When the Switch was announced in 2016, everyone was wondering what power this console would get. It turns out that Nintendo has partnered with NVIDIA, which brings a very efficient and proven system called the Tegra X1 with every handheld device.. It’s a surprisingly powerful mobile processor, which in the original version of the console was noticeably weakened compared to its “regular” counterpart. In the end, the theoretical maximum efficiency of the Nintendo Switch hovers around 1 TFLOPS, making this hardware weaker than the Xbox One and much worse than the base PlayStation 4. default).
Of course, Nintendo doesn’t want to compete on the level of pure computing power. Instead, they focus on delivering perfect and refined production in every inch of the market. Sales results show that the Switch is doing well, regularly topping the game charts; In total, the Japanese have already sold more than 84.5 million consoles worldwide. Exclusive items work great. Mario Kart 8 has reached almost 36 million players, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild has more than 22 million buyers. All of this shows that the path Nintendo has chosen is the right one, and after the Wii U failed so badly, their ideas finally hit the jackpot. Therefore, I would like to show the construction of the Tegra X1 a little more closely. Since we can’t count on the imminent release of the Pro model, let’s see if the developers still have “power reserves” in our favorite campaign.
The Switch hides some secrets from us, but it also surprises with its capabilities
I must admit that the announcement of The Witcher 3 on Nintendo Switch surprised me quite a bit at the time. I did not expect that anyone could port such a massive and massive production to this console. Sure, it has lost some of its charm, the graphics have been cut drastically, and the resolution has been reduced to a minimum, but you can play it however you can. Perhaps not always in 30 stationary cages, but the awareness of a colossal junction of Novigrad with Geralt somewhere on a long journey stimulates our imagination. Adapting to a Switch that requires a graphics engine, ID Tech 6, running the latest version of Doom Eternal, is good too. It doesn’t look very good, but it works and reaches 720p resolution on a small console screen. It’s even more interesting when we look at the theoretical performance of the GPU itself – in laptop mode it only reaches 0.196 TFLOPS. It was the graphics chip from the X360 that had roughly 0.240 TFLOPS. After placing the “add-on” on the “dock”, there are already 393 “amazing” GFLOPs. A real madness, but this console was not meant to compete with dry numbers.
Nintendo has opened its doors to third-party developers in recent years, allowing “adult” games to be released on its platform. This has certainly pleased many Switch owners, because although this mobile is bought for exclusive titles, sometimes it is good to break the pattern and run some production with “big” teams. I won’t remember Cloud support and the ability to run this control on a mobile screenBut I will refer to this topic at most in one of the following articles. For now, we will discuss the problems with the NVIDIA Tegra X1 chip. It was made using ARM architecture, Similar to M1 processors. On the latest MacBooks and iMacs. This allows more efficient use of component power, thanks to the so-called low access level.
The design itself was not the first on the day of the Nintendo Switch premiere. It came on the market in 2015 as a powerful controller for NVIDIA Shield Android TV. At the time, it was one of the most efficient mobile systems, offering four Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 1.9 GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.3 GHz. The GPU used the proven Maxwell architecture, leading the way. NVIDIA GTX 7 × 0 graphics card series, among others, followed by 2014’s GTX 9 × 0 series. It was impressive almost 6 years ago, but on the day of the Switch premiere, when a PS4 Pro with its really cool 4.2 TFLOPS was on the market, gamers were still pounding on the forehead why Nintendo wouldn’t take the gauntlet with at least the PS4 base.
Nintendo wasn’t about to derail, it’s pretty good
The Japanese have an idea for themselves and are constantly implementing it. I am very happy with this, because the market offers many interesting and demanding products that should impress with the mechanics of the game, if they cannot attract your attention with their graphics. But even here, Zelda: Breath of the Wild is great. Charming in terms of design, artistic style and finally the effects of light and shadow. It is a game that you can write about for hours. You have a well deserved crater from us Hundreds of prizes have been collected around the world. Suffice it to say that the most talked about game on Twitter of E3 2021 was the sequel: Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. It even broke Starfield, Horizon 5, or the next Halo installment.
Nintendo left a certain portal for additional modifications. Hardware and software manufacturers can slightly increase or decrease base times with the help of updates, as needed. The base clock of the processor is 1020 MHz, while the graphics chip in mobile mode is only 307.2 MHz. In one of the first updates, it was raised to 384MHz and then increased again to 460MHz. Interestingly, the first Zelda uses 460MHz in handheld mode in certain cases. When the adapter is seated securely in its base, the CPU speed does not change, but the GPU speed increases to 768MHz, which theoretically allows you to increase the resolution and improve performance in games on the big screen.
Nintendo had to make some adjustments to the timing of the system due to the load and therefore the power required to function. It was all about battery life, which is not that impressive now and ranges from two to six hours depending on the game. This is troublesome and annoying, so the CPU clock speed is locked at a much lower value than the original Tegra X1 values of 1785MHz. However, the switch has a “boost” mode, which reaches this speed for a few moments to speed up the decompression of data and, for example, shorten the loading times of the levels. As evidenced by independent tests from both users after his return and service digital castingThanks to the use of unofficial software, you can freely adjust the clock frequency of the Nintendo Switch system. The results are truly amazing and show that today the Switch is running somewhere at 70% capacity and still has plenty of spare capacity.
After maximizing the clocks, that is, the CPU at 1785MHz and the GPU at 931MHz, the differences are truly striking. Even increasing the processor clock speed by 300 MHz produces excellent results. In Doom 3, after turning on the lamp, we suddenly get 60 concrete frames. In “Standard” mode, this figure can even drop to 43, so the jump is remarkable. Tests also show that extracting maximum performance from the adapter raises temperatures only a few degrees, stopping somewhere around 67, while the Tegra X1 can run freely even at 83 degrees. Does this mean that Nintendo still has a lot of room to improve performance? Yes and no, it depends on the company’s approach, because higher efficiency means higher battery consumption and therefore shorter runtime (up to 30%).
Could the Nintendo Switch surprise us in the future?
In my opinion, certainly. How Our opinion on the material providedThe latest release of Zelda: BotW 2 can boast a huge graphical leap compared to the first batch released almost 4 years ago. There is a long time until the premiere. Perhaps Nintendo will use the Switch’s capabilities and allow developers to do even bigger tricks. Testing shows that the optimal increase in CPU clock speed stops somewhere around 1224MHz, which is about 204MHz higher than the current clock speed (around 20%). This difference hardly affects battery life and system temperature, but it significantly speeds up all games available on the Switch. Marian’s developers should consider this scenario, as each of its approximately 85 million users will benefit from it.
Personally, I would like to buy the OLED version of the Switch. For the premiere, I invested in the basic version, but soon after I sold it and bought a PlayStation 4 Pro (then still quite modern). A bigger and better screen, improved speakers, an expanded user data space and a white color definitely convince me, although the price is a bit surprising. I was hoping it would stop somewhere near the current standard adapter, and this “old” model would cost 300-400 PLN. That didn’t happen though, which doesn’t surprise me for one thing, because Nintendo kept the price of its hardware for as long as possible. I’m waiting until October 8.
There aren’t many graphically impressive productions on the horizon, but Switch users mostly rely on exclusive titles, which make up for the honey and the number of great fixes in the game itself. The console has a few flaws, such as drift analogs or a quick draw screen (especially on the dock), but, as they say, there is no perfect hardware. Let me know in the comments if you’re playing on Switch, and if not, you’re waiting for the 4K-optimized Pro version on the dock. Until next time!