Standard Tegra X1 “Confirmed” as Switch's Processor

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
13,004
This is interesting when you consider Nintendo’s past claims of the Switch processor being a custom chip. Teardowns reveal that it is an off-the-shelf design—in fact, you can find the exact same configuration in the newest Shield Android TV. While this discovery doesn’t really affect anything in the long run, there may be some gamers out there who feel cheated because Nintendo and NVIDIA arguably alluded to something a little more cutting-edge.

If the physical configuration of the chip is a match for an established design, how has the processor been customized - if at all? All we have to go on is NVIDIA’s blog post on the subject, proclaiming that its inputs amount to "500 man-years of effort across every facet of creating a new gaming platform". And yet the physical evidence points towards a match with an existing design, so what's the deal? Well, to be fair, NVIDIA’s blog post talks about a lot more than just hardware - it covers system design, system software, APIs, game engines and peripherals. Maybe what they mean by a custom Tegra is the result of adapting an existing piece of technology to work as a dedicated console - and in that respect, clearly Switch is a significant achievement.
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
9,863
So if they throttled that so much to make it portable why so many reports of issues the bugs should have long been worked out of that silicon... Also why does the switch motherboard look like the designer did not have any clue as to what they were doing... i mean come on i could have done better in my sleep. And why the f are they using a heat shield for a heat spreader on the x1 if they had used the stamped alum or copper like normally is shown for the tegra soc i am sure the thermals would be millions times better than the way that heat pipe is taped onto the shield above the silicon...
 

Bahanime

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2011
Messages
392
Since when has Nintendo been cutting edge?

Ofc they use off the shelf parts, as soon as they went with Tegra, it was always a least cost solution so each Switch brings big profits.
 

Gigus Fire

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
2,275
Nintendo has never been cutting edge. They're usually bargain basement technology and rely on games to make them shine (a bit)
 

Derangel

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
18,552
Since when has Nintendo been cutting edge?

Ofc they use off the shelf parts, as soon as they went with Tegra, it was always a least cost solution so each Switch brings big profits.
SNES, 64 (aside from not going to optical media), GCN. It's really only been the last three generations where they have severely cheaped out on hardware.

The component numbers look different to me in that picture...
The difference in the product code likely has to do with the clock speed alterations made to the X1 specifically for the Switch.
 

SvenBent

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
3,166
SNES, 64 (aside from not going to optical media), GCN. It's really only been the last three generations where they have severely cheaped out on hardware.



The difference in the product code likely has to do with the clock speed alterations made to the X1 specifically for the Switch.
Have to remember that "always" and "never" is really short time for young kids... :D
 

westrock2000

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
9,169
So just to be clear.....they are same parts because they both say nVidia on them and they both have the same external component layout? And all the other characters on each chip that are completely different mean nothing? That's a pretty rock solid argument.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ChadD
like this

GoodBoy

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
1,721
The difference in the product code likely has to do with the clock speed alterations made to the X1 specifically for the Switch.
Seems like that would count enough to say it's a different part. They took a Tegra and overclocked it? Seems like that would be a good thing. I suppose if they let on it was some totally new technology, people might have some argument. It's a cpu+graphics chip, don't really care about the rest.

If they want to complain about something, it's that the Link game has occasional fps issues from what I have heard. Don't own a switch myself. The real issue would be Nintendo building a console that is yet again, significantly weaker in processing power than the other consoles...
 

Fifliffl

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
124
Gotta say I'm impressed with Nintendo's honesty in their Switch commercials. They show actual game play, bad graphics, horrible stutter and all.
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
9,863
Seems like that would count enough to say it's a different part. They took a Tegra and overclocked it? Seems like that would be a good thing. I suppose if they let on it was some totally new technology, people might have some argument. It's a cpu+graphics chip, don't really care about the rest.

If they want to complain about something, it's that the Link game has occasional fps issues from what I have heard. Don't own a switch myself. The real issue would be Nintendo building a console that is yet again, significantly weaker in processing power than the other consoles...
No they severely underclocked it. Normally the gpu is 1 ghz the switch is Docked: 768 - 921 Undocked: 307.2 - 384 the x1 cpu A57: 1.9 GHz A53: 1.3 GHz As it is a 4+4 arrangement but the switch runs it at 1020mhz. Looking at the benches they could have overclocked a k1 for better results.
 
Last edited:

Kor

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
2,175
All the switch is a re-badged and cheaper to produce version of the cancelled Shield Tablet X1, most of Nintendo's hardware design went in to the controller solution.
 

Inu

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
Messages
2,022
Problem is they're still trying to sell hardware at 1999 console prices AND turn a profit on the hardware.

They're sooo damned stubborn about making sure they turn a profit on the hardware it's ridiculous.
This results in increasingly crappier materials used each generation.

Processor size and power requirements shrinking do offset it a tiny bit but not much.

SNES $199.00 in 1990 had the same buying power as $381.01 in 2017

I would've much rather payed $381 dollars and got a 60fps Zelda.

Custom batteries in the console, and the controllers.

A charging cord that frigging works with the kickstand. And one that i will not eventually break, because it WILL break.

A scratch resistant screen. (Mobile device....!!!)
 
Last edited:

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
6,093
Assuming this is accurate, all of it only supports what I've said time and time again: Nintendo should have advertised the Switch as a mobile tablet first and foremost Positioned as a $300 package that includes a $200 tablet itself and $100 worth of high end Nintendo peripherals including the Dock and JoyCons, it would compare favorably to other tablet solutions and whatnot. However, I do think they should have gone with a Pascal Tegra instead if possible, a higher resolution screen, and apparently changing the internal layouts for better cooling/performance. Regardless, it is a mobile device, using mobile hardware, that just happens to have a Dock and thus is a different animal compared to a home console like an XBOne or PS4. This also means Nintendo should have been supporting "tablet stuff" on the Switch from day 1; various entertainment apps besides first party games and whatnot. SwitchOS runs on FreeBSD kernel which is something at least, but in order to capitalize on their mobile heritage it would have been even easier to get developers to bring software over if they just ran a skinned form of Android on the thing. Either way, this is even more reason they need to bring other "tablet like" apps over to the Switch, such as a quality browser, , full featured e-reader, Kodi (the excellent media center/player software which the dock is just begging for), Netflix/Crunchyroll/Twitch/Hulu etc... to make the Switch an alternate tablet/TV box to an iPad or Android-ish device; allowing the user the full lineup of "tablet benefits" PLUS playing Nintendo games on a well designed controller!

Nintendo needs to get their ass in gear - they can make the best of the current course but only if they give up the myopic focus on being proprietary, unique, and exclusively pushing full priced, home console games with little else.
 

Inu

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
Messages
2,022
If they come out with a Pascal Edition with an Oled Screen and swapable batteries i'd pay $500 so fast.
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
9,863
All the switch is a re-badged and cheaper to produce version of the cancelled Shield Tablet X1, most of Nintendo's hardware design went into the controller solution.
Lies if that were true the construction and board layout would make sense rather than be bodged together...
The cart slot, wifi card, and system storage chip all are separate components connected by flex cables or pins.
The SOC uses a layer of copper foil white thermal goo then a steel? emf shield and then more white thermal goo all between the heat pipe and the soc. If they were to change it around a little bit and the thermal transfer would change dramatically if that is an issue then it would be fixed.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
690
So glad i didnt buy one, the zelda docked FPS drop was a put off how the hell can they not maintain 30fps with those graphics. I think emulating ps2 games on my phone upscaled maintains 30fps better
 

Lunas

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
9,863
So glad i didnt buy one, the zelda docked FPS drop was a put off how the hell can they not maintain 30fps with those graphics. I think emulating ps2 games on my phone upscaled maintains 30fps better
probably

The saddest thing is it needs to be redesigned from the ground up...
First i would probably start off with a magnesium or aluminum frame with the same screen. From there the motherboard would be as least modular as I can make probably running lengthwise across the top of the unit. The frame would provide a solid mounting point for the joycons and give an overall more premium feel.

This might give more room for a bigger battery. I would make sure the interface and length of heat pipe would be short. I would also change to probably a pogo connection with the dock vs usb type c. A usb type c would find its way either to the top of the unit or out the back not on the bottom so a kickstand would be sufficient for desktop play.

I would also have played with the idea of the k1 at a higher clock speed vs the x1 neutered to hell... Or at least worked it out so the x1 while docked or externally powered could run full bore...

I would have also delayed launch till august or september to meet with my demands and build stock to ship out. With the philosophy of having enough to meet the demand.

And the dock would either be more like the iphone dock or it would at least have a microfiber pad on the inside of the taco. I also would like air vents/extra fan and the upscaler in the dock to allow for 4k upscaled from 1080p
 
Last edited:

gamerk2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
1,694
As I said from the beginning: Making the console mobile forced design decisions that undermine the entire concept. If they just focused on marketing it as a 3DS successor, it would be fine. But it's not a console, and people need to stop treating it as such.
 

Flapjack

2[H]4U
Joined
Apr 29, 2000
Messages
3,196
no severely underclocked it Normally the gpu is 1 ghz even docked it is at Docked: 768 - 921 Undocked: 307.2 - 384 the x1 cpu A57: 1.9 GHz A53: 1.3 GHz As it is a 4+4 arrangement but the switch runs it at 1020mhz.looking at the benches they could have overclocked a k1 for better results
Lies if that were true the construction and board layout would make sense rather than be bodged together... the cart slot wifi system storage chip all are separate components connected by flex cables the SOC uses a layer of copper foil white thermal goo a steel? emf shield and more white thermal goo all between the heat pipe and the soc change it around a little bit and the thermal transfer would change so much I would say there would be huge difference if they fixed that and i am almost certian some of the issues are heat related
Dude.... I think your posts might have something meaningful to add, but your lack of punctuation makes it suck to read them. I just skip your posts, unfortunately.
 

vegeta535

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
3,701
As I said from the beginning: Making the console mobile forced design decisions that undermine the entire concept. If they just focused on marketing it as a 3DS successor, it would be fine. But it's not a console, and people need to stop treating it as such.
I honestly don't see the appeal of a switch. If it wasn't for Zelda I think it would be a flop. I was tempted to buy a Switch for Zelda but I am content waiting til it works well with Cemu. If it came out for PS4 or PC it would of been a day one buy for me. I have zero interest in owning a Switch for now and foreseeable future. Nintendo would make so much money if they just went 3rd party developer. Between the Will U and Switch they might sell 10-15 mil life time copies of Zelda. They could double that on PS4 alone and have no risk making hardware. I don't find Nintendo systems innovative. Just gimmicks.
 

Mchart

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
3,623
I honestly don't see the appeal of a switch. If it wasn't for Zelda I think it would be a flop. I was tempted to buy a Switch for Zelda but I am content waiting til it works well with Cemu. If it came out for PS4 or PC it would of been a day one buy for me. I have zero interest in owning a Switch for now and foreseeable future. Nintendo would make so much money if they just went 3rd party developer. Between the Will U and Switch they might sell 10-15 mil life time copies of Zelda. They could double that on PS4 alone and have no risk making hardware. I don't find Nintendo systems innovative. Just gimmicks.
You don't see the appeal of a portable device with great controls that is easy for indie developers to port content to along with first party Nintendo titles?

You'll cave soon enough.
 

MrTryfe

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
435
As I said from the beginning: Making the console mobile forced design decisions that undermine the entire concept. If they just focused on marketing it as a 3DS successor, it would be fine. But it's not a console, and people need to stop treating it as such.
I wonder how exactly they'd market a handheld with a 2.5 hour battery life, doubling as a console.
 

Relayer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
1,527
This is interesting when you consider Nintendo’s past claims of the Switch processor being a custom chip. Teardowns reveal that it is an off-the-shelf design—in fact, you can find the exact same configuration in the newest Shield Android TV. While this discovery doesn’t really affect anything in the long run, there may be some gamers out there who feel cheated because Nintendo and NVIDIA arguably alluded to something a little more cutting-edge.

If the physical configuration of the chip is a match for an established design, how has the processor been customized - if at all? All we have to go on is NVIDIA’s blog post on the subject, proclaiming that its inputs amount to "500 man-years of effort across every facet of creating a new gaming platform". And yet the physical evidence points towards a match with an existing design, so what's the deal? Well, to be fair, NVIDIA’s blog post talks about a lot more than just hardware - it covers system design, system software, APIs, game engines and peripherals. Maybe what they mean by a custom Tegra is the result of adapting an existing piece of technology to work as a dedicated console - and in that respect, clearly Switch is a significant achievement.
I'm shocked!!! :D
 

Stimpy88

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Messages
1,271
nVidia caught lying... Say it ain't so... My GTX970 loves it's 4GB of RAM
 
Last edited:

gamerk2

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
1,694
You don't see the appeal of a portable device with great controls that is easy for indie developers to port content to along with first party Nintendo titles?

You'll cave soon enough.
Nope. I'll do what I did for the Wii: Wait for someone to emulate it on PC.

The Switch is a flawed concept. Simple as that.
 

sir-gold

Gawd
Joined
Jan 19, 2006
Messages
931
Nope. I'll do what I did for the Wii: Wait for someone to emulate it on PC.

The Switch is a flawed concept. Simple as that.
If you wait long enough, someone not only writes an emulator, but creates a VR-converter for the games as well.

https://dolphinvr.wordpress.com/

On first-person games, like Metroid Prime, it can provide actual head-tracked VR, something that would never be possible on the Wii.
 

sirgallium

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
336
Nintendo continues to hold ransom such legendary IP as Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Metroid behind a wall of baffling business decisions and painful hardware choices.

I would rather believe that they have been taken over by aliens and these aliens are trying their best to act human. That would make more sense to me than if actual people were making these decisions.

It's sad because they make some of the highest quality games out there, and yet in 2017 they still don't know how to properly take advantage of the internet in their consoles. The only explanation I can come up with is that with the seniority ranking system in Japan they must have some super old high up dudes at Nintendo who are just like "Internet, what is the internet?" and nobody can call them out because they have seniority. Or you know they come up with terrible design choices and nobody criticizes them because they want to keep their job.
 

arr4ws

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
6,648
People bitching about the tech are missing the point with the switch. But i had fun with the Wiiu , maybe im different....
 

vegeta535

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
3,701
You don't see the appeal of a portable device with great controls that is easy for indie developers to port content to along with first party Nintendo titles?

You'll cave soon enough.
No I don't. I'm either working or home. I have no need for a portable device. My phone is suitable for the few minutes of free time I get at work.
 

Revdarian

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 16, 2010
Messages
2,526
So just to be clear.....they are same parts because they both say nVidia on them and they both have the same external component layout? And all the other characters on each chip that are completely different mean nothing? That's a pretty rock solid argument.

It was xrayed, it is exactly an X1, the only difference is in the clock speeds, the cpu side is at half speed vs your standard tegra x1 and the gpu is variable up to 75% of the standard x1 speed.
 

Stev3FrencH

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
334
It was xrayed, it is exactly an X1, the only difference is in the clock speeds, the cpu side is at half speed vs your standard tegra x1 and the gpu is variable up to 75% of the standard x1 speed.
Where do they talk about clock speeds? I am genuinely curious because I have been trying to find information on that for the last couple days.
 

atom

Gawd
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
851
I don't see how this picture proves anything... maybe I am too much of a n00b. Note the product ID is different, however. It is stamped, "NX."
 

Denpepe

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
1,350
You don't see the appeal of a portable device with great controls that is easy for indie developers to port content to along with first party Nintendo titles?

You'll cave soon enough.
I do see the appeal of such device when made with current gen hardware and good battery life iso this glorified calculator.
 

Stimpy88

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 18, 2004
Messages
1,271
I don't see how this picture proves anything... maybe I am too much of a n00b. Note the product ID is different, however. It is stamped, "NX."
Ahhh, that's where those 500 years of manpower from nVidia went...
 
Top