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GPD WIN MAX 2 Review

Unboxing the GPD WIN MAX 2 AMD

As always, we begin with the unboxing experience. Upon opening the package, you’ll immediately notice the attention to detail that GPD has put into its presentation. Lifting the lid reveals a high-quality screen protector and a cleaning wipe to ensure your display remains pristine before applying the protector.

Underneath the protective layer lies the star of the show: the GPD WIN MAX 2 itself. We will delve into the device’s specifics and design in more detail shortly.

Next, you’ll find a small box containing the user manual, which is available in both Chinese and English languages. This thoughtful inclusion ensures that users from various backgrounds can easily navigate and understand the device’s features and functionality.

Lastly, the package includes a charger and a USB Type-C cable. When ordering, we will provide the appropriate adaptor for your country to guarantee compatibility and convenience.

GPD WIN MAX 2 AMD Overview

The GPD WIN MAX 2 retains its design from the Intel model we reviewed a few months ago, which has since been discontinued. When folded, the Win MAX 2 measures 8.9 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches (22.7 × 16.0 × 2.3 cm) and weighs 1005 grams, making it a compact and relatively lightweight handheld gaming device.

The backside of the device features left and right shoulder and trigger buttons, providing an ergonomic and familiar gaming experience. You’ll also find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB 3.2 port for additional connectivity options. Next to these is an HDMI port, which enables you to connect the device to a TV or monitor for an expanded gaming experience. Furthermore, the GPD WIN MAX 2 includes two USB Type-C ports, with one being USB 4 compatible for connecting external GPUs, for example. Above these ports are two slots for storing the controller covers when not in use.

On the left side of the device, you’ll find Micro and SD Card slots for storage expansion, while the right side houses two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. The front of the device features a power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor, allowing for quick and secure logging into Windows.

The GPD WIN MAX 2 boasts a 10.1-inch touchscreen display with a native resolution of 1920×1200, though it supports up to 2560×1600 for even sharper visuals. Below the display, there’s a 2MP high refresh rate camera, suitable for video calls and conferencing. The device also includes a clickable touchpad for mouse-style navigation when not using the touchscreen.

The keyboard is a QWERTY layout with two levels of backlight control for ease of use in various lighting conditions. Unique to the GPD WIN MAX 2, two covers conceal the gaming controls, allowing you to use the device discreetly in professional settings.

The gaming controls consist of dual clickable analog hall sensor sticks, a D-Pad, and gaming buttons, providing a comfortable and familiar gaming experience. Let’s put these controls to the test as we explore the device’s technical specifications.

GPD WIN MAX 2 AMD Technical Specifications

The GPD WIN MAX 2 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor with 8 cores and 16 threads, capable of clock speeds up to 4.7GHz at a default 28W TDP. This powerful processor ensures smooth performance across a variety of tasks and applications.

For graphics, the device features an AMD Radeon 680M with 12 cores running at speeds up to 2200MHz, delivering stunning visuals and robust gaming performance.

There are three models of the GPD WIN MAX 2 available, offering varying levels of performance and storage capacities:

  1. Base Model: 16GB LPDDR4x RAM at 4266MHz and 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
  2. Mid-tier Model: 32GB LPDDR4x RAM at 4266MHz and 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD
  3. High-end Model: 64GB LPDDR4x RAM at 4266MHz and 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD

All three models can be easily upgraded with a second SSD, thanks to the inclusion of an M.2 2230 slot for PCIe 3.0 NVMe or SATA SSDs.

The GPD WIN MAX 2 is equipped with a 57Wh high-density lithium polymer battery, promising up to 8-10 hours of battery life during light tasks and up to 3-4 hours during heavy gaming sessions. The battery supports PD fast charging, and the device can be charged from 0-50% in just 30 minutes.

In terms of wireless connectivity, the GPD WIN MAX 2 supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, ensuring fast and stable connections to the internet and other devices.

Emulation and Software Performance

Now, let’s delve into the realm of emulation and software performance, which is a significant aspect of the GPD WIN MAX 2’s appeal to retro gaming enthusiasts.

Retro Emulation

Given the impressive hardware packed into the GPD WIN MAX 2, it’s no surprise that it can handle emulating a wide range of classic gaming consoles with ease. From the Atari 2600 to the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast, the GPD WIN MAX 2 offers a seamless and enjoyable retro gaming experience.

Thanks to the device’s improved cooling system, which consists of a vapor chamber, dual copper heat pipes, and dual fans, the GPD WIN MAX 2 remains relatively cool and quiet even during extended emulation sessions.

The GPD WIN MAX 2 can handle Nintendo GameCube and Wii emulation through the Dolphin emulator. Games such as Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Metroid Prime run smoothly at 60 FPS with minimal frame drops.

For Sony PlayStation 2 emulation, the GPD WIN MAX 2 relies on the PCSX2 emulator. Many popular PS2 games, including God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, and Gran Turismo 4, run at full speed with graphical enhancements enabled.

The device can also emulate seventh-generation consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 using the Xenia and RPCS3 emulators, respectively. However, performance may vary depending on the game and emulator’s optimization. Expect a mix of playable and unplayable titles, with some games running at 30 FPS or higher while others may struggle to maintain smooth performance.

Modern PC Gaming and Software Performance

The GPD WIN MAX 2’s AMD Ryzen 7 6800U processor and Radeon 680M graphics make it a capable device for modern PC gaming as well. Many popular titles, such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Overwatch, are playable at low-to-medium settings with frame rates hovering around 60 FPS.

More demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Control can be played at low settings and resolution scaling, achieving 30-40 FPS on average.

The device’s performance isn’t limited to gaming. With its powerful processor and ample RAM, the GPD WIN MAX 2 can handle productivity tasks, video editing, and even 3D modeling with relative ease. While not as powerful as a dedicated workstation, it’s an impressive feat for a handheld device.

Software compatibility is excellent, as the GPD WIN MAX 2 runs on a full version of Windows 11, which can be upgraded to Windows 11. This means you’ll have access to the entire library of Windows applications, ranging from productivity suites like Microsoft Office to professional software like Adobe Creative Cloud and AutoCAD.

The GPD WIN MAX 2’s touchscreen display also lends itself well to creative applications. Artists and designers can use the device for digital illustration and photo editing, though it should be noted that the screen does not support stylus input.

In terms of video playback, the GPD WIN MAX 2 excels at streaming high-resolution content from platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and Twitch. With its HDMI output, you can also connect the device to a larger screen for a more immersive viewing experience.

Audio Performance

The GPD WIN MAX 2 features dual stereo speakers on either side of the device, providing a surprisingly rich and clear audio experience. While the built-in speakers may not satisfy true audiophiles, they are more than adequate for gaming and multimedia consumption.

For a more immersive experience, the device also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound, which can be enabled through the 3.5mm headphone jack or HDMI output.

Accessories and Peripherals

The GPD WIN MAX 2’s USB and HDMI ports provide excellent connectivity options for a wide range of peripherals and accessories. External displays, mice, keyboards, controllers, and even USB hubs can be connected to the device, allowing for a more comfortable and productive experience.

GPD also offers a variety of official accessories designed specifically for the GPD WIN MAX 2. These include a protective case, a stylized carrying bag, and a custom USB-C hub that adds additional USB and HDMI ports, as well as an Ethernet port for wired internet connections.

One notable accessory is the GPD WIN MAX 2 Dock, which transforms the device into a compact desktop gaming system. The dock connects to the device via the USB Type-C port and provides additional USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports, as well as a dedicated power input. This allows you to charge the device while using it in docked mode, making it a versatile solution for gaming at home or on the go.

Conclusion

The GPD WIN MAX 2 AMD is a powerful and versatile handheld gaming device that offers an impressive balance of performance, portability, and functionality. From retro emulation to modern PC gaming and productivity tasks, the device excels in a wide range of applications.

Its compact form factor, high-quality display, and customizable controls make it an appealing option for gamers and professionals alike. The device’s various connectivity options and compatibility with Windows 10 and 11 ensure that it can be used in conjunction with a vast array of peripherals and accessories.

While the GPD WIN MAX 2 AMD may not be the ideal solution for every user, it is a significant step forward in the realm of handheld gaming devices. Its powerful hardware, diverse software compatibility, and sleek design make it a standout product in a rapidly evolving market.

Whether you’re a dedicated gamer looking for a portable solution, a professional seeking a compact workstation, or a retro gaming enthusiast eager to explore classic titles, the GPD WIN MAX 2 AMD is a worthy investment that delivers an unparalleled user experience.

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