GPD is updating its 8-inch machine launched in 2020 with a new, more ambitious model. If the architecture of the chassis does not change, it is a big upheaval inside. We go from an Intel Ice Lake solution in 2020 to a choice between Tiger Lake at Intel or Ryzen 4000U at AMD.
On the value of building processor lines with a TDP that is close between competitors? By positioning the AMD Ryzen 4000U on the same TDP as the Intel Core Tiger Lake, namely between 12 and 28 watts, both chips can be integrated into the small chassis of the GPD Win Max 2021.
So it’s confirmed, the rumor of a switch to AMD for the GPD Win Max was true. The machine has no official price yet but the brand has already announced 3 different chips and two architectures for its GPD Win Max 2021. One will be able to choose between two Intel chips, the Core i7-1165G7 and Core i7-1185G7 Tiger Lake. Or an AMD Ryzen 7 4800U processor. Enough to shade the Intel Core i5-1035G7 of the first generation of machines. The transition from the original Intel Iris Plus 940 with 64 EU to Intel Iris Xe solutions with 96 EU or a Radeon Vega 8 will widen the gap significantly.
Disappointing? Yes and no. This is the logical game of any computer evolution even if this year change will show a performance gap between the two machines. GPD is aware of this and will offer its former customers, the buyers of the 2020 model, the possibility to buy a bare motherboard of the GPD Win Max 2021 to proceed to a standard exchange by finding the performances of the new range. Of course, this exercise will not be within everyone’s reach and will require a significant additional investment, but the idea of keeping the same chassis makes sense1.
The base of the devices will remain the same: an 8-inch screen with 1280 x 800 pixels “only”, the details of which are not yet known. If the 2020 model guaranteed a calibrated colorimetry while offering a capacitive touch panel, GPD has not yet specified the assets of its 2021 display. The choice of the brand to propose a low definition screen, some competitors offer very dense panels in pixels2, allows the machine to offer very good performance in native definition. It also avoids increasing the display of the system management interface… But it will probably be more difficult to accept for some users who need space for their programs.
The RAM also changes with a shift from LPDDR4X-3733 to LPDDR4-4266. It is not yet known how much memory will be offered with the devices, the 2020 model shipped 16 GB. Storage entrusted to a 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe last year will climb to 2TB on the Win Max 2021 GPD. Even my connectivity will undergo some changes, without affecting the chassis. We’re going from one USB Type-C and one Thunderbolt 3 to two Thunderbolt 4s for the Intel versions and probably full USB Type-C for the AMD Ryzen model.
For the rest we will find a device similar to the 2020 model: a small chiclet keyboard only in Qwerty, game control devices located under the screen with a touchpad above the keyboard. The screen should remain touch-sensitive and the target audience the same. First of all, gamers who want a mobile solution but are not attracted by console formats. Many still want to keep a small keyboard to not invest only in a gaming device.
As a reminder, the GPD Win Max 2020 was launched just one year ago at $779 in participatory financing for its lightest version and for only a few copies. A campaign that worked well and brought a lot of money to the brand.