Rumor: Leaked Specs Imply Switch is Weaker than PS4

Nintendo Switch

Eurogamer is reporting that the Nintendo Switch’s specs will have some very large variations between docked and portable modes.

Like previous reports speculated, the Nintendo Switch will be using the Maxwell-based Nvidia X1, rather than a Pascal based architecture. However, the version of the X1 used in the Switch adds many of Pascal’s features.

The Switch’s version of the X1 also has some other odd changes, such as 4K 30hz support, HDMI 1.4 instead of 2.0, a 10% lower pixel fill rate, and some completely missing cores on the CPU.

The Switch’s CPU will run at 1020MHz (half of the X1’s regular clock) in both docked and portable modes. However, memory clock speeds will be dropped from 1600MHz to a lower 1331MHz in portable mode. The biggest difference between the two modes is with the GPU’s clock speed. When docked, thehandheld’s GPU runs at 768MHz, much less than the standard X1 clock of 1GHz. However, when in portable mode, the GPU clock speeds drops a staggering 60% to 307.2MHz

While the drop to 307.2MHz may seem bad, the Switch’s rumored 720p display should still be able to run a lot of games while giving a great graphical boost and resolution upgrade when docked, similar to the difference between the PS4 and PS4 Pro. While Android devices have done some great things with the X1, the console has its own OS and API. With this, the console will not have to run Android at all times, freeing up plenty of power.

While this does seemingly confirm that Nintendo is not trying to overpower the PS4 and Xbox One with the Switch, the console will still be strong enough to handle current-gen experiences on mobile, which in and of itself is an astounding achievement.

We’ll find out more about the console and its power January 12th.

Matthew Sigler

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Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I've been playing video games since I was three years old.