A new ASUS ROG Ally update aims to prevent SD card frying

WaterField Designs Carrying Cases: Cityslicker for ROG Ally next to gaming handheld.
(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • ASUS has shipped a new update to the ROG Ally boosting fan performance while gaming on Turbo mode.
  • The update also fixes the issue where the entry remains stuck on the boot-up loading screen.
  • Users have lodged new reports citing new instances where the device experiences audio crackling while gaming.
  • ASUS is investigating the matter but is yet to come up with a fix for the issue.

Last month, several users raised concerns over an issue affecting their handheld consoles, the ASUS ROG Ally. They indicated that the device overheated, causing their SD cards to malfunction. Per the reports, this issue often occurred when users were gaming in Turbo mode while simultaneously plugged into a power outlet. 

However, ASUS has since made changes to how the device runs in a bid to mitigate these challenges via a new update. As highlighted in the changelog by ASUS, the company has adjusted the entry's fan curve from 30dBA to 35dBA in Turbo mode while plugged into a power outlet. Additionally, the fan curve has been bumped to 30 dBA from 25 dBA when the user is gaming in Turbo mode while running on the battery. Even the best ASUS ROG Ally microSD cards have succumbed to this overheating issue, owing to the placement of the SD card slot, precariously near the external heat vent. This new update should reduce stress on the slot, but it's probably worth removing your SD card for the time being while ASUS investigates further. 

ROG Ally Gaming Handheld

ROG Ally Gaming Handheld

This gaming handheld runs Windows 11 Home and can be used to access several gaming services and storefronts. It's far more powerful than the Steam Deck and will be available this summer. You can preorder it right now.  

Buy at: Best Buy | Asus (US) 

Moreover, the company has also changed the minimum fan speed in Manual mode when the device hits high temperatures. The changelog doesn't indicate the specific temperature, but presumably, this should be around 75° to ensure that gaming on the device doesn't become uncomfortable and retain the functionality of the SD cards.

The update also ships with a fix that resolves the issue that caused the device to freeze on the boot up loading screen when users configured a password in BIOS mode.

Ultimately, this is a step in the right direction, and the subtle changes made will positively impact how the device runs. Community members had previously recommended users against running the handheld console in turbo mode while plugged into the power or updating their SD card reader drivers. They also suspected that running the device at the highest TDPs caused the device to overheat, causing the device to fry SD cards.

ASUS ROG Ally audio crackling issue

In other ROG Ally news, several users have reported instances where the device featured some audio crackling. A Reddit user, Reyess126 shared their experience with the issue in the r/ROGAlly community as highlighted below:

I observed crackling audio when playing quake remaster: 1.) When playing at 10w silent, i would get crackling audio in more resource-demanding parts of the game, even though my FPS was staying almost always high. 2.) When playing at 10w silent, I would -not- get crackling audio in more resource-demanding parts of the game when turning off dolby spatial audio, even though my FPS was staying almost always high. 3.) When playing at 15w performance, i would never get crackling audio So, from this, my best guess is the spatial audio needs some chip time to run and when resources are constrained, the system prioritizes other things (such as graphics, etc) over processing dolby spatial sound. I could be wrong.

Reyess126, Reddit

Some other users have also reported instances where their docks have failed to provide full power while charging over USB-C. ASUS has since released an official statement highlighting its awareness of the issue. 

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The company is yet to come up with a lasting solution for the issue and has highlighted that a lot of testing ad investigation needs to be conducted to get down to the root cause of these issues. 

We'll update you once we know more.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.