Nintendo Switch

Further Nintendo Switch Technical Specs Revealed by ARM

Update: Turns out that this was an error on their end and that the specifications that were given out were not an official statement.

Although Nintendo don’t often (if at all) clarify what exactly is powering their consoles, the companies behind the architecture often end up spilling the beans. And in this case the firm, ARM, have taken it upon themselves to give us a nugget of info with regards to what’s beneath the Nintendo Switch‘s hood.

In a recent Facebook post from ARM they mentioned “See what Nintendo Switch has up its sleeve for March 3, powered by 4x ARM Cortex-A57.

Now I’m no technical buff but a member of the GoNintendo Community had this to say about the GPU specs:

“The Nvidia Tegra X1 uses four A57 cores running at 2ghz. The ARM A57 itself is a sixty-four bit, four core (in this configuration) CPU. The Tegra X1’s GPU has 256 cores running at 1ghz. If this is what is in the Switch. Could be a heavily customized variant. The X1 came out two years ago. Could be upclocked, have more cores, etc. by now.”

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85 comments

      1. It sounded to me like the Tegra X1 in the Switch is two year old tech, that we know was customized for Nintendo, as such, it could be an improved variation of the Tegra X1, but we definitely know whatever they customized, started with the TX1 given the specs provided.

        That’s how I interpreted it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. NVidia’s new “Parker” SoC is also running ARM Cortex-A57 (along with their Denver2 cores), so this supposed leak means nothing as far as the rest of the custom SoC is concerned. A57 was a very common ARM core in every SoC manufacturer’s rush to push 64-bit ARM to the market. NVidia’s Tegra X1 is actually one of the best implementations of the A57/A53 combo. Now why NVidia’s “Parker” didn’t go with the newer A72 to pair with their Denver cores is beyond me, especially if they’re using it for deep learning, AI, and self-driving cars.

        However, I do agree with a Tegra X1 being used as a basis, and just customizing/enhancing the hell out of it. Whether it’s with Pascal over Maxwell, enhanced Maxwell, smaller manufacture process, extra features on the A57 cores, whichever.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ^ And so what I think this guy said was, it’s still a relevant, good chip to use as your base due to it being commonly popular to customize.

        Pretty sure he meant it as a positive comment. :D

        Like

    1. Thank you for being the only Nintendo fan on here who isn’t stupid. That guy wrote something that made no sense. Same crap that happen when people Were talking about Wii U. The dev kit was in someone’s hands and the guy was like the Wii U will be stronger than the PS3 and PS4. And we know how that proved to be. Shit can’t even do native 1080 P and only Smash and Raymond can. Smh

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Efficiency usually means you sacrifice muscle. So hopefully it’s the perfect blend of power and efficiency as the switch needs to both capitalize and compromise both to do what it’s supposed to do, be a portable console.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I just an okay chip which probably isn’t the stock X1 nVidia have been using in their tablets. X1 is in it’s full state a bit weaker than Xbox One and a lot stronger than Xbox 360/PS3. Even though I think Nintendo have been down-clocking it a bit for the sake of battery life and heat.

      Of what I’ve seen of gameplay and confirmed resolutions and so on, I don’t think it’s a pimped X1 chip at all. Rather downscaled.

      We tech-nerds where hoping for X2 a while back, but it seems we hoped on to much. Still the graphics us good enough, just hope that thirdparties doesn’t feel it’s too weak.

      The bright side is that it uses Maxwell-architecture (it’s just the same as PC-graphic cards) so developers will have it easier to port games. And then again Maxwell is far more efficient than AMD’s architecture which Xbox and PS are using nowadays. So even though it’s specs wise weaker, it kind is more efficient, so let’s hope that is something they and thirdparties can “exploit”.

      Like

      1. “it can play breath of the wild, that’s all I need to know” – that’s the comment I responded to. (At least I think? Damn mobile WordPress!)

        Like

  1. The guy is trying to say the number of cores running at 1GHZ is a lot more than what most systems have right now (P4 and X1). Probably is that the Switch only has confirmed 4 gig of ram, when the PS4 and Xbox have 8 to 10 DDR3 ram chips. Means things can hold a lot more information and process things faster with their CPU. As of now, nothing is stronger than P4 unless you’re considering PC’s or the stupid Scorpio system Microsoft is burning their money into that won’t have any games to play with it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. How was that so pro-PS as to warrant that comment? You really didn’t understand what was said. Basically, 4 cores at 1 GHz is a faster clock speed than the PS4 and Xbox One. They said that, while it does have better a better CPU, it only has 4 GB of RAM. It’s true, nothing is stronger than the PS4 right now, and the Switch has yet to prove whether it’s better or not. It isn’t anti-Sony, but it isn’t Sony fanboy levels. They admitted the CPU strength is better, even if it likely can’t make up for the lower RAM.

        Besides, the Switch isn’t all about power, it’s about portability and power.

        Like

      2. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

        xD Says the so very obvious Nintendo, possibly PC, fanboy. Anyway, nothing in that comment of his was Sony fanboy levels. You probably think anyone that says anything positive about Sony, no matter how small, makes them a fanboy even when they are talking favorably about the competition like Nintendo in the same comment. But no. Him saying the PS4 is the strongest console negates everything positive he said about Switch & he’s just a Sony fanboy. xD Typical fanboy mentality, regardless of the system they favor, though: delusional.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

        Oh & by the way, if the PS4 & Xbox One are toys, so is the Wii U, 3DS, & Switch since those 3 are video game systems, too.

        Like

      4. I own all systems. You sound dumb automatically now. Last system I brought was a PS4. Used the Wii U and own almost every game that’s good. Don’t need to agree with Nintendo or love them to not call them out for their bs or anyone else for that matter.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Com’Mon you guys, us realistic folk have to stick together. No bickering amongst yourselves! You guys and myself own other consoles. So we’re not 100% Nintendo loyalists. Now let’s keep it together! XD

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Nintendo Switch Specs –
      Tegra X2 Custom:
      Quad Core A57 Cortex CPU 2GHz
      Maxwell GPU 1GHz
      4GB LPDDR4 RAM
      32GB Internal Storage

      Sony PS4 Specs –
      Jaguar APU:
      8 Core Jaguar 1.6GHz
      Radeon HD 7800 series 800Mhz
      8GB GDDR5 RAM
      500GB/1TB Internal Storage

      The fact the Switch is using more modern Tech than the PS4 might actually give it that edge but as of now we don’t know much other than the clockspeeds. But, if I know Nvidia I can expect to see the Maxwell GPU being pretty powerful.

      Like

      1. Think of three things: RAM, memory, and system development (the company you develop for). Who’s winning out of those three? Definitely not Nintendo. Ram is lower, graphics card isn’t discussed from Nintendo for reason (can’t do 1080P on Zelda is just wow to me). Mario Kart is just about to do 1080P on the switch over the Wii u which was an upscaled 720P at 60FPS graphic cards and ram help with this process. I don’t see switch having it. They focused on portable part the most, and that’s cool and all. I love the idea. But I don’t see this being stronger than ps4 and the dumb Scorpio Xbox keeps having orgasms about.

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  2. Here’s the specs for the stock X1 taken straight from Nvidia’s website. Odds are that the one in the Switch has been modified to some extent.

    Tegra X1
    GPU NVIDIA Maxwell 256-core GPU
    DX-12, OpenGL 4.5, NVIDIA CUDA®, OpenGL ES 3.1, AEP, and Vulkan

    CPU 4 CPU-cores, 64-bit ARM® CPU
    4x A57 2MB L2

    VIDEO H.265, VP9 4K 60 fps Video
    4k H.265, 4k VP9, 4k H.264

    POWER 20 nm SOC – TSMC
    Isolated Power Rails, Fourth-Generation Cluster Switching

    DISPLAY 4K x 2K @60 Hz, 1080p @120 Hz
    HDMI 2.0 60 fps, HDCP 2.2

    Now, if you don’t know what this means, why the hell do you care “how much power does the Switch has”??? Play the games, if you like them, then it has all the power it needs. Otherwise, if you want power, stop buying toys (PS4/Xbox One).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Basically, a custom Tegra X1 chip could be made smaller and faster for Nintendo’s power and efficiency needs.
    The original X1 ran Crysis and most -if not all- Unreal Engine 4 games.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m speaking of Crysis, not CryEngine.
        It was at a lower resolution, but the game still ran flawlessly and looked equivalent to the console versions.

        Like

      2. I’m sorry. I worded that weird. I did mean the game. It was off-screen footage so it’s hard to determine actual visual quality. It did look pretty good though and the TX1 can definitely handheld X360 games so it’s probably based off that.

        That being said, there’s no guarantee that the Switch can run it at that same quality. The Switch has to be able to run it portably at 720p at 30% the clock speed of the Shield TV’s GPU.

        Like

      3. Oh okay. No problem.
        You are right, there is no guarantee. We still don’t know the true clock speeds as of yet, but I know what you’re getting at.

        Like

      4. Literally every single thing that Digital Foundry leaked about the Switch has been true and the more we find out, the more what they said was confirmed. The clock speeds they leaked also match up with not only the difference in pixel count between 1080p and 720p but they’re multiples of the TX1’s base clock of 76.8 Mhz. 5x gives you 302 Mhz for handheld mode and 10x gives you the 728Mhz of TV mode.

        So we do know the clocks.

        Like

      5. Yea lol it’s actually pretty cool how just knowing just two small things like that and then putting them up against leaked information can help weed out what info is actually real :-D

        Like

  4. All of this means is that the Switch will not be as underpowered as some jackasses were alluding to. Will it be a PS4 Pro/Xbox Scorpio killer? No it won’t be but the Switch will be a more modern system than the vanilla PS4 and the base Xbox One with a very efficient CPU but because of its form factor it won’t be as powerful as those systems are in terms of raw power but that’s too be expected, although I do think there will be a clever compensation for that in the near future but we will see

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RAM wise, it’s only slightly better than Xbox One as the RAM inside the Switch is LPDDR4 RAM. The GPU is clocked in way above what the Nvidia Shield TV can do so that’s a really good sign and the fact it’s at 1Ghz already shows that it’s got more legroom than the PS4 and Xbox One which are clocked in at around 800Mhz.

      Like

      1. The Switch is clocked below both the Shield TV and the Xbox One and PS4 and has far fewer GPU cores than the Xbox One and PS4. The Switch has 256 cores clocked at 768Mhz, the Xbox One has 768 cores clocked at 853Mhz, the PS4 has 1152 clocked at 800Mhz, the Shield TV has 256 cores clocked at 1Ghz. The Switch also have far less memory bandwidth. It has 25.6 GB/s shared by the CPU and GPU, the Xbox One has 68.3 GB/s shared between the CPU and GPU with 204.7 GB/s of eSRAM bandwidth just for the GPU, and the PS4 has 176 GB/s shared by the CPU and GPU.

        One thing that is helping the Switch out is that it uses ASTC textures which could reduce albedo texture bandwidth by more than 50%.

        Like

  5. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

    Can someone explain to this me in layman’s, non-fanboy terms!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s just saying the specs of the original Tegra X1 and mentioning that the Switch could be running a custom version of it. He suggested it could be more powerful but considering this like the 15th things that leaks got right, it’s all but confirmed now that the clocks are actually lower.

      Like

  6. Not overly powerful is it folks? We were really hoping for it to be based off the X2. Chances are that it’s even less powerful then the stock X1 chip. Doesn’t really matter though, 3rd parties wont be bringing their big games over anyways. Nintendo graphics aren’t really “state of the art” and will not demand much from this chip. Everything Nintendo puts out will run smoothly i’m sure.

    Like

  7. It’s definitely less powrful than PS4 in every department, how could you expect a tablet to match it? Be reasonable people. Fact is it runs Skyrim (worse than the other two, but this should be expected, it’s a tablet!) so it’s ENOUGH, it runs UE4 and Unity so it’s ENOUGH.
    If developers will not develop for it it’s just because of political reasons. That’s it.
    I want to buy it.

    Like

    1. you have no idea how powerful the cpu is and id like to remind people a57s destroy jaguars per core

      the pos was not from ARM it was a arm employee linking two backwater gming site articles to the fcebook page

      IT WAS BULLSHIT already confirmed,it wasnt arm saying OH WE HAVE ARE CPUS IN SWITCH one arm doesnt make cpus they design them two they have zero involvment with switch,it was a post linked tgo old switch spec news not ARM…..

      Like

      1. Jaguar inside PS4 it’s a 8 cores 25W CPU with advanced AVX units, ARM57 inside the Switch is a 4 core with less advanced Neon units.
        ARM57 is a beautiful architecture but I don’t think we can say more powerful than the 8-cores in the PS4, nor equal.

        Like

      2. AMD’s Jaguar cores aren’t as super powerful as most people think they are. AMD Jaguar is more of an equivalent to a high-end Intel Atom or low-end Celeron. They are designed for ultra low power applications (budget notebook, tablet, embedded system, etc)

        X86 is a good architecture that has seen many advancements over the years. However, x86 does not scale down very well at all. ARM, however, performs very well as an ultra low power chip, which is why mobile devices use it. ARM has a massive performance per watt advantage over x86. ARM has been advancing even faster than x86 (thank Apple’s iPhone for that).

        Is a quad-core A57 less powerful than an 8-core low-end x86, without a doubt. However, per core, it’s pushing very close to the same performance, with less watts to boot. I can only imagine what newer ARM cores will push.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That’s true, Jaguar isn’t as powerful as high-end desktop counterparts, but ARM SoCs are even less, they got far more thermal restraints than Jaguar. We do agree that it’s a nice architecture but because of thermal restraints it can’t cope to a 25 watt counterpart, plus vector units are simpler. That said it’s better to have a powerful quad core than a powerful octa core, it’s more easier to optimize for less core. All in all I presume that Jaguar gets a slight advantage.

        Like

      4. Not really, some old PC AMD chipset for notebooks, but with vorrs halved. Also some are talking about 1 Ghz cores, but since there isn’t anything official I suppose it’s fried air.
        Also it can’t be less than a Wii U.

        Like

      5. I was able to find one Geekbench score attributed to a 4 core Puma+ chip that seems to suggest that it would be roughly equal to 4 A57 cores at 1Ghz. I’m not crazy confident in the source of those Puma+ numbers though.

        Like

      6. Thanks. I was able to find a Geekbench score to try to compare.

        Jaguar – Single 951 – Multi 2443
        http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/1794385

        A57 – Single 1481 – Multi 4185
        http://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/1835472

        It looks like four A57 cores are actually way better than four Jaguars and it’s unlikely that being 8 cores would double it’s performance since it’s 4-core performance falls way short of being 4x it’s single core score. I’m thinking 4 A57’s at 2Ghz would be pretty comparable to PS4’s CPU but fall short of the XBO’s. Unfortunately, the Switch’s CPU is apparently clocked at 1Ghz which would cut it in-half to around 2,092.

        Of course, both the XBO and PS4 allocate 1-2 cores for the OS and we don’t know if the Switch does any of that. Judging by how featureless it’s OS is, I’m guessing games get all 4 cores so the difference isn’t as dramatic as it would be otherwise.

        Like

      7. Seems strange that the tablet processor do compete with a desktop processor, even if old technology and simplified. But it’s 2 Ghz against a 1.6 so it could be.
        Anyway strong at 1 Ghz too, but the system it’s like a Wii U all in all, just a tad better. It’s unlikely to see many portings, but it’s fairly more powerful than PS3 and X360… and remembering Mass Effect and Uncharted on those platforms it’s clear that it can be home to very nice games with top graphics. But exclusives, most Nintendo exclusives. I’m not betting on third parties for AAA. And since is sensed as a portable system often graphics can be overlooked. Anyway who knows… never say never.

        Like

      8. For what it’s worth, Puma, Jaguar’s successor, started the transition of that line of processor to become a tablet processor. So you’re looking at a the weaker precursor to a very unsuccessful tablet chip.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The Switch can’t run Breath of the Wild, a Wii U title, at 1080P/60. If I recall, in docked mode, it does 900/30.

    That takes away all of the guesswork. The Switch can’t play Nintendo’s flagship game, ported straight from Wii U, at more than slightly better resolution. I don’t mean this negatively, it’s just an objective look at reality. The switch is a portable Wii U with better and more modern hardware, which should help developers have an easier time getting more out of it, but it’s still only very marginally more powerful.

    Obviously, if the Switch had some sort of secret untapped power, it would be put to use promoting their flagship game, not waiting for someone to learn the truth from some spec sheet.

    Granted, BotW is a WiiU game and it would probably look a bit nicer if it began life on Switch. But they totally rebuilt it for Switch, which they must have had to do as the U is PowerPC, and Mario Odyssey looks fun but isn’t wowing graphically.

    It’s enough power for what Nintendo set out to do,to play games reasonably well while making a profit on each unit. My fear is that it will seem long in the tooth in a year or two.

    Power doesn’t always dictate results. The PS1 was weaker than N64. PS2 was weaker than GCN and XB. However, these days the mass market can see reasonably decent graphics on their smartphones. Expectations are higher, people take hardware power for granted.

    My worry is, the 3DS crowd won’t see in Switch what they liked in 3DS. It’s bigger, bulkier, and less easily portable. It’s also pricey, for a handheld. Meanwhile, console players may not like that their console is actually a tablet that costs more than a PS4. Or maybe we’ll all be basking in happiness at all Nintendo games on a single platform. The risk just remains that by trying to be a jack of all trades, it will be a master of none.

    I’m getting one. I even have a Virtual Boy lol. But I’m really intrigued by how the market responds to this thing.

    Like

    1. From DF’s analysis, BotW has framerate dips when bokeh or other alpha effects are used but runs fine in handheld mode. Seems like the limitation is memory bandwidth which can’t scale like the SoC can. Otherwise it has more than additional power in TV mode scale to 1080p.

      I agree with everything you said though except for inference that BotW should be running at 60fps.

      Like

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