Nintendo Switch Uses a Standard Tegra X1 Chip

Steven Bogos

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Jan 17, 2013
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Nintendo Switch Uses a Standard Tegra X1 Chip

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Despite Nvidia's claims of a "custom" Tegra chip, a breakdown and analysis reveals the Switch uses the exact same X1 in the Shield Android TV.

Way back in December of last year, when we were first learning about the Nintendo Switch's internal specs, Nvidia claimed that a Eurogamer [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/169051-Nintendo-Switch-Less-Powerful-Than-PS4]) has revealed that the chip inside the Switch is just a plain old vanilla Tegra X1, the exact same chip used in the Shield Android TV.

Tech Insights came to this conclusion by comparing the physical configuration of the chip with established designs. The configuration of Switch's chip is visually a match for the processor found in the revised 2017 edition of Nvidia's own Shield Android TV, right down to the same assortment of surface-mounted capacitors surrounding the processor.

What does this mean? The bottom line is that the Switch will only ever be as powerful as the Shield Android TV. Eurogamer's recent benchmark of a port of 2013's Tomb Raider on the Shield revealed a whole host of issues, including 720p rendering, and off-putting jerkiness owing to a complete lack of frame-pacing. It admits that this could be in part due to the Android OS.

This would also likely explain why Bethesda is being so coy on whether or not the Skyrim [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/169263-Skyrim-Confirmed-for-Nintendo-Switch] version confirmed for the console is the 2016 Special Edition or not. It's likely the Switch simply isn't powerful enough for that, and what it will be getting is a port of the vanilla edition of the game, from 2011.

Source: Eurogamer [http://techinsights.com/about-techinsights/overview/blog/nintendo-switch-teardown/].

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American Tanker

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Feb 25, 2015
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As expected, the Switch's hardware is simply garbage.

Don't expect any serious games to come to the platform. Just a bunch of cheap little indie games and ports from 6+ years ago.
 

snintendog

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A real tear down shows its a custom chip watch ben heck he is a better source than shit eurogamer.
 

sneakypenguin

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Ouch. I'm curious what they are going to do with it. It needs a version 2.0 with better battery and dedicated to handheld gaming since as a home console its gonna be hot garbage. Can you imagine in 4-5 years how dated this thing will be looking if still around as a tv gaming device. You'll have sony and MS both with 4k machines and this thing running 720-900p at sub 30fps...
 

Jacked Assassin

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Steven Bogos said:
This would also likely explain why Bethesda is being so coy on whether or not the Skyrim [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/169263-Skyrim-Confirmed-for-Nintendo-Switch] version confirmed for the console is the 2016 Special Edition or not. It's likely the Switch simply isn't powerful enough for that, and what it will be getting is a port of the vanilla edition of the game, from 2011.
I still believe that Nintendo is trying convince Bethesda to add in Amiibo functionality....
 

bjj hero

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Jacked Assassin said:
Steven Bogos said:
This would also likely explain why Bethesda is being so coy on whether or not the Skyrim [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/169263-Skyrim-Confirmed-for-Nintendo-Switch] version confirmed for the console is the 2016 Special Edition or not. It's likely the Switch simply isn't powerful enough for that, and what it will be getting is a port of the vanilla edition of the game, from 2011.
I still believe that Nintendo is trying convince Bethesda to add in Amiibo functionality....
I always thought skyrim would benefit from mii charecters.
 

RaikuFA

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Jun 12, 2009
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bjj hero said:
Jacked Assassin said:
Steven Bogos said:
This would also likely explain why Bethesda is being so coy on whether or not the Skyrim [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/169263-Skyrim-Confirmed-for-Nintendo-Switch] version confirmed for the console is the 2016 Special Edition or not. It's likely the Switch simply isn't powerful enough for that, and what it will be getting is a port of the vanilla edition of the game, from 2011.
I still believe that Nintendo is trying convince Bethesda to add in Amiibo functionality....
I always thought skyrim would benefit from mii charecters.
I'd think the amiibos would give you the master sword, Mario's hat, Peach's dress etc.
 

Avnger

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RaikuFA said:
bjj hero said:
Jacked Assassin said:
Steven Bogos said:
This would also likely explain why Bethesda is being so coy on whether or not the Skyrim [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/169263-Skyrim-Confirmed-for-Nintendo-Switch] version confirmed for the console is the 2016 Special Edition or not. It's likely the Switch simply isn't powerful enough for that, and what it will be getting is a port of the vanilla edition of the game, from 2011.
I still believe that Nintendo is trying convince Bethesda to add in Amiibo functionality....
I always thought skyrim would benefit from mii charecters.
I'd think the amiibos would give you the master sword, Mario's hat, Peach's dress etc.
I guess Nintendo could then make the claim that they allow modding on their Skyrim circa 2011 port?
 

chozo_hybrid

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Jul 15, 2009
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snintendog said:
A real tear down shows its a custom chip watch ben heck he is a better source than shit eurogamer.
Just had a look after seeing your comment, you're right. It's not a standard chip.
 

deadish

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Dec 4, 2011
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Standard or not. Zelda used bilinear filtering ... in 2017. /smh

https://youtu.be/9yFON2UON3k?t=2m20s
 

Blitsie

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American Tanker said:
As expected, the Switch's hardware is simply garbage.

Don't expect any serious games to come to the platform. Just a bunch of cheap little indie games and ports from 6+ years ago.
And a whole conga line of amazing looking first-party titles that are probably gonna make it more than worth the purchase, but lets just ignore those for the sake of your seriaz gaemz argument right?
Really sorry man, just noticed now you're specifically referring to ports and not games overall for it and I responded with absolute snark which was unnecessary. You have a point, once we get all the third party titles announced so far the pool of new game ports is probably gonna take a huge dip since development is shifting to 4K gaming and all that rather than having them work on a probably too underpowered tablet.

Although I'm rather alright with older game ports I must admit. The thought that I can jam Skyrim and Rogue Trooper (among Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and some other titles currently escaping my mind) anywhere I go intrigues the heck out of me since I always had a soft spot for handheld gaming.

Also it fills the hole Sony left after messing up so horribly with the Vita, rest in peace you poor, mistreated thing.
 
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snintendog said:
A real tear down shows its a custom chip watch ben heck he is a better source than shit eurogamer.
Ben Heck's teardown does no such thing. He just says "its a tegra" and moves on. Tech Insights actually x-rayed the chip to see what it actually was, and its a standard X1.
 

Bertinan

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Nov 5, 2008
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snintendog said:
A real tear down shows its a custom chip watch ben heck he is a better source than shit eurogamer.
I watched the entire video. He specifically says that it's "a Tegra," that's all. In fact, he specifically brings up the point that the chip isn't even branded as a Nintendo chip, unlike other consoles do, which even further suggests that it's a standard Tegra.
 

Nimcha

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Dec 6, 2010
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Eh, that thing can still pack a punch. I wasn't interested in the Swich from the start so this doesn't affect me. But I would have been surprised if NVIDIA had made a far more powerful chip for this thing rather than bring out a new Shield tablet.
 

Jacked Assassin

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Jun 4, 2010
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008Zulu said:
Jacked Assassin said:
I still believe that Nintendo is trying convince Bethesda to add in Amiibo functionality....
There's a Skyrim mod that already adds a mushroom companion.
If only it reminded me of Mario instead of Dark Souls.
Because Mushroom Parents & Children scare me.
 

gillnavisingh

Stick a Cupca- AUGH!
Jan 13, 2010
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every time I see a Nintendo article on this site I always expect 75% or more of the comments to be about how Nintendo sucks.

and while I'm frankly tired of it all I am glad to see that it's kept to a minimum on this piece
 

TilMorrow

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Jul 7, 2010
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RaikuFA said:
bjj hero said:
Jacked Assassin said:
Steven Bogos said:
This would also likely explain why Bethesda is being so coy on whether or not the Skyrim [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/169263-Skyrim-Confirmed-for-Nintendo-Switch] version confirmed for the console is the 2016 Special Edition or not. It's likely the Switch simply isn't powerful enough for that, and what it will be getting is a port of the vanilla edition of the game, from 2011.
I still believe that Nintendo is trying convince Bethesda to add in Amiibo functionality....
I always thought skyrim would benefit from mii charecters.
I'd think the amiibos would give you the master sword, Mario's hat, Peach's dress etc.
Drop a Yoshi Ambiibo and get a Yoshi coloured Mount, drop Bowser and encounter a Bowser styled enemy Dragon, drop one of the Links and encounter a mute adolescent in your home who then begins knocking everything all over the place. Also prepare yourself for the newest collection of Amiibos coming with the release of Skyrim on the Switch: The Dragonborn, A Mudcrab, A helmet and finally Jarl Balgruuf. Stay tuned for the effects they will have on your game!
 

TheMysteriousGX

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sneakypenguin said:
Ouch. I'm curious what they are going to do with it. It needs a version 2.0 with better battery and dedicated to handheld gaming since as a home console its gonna be hot garbage. Can you imagine in 4-5 years how dated this thing will be looking if still around as a tv gaming device. You'll have sony and MS both with 4k machines and this thing running 720-900p at sub 30fps...
...? Yes, at the end of a console generation, the old consoles will look more dated compared to their next generation counterparts.
 

Naldan

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Feb 25, 2015
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Even if the Tegra chip was overclocked by 30%, what is the reason to use hardware probably cheaper than the previous console, who itself was already performance-hardware-wise (you know what I mean) not up to snuff?

It means that this is Nintendo's way forward. Use cheap-ass hardware and first-party titles only in order to absolutely maximize profits, like way up. That means that Nintendo doesn't need 10-20+ mio consoles to sell in order to call it a success and that it doesn't matter wether if 3rd-party-people are on board or not. The Switch seems to be so profitable that they almost make a plus just by producing it.