December 28, 2023

AYANEO and GPD to Use New 8840U APUs – Is it Worth it?

AYANEO and GPD are going to be using the new 8840U APU from AMD in their 2024 lineup, but it may not be a big game changer in gaming.

Something that has been on my mind for a while is when we are going to start seeing new chips come into play for handhelds. The next generation most likely wouldn’t take long to arrive, but I have been curious about when and how it will look. Today, I saw a post on X from AYANEO confirming that their upcoming clamshell handheld, the AYANEO FLIP, will utilize AMD’s next-generation chip, the Ryzen 7 8840U. This, coupled with the report that GPD’s 2024 devices will also use this 8840U APU, made me extremely curious as to what this chip will offer over its predecessor.

Ryzen 7 8840U APU

For background, the majority of higher-end handhelds coming from companies like AYANEO, OneXPlayer, AOKZOE, and GPD are utilizing the Ryzen 7 7840U. This powerful chip does have a LOT of power in it, utilizing the newest tech from AMD in both its CPU (Zen 4) and GPU (RDNA 3) parts. On the Flip’s Indiegogo page, AYANEO says the new 8840U APU has better single and multi-core performance, which will help gaming overall. Now, I can’t say for sure yet as there may be some magic behind the scenes to make this true, but from my research, it seems there isn’t going to be a huge difference in CPU or GPU aspects completely.

Looking at both of AMD’s pages for the 7840U and 8840U, there are virtually no differences in the statistics, except for one specific area: AI performance. It seems that the new 8840U chip includes the second generation of AMD’s Ryzen AI technology, which heavily boosts its capabilities with generative AI. Per these pages, the performance looks to improve from 10 TOPS to 16 TOPS. According to Notebook Check, this should theoretically make some apps like Photoshop and DaVinci Resolve much better and more powerful than their predecessors.

Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be much difference. A couple of comparisons of the two on TopCPU and CPU Monkey, show they are almost identical. On the former, it does seem the 8840U has a higher score all around, but statistics-wise, it is almost the same. As I mentioned, the only big difference is the AI performance, which could be implemented and help in ways we don’t know yet, but until then, it doesn’t seem like this will be a massive generational boost some may have hoped for.

For a second opinion, I asked The Phawx, a YouTuber who specializes in handhelds, about the 8840U, and he confirmed that this new generation only appears to have a Ryzen AI tech boost with some potential fixes from the previous generation. He mentioned the XDNA part has been boosted a bit, which doesn’t do much for gaming.

So, if you have a 7840U APU handheld, don’t fret. The 8840U has the same amount of cores (8 cores/16 threads) and the same graphics model (Radeon 780M with 12 cores), so your device probably isn’t missing out yet. But, if you are going to be doing video editing or Photoshop on the go or use anything that could utilize generative AI, you will want the new APU.

Personally, I like the idea of these new devices utilizing this. As someone who does use Photoshop on my handhelds when docked, an 8840U would be especially helpful here. AYANEO does claim on the FLIP’s Indiegogo page that the new chip has improved performance, so I am eager to see more tests. Most recently, AYANEO posted a stress FPU test at 28W for the FLIP’s keyboard version, and it seems there’s a lot of potential here!

I was already excited about the dual-screen version and the concept around the clamshell design, so this is going to be extremely exciting to watch! Hopefully, we will get more details on if the 8840U is going to be a worthwhile upgrade and how much more it could cost.

If you enjoyed this review, check out the rest of the content on HandheldHQ! We have a wide variety of reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you’re looking for news and handheld reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we’ve got your back.

Noah Kupetsky

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