The Nintendo Switch CPU and GPU speeds leak and suggest that the undocked version of the upcoming console is much less powerful than the docked mode.

The Nintendo Switch’s greatest strength is its ability to take high-quality current-gen console gaming on the go. Players can start a game like Breath of the Wild on a 1080p TV and decide to take the experience with them on their morning commute thanks to the portable nature of the upcoming Nintendo console. A large part of the Nintendo Switch’s success or failure will hinge on how smooth that transition really is and the initial leaked specs have some number crunchers worried.

After last week’s speculation that the Switch would be less powerful than the original PS4, the latest Switch hardware analytics have been focusing on CPU and GPU times. The initial reports suggest that although the CPU cores run at the same speed regardless of whether the console is docked or undocked, that is not the case for the GPU.

Eurogamer dives into a deeper explanation about how to interpret the GPU specs…

“… We can confirm that there is no second GPU or additional hardware in the dock itself regardless of the intriguing patents that Nintendo has filed suggesting that there might be. With battery life and power throughput no longer an issue, the docked Switch simply allows the GPU to run much faster. And to put it simply, there is a night and day difference here…. a docked Switch features a GPU with 2.5x the power of the same unit running from battery.”


If all of these numbers end up checking out, then it sounds like the portable Switch will be operating at quite a handicap compared to the docked version. This will likely impact third-party developers much more than gamers, as studios may need to develop something close to two versions of the same game. One of the sources compared the development process to producing both a traditional PS4 game and a PS4 Pro version. Hopefully the extra work doesn’t scare off the long list of developers who claim to be excited about the console’s potential.

The big N has a Nintendo Switch press conference scheduled for January 12, but it seems likely that consumers will only learn about the official release date and price during that event. Hopefully more details about the console’s specs, performance, and battery life are revealed in the upcoming months before the Switch launches.

What do you think about the GPU and CPU speeds for the Nintendo Switch? Will you be buying one of the consoles anyway? Let us know in the comments.

The Nintendo Switch is expected to launch in March 2017.

tags: Nintendo, Switch