In my initial assessment of the Win600, I preferred the SteamOS image that Anbernic provided over the generic Windows 10 experience. However, some of the features of their SteamOS image are not fully fleshed out, to include thermal limit (TDP) and screen refresh rate calibration. In this guide we’re going to use Windows apps to tweak the settings in a clean Windows 11 installation, to give you the best balance of performance and power savings.
Special thanks to Chenwk from the DTRH YouTube channel, for helping walk me through some of these settings configuration.
Overclocking the RAM
The stock RAM can be overclocked, which I show off in my review video above. I also recommend checking out this video from The Phawx for a more in-depth explanation of RAM modification. In this section we’re not going to overclock the RAM beyond its manufacturer specs, but you could experiment with higher clockspeeds if you’d like (up to 3200MHz, which is the max frequency for this device).
If it’s in your budget, I recommend upgrading the stock 8GB RAM for a 3200MHz module from a more reputable brand. This will allow you to set the base clock to a higher frequency, and will be more reliable over time. This is the 8GB module I am using in my own unit.
To overclock the RAM:
- Start the device and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button
- When the Boot Device options appear, toggle the right-side toggle button to the mouse/keyboard setting, and then navigate to “Enter Setup” and press the A button.
- Press A to confirm English as the System Language
- Go to the Advanced tab, then select AMD CBS > UMC Common Options > DDR4 Common Options > DRAM Timing Configuration and scroll down and press A to accept the warning
- Select “Overclock” and change it from Auto to Enabled
- Select Memory Clock Speed and make your adjustments here
By default, the RAM is clocked to 2400MHz no matter what the RAM speed is:
- If you are using 2666MHz RAM (like the stock module), you will want to overclock the RAM to 1333
- If upgrading to 3200MHz RAM, set it to 1600 instead. Note that in the video I incorrectly set it to 1800 (i.e. 3600MHz) as the clockspeed, but it shouldn’t matter — the Win600 isn’t capable of clocking over 3200MHz anyway.
Once you have made you adjustments, back out to the main menu, go to the Save & Exit tab, and select “Save Changes and Exit”.
Based on community reporting, there doesn’t seem to be a discernable performance difference between 8GB and 16GB of RAM, so it may be worth it to go for the cheaper 8GB module.
Some have noted that you can increase the VRAM on the device to potentially help with GPU performance as well. This could potentially be a case to warrant getting the 16GB RAM module. The VRAM is set to 2GB, but you can adjust it to 4GB instead. To do so, enter the BIOS menu and go to Advanced > AMD CBS > NBIO Common Options > GFX Configuration > UMA Frame Buffer Size and set it to 4G instead of 2G.
Install Windows 11 on the Win600
While Windows 10 ships with the device, I recommend doing a clean install of Windows 11. Overall I have found that the Windows 11 experience is snappier and more responsive than in Windows 10, and it will not require a new license key to install a fresh Windows 11 image.
- Install Windows 11 using the Windows 11 Installation Assistant or the “Create Windows 11 Installation Media” option. Follow the prompts on the website to install the OS, and be sure to choose the option that allows a clean install of Windows 11 instead of installing it over your existing Windows 10 image.
- Use this guide to sign into Windows 11 automatically without having to log in every time.
- To run apps that require Administrative permission without having to deal with the pop-up every time, go into Settings > Windows Security > Apps > Reputation-based protection and turn off all of the settings there.
- Download and run each of the Windows Drivers supplied by Anbernic. To run these, right-click on the .bat file within each folder, and select “Run as Administrator”. There will be a brief Command Prompt pop-up and then it will disappear. It will look like nothing happened, but the drivers were installed. After you are done with them, reboot the device.
- Download and install the “Auto-Detect for Windows 11” driver updates from AMD and make sure you are on the latest version. Reboot the device again after installation. Once installed go into Settings > Display > GPU Scaling > ON. This will allow lower resolution games to take up the full screen automatically.
- Download and install RivaTuner Statistics Server. Once installed, open it up and set “Framerate Limit” to 60. This will ensure that games don’t run over 60 frames per second and waste additional performance power.
Improve the overall Windows experience
Windows 11 is generally touchscreen-friendly compared to Windows 10, but it is far from perfect. Here are a couple tools I recommend to improve the experience.
- Download and run the ReplaceOSK app to improve the default on-screen keyboard
- Download and run the most recent Power Control Panel app (“self-contained” version) to add an improved keyboard, TDP settings tweaks, screen brightness controls, and the ability to adjust the screen refresh rate on the fly.
- For best results, go into Settings > Start with Windows > Enable
- Press and hold LB+RB+Right on the d-pad to bring up the brightness and TDP side menu. Press the same combination to make it go away.
- Press and hold LB+RB+Down on the d-pad to bring up the on-screen keyboard. Press the same combination to make it go away.
Improve in-game image quality and performance
Portrait displays (like those found in the Win600) running in Windows 10 or 11 can sometimes cause a blurry image when playing games in “Fullscreen” mode. To fix this, navigate to the game’s .exe file within Windows, right-click and select Properties > Compatibility and then check the “Disable Fullscreen Optimizations” box.
Note that this will create a bug that prevents the on-screen keyboard from functioning properly, so if you are playing a game that requires keyboard input you may not want to do this fix.
Adjust TDP settings for optimal power consumption
Using the Power Control Panel app, you will be able to adjust the Thermal Design Power (TDP) of the Win600, which is the maximum amount of heat that the CPU can generate. The higher the TDP, the more performance you will get from the Win600, but it will also generate more heat and reduce battery life.
- Based on community feedback, a good standard TDP setting for graphically-intense games would be 12W for both the TDP Sustained and TDP Boost settings. This will result in an overall discharge of 17-20W, which will result in about 2 hours of gameplay.
- If you want some higher performance, consider leaving the TDP Sustained at 12W and setting the TDP Boost up to 25W. This will result in poor battery life compared to 12W TDP, so expect less than 2 hours of gameplay.
- For more lower-powered games you may be able to set both TDP settings to 9W and still get smooth gameplay but with a lower discharge. This sill result in about 15W total system discharge, or about 2 hours and 30 minutes of gameplay.
- For very low-powered games you can adjust the TDP to its very lowest setting, which is 5W, giving you a total system discharge of around 10-11W, or about 3 hours and 40 minutes of gameplay.
5W TDP and 60Hz: Castle Crashers , Shovel Knight, and Celeste
9W TDP and 60Hz: Horizon Chase Turbo and Bastion
Adjust the display refresh rate to 40Hz
Adjusting the screen refresh rate from 60Hz to 40Hz will result in a gameplay experience that is still significantly smoother than 30fps, but will have a lower system demand. This means you will have nice gameplay but with longer battery life. Ideally, a 40Hz refresh rate will work best in games that cannot run at 60fps when at a lower TDP.
- Download and install the latest Custom Resolution Utility.
- In the app, under the Detailed Resolutions section, choose “Add” and under refresh rate, set it to 40 and hit Ok.
- Restart your Win600
- In Power Control Panel, you should now have the option of choosing between 40Hz and 60Hz.
- If there are some PC games that play slowly at 40Hz, try going into that game settings and turn VSYNC OFF, or keep it at 60Hz. Examples of games like this include Sonic Mania and Shovel Knight.
- Be sure to adjust it back to 60Hz if you are going to run retro emulators like RetroArch.
A sweet spot for many older (Xbox 360-era) 3D games will be 12W TDP Sustained, 15W TDP Boost, and 40Hz refresh rate. Expect battery life to be a little less than 2 hours with this setting.
5W TDP and 40Hz: SteamWorld Dig 2
9W TDP and 40HZ: Hades, Portal 2, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, and Ori & the Blind Forest
12W TDP and 40Hz: Assassin’s Creed II
12W TDP Sustained, 15W TDP Boost, and 40Hz: Disco Elysium, Fallout: New Vegas, BioShock Remastered, Tomb Raider, and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
Add 540p resolution option
Some older PC games support a resolution of 960×540, which is not enabled by default in the Win600. However, this resolution can be added through the Custom Resolution Utility, which we used in the previous section.
- Open up the Custom Resolution Utility, and under the “Detailed Resolutions” section, add two more resolution profiles, but this time with an active resolution of 540 Horizontal, and 960 Vertical.
- For one profile, give it a 60Hz refresh rate, and on the other, give it a 40Hz refresh rate.
- Now, in some PC games you will see the option to adjust the resolution to 540p. This will result in lower fidelity graphics but can extend the battery life or make some hard-to-run games play at a better framerate.
- Do NOT try to adjust the screen resolution to 540p within the Windows settings or the Power Control Panel app, it will make your screen glitch (returning it to 720p will resolve the issue). The resolution should only be changed within the in-game settings.
This resolution will look quite a bit softer than 720p, but will allow you to play more demanding games that wouldn’t run well at 720p, or will allow you to run games at a lower TDP to increase battery life.
15W TDP Sustained, 25W TDP Boost, 40Hz refresh rate, and a 540p resolution: Ori & the Will of the Wisps
Looking for more?
There are plenty of other things you could do to a low-powered handheld Windows PC like the Anbernic Win600. Here is a great roundup of other options from Lucas C that includes some docking solutions that are really interesting. This roundup was originally for the AYANEO but can be used in this context as well.
– added link to Lucas C’s summary of AYANEO tweaks
– published guide
– updated RAM clockspeed wording to account for 3200MHz limit in Win600
– added GPU Scaling instructions
– added RivaTuner framerate limit instructions
– added VRAM instructions