As expected, the Switch dock increases performance

2 min read


The year’s winding down, and the excitement for new video game stuff is petering out along with that dwindling enthusiasm. That will change very soon after 2017 begins, because we’ll be getting our first proper look at Nintendo’s upcoming switch in January.

There’s still so very little we know about the machine, other than its hybrid nature. It’s a home console, which has a screen you can undock and lay on the go – which is potentially pretty damned cool, if Nintendo can get third parties on board.

But how powerful is the thing? We’re not really sure. It’s powered by Nvidia’s Tegra, though we’re not sure what version of it. When it was first shown though, one of the immediate questions was if it would be any more powerful when it was docked.

Let’s Play Video Games’ Laura Kate Dale, perpetual Switch info leaker, says it will be – though it wont be due to extra processing hardware within the dock itself. According to her report, the Switch will run at higher clocks when the Switch is docked, allowing the system to run its games at 1080p. Undocked, and everything will run in away that’s better suited to the smaller screen – and better for saving battery life when untethered.

Says Dale:

“When the system is connected to the dock by USB-C, the system’s components will run at a higher clock speed to facilitate 1080p resolutions on the TV. Both video and power will be transferred over USB-C when docked. Plugging the system into the dock will also activate a small additional fan to help with cooling when run at that higher clock speed. This fan is in the rear of the dock, and there is a gap in the back of the dock to allow the system’s inbuilt fans to vent when docked.”

We’ll find out on January 13.

Read  Crimsonland Switch Review – Guns ‘n disposes

Last Updated: December 7, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Original Heretic

    Not surprising. A tad disappointing, though.

    But then again, will a change in the resolution to, what, 720p?, on the handheld even be all that noticeable on the smaller screen?

    The higher clock speed while docked, though, that’ll make the game run smoother, right?

    • I am hoping it will be 720p undocked. On that size screen it will not look bad at all.

      • Original Heretic

        I can’t see it being less than 720p. Aren’t the phones these days like that?

        • HvR

          Most high end phones are 1080p.

          My R3000 LG is 720p

        • JuneMas

          High end phones are QHD resolution, others are 1080p.

    • With a smaller screen I can’t see that being an issue. We are not talking bleeding edge graphics here and Nintendo have always chosen style over fidelity so I honestly don’t think the drop in resolution when undocked will make a massive difference at all. The main style of the games will still be the same.

      I actually think it’s a better move to allow a lower res on the road so that battery lasts longer than forcing a 1080p on a small screen for no real reason considering the style of games on Nintendo devices.

      • Original Heretic

        What about the clock speed? Won’t that effect the way the game runs?

        • no. Less resolution means less power needed. So the clock speed drops and to compensate it reduces the resolution. So you can still run the same speed but just with less pixels.

          • Original Heretic

            And with that answer, all my fears on this device are alleviated.

            Crap, then I read HvR’s concerns on the battery above. crapcrapcrapcrap.

          • Well that’s why one doesn’t buy at launch. You wait for reviews.
            That being said, I am sure it won’t be quite as bad as only 30minutes. There will most likely be some trickery in reducing clock speeds and what have you not to get you a good hour or 2 at a time. I hope

          • HvR

            Then I can not see you getting a smooth 720p experience.

            Hell maybe I’m wrong they do some magical silicone trickery and blow my pants off

          • I’d rather you keep your pants on. Please.

          • Original Heretic

            Why…can’t…I…upvote more than once!?

          • Original Heretic

            Always wait for the review, that’s a given these days.

            But I can’t see them releasing a device that only has a battery life of about 2 hours or less.

            They must be sacrificing goats to some dark deity to get better battery life.

    • HvR

      Still can not see how they are going to get past the battery capacity issue.

      A 1050 consumes 50W, i3 80W; Now say combined on a single chip solution pulling out all the stops for saving power you half that 65W for anything close to a mediocre modern gaming experience like Skyrim.

      Biggest LiPo battery flat packs are very expensive 3.6V 8000mah ones will give you about 30 minutes of play time

      • HvR

        Maybe they go multi cell and make it thicker, then push it to over 60Wh. Still only an hour and now you are looking at R2000 for just the battery

      • Lu

        Or carry a ups in your backpack. Ooh. Limited edition Legend of Zelda/Super Mario BatPack.

  • Pieter Kruger

    Nintendo missed an oppertunity here….they should’ve made each of those removable controllers a Tamagotchi like Pokemon thingie, and if you let it die you’d have to buy a new one! KA CHING! $$$

  • Called it.

  • HvR

    USB-C ….. so it means the only thing you can plug into your new MacBookPro next year is a Nintendo Switch?

    • Admiral Chief Argonian

      ….you need another dongle for that

      • Original Heretic

        But most men only have one dongle.

    • no. USB C on the device. You will still need a USB-C to USB-A adapter to plug the connector end of the cable in

  • chimera_85

    Not a fan of Nintendont but I am intrigued with this.

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