Report: Nintendo Switch CPU and GPU clocks leak

Nintendo first showed its upcoming Switch console back in October, but provided little technical information beyond confirming the rumors that the machine would carry an ARM-based Nvidia SoC at its heart. Eurogamer now claims to have info on the Switch's system specifications, including the critical CPU and GPU clocks of the Nvidia SoC that powers the unit.

The first item in Eurogamer's forecast is that the SoC inside the Switch will be based on technology used in Nvidia's Tegra X1, which is produced by TSMC on a 20-nm process. Eurogamer reports that the chip will sport four ARM Cortex-A57 CPU cores clocked at 1020MHz—roughly half of the Tegra X1 CPU's peak clock speeds in other applications. The Cortex-A53 "little" cores in the full Tegra X1 don't appear to be along for the ride in the Switch.

The site claims that the CPU will run at the same clock speed whether the system is plugged into its dock or being used in its portable configuration. The memory clock speed will reportedly drop from 1600MHz when docked to 1331MHz when out-and-about, though the author goes on to say that developers will be able to override this change if they wish to do so.

The more interesting tidbit of info concerns the graphics capabilities of the Switch. Eurogamer says the SoC's GPU will be based on Nvidia's last-generation Maxwell microarchitecture, and that it'll run at a maximum clock speed of 768MHz in the docked configuration. The article goes on to say that the GPU clock plummets by 60% to 307MHz when the system is in portable mode. For comparison's sake, the GPU inside the Tegra X1-equipped Nvidia Shield runs at 1 GHz. The site says that developers have the option to cut back the GPU clocks when the system is docked, in order to provide a consistent user experience. The article speculates that the console's integrated screen will have a 1280×720 resolution, and that the system may be able to to run games at 1080p when docked.

While it's interesting to see clocks for the Switch's SoC, they're just one part of the performance picture on a closed and likely highly-tuned platform like this one. Nvidia touted its custom software and APIs for the Switch when the console was revealed in October, and those resources could let developers extract more performance than one might expect from those relatively modest specs. We'll have to see whether that idea is borne out when the Switch hits store shelves.

Comments closed
    • djayjp
    • 3 years ago

    Based on the above specifications, the Switch GPU should be much slower than the 2005 Xbox 360 (roughly 60% as fast). This is based on Nvidia’s very own claim that Tegra X1 is twice as fast as X360 and since the Switch runs at about 30% the clock speed (300MHz vs 1GHz) of the standard Tegra X1. It should be much slower than Wii U as well.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    As much as one may think the hardware is weaker compared to many tablets and smartphones we must note that being a closed and optimized system for gaming means performance will be significantly better than a phone with the same SoC. Just look at game consoles yesterday and today. The Genesis, for example, was, what, along the lines of a 286-based PC but you can say it took a 486 to deliver that kind of gaming. The original NES ran at 1.2MHz or so but no PC/XT, running at several times the clock, could let you play side scrollers like that. Even those Jaguar cores won’t let you play the kind of games you play on a PS4 on a Kabini-based PC. Even if you put a GTX 1080 in there.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Fixed hardware optimizations are fine and dandy, but running at half the CPU performance and 30-70% the GPU performance of a standard Tegra X1 isn’t a gap that bespoke software will close.

      Also a Kabini+1080 PC would be way more CPU/GPU ratio skewed than the PS4, but could still run things very well. An 880K can run most modern games above 30fps, just like the consoles.

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        You missed the point. It’s not a gap that they need to close, want to close, or care to close.

        As long as it can play wii sports 4, mario dash 2 and pokemon alpha blue omega granite 2: rancher edition, that’s all it needs.

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          I responded to “we must note that being a closed and optimized system for gaming means performance will be significantly better than a phone with the same SoC.”?

          Your point is unrelated to that discussion.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 3 years ago

    can’t believe they didn’t go with a current gen nvidia chip. The efficiency on them would have allowed for nearly a mobile PS4, not this neutered mess which will still have a barely adequate battery life.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Going from Maxwell 2 to Pascal certainly isn’t a big enough jump to make this 157-400Gflop GPU into a PS4 competitor.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 3 years ago

        [quote<]With every advancement in fab technology, chip designers have been able to increase their clockspeeds thanks to the basic physics at play. However because TSMC’s 16nm node adds FinFETs for the first time, it’s extra special. What’s happening here is a confluence of multiple factors, but at the most basic level the introduction of FinFETs means that the entire voltage/frequency curve gets shifted. The reduced leakage and overall “stronger” FinFET transistors can run at higher clockspeeds at lower voltages, allowing for higher overall clockspeeds at the same (or similar) power consumption. We see this effect to some degree with every node shift, but it’s especially potent when making the shift from planar to FinFET, as has been the case for the jump from 28nm to 16nm. Just increasing the clockspeed, comparatively speaking, means that the entire GPU gets proportionally faster without shifting the resource balance; the CUDA cores are 43% faster, the geometry frontends are 43% faster, the ROPs are 43% faster, etc. [/quote<] The chip they should be using: [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/10596/hot-chips-2016-nvidia-discloses-tegra-parker-details[/url<] [quote<]he big question for most readers, I suspect, is about the Denver 2 CPU cores. NVIDIA hasn't said a whole lot about them - bearing in mind that Hot Chips is not an exhaustive deep-dive style architecture event - so unfortunately there's not a ton of information to work with. What NVIDIA has said is that they've worked to improve the overall power efficiency of the cores (though I'm not sure if this factors in 16nm FinFET or not), including by implementing some new low power states. Meanwhile on the performance side of matters, NVIDIA has confirmed that this is still a 7-wide design, and that Denver 2 uses "an improved dynamic code optimization algorithm." What little that was said about Denver 2 in particular was focused on energy efficiency, so it may very well be that the execution architecture is not substantially different from Denver 1's[/quote<] TLDR: Their next chip (which should be coming out VERY soon) will have a better CPU and a more efficient GPU. Which would have meant they could clock it higher (or NOT-downclock) it. And that would have been about enough to equal a PS4 in performance.

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          The issue is still how much they gutted the TX1s clock speeds. Using Parker would still be no assurance against getting Nintendo’ed.

            • lilbuddhaman
            • 3 years ago

            Less power consumption of chip = higher clocks at same power usage

            Battery life is the only reason they’d lower the clock speed, aside from also making sure children’s hands don’t get burnt off from a hot chip.

    • Krogoth
    • 3 years ago

    It sounds about right. The specs are more then adequate for the gaming demographic that Nintendo is going after.

    The eye candy types are going to be opting for a gaming PC or very least PS4 Pro/Xbox One “Scorpion” refresh.

      • Kretschmer
      • 3 years ago

      I disagree. Are current PS4/Xbox One owners “eye candy types” for not purchasing a Wii U? No, they just want competent hardware for their dollar.

        • Krogoth
        • 3 years ago

        Software franchises has always driven gaming consoles.

        It is the main reason why countless others have failed in the past. It is also the main reason why Xbox Classic and PS3 were lackluster for most of their product cycle.

        The people who give a flying hoot over hardware prowess are going to be opting for a gaming PC which offers far superior performance per dollar ratio then any gaming console (even with budget-minded and low-end PCs).

          • Kretschmer
          • 3 years ago

          Software drives console sales, and Nintendo misses out on most of the console software when they create an underpowered special snowflake gimmick machine. Portable is a bit different due to the lack of serious portable gaming system competition.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            That’s applicable to any of the lackluster consoles. Sony faced the same issues with PS3 but that was due to exotic hardware platform choices which made it difficult to code for. The high price tags for a gaming console didn’t help either for most of its product life. Microsoft also dealt with the same problems with Classic Xbox. They both were the most powerful consoles for the generation on paper but were lackluster for their respective generations in terms of fiscal success.

            Wii-U was lackluster because namely of its exotic hardware choices in its peripherals made it difficult for developers to code and port for. It didn’t help that it wasn’t really that much cheaper than Xbox One and PS4.

            Unless the Switch proves to be a difficult platform to code and port for. I honestly don’t see it missing out on most “third-party” releases.

            Hardware prowess has never been a decisive factor in the gaming consoles.

            • Kretschmer
            • 3 years ago

            How are you going to port Xbox One/PS4 titles to a console that doesn’t have the specs to run them?

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            Run them at lower resolutions and remove some “non-essential” assets.

            This isn’t brain surgery my friend. This is what normally happens with porting games across different console platforms. You saw this throughout the entire PS2, Gamecube and Xbox Classic generation with games that crossed all platforms.

            You don’t see it as much anymore because the Xbox One/PS4 are “nearly” identical to each other and operate what would be considered to low/medium settings on the PC.

            It will likely start again with Xbox One and PS4 refreshes which are going to have more hardware differences then what we have seen with first-generation units.

            • Kretschmer
            • 3 years ago

            This sounds good in theory, but in practice everyone just ignored the Wii U. Being smaller and extra work is not a winning strategy.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            You simply do not understand the Switch’s intended demographic. It was never meant to compete against Xbox One and PS4 and go after its core demographics.

            It is going after smartphones and ultra-portables that have been taking over the casual gaming space.

            Wii U was mostly ignored mainly because it offer nothing new or compelling to the casual gaming demographic and Wii owners. While their 3DS family was still going on strong. They decided to combine elements from Wii and 3D family. The “Switch” is the result of that effort.

            • CuttinHobo
            • 3 years ago

            You said the Switch won’t miss out on “most third party releases”, then you say that third party releases don’t matter because “that’s not the Switch’s intended demographic”. It’s one or the other, so pick one and stick with it.

            The Switch won’t need to be *difficult* to program for to be shunned by the major studios. It’s already going to be a pain due to the relatively large architectural differences between it and the PS4/XBO. It’s not simply a matter of the devs turning a detail knob down to 3 (out of a possible 11) and call it a day.

            You also make the claim that since the 3DS is a strong seller, the Switch will be too. You know nothing of its eventual retail price or battery life, and for a mobile device I don’t see any real “wow” features over a 3DS. Yes, the graphics are better but you say that doesn’t matter to their target audience. Is its best new portable feature the ability to play some games split-screen with a friend? Sharing a 6.2″ screen seems gimmicky at best: ‘Welp, thanks for showing me that and it was cool for 5 minutes but now my neck hurts. Wanna sit on the couch and play split-screen on my 65″TV instead?

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            I never said anywhere that third-party titles were irrelevant. It is just that Switch is going after a completely different demographic then the Xbox One and PS4. You shouldn’t be placing the same expectations for it. The Switch is going after performance smartphones which are becoming the big thing for causal gamers and youngsters.

            People here forget that Nintendo is first and foremost a Japanese company. Over there small portable electronics are preferable because living space is quite limited. It is the main reason why Nintendo keeps miniaturizing their hardware platforms. It is also one of the main reasons why gaming PC is a niche over there and why Xbox Classic was a massive flop in that market. 360 tried to remedy these problems but it took several die-shrinks and platform minimizations to get there.

            [minor rant] it is kinda annoying that people in Canada/USA think that the entire world revolves around their ecosystem. [/minor rant]

            • CuttinHobo
            • 3 years ago

            Straw man. Next.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            What “straw man”?

            • CuttinHobo
            • 3 years ago

            Because you’re consistently ignoring points being made, and then trying to drag the discussion in other directions. I’m not going to rehash the whole thing when it’s already plainly visible for review. Your debate with Kretschmer went the same way.

            In this case you’re going off on a tangent about homes in Japan being small as if that’s a deciding factor in a console’s success. Yes, Japan is a small country with a lot of people and yes a home in Japan is smaller than what you’ll find in the US. Therefore they want small consoles like the Wii U, right? Except that the space-hogging PS4 has already outsold the Wii U in Japan despite a 14-month head start. According to [url<]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_game_consoles_by_region#Japan[/url<], there's not even a very large gap between the original Wii and plus-size PS3. (12M vs 10M). Sales volume nothing to do with "Oh, that thing is too big for our house so let's get the small Nintendo instead." What's important is a compelling platform at a fair price. Microsoft is failing to get a good foothold in the Japanese market but it's not because the Xboxes don't fit in a living room. If there's a case for Japanese nationalism to be made, MS is a newcomer up against two home-team giants there, and it shows in their sales. Going back to my comment about having a compelling platform at a fair price: the Switch does not need Call of Duty in order to be a success. Heck, maybe Nintendo can support it all on their own - but if Switch, like the Wii U, is going to stand on only that one leg, it needs to cost less than the PS4/XBO. If it's a portable device to replace the 3DS for kids to take every where, it needs to cost less. If it's not going to work double-duty as a decent home media hub, it needs to cost less. The Wii U didn't fail because it was hard to code for, or port to. It failed because it cost too much for what it offered. A year ago I replaced a dead Wii with a used Wii. I wanted to replace it with a Wii U but used models are four times the price of a used Wii. In fact, right now Nintendo's Ebay store is selling [u<]refurb[/u<] 32GB Wii U for $200. By contrast. BestBuy is offering a [u<]new[/u<] 500GB PS4 Slim for $200 ($250 but it comes with a $50 gift card. Use it to buy a second controller if you want). Both come with a game. (Mario Land, Uncharted 4). Not a good value for a failed console at the end of its life and about to be replaced.

            • Kretschmer
            • 3 years ago

            I agree that it might be successful as a mobile platform that can output to a TV, but Third Party support (and Nintendo console sales) is (are) DOA.

            As for competing with Smartphones, it’s not like people will forgo a phone when they buy a Switch. We’ll have to see how well it differentiates itself.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            Nintendo’s IP properties is what is going to separate Switch from “performance” smartphones.

            They are playing the long game. They are going after current youngster demographics not “us” a.k.a millennials/generation x gamers.

            • VincentHanna
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<]Nintendo's IP properties is what is going to separate Switch from "performance" smartphones. [/quote<] Not if performance smartphones are capable of running said games via emulation.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            It is called licensing. You can’t exactly emulate “IP” without paying for its holders if you want to go legit.

            Nintendo has a long history of not taking too kindly to unauthorized use of their IP and piracy. Just ask those who tried to pirate the recent Pokemon Moon/Sun before it was officially launch.

            • VincentHanna
            • 3 years ago

            Is it worse that Americans believe that the whole world revolves around their ecosystem, versus you who seems to believe that Nintendo’s entire strategy in gaming revolves around Japanese Nationalism?

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            It has nothing to do with nationalism fool.

            It is called tending to your primary market. This is marketing 101 for goodness sake. You clearly do not understand the game that is being played here.

            • CuttinHobo
            • 3 years ago

            You could say their primary market *is* North America. Using the Wii as an example because we can all agree it was a very successful model – they sold about 13 million in Japan, and 45 million in the US. With another 40 million in the rest of the world.

            This is marketing 101 for goodness sake. 😛

            • VincentHanna
            • 3 years ago

            Oh, god. Again with the “smartphones and ultraportables.”

            No. Existential threat, or not, the switch is a console. It is not going to replace your cellphone in your pocket. What Nintendo is doing is not “targeting” smartphones, by any means… They are re-targeting their core demographic, which is kids. Kids who like to carry around their 3DS in their backpacks. Kids who hate car rides. Kids who spend as much as half their days with nothing to do except follow adults around while they go shopping, or run errands. Kids who’s entire worlds revolve mostly around cartoonish art styles. Kids, who’s parents actively try to limit their association with adult themes associated with titles like GTA5, Fear 3 and CoD/Doom. Kids who are too young to even have a cellphone. That’s who this is targeting.

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            No, they are targeting “performance” smartphones which are fastest growing gaming platform in the casual gaming market and with newer generations.

            They are greatest existential threat to gaming consoles as we know them. The demographic shift is already starting. Just wait another five to ten years. The gaming console as we know them will become as archaic as a stand-alone VHS/Beta and DVD player. They either will become a core component in a multimedia center(What Microsoft is trying to go for) or an ultra-portable gaming platform (What Nintendo is trying to go for).

          • VincentHanna
          • 3 years ago

          Nah. Most gamers want a console.
          Consoles are “easy.” Easy trumps amazeballz graphics. 900p 60hz is good enough for all but the most entitled/spoiled. Just because they don’t buy a PC, does not mean that they aren’t shopping/judging with their eyes. They are.

          Childish/Cartoony/720p sidescrollers with no foreground/middleground however, doesn’t offer value in exchange for what it lacks in terms of hoots. You just have to be willing to say, yes, I’m willing to spend $400 on a mario box with 4 games I like.

        • David
        • 3 years ago

        No, they want certain games and a quality online experience – things that are not available on the Wii U. Console players don’t care about “competent hardware” as long as Call of Duty runs on it.

        People buy Nintendo for Nintendo properties. Zelda, Mario, and Pokemon sell Nintendo hardware. Specs are almost irrelevant.

          • Krogoth
          • 3 years ago

          Exactly

          Stupid console fanboys are blind idiots. The greatest existential threat to gaming consoles as we know them is not gaming PCs. It is “performance” smartphones.

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        Of course they are.

        The Wii U has shown itself to be more than capable of running the zeldas and marios. The numbers on the spec sheet are completely irrelevant to that. When someone says “I want more hardware for my money” that is literally just another way of saying that you are penalizing the system for it’s inability to play COD or some other nonsense, up to your standards. You want eye candy, go get a ps4 scorpio. You want mario, go get a nintendo. Mario runs fine. Zelda runs fine. they just lack eye candy.

          • Kretschmer
          • 3 years ago

          The Wii U has shown that selling a console strictly on first party titles is a risky proposition.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      It’s important for what cross platform games will be workable on the hardware. Some people then go and say third party games aren’t important on Nintendo platforms, but, well, look how that went for the Wii U. I had hoped Nintendo would shed that philosophy.

      Now, power aside, marketshare has a power of its own, the Wii got more cross platform games than the Wii U despite being as powerful as a potato, so price will be key here. If it’s that 250 dollar sweetspot and it sells like crazy, it may get support in spite of what’s inside.

    • strangerguy
    • 3 years ago

    The specs aren’t bleeding edge now of course, but in the context of their respective release time frames the 3DS and the Wii-U makes the Switch looks incredibly modern for a Nintendo hardware.

    Hopefully, the lowered R&D costs of not developing and maintaning 2 separate home and portable product lines also means they can spend more effort to revamp their online services which is an abomination by 2012 standards let alone 2017.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 3 years ago

    [Picard facepalm.jpg]

    Obviously it wasn’t going to be a speed demon, but this almost seems like an April Fool’s hoax. I’m afraid it won’t do either of its two tasks well enough to be a success; not enough power for a 2017 home console, and I suspect too expensive for your typical kid’s mobile gaming device (in addition to a cell phone in many cases, of course).

    At least Nintendo has plenty of IP to be a successful software house once this thing puts the final nails in their hardware division’s casket. I look forward to seeing what Mario games look like when they’re developed for the Sony PS5.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      It has enough power for a gaming console. Switch was never meant to compete against PS4 and Xbox One. You are a fool to think that Nintendo was going after them.

      Switch’s primary competition is actually “performance” smartphones which are becoming the hottest casual gaming platform.

        • CuttinHobo
        • 3 years ago

        Nobody said they were trying to take on PS4 and XBO. Don’t try to put words in my mouth. They don’t need to match PS4 specs to *be* a 2017 console.

        It’s bound to feel sluggish doing mundane tasks like navigating the Nintendo store or Netflix. It’ll probably be fine for catching Pokemon, but will it be cheap enough for parents to allow their kids to stuff it in their backpack like they do with a 3DS? Does the dock allow room for the tablet portion to remain in a protective case for easy portability, or must it be fused with each time?

        I predict failure, which is a shame and not something I want for Nintendo.

          • Krogoth
          • 3 years ago

          It has more than power in the hardware to handle those mundane tasks provided that the coding isn’t horribly sloppy.

          This isn’t 4K or 2K rendering for goodness sake. It is going to likely be 720p which is commonplace on low-end “smartphones”. The high-end smartphones can effortlessly handle 1080p 2d content and they equipped with similar hardware capabilities to the Nintendo Switch.

          Not trying to defend Nintendo here, but you are being too pessimistic or just out of touch on what low-end hardware platforms can do these days.

          You are not the Switch’s intended demographic.

          • djayjp
          • 3 years ago

          No, you do actually want Nintendo to fail…as a hardware company. You want them to finally unleash their powerhouse franchises on all platforms.

            • CuttinHobo
            • 3 years ago

            Well, that would be a nice side-effect. Lemons -> lemonade.

            Nintendo was very successful with the Wii and sold over 100 million units – but has only moved about 13 million Wii U. Releasing games to the broader market would certainly sell more games. For contrast: around 50 million PS4s have sold, and 30 million Xbones. [url<]http://www.businessinsider.com/playstation-4-sales-2016-12[/url<] I'd expect them to continue to shun the PC market under the usual specters of piracy and hardware support. But for console sales, it [u<]has[/u<] to be relatively simple to port between PS4 and XBO - particularly for games that don't need to eke out every scrap of performance for cutting-edge graphics. It would give them access to a large-and-growing pool of current-gen consoles that would grow even faster with the addition of Nintendo assets. Speaking for myself, my living room still doesn't have either of the new consoles. Having Nintendo games available on PS4/XBO (but not PC) would sweeten the pot for me considerably.

    • moose17145
    • 3 years ago

    I am quite dubious about this and am not sold on the idea (or at least not yet by a long shot).

    BUT… that being said… one of the things I do have to praise Nintendo for the last couple of generations has been innovation and trying something new and different each time. I am not a console fan several reasons. BUT… I often anymore feel that Nintendo get a pass on much of the console bashing because they are not simply rehashing the same thing (just with higher specs) each generation. They are legitimately trying something new and different. Not many companies will do that anymore. If you are going to purchase a console instead of a PC, then it better offer a unique experience which is either impossible, or very difficult to emulate on PC. And thus far Nintendo has done that quite well.

    Even if this thing fails… I have to at least give praise for trying something new.

      • ET3D
      • 3 years ago

      Agreed. I have a Wii and an Xbox 360 with Kinect to supplement my HTPC, and a Wii U on the way. If I was gaming more these days I’d probably be interested in the Switch, mobile gaming is just up my alley, and the idea of a mobile console that can dock has appeal.

      That said, this does sound like an underpowered console. I had hoped that it will be able to run some of the games NVIDIA sponsored an Android conversion of, but given that these don’t even run that great on a normal X1, a severely underclocked one would not likely be able to support them at all.

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        You aren’t trying to compare the Wii switch with the Shield, are you?

        Nintendo has their own IP, their own dev studios and their own operating system. Even it there was a 1080TI somehow crammed into the back of that tablet, I seriously doubt you could play the “android conversion” of anything without some serious hackery…

        If only because allowing android onto Nintendo hardware would mean allowing emulators onto Nintendo hardware and 50% of Nintendo’s revenue comes from reselling NES re-ports to nostalgic owners over and over each generation.

    • sollord
    • 3 years ago

    Combing the Wii and 3DS markets in one device it might work for Nintendo since they had great success runing the Wii vs the PS3 and 360 but I doubt anyone else could pull it off

    • TheJack
    • 3 years ago

    I have had two nvidia based devices. First the Nexus 7 2012. It would overheat and lock completely, so you couldn’t even turn it off. You had to wait until the batterie was completely empty. The second device was a laptop. It did amazingly crazy things to an extend you’d wish it came DOA.

    So, forgive me if I say: nvidia, you suck.

    Or at least your SOC’s suck.

    • maroon1
    • 3 years ago

    At 307MHz ?! I doubt that this will even match last generation console including wii u

    I wonder why this stick to 20nm when 16nm can give most clock speed boost at same power consumption

    Cortex A72 is better than A57 even on same process node. In fact A72 is even slightly smaller than A57 on same node. The new A73 is even better. Not sure why stick with outdated CPU, they could improved the CPU even without going to 16nm

      • nico1982
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]I wonder why this stick to 20nm when 16nm can give most clock speed boost at same power consumption[/quote<] Cost 🙂

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      307MHz *256 shaders * 2 operations per core per cycle = 150Gflops, on paper lower than the Wii U but when comparing Maxwell 2 to RV770 it absolutely would still beat the Wii U. Not by a staggering amount, mind. Docked for about 400Gflops again considering it’s Maxwell 2 might be ~3 Wii Us duct taped together.

      Completely with you on A72 vs A57. A72 is smaller, more power efficient, and more powerful, there’s little reason to pick an A57 for something launching next year.

        • nico1982
        • 3 years ago

        [quote<]Completely with you on A72 vs A57. A72 is smaller, more power efficient, and more powerful, there's little reason to pick an A57 for something launching next year.[/quote<] Has been there a 20nm A72? I'd say that if it is 20nm is A57 and Maxwell, period. Architecture and process node are not freely interchangeable. Still, the Switch will sell just fine 🙂

      • Lord.Blue
      • 3 years ago

      The reason for the severe drop in GPU speed is pretty obvious – battery life and the fact that the screen is only 720p on the tablet.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 3 years ago

        This thing should manage some decent battery life compared to a phone anyway.

      • jredubr
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, CPU already underpowered and almost obsolete by today’s standards.

      What about the GPU? X1 gets crushed by the PowerVR line from Imagination. I bet they could use the same GPU from iPhone 6S or 7 without too much trouble and get way better results.
      The review anandtech has made about Tegra X1 showed that in some benchmarks it has some trouble keeping the pace against even an iPad Air 2. And they are comparing it to a 1ghz Tegra X1. We’re talking about 30% of that performance here guys…

      They will say that they have made this decision because of battery life. Heck, the PowerVR has been outperforming Nvidia’s parts for generations and have been even more energy efficient. Just look at the iPhone!

      IDK, I think Nintendo has played the wrong cards with Nvidia here. Tegra line has been a bummer so far. Many promises underdelivered.

      I just think they should get the A72 at 16nm, any recent PowerVR GPU and that wouldn’t increase the costs so much.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    I think maybe calling it a home console first will prove a marketing blunder, it’s an AMAZING step up from the 3DS in every way, but as a console it still has the 7G in the rearview mirror and the 8G somewhere ahead of it. It would probably market better as a mobile product you can dock for a higher resolution at home, than an ok console you can take on the go.

    • gmskking
    • 3 years ago

    900p 60FPS. Thats what they said.

      • CuttinHobo
      • 3 years ago

      They forgot to mention that was decoding h.264 video, not game performance. 🙂

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      “1080p, check that box”.
      -Reggie on the Wii U

        • Noinoi
        • 3 years ago

        Technically speaking SSB4 really did do that, at 60 FPS, though visual compromises were made.

        It’s just that the general trend for most developers seem to be eye candy and we don’t see that changing any time soon unless Nintendo or NVIDIA literally bakes in a hard limit on anything – and the last time they did something of that sort was the original DS with its hard-capped vertices limit.

        I think I will be pretty happy if the Switch has many, if most games managing 720p output as that would match the display panel on the tablet portion. Non-native tends to look pretty bad.

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          A few games did, sure, but he said it of the Wii U in general, when nearly everything else was 720p and it was barely a staggered step up from the 7th gen.

            • Noinoi
            • 3 years ago

            Heh, thought so, though technically speaking the system really [i<]was[/i<] capable of doing that in a real game, so my point still stands. Technically correct is probably the best kind of correct 😉

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            Tags are case sensitive, Broseidon.

            • Noinoi
            • 3 years ago

            Haha, thanks for reminding me… it keeps catching me off-guard. Slightly off-topic, but was it explained why it was case-sensitive unlike most BBCode implementations?

            • tipoo
            • 3 years ago

            In the same sense of the PS3 and 360 being 1080p boxes, haha. Remember early in the PS3s life they said it would even output DUAL 1080p streams to two TVs?! Out of something with parts of a GTX 7800 and parts of a 7600, and less bandwidth…

            Sony was pretty bad back then. They also gave the PS3 a Gflop rating that only the PS4 got to through some very fuzzy gflop math.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            Yeah, I have a Wii U and have played all of 4 hours of Hyrule Warriors because the “occasionally 30 FPS in 720p” presentation drives me insane.

            • Noinoi
            • 3 years ago

            I think personally I’m more sensitive to a gaming going under 30 FPS than a low resolution output than anything else, but yeah, it would look bad if performance isn’t good while not looking too hot.

            • RAGEPRO
            • 3 years ago

            Sorry, I wasn’t clear — what I meant was “occasionally gets UP to 30 FPS.” Heh.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    [url<]http://i.imgur.com/GmPjssN.jpg[/url<] This was a bit too funny to me

    • leor
    • 3 years ago

    Seems weird to base this on tech that’s a year old, and make it slower than an existing product with the same hardware.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      It’s the Nintendo cycle three years in a row frankly. Before the Wii U launched people said it might be 1 Tflops on the GPU, that Nintendo couldn’t even get a part under 600Gflops. Turned out to be a custom-crappy 160 shader, 176Gflop part.

        • djayjp
        • 3 years ago

        [url<]https://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/1903/wii-u-gpu[/url<]

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          That’s not right and probably based off the early Digital Foundry article that never edited in a fix. Look at the shader groups for yourself, look at the fabrication process and die size, and how much of that is eDRAM. Being based on RV770, There’s no way it’s 320 shaders, it’s 160.

          [url<]https://marcan.st/transf/latte_stitched.jpg[/url<] [url<]http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=511628[/url<]

            • djayjp
            • 3 years ago

            [url<]http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=511628[/url<] "Judging by their size relative to other 40nm VLIW5 GPUs, it seems that they each contain 40 SPUs, giving a total of 320. As well as the changes in their grouping (VLIW5 SPUs are usually grouped in 20s)..." "...the more I research AMD GPUs, there is the possibility that it is using more ALUs in each SPU, if it was based on VLIW5 R700, it would in fact be 176GFLOPs, but it if was based on something like Trinity's VLIW4, it would be 32 ALUs per SPU, leaving it with 282GFLOPs, and if it was based on VLIW5 still, but a custom chip, it would have 40 ALUs per SPU like some people are speculating, leaving it with 352GFLOPs. Hollywood is likely still along for the ride, and that leaves it with 24GFLOPs+ of fixed function shaders. Sorry for jumping the gun, I was unaware that VLIW5 had chips with 40 ALUs per SPU, 20 was the norm."

            • tipoo
            • 3 years ago

            Keep going further in the thread. The IBM CMOS fab throws off what we’re used to with Samsung/TSMC/Glofo, the fatness of each compute unit isn’t near enough to double the shader ALUs in each one, but certainly enough to be accounted for by fabrication plant differences.

      • blastdoor
      • 3 years ago

      But I think they can do better.

      I’d like to see a WDC 65C02 running as 12 MHz, maxed out with 16 MB of RAM.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 years ago

      It is because of simple economics.

      Nintendo wanted something that worked and was cheap to produce en mass. They sale their hardware platforms with a profit margin unlike Sony and Microsoft. Who typically sell their hardware platforms for loss until it breaks even towards the end of the platform’s life cycle.

    • cygnus1
    • 3 years ago

    Countdown to someone hacking together something that will allow the Switch games to run on existing nVidia Shield consoles??

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Don’t hold your breath. NVN API is bespoke for it.

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    Well, no one expected Neo/Scorpio, or even XBO/PS4 levels this far in, and if they did they were the very stupid ones, heh. It was always unreasonable for a tablet with a maybe 5-10 watt SoC.

    The mistake this time around was latching on to “customized Tegra X1” as meaning it could only go higher than TX1, and ending up disappointed when it runs at half the CPU and 70-30% (docked/undocked) the GPU performance of that.

    I’m just more amused looking at the meta and seeing the same cycles of discussion go on three times in a row now! One being a sales boom, one being a bust, but always the same hyperbole on each side with Nintendo, they and Apple really bring the crazy, lol.

    There’s the Nintendooomed group, the it doesn’t matter first party games group, the ‘maybe Nintendos chip is magically more efficient than what AMD and Nvidia spent billions researching’ group, and so on. Always the same discussions each cycle!

    • travbrad
    • 3 years ago

    Maybe they will feel better than they look but every way of using those controllers looks uncomfortable to me. They look like the least ergonomic designs possible.

    • willmore
    • 3 years ago

    So, sounds like one should just get the next generation of Shield tablet–if they ever make one. Wonder if a prohibition to doing that was part of this deal.

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      It was in the news a while back that nVidia supposedly canceled their next Shield tablet. And this is probably exactly why, Nintendo basically took over Shield tablet construction…

        • willmore
        • 3 years ago

        Sigh. I was afraid of that. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Vaughn
    • 3 years ago

    With Nintendo its all about the game line up and not the hardware specs.

    Price and games will be the deciding factor if this is a success not the specs.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      As a Wii U owner I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the Switch will not survive on Nintendo first-party titles alone. The complete dearth of decent third-party titles both affected the Wii at the end of its life cycle and torpedoed the Wii U before it was ever launched. There are more worthwhile titles on the NES Classic than you’ll find on the Wii U.

        • drfish
        • 3 years ago

        As a platform, totally correct. For players though, I’m more than happy with only 1st party titles. As a company, regardless of the system, Nintendo needs 3rd party devs to stay in business long-term. Sucks though, because the last thing I want from Nintendo is a “me too” platform – but without the hardware chops for easy ports – I don’t know what they’re going to do.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          Frankly, the “me too platform but oh yeah we’ve also got Mario and Zelda” sounds like a winning combination. And it was – look at the NES and SNES. Even the N64 shipped 30+ million units world-wide, which was really kind of the start of their “let’s experiment and make our input methods weird” phase. After that, blood. Lots and lots of blood.

          The OG Wii is kind of a weird outlier. I (personally) think it would have tanked without Wii Sports being packed in.

            • drfish
            • 3 years ago

            Seems more and more likely that they’ll just put their software on other hardware, like with mobile.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            I agree. As long as they don’t murder their mascots in the process (like SEGA did with Sonic), then they’ll probably be fine and people will be happy to buy their wares.

            Super Mario Run is probably just a small taste of what’s to come.

            • the
            • 3 years ago

            The original Wii also had Wii Fit to which sold surprisingly well and had long legs. The Wii had some surprisingly good first party sales that would have supported the platform even without the Wii Sports pack-in. Look at the sales of Wii Play and Wii Sports Resort for evidence as they sold more copies than the best selling game on either the PS3 or Xbox 360. The thing is that Wii Play or Wii Sports Resort are not the Wii’s best selling game either. Nintendo was simply able to capture a part of the gaming market that neither Sony or MS traditionally appealed to with the Wii.

            Having said that, it is evident that Nintendo failed to keep that market with the Wii U.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            Even Wii Fit was a curiosity, something that promised more than it could actually do, and didn’t really live up to its supposed capabilities. Why yes, there IS a Wii Fit board under my couch. Why do you ask? 😆

            • blastdoor
            • 3 years ago

            They really caught lightening in a bottle with Wii and Wii fit. I still enjoy playing that every once in a while.

            • David
            • 3 years ago

            The Wii was also much cheaper than the PS3 or X360. The Wii U actually has SKUs that are more expensive than the Xbox One and PS4.

          • Kretschmer
          • 3 years ago

          Why is being “me too” a bad thing? Being a solid box that can run cross-party titles doesn’t stop Nintendo’s software innovation, and the Wii U showed us that being different for the sake of being different doesn’t necessarily make something more fun.

            • drfish
            • 3 years ago

            It’s not bad for them, I just don’t care about the “me too” parts – so at that point they may as well stop making their own hardware, at least for home consoles.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            It’s not just that it’s “not bad” for them. It’s actively GOOD for them. Getting third-party developers on your platform so that you can sell licenses for publishing games is part of how Nintendo should be trying to make its money. It’s how Microsoft and Sony can sell systems at a (supposed) loss and still find the platform to be profitable. Nintendo doesn’t sell hardware below cost, so getting someone to make games and just pay Nintendo for the privilege is very good for Nintendo and should help fund the games you so enjoy.

        • Vaughn
        • 3 years ago

        I agree.

        I should have been more clear.

        When I say games I mean first party and third party games not just nintendo’s own.

        • tipoo
        • 3 years ago

        Exactly. The collective internet meltdown over this doesn’t seem to remember that exactly that was said for the Wii U as well.

        I don’t really get the defense. Sure, you want to play first party games. But if it could also run third party games, would that not be better? The Wii U missed Destiny, BF1, Titanfall 2, RoTTR, so many of the last few years biggest game (only last year coming to mind atm, heh), not only because of market share, but because it’s architecture and power level was so completely out of whack with its contemporaries.

        • superjawes
        • 3 years ago

        I mostly agree, but you also have to keep in mind that the Switch might be a potential replacement for the 3DS since it is portable. That doesn’t guarantee third party support, but [i<]any[/i<] third party support will go much farther than on a stationary system.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah, that’s possibly true (we’ll find out next month I guess). The 3DS has been a big seller, with Nintendo’s documents saying over 60 million as of September ([url=https://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/sales/hard_soft/index.html<]here's some nice info from Nintendo's Japanese site[/url<])

            • superjawes
            • 3 years ago

            Nintendo aren’t going to say that the Switch is a 3DS replacement until it sells well (IF it sells well), so it’s just something to keep an eye on for now.

          • the
          • 3 years ago

          The problem with being portable is that it has to go up against iOS and Android devices which are becoming increasingly capable gaming platforms.

            • superjawes
            • 3 years ago

            You are correct, but I think that’s precisely why the Switch could be a potent performer. They showed [i<]Skyrim[/i<] in the intro trailer for a reason. Can you get an iOS version of that? Having Nvidia and Nintendo working together on a dedicated gaming platform gives them ammo to use.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            Not to mention that Android feels like it’s at a performance handicap. Set an iPhone 6S+ and a Galaxy S7 next to one another and load up a large game (like CSR Racing 2). The iPhone blows the Samsung away. Some of that is probably due to Apple’s silicon, but it can’t all be because of that. We’re talking about 2x to 3x the time spent loading here.

            The Switch could be at an advantage because the OS would be (theoretically) tuned for performance since it doesn’t have to support a bunch of different hardware configs.

            • the
            • 3 years ago

            Apple hardware is using a fast NVMe controller plus a new file system optimized for flash the customer controller. Apple has done some incredible IO optimization here.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 3 years ago

            I don’t know what file system android is using but the hardware can theoretically keep up. Androbench on the S7 clocks in at up over 400 MB/s for sequential reads and still relatively fast for random stuff. The apps themselves don’t benefit and I don’t get why Google isn’t trying to do more.

            If it shows so great returns on the high end then wouldn’t the low end stuff be even better off?

            • heinsj24
            • 3 years ago

            If Bethesda can get Skyrim or Fallout 3/NV/4 running on Switch, I’d buy one in a heartbeat. However, we will probably end up with a ports of Elder Scrolls: Legends and Fallout: Shelter.

        • heinsj24
        • 3 years ago

        Wait there’s a Wii U?

        TBH, I didn’t know Nintendo had launched the Wii U until last December when I attempted to buy some Wii games at Game Stop.

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      My bet is $300 minimum, probably closer to the $500 range of an iPad. This thing is basically a portable version of a console that was new and selling for between $200 and $300 (depending on storage choice) only about 18 months ago. Nintendo might have got a process shrink on the X1, but has added a screen, battery, controllers, and a dock…

        • cygnus1
        • 3 years ago

        I will also be fairly shocked if the battery lasts much over 2 hours…

          • Vaughn
          • 3 years ago

          The Original PSP vita is good for about 4 hours and the updated slim model with LCD instead of OLED is 6 hours.

          This device will have to be at least in that range 2 hours would be DOA if you ask me.

            • cygnus1
            • 3 years ago

            HAHA, I was right. $300 and a 2.5 hour battery

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        $299 is a strong bet. That’s what the Wii U sells for. $500 is ridiculous though, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a MSRP pricepoint between $229.00 and $279.00 given the current prices of the Xbox 1 and ps4 (slims), the cost of the current 3DS XL and how poorly the WII U has been recieved thusfar.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 3 years ago

      Games don’t matter. Look at Wii U.

      Price is all that matters. Most especially game pricing. If they release this at $250 but have $60 games, that’s going to be the death knell. People won’t pay $60 for mobile games and in spite of how much closer to “real” consoles this will be, the games just won’t be $60-looking games by the time it arrives.

      If the game pricing is $40… maybe $50, they can probably swing it. But if they go head to head at $60 pricing and especially if they price the hardware at $300, even $400… yeah, stick a fork in it. It’s done before it even arrives.

        • Krogoth
        • 3 years ago

        Game franchises do matter as well as pricing for console and titles.

        The reason why PS2 was such a smashing success throughout its product life was because it struck a middle ground with hardware capabilities and pricing structure that was backed by a large library of strong gaming franchises.

          • VincentHanna
          • 3 years ago

          PS2 had a lot going for it. Decent games for between 19.99 and 29.99 new was just one of those things.

          It would be incredibly hard to differentiate the [potency] of the franchises from HDO’s point which is that price matters too. Perhaps, you ought to try to make the same point again using the ps3 as an example(many of the same franchises, but at much higher 39.99-59.99 price points?)

            • Krogoth
            • 3 years ago

            PS2 titles back in the day didn’t go for $19.99 USD and $29.99 USD when new. They went between $39.99-49.99 USD when new. You only saw that “$19.99 USD and $29.99 USD” figure on old or used copies of said titles.

            PS3’s titles started at $59.99 USD and went up to $69.99 when new back during its heyday. It is another factor on why the PS3 had such an uphill battle in its era.

      • Kretschmer
      • 3 years ago

      Well, if the Xbox One (currently $200) is cheaper and more powerful with a better online presence, Nintendo is banking heavily on portability and first party software.

        • VincentHanna
        • 3 years ago

        Xbox 1 is currently $250. That is even taking into account black friday-cyber monday- green monday-weekend before xmas madness. Official MSRP is 299.

          • Krogoth
          • 3 years ago

          That’s the baseline Xbox One S not the Xbox One. It is a miniaturization that axes “Kinect” support. It is Microsoft taking a page from Sony’s playbook with their PS3 miniaturization (removing hardware-level PS2 emulation support and a few other small non-essential stuff)

          Not that “Kinect” was ever a deal breaker or killer app for Xbox One.

          It is more of a less “360 Core” back in the day while the upcoming “Scorpion” refresh will end-up being “360 Premium”.

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    As was already made clear simply by its form factor, the Switch was never intended to go toe-to-toe with a PS4 or Xbone — nevermind their next-generation updates.

    It would have been cool to see a somewhat more customized SoC though, although using a product that’s already on the market is definitely cheaper + easier from an engineering standpoint.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 3 years ago

      Might help the prospects of getting more software on the machine, too. The problem Nintendo has had for a long time — obvious with the Wii and even moreso the Wii U — is simply getting compelling software onto its machines. With a relatively standard Tegra base this might improve the prospects for both Nintendo’s machine and the NSATV.

      With that said, there’s “games matter more than the hardware” and then there’s “holy crap this thing is freaking slow” and this machine trends rather far toward the latter. I’m real curious to see what retail games end up looking like.

        • Kretschmer
        • 3 years ago

        I’m curious if desktop expectations will torpedo this (as compared to releasing a pure portable unit); the horsepower appears to be utterly anemic. Without reasonably-recent ports, will the switch be the next Wii U?

        • derFunkenstein
        • 3 years ago

        The Wii U already trended in the same direction. Browsing the e-Shop, using the menu, even waking from sleep are all an exercise in frustration.

        I also wonder how much storage it’ll ship with and what kind of expansion it supports (and how natively – the Wii lets you install stuff to SD but it has to be temp-unpacked to main storage before running. Not at all natively. The Wii U does better with USB hard drives)

        • Ninjitsu
        • 3 years ago

        NSA TV? Oh boy.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          Nvidia Shield Android TV, I think. TR expended a lot of [url=https://techreport.com/review/28605/nvidia-shield-android-tv-reviewed<]thought[/url<] on the mini-console.

          • chuckula
          • 3 years ago

          NSA TV: It’s always on and you’re the star!

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