Nintendo Switch GPU Clock Speeds Documented At 307Mhz
(Last Updated On: December 19, 2016)

There is a new report out from Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry analyzing the clock speeds of the Nintendo Switch when it comes to the CPU and GPU. In their article about the specifications based on development kit documentation, the CPU on the Switch runs at 1020Mhz whether docked or not, but the GPU is down-clocked to 307mhz undocked, with a possible 768Mhz available when docked.

According to Eurogamer, they noted that in the development documentation for the Nintendo Switch there was a message from Nintendo that read…

“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.”

Now this doesn’t mean that the launch specs will be identical to the devkit specs, but it does seem like this will be about as final as it gets. There’s always the possibility that the specs in the documentation is actually listed as being lower than what’s actually inside the Nintendo Switch, but Digital Foundry suspects that this is final… or at least until they can get their hands on the hardware and run benchmark tests themselves.

The rest of the article details that the system is likely running on a modified version of the Tegra X1’s Maxwell chipset, but there are lingering suspicions that there could be newer iterations of the Pascal chip present within the Switch. Nintendo and Nvidia only mentioned that the hybrid console is running on a custom chip based on Nvidia’s mobile Tegra line.

The article also notes that CPU speeds will stay consistent whether docked or undocked so game logic doesn’t break, but memory bandwidth can be shaved off by nearly 300Mhz, going from 1600Mhz when docked down to 1331Mhz when undocked.

The reason for halving the hertz or shaving off a fraction of the speeds is to conserve battery power and keep heat consumption to a minimum. A power chip clocked at only a fraction of its power promises a lot of longevity.

Now this isn’t to say that the Switch’s specs from that devkit document are as absolute as it suggests. It’s possible that later into its lifespan Nintendo might reveal there’s some extra bandwidth to utilize or that they severely underclocked the GPU in the documentation to ensure launch titles are properly optimized and there’s actual room in the hardware for slight boosts either with a firmware upgrade or OS update. We’ve seen a similar thing happen with the PS4 and Xbox One receiving minor system upgrades that allowed developers to take advantage of a few extra hertz here and there.

Ultimately we’ll have to wait until physical benchmark tests are run to get a real idea of just how powerful the Nintendo Switch really is. We’ll get another glimpse at the console ahead of release come January 12th.


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • This will be the last Nintendo console.

    • Here’s hoping…

      They haven’t been good since the N64-GameCube days.

    • Mark Logan

      Haha. Every nintendo console will be their last. Don’t count on this being the last.

      • But this one is the first console that is less of a console and more of a gaming tablet. Nintendo is moving farther away from the typical console generation. Hell so are Sony and Microsoft.

  • LurkerJK

    It only needs to reach 30fps at 720p while undocked (1080p can probably be fudged), thats the goal

    As long as it can do that it can compete, the other two idiots have just started a war over resolutions that only a nerd can point out on a tv the size of a wall just for everyone in the room to collectively shrug

    No resolution is going to win over price, i’d say Nintendo’s worst problem is that the console is coming out too late but then the other two idiots are creating a fissure in the market for Nintendo by releasing console updates

    Imho the Switch has a real chance

  • Jim

    Okay, so it’s a mobile kit trying to act like a console. This smells like a OUYA

    • LurkerJK

      I am pretty sure the OUYA would have had a much easier time with Nintendo money backing and exclusive Nintendo franchises