Nintendo's new Switch handheld console hybrid may utilize 4GB of unified system memory, somewhat like both the PS4 and Xbox One's shared video and system RAM.
Shared system RAM typically allocates and carves up the total memory across different sectors, including operating system, games, and specific GPU and CPU-specific tasks. NVIDIA's new custom Pascal Tegra SoC will likely have speedy GPU and CPU bandwidth, possibly up to 25.6GB/s, effectively alleviating some of the drawbacks of a unified memory pool. If the Switch has 4GB of unified memory, that'll effectively be double the Wii U's rather pathetic 2GB memory interface.
Many of Rogers' reports and claims have since been verified, so she has a great track record when it comes to Switch and NX reports. While Rogers doesn't outright say the console will have unified memory, a purportedly leaked Switch devkit spec sheet mentions the VRAM will be shared.
- Four ARM Cortex-A57 cores, max 2GHz
NVIDIA second-generation Maxwell architectureLikely Pascal-based, not Maxwell
- 256 CUDA cores, max 1GHz, 1024 FLOPS/cycle
- 4GB RAM (25.6 GB/s, VRAM shared)
- 32 GB storage (Max transfer 400 MB/s)
- USB 2.0 & 3.0
- 1280 x 720 6.2" IPS LCD
- 1080p at 60 fps or 4K at 30 fps max video output
- Capcitance method, 10-point multi-touch
Alright. I have some good news. I can confirm that Switch has 4GB of RAM in RETAIL units. Not just the dev kits. Double the Wii U's RAM.— Emily Rogers (@ArcadeGirl64) October 30, 2016
Given the Switch's 6.2-inch display is just 1280 x 720p, 4GB should be adequate for handheld play, given the 720p framebuffer will be smallish. But what about 1080p gaming while the Switch is docked? Depending on how NVIDIA's SoC is mapped out, 4GB might be fine for 720p gaming, but 1080p might be stretching the memory a bit.
Perhaps this means the Switch will upscale 720p resolution to 1080p using an internal upscaler when the system is docked for living room play, instead of hitting native 1080p while docked. Or maybe the Switch has some extra hardware within its dock to boost performance?
We've already had reports the Switch actually performs better while docked versus on-the-go, but Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima affirms the Switch handheld delivers "console quality gameplay" even while taken out and about.
If the Switch isn't as powerful in portable model versus being docked, then there's really only one way to match the two up: upscale resolution while docked, and only deliver native base 720p resolution on both modes.
Nintendo has yet to deliver full specifications of the Switch, and will not announce further details until a special presentation on January 12, 2017.
The Nintendo Switch launches in March 2017, and the company hopes to sell 2 million consoles within the system's launch.Check below for a massive list of everything we know about the console so far, including confirmed info, reports, expectations and analyses.
Everything we know about Nintendo Switch so far:
Everything we know about Nintendo Switch so far:
- Nintendo Switch may have 4GB unified memory pool
- Nintendo Switch handheld delivers console-quality gaming
- 3DS won't be cannibalized by new Switch console, Nintendo President confirms
- Nintendo Switch to have wide array of hardware add-ons
- Nintendo Switch may use USB Type-C for power
- Nintendo Switch has 6-inch 720p display with 10-point capacitive multi-touch
- Nintendo investors hate the Switch hybrid
- Everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo's new transforming handheld console hybrid
- Nintendo to reveal Switch pricing, specs, launch games and more on January 12, 2017
- 3DS won't be cannibalized by Switch, says Nintendo
- Nintendo Switch gameplay graphics and features are subject to change
- Nintendo Switch is single-screen only, says Nintendo
- Nintendo Switch to launch only as complete bundle
- Nintendo expect 2 million Switch console sales at launch
- Nintendo Switch may have extra power while docked
- Nintendo Switch isn't backward compatible with Wii U games
- Nintendo Switch's battery may only last 3 hours
- Nintendo won't reveal full Switch console specs until 2017
- Nintendo Switch gets a much-needed splash of color
- Nintendo's new Switch console powered by NVIDIA Tegra
- Nintendo Switch may sport dedicated game video recording
- Skyrim hasn't yet been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch
- >> NEXT STORY: Titanfall 2 sales expected to be beyond 'disappointing'
- << PREVIOUS STORY: NVIDIA's new drivers ready for Titanfall 2, and more
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