Those are some aggressive downclocks…
We’ve already heard reports in the past suggesting that Nintendo’s upcoming Switch system will gain a boost to its clock speeds when it is in its dock- now, Eurogamer are reporting that undocked, the Switch may see degradations to GPU clock speeds by as much as 60%.
“As things stand, CPU clocks are halved compared to the standard Tegra X1, but it’s the GPU aspect of the equation that will prove more controversial,” Eurogamer’s analysis of the machine reads. “Even while docked, Switch doesn’t run at Tegra X1’s full potential. Clock-speeds are locked here at 768MHz, considerably lower than the 1GHz found in Shield Android TV, but the big surprise from our perspective was the extent to which Nintendo has down-clocked the GPU to hit its thermal and battery life targets. That’s not a typo: it really is 307.2MHz – meaning that in portable mode, Switch runs at exactly 40 per cent of the clock-speed of the fully docked device. Developers can choose to hobble Switch performance when plugged in to match the handheld profile should they so choose.
“As things stand, a docked Switch features a GPU with 2.5x the power of the same unit running from battery. And while some questions surround the leaked specs above, any element of doubt surrounding these CPU and GPU clocks can be seemingly be discounted. Documentation supplied to developers along with the table above ends with this stark message: “The information in this table is the final specification for the combinations of performance configurations and performance modes that applications will be able to use at launch.””
This sounds like a bit of a mess, actually- it honestly sounds like the device will be far too hobbled and compromised as a home console, if this is true.While specs are not the be all, end all of everything, this does seem to indicate that the Switch will, yet again, largely be missing out on the third party AAA ecosystem like the Wii U and Wii did. I suppose we must now wait for the January 12 presentation to see how much of this holds true in the end.