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Since the past few days, the internet has been ablaze with talk about a few rumors regarding the hardware of Nintendo’s upcoming Switch console.

First rumor comes via Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat stating that the Switch uses Maxwell architecture for its Tegra X1 based hardware, as reported by a couple of anonymous sources. The next rumor is from Eurogamer who apparently received insider info about the clock speeds of the Switch’s CPU and GPU which are as follows:

  • CPU: Undocked – 1020 MHz, Docked – 1020 MHz
  • GPU: Undocked – 307.2 MHz, Docked – 307.2/768 MHz (devs can choose)
  • Available Memory Controller Speeds: Undocked – 1331/1600 MHz, Docked – 1331/1600 MHz

In addition to these, a spec sheet (believed to be specifications from a Switch dev-kit) that has been circulating on Twitter states the following:

  • 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

Sure, they don’t seem to paint a great picture for the Switch and the internet has been freaking out over these numbers; but what people don’t seem to realize is that these are still rumors, and not concrete facts, And say for argument’s sake that the Eurogamer leak is true, it’s still not enough base assumptions off on; we still don’t know in what way the Switch is customized because it’s very likely that there is more to the Switch than what meets the eye. For eg: The Switch’s dock seems to have a built-in fan. Now if the Switch is underclocked to as low as 1 GHz (obviously for passive cooling) why would it need an additional fan? Of course it is also possible that the info received by Eurogamer is regarding an older dev kit.

Brushing the tech worries aside though, what ultimately matters is not power, but the *games and ease of development*. Seeing that it’s Nintendo, the former is a given, no doubt but we have proof for the latter part as well: Wedbush Securities’ analyst Michael Patcher came out and said that he had recently discussed about the Switch with various developers and they responded by saying that it was easier to develop for than even PS4 and XB1.

As far as the hardware is concerned, I think that the Switch will use a custom Tegra chip (which is not X1 as many are claiming it to be) and something that’s close to the efficiency of Pascal but not Maxwell. Also since many developers are happy with the Switch. I don’t think that the Switch will be in a position like the Wii U is at the moment (i.e. initially promised support which jumps ship just a year or two after launch) because it’s not just a console, but a handheld as well and Nintendo have been unbeatable in that regard since the Gameboy days.

So my advice to all those aboard the Switch Doom Train is to wait patiently till the Switch press reveal event that Nintendo is hosting on Jan 12 and 13; I’m sure there will be more than a few surprises in store for us.

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