Nintendo Switch System Specifications Leaked Ahead of Schedule

We’re still some weeks away before Nintendo officially unveils the system specifications of its upcoming console, the Nintendo Switch. However, a report from earlier this week has prompted Digital Foundry to confer its own sources and release information on the console’s CPU and GPU.

It was always a reach to expect Nintendo Switch to offer performance on par with current-generation consoles such as PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. According to the site, the GPU clock is locked at 768MHz when it’s docked. In comparison, the Nvidia Shield runs at 1 GHz in terms of GPU speed.

The situation only turns dire when the console is removed from its dock. In order to preserve battery life and thermal readings, the GPU clock is down-clocked to just 307.2MHz. As such, in portable form the Nintendo Switch utilizes just 40 percent of its GPU capabilities as opposed to when it’s docked.

As for the CPU, its cores run at 1020MHz in both docked and portable forms. “This ensures that running game logic won’t be compromised while gaming on the go: the game simulation itself will remain entirely consistent,” reads an explanation. “The machine’s embedded memory controller runs at 1600MHz while docked … but the default power mode undocked sees this drop to 1331MHz. However, developers can opt to retain full memory bandwidth in their titles should they choose to do so.”

The Switch is being marketed as a on-the-go hybrid system. With severe performance differences between its docked and portable versions, it remains to be seen how consumers will react.

Here’s a breakdown of the console’s specifications:

  • CPU: Four ARM Cortex A57 cores, max 2GHz
  • GPU: 256 CUDA cores, maximum 1GHz
  • Architecture: Nvidia second generation Maxwell
  • Texture: 16 pixels/cycle
  • Fill: 14.4 pixels/cycle
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Memory Bandwidth: 25.6GB/s
  • VRAM: shared
  • System memory: 32GB, max transfer rate: 400MB/s
  • USB: USB 2.0/3.0
  • Video output: 1080p60/4K30
  • Display: 6.2-inch IPS LCD, 1280×720 pixels, 10-point multi-touch support

The Nintendo Switch is scheduled to release in March 2017.

Saqib Mansoor

The odd man in the group who hates chocolate, cheese, and having to work on Sundays.