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Different settings for docked / portable Switch modes spotted in Unreal Engine 4

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Andrew    2,861
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Posted on December 21, 2016 by Brian

 

Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard more and more about different modes for Switch when it’s docked and when the device is being played as a standalone unit. That culminated with a report from Digital Foundry just a couple of days ago. The publication claims that Switch, when in portable mode, runs at 40 percent of the clock-speed of the fully docked device.

 

Unreal Engine 4 version 4.14 released about a month ago. One developer has now come across some interesting discoveries which lend credence to some of the recent speculation.

 

A file in Unreal Engine 4’s master branch shows names for Switch, SwitchConsole and SwitchHandheld. As the developer points out, “the SwitchConsole settings are a notch lower than the UE4 defaults used on PC, PS4 and XB1.” It’s thought that the settings “serve as a good starting point to get a PS4/XB1 UE4 game to run acceptably on the Switch.”

 

Continues...

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+Asmodai    637

I finally got a chance to watch the whole 18+ minute Digital Foundry video that I think is the one you reference above. (thanks Vandalsquad for posting it in the other thread)

 

Just so people are more clear on the "40 percent of the clock-speed of the fully docked device" here are the numbers (Plus, for reference, the nVidia Shield Android TV which uses the full capabilities of the Tegra X1 that Nintendo appears to be using in the Switch)

 

CPU Clock:

  Shield: 2GHz

  Switch (docked): 1GHz

  Switch (mobile): 1GHz

GPU Clock:

  Shield: 1GHz

  Switch (docked): 768MHz

  Switch (mobile): 307.2MHz

 

So the CPU clock doesn't change when you dock or undock the Switch but it starts out clocked at 50% of the two year old Shield console.

The GPU is about 77% of the Shield when docked and drops to about 31% when undocked.

 

Personally I'm not really surprised at the dock/undock drop in general as it makes sense that they could ramp it up into a more power hungry mode when connected to the wall.

What really hurts it more in my mind is that it's so underclocked even when it IS docked.  I would have never guessed that docked it would have been weaker than the 2 year old Shield Android TV.  I was hoping for a Pascal based Tegra but even even if that didn't happen I thought for sure the docked version would match the Shield with it possibly dropping down when undocked to conserve power.

 

It should be really interesting to see where Nintendo prices this.  The 2 year old $200 nVidia Shield Android TV is a more powerful device so I can't see they could go much over that.  Plus a new one is rumored to be announced next month that will likely be more powerful and drive the price of the existing one even lower.

 

There are also rumors that while the SoC supports 4k@60 in the Switch Nintendo has elected to use a HDMI 1.4 port that only supports 4k@30.  This isn't going to effect gaming at all but if the Switch ends up having Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, etc. video streaming apps may become an issue.

 

 

 

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+Asmodai    637

nVidia launched the new Shield Android TV last night and luckily for Nintendo it still appears to be the Tegra X1 as well so they didn't fall farther behind.

For $199 though you get the box, remote control, and gamepad with the same SoC as the Switch (if rumors are correct) only clocked twice as high on the CPU side and about 33% faster on the GPU when docked or about 3x the GPU of the undocked Switch.  For me personally that means the Switch has to come in at about $199 as well... I'll pay the same price for weaker hardware to get the Nintendo exclusives and portability... but I'm not paying significantly more and I'm certainly not paying the same as or more than an Xbox One S to get a MUCH, MUCH, weaker device.  I'll stick with my Vita and Phone if that's the case.

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Vandalsquad    515
19 hours ago, Asmodai said:

nVidia launched the new Shield Android TV last night and luckily for Nintendo it still appears to be the Tegra X1 as well so they didn't fall farther behind.

For $199 though you get the box, remote control, and gamepad with the same SoC as the Switch (if rumors are correct) only clocked twice as high on the CPU side and about 33% faster on the GPU when docked or about 3x the GPU of the undocked Switch.  For me personally that means the Switch has to come in at about $199 as well... I'll pay the same price for weaker hardware to get the Nintendo exclusives and portability... but I'm not paying significantly more and I'm certainly not paying the same as or more than an Xbox One S to get a MUCH, MUCH, weaker device.  I'll stick with my Vita and Phone if that's the case.

 

Take with a GRAIN OF SALT.

 

I honestly expect the pricing to be around this, and $400+AU dead on arrival. But we'll see shortly I guess in another 6 or 7 days what ever it is..

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+Asmodai    637

Just announced price in U.S. is $299.99... :-(

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