Nintendo Switch runs cool, about 37C under load

Nintendo's new Switch handheld runs surprisingly cool while gaming and charging, hitting up to 37C in demanding games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

10 minutes & 25 seconds read time

While gaming in handheld mode, Nintendo's new Switch console actually runs quite cool and only hits a max of 37C in demanding games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Nintendo Switch runs cool, about 37C under load 5

While attending a Nintendo Switch event a Swedish gamer took some FLIR images of the system in handheld mode to see how hot the device gets. Considering the Switch can deliver dedicated on-the-go gaming, thermal heat mitigation is extremely important, and we're happy to report the device runs pretty cool.

Thanks to recent teardowns we know the Switch is actively cooled by a fan system that works in tandem with an L-shaped heat sink, and, of course, the customized and highly efficient 20nm NVIDIA Tegra X1 chip.

Three games were shot with FLIR images: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which would be the more demanding of the three games, Snipperclips: Cut it Out Together!, and Splatoon 2. In all of these scenarios the Nintendo Switch was in handheld mode and being charged by a USB Type-C charger, so that means these temps could actually be cooler.

Mario Kart 8 ran an average 25.2C and peaked at 37.6C; Snipperclips ran at about 24.3C on average and peaked at 35.7C; and Splatoon 2 hit an average temp of 21.2C and hit highest peak thermals of 35C.

Read Also: Nintendo Switch hardware specs revealed

Nintendo Switch runs cool, about 37C under load 1

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Minimum temps - 18.6°C

Average temps - 25.2°C

Max temps - 37.6°C

"It did not feel that warm to the touch and the game was running really really smooth, you were to engaged in the game to think about the unit or how it felt in you hands. You can clearly see the CPU/GPU on the right side of the unit behind the screen. Working hard under 40°C."

Nintendo Switch runs cool, about 37C under load 2


Minimum temps - 19.6°C

Average temps - 24.3°C

Max temps - 35.7°C

"Standing on its own while being connected to a charger. You can really see how the right side (no joycon connected) is transferring the heat generated from the CPU/GPU to the right side where the Joycon holder is. Heat transfer to the front of the device achieved more easily than to the right side where the joycon gets attached."

Nintendo Switch runs cool, about 37C under load 4

Splatoon 2

Minimum temps - 21.2°C

Average temps - 21.2°C

Max temps - 35.0°C

"Undocked while being connected to a charger. The game looked really good in handheld mode (forgot if it was mirrored to the screen in front of me)."

Read Also: Nintendo Switch may use 4GB LPDDR4 1600MHz RAM

Nintendo Switch runs cool, about 37C under load 9

In the images you can clearly see the right side of the Switch generates the most heat. This is because the Switch's 4310mAh battery is housed on the right side of the device, as revealed by the recent teardowns.

It's also worth mentioning that the Nintendo Switch will almost assuredly run hotter when docked as the GPU and CPU are fully unlocked to deliver up to native 1080p 60FPS performance.

While taken on-the-go the Switch switches its graphics and processing performance to a downclocked mobile mode to preserve battery life and help mitigate heat.

It'd be interesting to see just how hot the Switch gets when its docked while playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but we'll have to wait a bit before that kind of info comes out.

The Nintendo Switch will release on March 3, 2017 for $299. Check below for a massive catalog of everything we know about the Switch so far.

Everything we know about the Nintendo Switch:


Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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