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Nintendo Switch to run on Nvidia's Maxwell, not Pascal.

1) the console has been in development for presumably years, it's only normal the hardware inside will be slightly outdated. 2) It probably won't matter, at all. If you make a console to try and compete with PCs in terms of power you'll end up with a half arsed product that is neither here nor there, as sony and ms have shown. What matters is that its games run smoothly and fit the console's controls and design philosophy.

 

If they don't have that idiotic internet fee they already made a more compelling product than what its competition offers in my opinion.

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Sauron'stm Product Scores:

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Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

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A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

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From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

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A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

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Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

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Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

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A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

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7 hours ago, DELTAprime said:

Thoughts: As those of us here probably all realise this will likely mean that once again Nintendo will have an underpowered console that will be good for Nintendo's own games but be terrible for 3rd party games.

Disagree, we don't need more "PC like" consoles. If Nintendo were to release another one of those, we will be back to the GameCube days or even worse. There is nothing innovative or interesting with another "PC like" console, the PS4 and the Xbox One already occupy this space and frankly Nintendo would find it difficult to standout.

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1 hour ago, aerandir92 said:

It's 20nm though, and not 28. That's going to help a lot. Pascals main earnings comes from just being 16nm. Just shrinking Maxwell to 20nm should give some good results compared to 28nm Maxwell

That's like saying "It's a Prius and not a Ford Fiesta. It's gonna still drive nicely".

 

Yes, it is better than 28nm but honestly it should have been 16nm.

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7 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

That's like saying "It's a Prius and not a Ford Fiesta. It's gonna still drive nicely".

 

Yes, it is better than 28nm but honestly it should have been 16nm.

 

Maybe Pascal would make the Switch more expensive?

And Nintendo doesn't want to compete with Microsoft nor Sony, price wise.

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1 minute ago, JoaoPRSousa said:

 

Maybe Pascal would make the Switch more expensive?

And Nintendo doesn't want to compete with Microsoft nor Sony, price wise.

actually. I think Nvidia couldn't guarantee availability of the chip due to having lower than expected yields.

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3 hours ago, skywake said:

Did anyone who wasn't living in some kind of fantasy world really expect this to match the PS4? It's a portable device and one that is rumoured to be reasonably priced

Oh yeah, people were rather delusional thinking it would beat the PS4. On another forum I frequent I pointed out it was not going to be as powerful as the Xbox One and PS4 because it's a mobile Tegra. Someone took that news so badly they reported my account on PSN and got me a temp ban.

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If it's strong enough to get 3rd party companies to actually make games for the damn thing, who cares?

 

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I can't see it being that much of an issue if its just doing 720p and 1080 upscaled on the dock. 

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People shouldn't be worried about the name of it. Maxwell, Pascal, Volta, whatever. As long as it works well, it works. If it's bad, then kick them in the nuts by not buying the thing.

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1 hour ago, Starelementpoke said:

If it plays my mario fine, I don't care.

BUT DOES IT RUN CRYSIS?

 

/sarcasm

 

But seriously, Mojang and Microsoft better be willing to make a minecraft version for this.

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Lol. Rip.

 

Found out that Nintendo didn't want to wait for the Pascal Chips. That's why they went with Maxwell.

 

There will eventually be a refresh Nintendo Switch with Pascal.

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nintendo-switch-console-less-powerful-old-ps4-020226099.html

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16 minutes ago, AluminiumTech said:

Lol. Rip.

 

Found out that Nintendo didn't want to wait for the Pascal Chips. That's why they went with Maxwell.

 

There will eventually be a refresh Nintendo Switch with Pascal.

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/nintendo-switch-console-less-powerful-old-ps4-020226099.html

Sensibly, they got a lot of PR interest going on with Pokemon Go success  (think of all the people who bought the 3DS!), so they want to get it out as fast they can. 

 

 Though wouldn't be surprised if Nvidia would take extra year or even more to get it ready, especially after closing down SHEILD.

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Surprised nobody's mentioned this, but it's not like they couldn't have had Maxwell based prototypes that they've later updated to Pascal.

 

It's clearly not just the X1 (the Maxwell based Tegra) since they said that it's performance will be "close enough" to the XBox One. The GPU on the X1 caps out at just over a third the performance of the original Xbox One, and only about one and a half times the performance of the Wii-U. That's also at full TDP, which it definitely would scale down from in portable mode if only for power reasons. You don't need as much GPU compute to render for a 720p touchscreen as you do to render for a 1080p TV.

 

So I see four possibilities:

1) They have a T210 chipset (Tegra X1/Erista) plus a seperate discrete Tegra GPU (like what the Drive PX2 uses). I'm not sure how they'd manage this though since the X1 doesn't have NVLink/PCIe support like Parker does afaik.

 

2) They have a custom designed Maxwell Tegra with a different GPU portion. While certainly possible, I'm not sure how much faith I'd put in this. NVidia's been pretty resistant to doing custom chipsets for companies in the past, and I haven't  seen any leaks for Tegra chips other than T186 (Parker).

 

3) They were using a Maxwell based chipset in early development with promises from Nvidia of a compatible Pascal based chipset coming in the future. They showed off these development boards to developers as proof of concept and as a development base. They then swapped out the T210 for something more powerful. This would also partly explain why they waited so long to show off anything about it, because design decisions were still in heavy flux awaiting the new CPU.

 

4) Nintendo is crazy and thinks 1/3 the graphical power is "close enough" to the weakest of the current gen consoles to pull in developers.

 

Of all those options I think 1 and 2 are pretty unlikely and that it's likely a tossup between 3 and 4.

 

Keep in mind, the performance of an SoC such as a Tegra chip is a function of both the CPU and GPU. Maxwell can be as efficient as you want, and it would still have to handle the heat generated by the octacore CPU. The Pascal based Tegra may only gain a little bit of power/heat efficiency from the 16nm drop. It may only gain a little bit more from the Pascal architecture, but it gains a lot more from the more power efficient CPU cores it has, since they won't be dumping as much heat into the GPU and visa versa. The X1 struggles to achieve anything past 1GHz, while Parker is designed to run at 1.4GHz and has almost exactly 1.5X the performance of the X1.

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29 minutes ago, Sniperfox47 said:

- snip -

I still fail to understand how people are comparing this to the Xbone/PS4. The Switch looks more like an upgrade to the 3DS, where Microsoft/Sony has yet to truly compete with them in (PSVita launched same year as 3DS and I have yet to see one). Nintendo has never really tried to compete with them and there's no way this new handheld system would have the same kind of power as the Xbone/PS4. Also, as far as developers go, Nintendo has had pretty good exclusive games developing for the 3DS/WiiU, so I doubt that will be a concern.

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2 hours ago, dragosudeki said:

I still fail to understand how people are comparing this to the Xbone/PS4. The Switch looks more like an upgrade to the 3DS, where Microsoft/Sony has yet to truly compete with them in (PSVita launched same year as 3DS and I have yet to see one). Nintendo has never really tried to compete with them and there's no way this new handheld system would have the same kind of power as the Xbone/PS4. Also, as far as developers go, Nintendo has had pretty good exclusive games developing for the 3DS/WiiU, so I doubt that will be a concern.

Nintendo in an earlier statement said that the Switch would have comparable performance to other current-gen consoles and be a platform designed to make it easier for developers to bring their games to it. That was an official announcement, not a rumor. The only question is whether 1/3 the power is considered comparable...?

 

While their first party games are amazing that doesn't draw masses to their systems. They have a small loyal group of fans, but they need to expand beyond that if they want to continue as they have been. That means they need more mainstream developers on board.

 

Also, it's definitely more of a Wii-U replacement than a 3DS replacement. It's got at least the power of the Wii-U (1.4x assuming it's using at least an X1 Tegra). The docked mode and even portable mode are more of an analogy to the Wii-U with it's touch gamepad. And the nail in the coffin is that 3DS hardware is still going strong but Nintendo recently completely shut down Wii-U console production and is no longer shipping it to retailers (http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/11/nintendo-announces-the-end-of-wii-u-production/).

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Ok, seriously, why do people actually expect a device that isn't a dedicated "at-home" console to perform the same as those that are?

It's like comparing laptops to desktops. I'd be fucking amazed if it did, but I'm just glad that it'll be easily more powerful than the 3DS and most likely the Wii U. Nintendo hasn't been known for power ever since the N64 (or Gamecube?) and they've been doing fine.

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Just now, PocketNerd said:

Ok, seriously, why do people actually expect a device that isn't a dedicated "at-home" console to perform the same as those that are?

It's like comparing laptops to desktops. I'd be fucking amazed if it did, but I'm just glad that it'll be easily more powerful than the 3DS and most likely the Wii U. Nintendo hasn't been known for power ever since the N64 (or Gamecube?) and they've been doing fine.

Because of the time gap. There's been several node shifts for transistors, and quite a few architectural improvements since the PS4 and XBox One came out. It very well could perform similarly to those systems, even at a reasonable cost. It's been what... 3 years now since the PS4 came out? Mobile hardware, especially Tegras, have been getting better and better.

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2 minutes ago, Sniperfox47 said:

Because of the time gap. There's been several node shifts for transistors, and quite a few architectural improvements since the PS4 and XBox One came out. It very well could perform similarly to those systems, even at a reasonable cost. It's been what... 3 years now since the PS4 came out? Mobile hardware, especially Tegras, have been getting better and better.

Ok, then why expect Switch to be using Pascal? That only came out this year and the Switch has most certainly been in development prior to that.

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Just now, PocketNerd said:

Ok, then why expect Switch to be using Pascal? That only came out this year and the Switch has most certainly been in development prior to that.

Because the Pascal Tegra (T186) and the Maxwell Tegra X1 (T210) are socket compatible...?

And they both support the same bus hardware (the Pascal one also supports a few extra things)...?

 

I don't conclusively believe that they're using the Pascal Tegra, but if they're only using a single off the shelf X1 then I'll be incredibly surprised. I think it's far more likely they swapped out to a Parker than it is that they got Nvidia to custom design them an SoC.

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14 hours ago, AresKrieger said:

Couldn't care less so long as it is decent in terms of battery/performance and has good games

 

I already have a gaming PC, I don't need a wanna be PC

This is exactly why Nintendo consoles have always been superior for me. They offer games/experiences I can't get anywhere else.

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I still think it will be pascal, those 'sources' might have mistook volta for pascal. Pascal GPUs have been out for ~6 months now, and nvidia has the ressources to develop another chip alongside those.

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1 minute ago, Megahurt said:

I still think it will be pascal, those 'sources' might have mistook volta for pascal. Pascal GPUs have been out for ~6 months now, and nvidia has the ressources to develop another chip alongside those.

The reason why it's in doubt is that a console like this wouldn't have been under development for 6 months. It likely would have been under development for the better part of about 2 years.

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14 hours ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Doubtful either of us are in the position to say for certain they are nearly identical. Though it would make sense if Maxwell was originally slated for 16 nm. 

Maxwell was originally supposed to be a 20nm architecture  ( but was pushed to 28nm because of the "shortcomings"  of tsmc's 20nm node ,  with pascal not being in the roadmaps until recently 

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Wonder if this means some of the Nintendo games will be released for the Nvidia Shield. Would make that device that much more interesting since it already leverages the same chip intended for the Switch.

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