the Xe 96EU core, after all, 512 stream processors to beat 768 stream processors, unless AMD has the magic skill to defy the laws of physics. Besides, the conclusion of the Xe 96EU test is no secret, 1.6TFlops is a conservative figure, RDNA 2 is really just Gabe’s own words without evidence.

Steam Deck may disappoint Gabe/Valve’s fans!

From its low efficiency in rendering games and its announced 15W TDP power consumption limit, I can clearly say that the overall performance of Steam Deck is not the level of GPD WIN 3. But if the Steam Deck supports Windows 10, with 15W power consumption, it may beat WIN 3 with 15W, after all, supporting LPDDR5 and quad-channel is an advantage. So we’ve basically come to the conclusion that the Steam Deck’s custom APU is the equivalent of AMD’s Ryzen 3 5300U + Iris Xe 96 EU core. Considering that the CPU part is far weaker than the 1165G7 and 1195G7. The overall performance of Steam Deck is still not as good as WIN 3 and WIN Max 2021.

What can the Steam OS do? Many people see that Steam Deck is integrated with Steam OS out-of-the-box and say that they don’t need to configure anything. Steam OS is a simple version of Debian 8, a Linux distribution. If you know Steam OS well, you should know that Steam Deck is basically a download interface for the Steam platform. The entire interface is working for game downloads, and that’s it. You say it’s also a PC, but sorry, you can’t do anything other than play games. For example, if you want to install a LibreOffice for office work, you should be able to install it in theory, after all, it is based on Linux 4.2 kernel, but no one knows how it works without a desktop, and whether it can switch to other application interfaces.

Let’s list some weaknesses of Steam Deck that everyone recognizes 1. 30 cm length, large size, far from the definition of handheld. 7-inch screen Steam deck than the 8-inch screen WIN Max 2021 is a full 1/3 larger. 2. small battery capacity, only 40Wh, while the battery capacity of WIN 3 is 46Wh, WIN Max 2021’s battery capacity is 57Wh. 3. does not support Thunderbolt 4, a single application scenario can only play games. 4. There are too many uncertainties, such as whether there is corresponding driver support after installing Windows 10. For example, whether the 2230 SSD can be replaced (Steam official said not suitable for replacement), what are the compatibilities?

Don’t kid yourself! The only reason Gabe created this product is to make a closed system, not to let you install Windows to play pirated games!

Steam Deck has support in its platform, there are 1 billion registered users, Gabe’s purpose is to create a closed system, just like the Nintendo Switch, their ultimate goal is to attract game companies to develop exclusive games for their handhelds, as long as there is a large enough user base, there definitely will be exclusive games. And with exclusive games, you can compete with the Switch. It also avoids the disadvantage of being a single download platform to compete with Epic and so on.

Therefore, although Gabe had verbally said to support Windows (I can’t find the source), it makes some people think that Gabe’s goal is ambitious. I think you’re too naive, you do not understand the logic of capitalists. Think about it, losing money to sell Windows 10-compatible hardware for players to play pirated games, what does he want, just want to make you laugh? No capitalist will lose money to make money.

In the end, whether it’s called the Steam Deck or Steam Deck XX, it’s a closed system (capitalist will reveal its hideous face when there are enough users) and the hardware will prevent you from installing any third-party systems. You can only buy games from the Steam platform.

Will Epic also build its own handhelds? Epic will definitely launch its own handheld sooner or later to create its own closed platform. So, the future pattern is that the game download platform still has Windows support, but the exclusives will first release on their own platform, and then release the Windows version much later.

Besides, if you want to play pirated games, you still have to go back to Windows.

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Ergonomics is a major sticking point for the Switch which is why third-party controllers like the Hori Split Pad Pro exists, whereas ergonomics garners huge points in the Steam Deck’s bracket. Weight, on the other hand, is far less consequential since the vast majority of handheld gaming device players will rest their hands on their lap or the surface in front of them during gaming sessions.

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Thanks. Wow that’s a lot!

So as a sort explanation, and most certainly not an excuse GPD itself is a division (one of many) of Shenzen Corp. which is Chinese.

And the business practices that many Chinese companies that we deal with are markedly different than EU or US based companies as far as both ethics and general business. In other word they aren’t doing anything that others in their sector are doing as well. Don’t get me started on some of the stories I’ve heard about Hisense…

However as a consumer it’s certainly a prerogative as to who to buy from (or not). That being said as those that know me can attest to, I absolutely despise deliberate misinformation and that seems to at best come right up to the line…

And it’ not new or Chinese specific either, you just have to look back at some of the stuff that came from Samsung or HTC, in the earlier days of the iPhone.

Regardless, thanks for sharing this as I had not seen it prior


This could be a whole other thread in itself as far as preferences go. I was a fan of nintendo’s game pad back in the day, and currently like and use the Xbox controller

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No problem, and I underscored my beef as being chiefly with marketing since engineering and marketing teams are more often than not living in two totally different worlds and mindsets. The bigger issue is GPD has estranged itself from various members of the media because of these foolhardy actions of their marketing department. They still are found in the good graces of The Phawx, a well-known reviewer of handheld gaming PCs, who just put up an excellent video of the GPD WinMax 2 here:

By the way, here is a good comparison of the performance and efficiency differences he highlights of the Intel 1260P and AMD 6800U models, one game more Intel favoring and the other much less so:

What’s weird is that I didn’t have much of a problem with the Nintendo 2DS or 3DS, regular or XL though I did prefer the XL. Ditto with my PS Vita (easily my favorite of the bunch). Size isn’t the only determiner, clearly.

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I agree there too. The issue I have found is just how much you must curl up your thumbs versus other handhelds with similar compact layouts.

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