In our GPD Win MAX 2021 review we start with an unboxing and overview of the handheld gaming PC. We continue the review with system and gaming benchmarks, followed by gameplay and emulator testing footage. There is a choice of videos on our playlist, or if you prefer you can read the text version below. You can learn more and buy the GPD Win MAX 2021 here, or you can browse our range of gaming handhelds.
GPD Win MAX 2021 Review Video
Below you can find a YouTube Playlist of our GPD Win MAX 2021 review videos.
Let’s start with the unboxing. Inside we have the GPD Win MAX 2021 which we will show in more detail shortly.
Underneath is a user manual which is in Chinese and English.
Inside the box is a 65 watt USB Type-C charger. We will include the correct adaptor for your country when you order. And last but not least is a USB Type-C cable which you use with the charger and also data transfer.
GPD Win MAX 2021 Overview
We continue our GPD Win MAX 2021 review with a closer look at the device.
The 8 inch IPS touch enabled screen has a default resolution of 1280×800, with 189 pixels per inch (PPI). It is very clear and bright, we currently have it at 50% brightness.
Moving down to the lower half of the Win MAX. Along the top are a set of three buttons; SELECT, MENU and START. Below that is the clickable left analogue joystick and classic D-Pad.
In the middle is a tracking pad, with pressable left and right areas for mouse functionality.
Further to the right is the Power button. On the top right corner are three LED’s to show battery, fan and power statuses. Just below is the right analogue stick and four gaming buttons.
The majority of the GPD Win MAX base is taken up by the keyboard which is full QWERTY, it also includes standard F1 to F12 keys which can be used in combination with the Function key for shortcuts such as volume and screen brightness.
The GPD Win MAX measures approximately 8.1 x 5.7 x 1 inches when closed. It weighs around 790 grams making it extremely portable. (20.7 cm x 14.5 x 2.6 cm)
On the back from left to right you can find the right shoulder and trigger buttons. A full size HDMI port to connect to your TV or monitor. There are two USB 3 and two USB Type-C ports to connect peripherals to. And finally the Left shoulder and trigger buttons.
On the left side you can find a switch which changes the joystick functionally between Gamepad and Mouse modes.
And on the right side you can find the ethernet port and Micro SD Card slot.
Inside you can find a 3×5000mAh / 57Wh high-capacity polymer lithium battery which is good for between 3 to 8 hours depending on usage. GPD had originally decided to go a small steps backwards in terms of wireless connectivity, with WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2. This has now been updated to WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 based on customer feedback.
GPD Win MAX 2021 Technical Specifications
|PROCESSOR||11th Gen. Intel Core i7-1195G7||AMD Ryzen 7 4800U|
|BASE / MAX SPEED||5.00 GHz||1.8 GHz / 4.2 GHz|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||AMD Radeon Graphics|
|EXECUTION UNITS (Intel) / |
|MAX SPEED||1.40 GHz||1.75 GHz|
Both models come with the below configuration as standard
|DISPLAY||8″ IPS touch enabled, 1280×800 default resolution, 189 PPI|
|RAM||16GB LPDDR4x @4266MHz|
|STORAGE||1TB M.2 NVMe|
|WI-FI||IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (WiFi 5), MU-MIMO Support|
|PORTS||2x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4) (Intel model only) |
2x USB-Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen 2) (AMD model only)
2x USB Type-A
1x 3.5mm headphone jack.
|OTHER||Backlit chiclet keyboard|
Controller/Mouse Mode Toggle Switch
eGPU Compatible (Intel model only)
GPD Win MAX 2021 i7 Benchmarks
We start the GPD Win MAX 2021 i7-1195G7 benchmarks with PassMark which stress tests the CPU, GPU, RAM and Storage to the maximum. It gives us a good look at artificial performance on the handheld gaming PC.
The score is a very impressive 3,703. With average scores on the CPU and RAM and above average on the storage.
PCMark performs tests that you would find in day to day situations such as web browsing, consuming media, working with office documents, media editing and much more. It gives a good indication of performance on what you may be using the GPD Win MAX while not gaming.
PCMark gives a score of 5,503. There’s a good jump in performance over the older 1165G7 processor of around 500 points which is good to see.
3DMark tests the CPU and GPU over a series of benchmarks. It gives us a good idea of what kind of performance we will see when they are working together.
The GPD Win Max gives us a score of 1,409. We run this test a few times as the score is showing lower than it should be. We were expecting more in the 1800’s score area. This might be a typical Intel driver issue or something with 3DMark.
GPD Win MAX 2021 Gaming Benchmarks
Continuing with our GPD Win MAX 2021 review with some AAA Windows gaming benchmarks. We will be comparing these gaming benchmarks results in a separate video and blog post once we have the AMD Ryzen 7 model, but in the meantime you can view the results for the Intel i7-1195G7 model.
Forza Horizon 4
The GPD Win Max 2021 scores an impressive 43 frames per second, with a low of 37 and high of the target 60. This is the highest score we have had on the handhelds, and this is expected as it is a faster processor.
Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker
Final Fantasy 14 benchmark is a good test to run as the expansion is out later this year so we can get a good idea of future games performance. We are running at 1080P on High desktop settings.
The Win MAX scores a very impressive 4,558. Again, this is the highest we have scored in the handhelds. It does show there is a good improvement in performance over the 1165G7 processor for example which scored in the low four thousands.
Street Fighter V
Street Fighter is set to 1080P at Maximum graphics to really push the CPU and GPU. We get an average of 40 frames per second which is very good! With a few changes to the graphics, or by simply lowering the resolution to 720P, we can get a stable 60FPS very easily.
Gameplay Tests Footage
Next up we have some gameplay footage from a bunch of games and after that, some emulators. We are running at the default 1280×800 resolution, or if that is not supported then we use 1280×720.
BloodRayne Betrayal Fresh Bites
BloodRayne is running on max settings and has a overall solid 60FPS. It’s not a highly demanding game as you can see from the CPU and GPU usage. It looks and runs great on the Win MAX 2021!
WRC10 is a very demanding game and as such the graphics settings are set to mostly low, with higher quality textures. Post processing effects are switched off. With some testing you could improve a few settings here and there. For most of the game the FPS is hovering around the high 50’s to 60’s depending on how busy the scene was at the time.
We have everything set to max for Quake Enhanced and it runs absolutely smooth. No stuttering or frame drops. I have turned up the in-game brightness settings as the game is naturally dark, otherwise it was very hard to see on camera with the screen reflecting.
Mass Effect Legendary
Mass Effect Legendary runs great on the Win MAX 2021. We saw with the 1165G7 processor on our ONEXPLAYER gameplay tests that it was not quite fast enough for a stable 60FPS, but with the 1195G7 it definitely remains more in that area. The game plays very well and I did not experience any major frame drops while playing.
I saw this quite fun shooter the other day and thought to give it a go. The game is not very demanding and you can essentially set everything to maximum and not have to worry about frame drops. RICO London plays very well on the GPD Win MAX!
Emulator Test Footage
On to some emulators now. The GPD Win MAX 2021 can easily emulate older retro gaming systems ranging from Atari 2600 up to PlayStation 1, so we will not cover those. Instead, we will be testing more modern console systems. Each emulator is configured differently and has different system requirements but generally we are running at 1280×800 full screen display.
PlayStation Portable Emulation
God of War is my go to game to check performance. We are running at 3x rendering resolution and the emulator remains at a solid 60 FPS. You could probably change a few more settings to increase the quality and still remain at 60.
I tried a few Xbox games and overall the ones that are compatible work very well. Mashed performs very well on the emulator and you can increase the upscaling for improved visuals. It does however depend on the game, if the emulator is compatible and how well it works.
PlayStation 2 Emulation
With PS2 emulation you should have no issues. I tried a number of different games and they all had solid frame rates. You can increase the graphics quality settings for a lot of games. Overall PS2 emulation works very well and the GPD Win MAX 2021 is the best I have seen it running on a handheld.
PlayStation 3 Emulation
My go to PS3 game Skate 3, seems to be having some graphics issues. It is definitely not down to the Win MAX as the latest version of either the emulator or graphics drivers is also causing problems on the ONEXPLAYER I was testing it on. You can however see we are getting a nice 30 to 40 FPS, which again is very good!
Quickly switching over to Duck Tales, we get a solid 60FPS throughout the time spent playing. While it’s not as demanding as Skate 3, it is extremely playable as are a fair few games on the emulator.
We conclude our GPD Win MAX 2021 review with a summary. The GPD Win MAX 2021 is a bit of a dark horse in the current hype of gaming handhelds. The GPD Win 3 and ONEXPLAYER have been very popular and then the Win MAX 2021 from GPD turns up and blows them away with the faster 1195G7 processor. Both the Win 3 and ONEXPLAYER will also be receiving an upgrade to the newer processor, so it will be a nice full comparison to make in a future video.
GPD Win 3 vs ONEXPLAYER vs GPD Win MAX 2021 Comparison
|GPD Win 3 1165G7||ONEXPLAYER 1165G7||GPD Win MAX 2021|
|FINAL FANTASY XIV||4191||4037||4558|
|FORZA HORIZON 4||31 FPS||31 FPS||43 FPS|
Overall I am very impressed with the GPD Win MAX 2021 i7 version. That extra boost in performance does make a noticeable difference in a lot of games, especially where they may not have been quite fast enough to get a stable 60FPS. Mass Effect is a very good example of this!