Based on how tech has progressed since the Switch, how powerful could a Switch Pro in early 2021 actually be?

Oct 26, 2017
9,433
I've been told by a few people (mostly on forums and Discord servers but still some people) that a Switch 2 that is 5-10x as powerful as the Switch 1 is not viable until after 2023 and that makes me wonder how much of a boost a Switch Pro could actually be. Like, if this a 2x power increase with a 1080p screen, that would be pretty cool but... is that a massive game changer? Would that really help Nintendo get third party ports of PS5 games? Would it make people way more excited about the Switch? Would it allow the Switch to stay competitive in some form with Sony and Microsoft? I think some Switch Pro that's 2x as powerful as the Switch Base and has a 1080p screen would be very cool but... I don't think it would be a game changer at all.

So how powerful could a Switch Pro actually be for a reasonable price? Is the thinking instead that the Switch Pro will have a new connector and will hook up to a dock with a powerful GPU that can upscale games to 4K? What is the exact idea of the Switch Pro? What can be done as of early 2021 and what would be the point exactly?
 

ChristianH94

Member
Apr 14, 2019
362
If they really, really, really wanted to they could definitely get something on par with at least the ps4 pro although that’s not at all likely. They could even go higher if they truly wanted: the price point would be absurd but the tech for making something like that is definitely there. Personally, and this is just me saying this, I’ve come to see Nintendo as the company that likes to be unexpected so I don’t even think of a pro comes out that it’s gonna be anything like what we think it would be, and it could be an entirely different console for all we know.
 
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c0de

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,958
If they really, really, really wanted to they could definitely get something on par with at least the ps4 pro. They could even go higher if they truly wanted: the price point would be absurd but the tech for making something like that is definitely there. Personally, and this is just me saying this, I’ve come to see Nintendo as the company that likes to be unexpected so I don’t even think of a pro comes out that it’s gonna be anything like what we think it would be, and it could be an entirely different console for all we know.
A PS4 pro with the size of a handheld and with a good battery life? Which tech would that be?
 

Kyoufu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
11,952
If they really, really, really wanted to they could definitely get something on par with at least the ps4 pro. They could even go higher if they truly wanted: the price point would be absurd but the tech for making something like that is definitely there. Personally, and this is just me saying this, I’ve come to see Nintendo as the company that likes to be unexpected so I don’t even think of a pro comes out that it’s gonna be anything like what we think it would be, and it could be an entirely different console for all we know.
That ain't gonna happen in handheld form any time soon. The Switch Pro would do well to get close to the base PS4.
 

DopeyFish

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,576
Well, right now where logic is you'll never see a 5-10x jump unless they increase the battery + cooling or change the materials used in processors

Right now they could achieve 2x at same size/power and by the time we hit the moore's law wall you'd probably see 3x. This assumes no architectural improvements.

This is assuming the article I googled was right and the SoC was done on 20nm node.

Though that's still a really good spot, I just wish we had a big node advancement looming. :-( advancements are about to pretty much halt. We've got like 10-30% improvement at best past the 7nm nodes using current tech.
 

ChristianH94

Member
Apr 14, 2019
362
A PS4 pro with the size of a handheld and with a good battery life? Which tech would that be?
Look at some of the gaming tablets running windows that are out today, those things can get really intense spec wise however they’re also in the extremely expensive range hence why I say absurd price point :P
 

LuigiV

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,701
Perth, Australia
On 7nm and a move to more modern CPU and GPU architectures, we could be looking at something that's around an XBO docked though battery life concerns would limit portable performance to around half that. That said I wouldn't count on it happening. Nintendo rarely chases the cutting edge like that. Realistically, if a Switch Pro does happen, it'd be on a 12nm or 10nm node and twice the performance of the OG at best.
 

fiendcode

Member
Oct 26, 2017
13,674
It could be a lot more powerful than it will be. I do expect early 2021 though, probably within next FY.
 
Sep 25, 2018
566
They can make something super powerful but you are forgetting battery life which is why it don’t make sense.

we Would have to keep it connected to a portable charger all the time we use it in handheld mode

just don’t make sense

and I havent even talked about the cooling it need inside to keep everything cool with that extra power
 

c0de

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,958
Look at some of the gaming tablets running windows that are out today, those things can get really intense spec wise however they’re also in the extremely expensive range hence why I say absurd price point :P
But what is the actual tech behind that? And somehow I highly doubt we get a performance of a pro in such a tablet.
 

Elephant

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,200
Nottingham, UK
As long as it has handheld capability it will always lag behind Playstation, Xbox and PC in terms of power,.Yet this is why streaming is so exciting for the handheld and mobile gaming markets, you don't have to have super powerful hardware in your hands, just a decent network connection. I'd be putting my chips into THAT kind of tech, where something like Gamepass Xcloud is viable due to wireless network technology.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,279
On 7nm and a move to more modern CPU and GPU architectures, we could be looking at something that's around an XBO docked though battery life concerns would limit portable performance to around half that. That said I wouldn't count on it happening. Nintendo rarely chases the cutting edge like that. Realistically, if a Switch Pro does happen, it'd be on a 12nm or 10nm node and twice the performance of the OG at best.
uh, twice the OG would be around XBO level due to Switch tech being more modern than what’s in an XBO(ex: Mixed precision modes and high performance for half-floats) and nVidia’s gpu being more efficient in general
 

Mikey Jr.

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,469
If Nintendo sticks with hybrid system from now on, forget ever catching up to Ps and Xbox.

By the time switch is within spitting distance of maybe a ps4 pro, we'll be already playing on ps6.

At the end of the day, Nintendo has to balance battery, size, and price.
And that is always going to hold back power dramatically.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,265
The iPad Pro can already match XBox One performance running off battery power and that's not exactly a new chip either (A13X).
 

edryr

Member
Feb 15, 2018
108
It would still be heavily memory limited.
To keep a relatively good battery life, they would have to use at best lpddr5, wich would give a bandwidth around 50gb/s.
ANd that's where you see TF means absolutely shit.
 

Denman

Member
Apr 21, 2018
3,801
To be honest, I'm expecting the Switch Pro to be very underwhelming on a tech level, with only a better battery, a little bit better screen, bigger internal memory. Maybe a New 3DS level update but very few actual exclusive that take advantage. Same exact joy cons. They'll keep making the base model and the lite and start price dropping those at the same time. Nintendo's riding this train for years.
 

Gotdatmoney

Member
Oct 28, 2017
8,754
It would still be heavily memory limited.
To keep a relatively good battery life, they would have to use at best lpddr5, wich would give a bandwidth around 50gb/s.
ANd that's where you see TF means absolutely shit.
You can get 60gb/s on lpddr4 based on what Nvidia says with the TX2 vs TX1. And that is using a TX2 on a 16nm process. So on a 7nm process with LPDDR5 you should be able to get quite a bit better than you're suggesting.
 

Mudo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,166
Tennessee
I feel like, if Switch Pro ever happens, it will be far more modest than people are hoping. Nintendo isn’t in the tech race and that is shown in everything they have released after N64. I think best case is 1080p docked and 720p handheld, with games running at solid 30, and more 60fps options.
Honestly I am fine with how they do things. I have Sony and Microsoft for cutting edge graphics - but Nintendo makes cool weird different hardware and sublime games for it. All I want is solid performance at 1080/30 or 60 and I’m good.
I don’t see 4K happening until 2 generations away from now. Next one will probably be 1080 and 1440. They take their time with these things and of course have to worry about space/heat/etc especially if they are keeping the whole docked+handheld situation for next gen.
 

nsilvias

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,480
its not about how powerful it could be, its about how long the battery would last with current battery tech. we have phones with graphical performance near that of consoles but we have no way of keeping them running for long periods of time at high power
 

BreakAtmo

Member
Nov 12, 2017
4,869
A Switch Pro might just want to be strong enough to let you play games with docked performance while in Handheld Mode along with a Boost Mode when docked, which should be doable. I mean, there's already a 7nm 2TF ARM processor in one of the Surface devices.

But really I think they should wait until 2023/4 for a proper successor. Then they should be able to create something really effective, though I'm not sure just how big the graphical boost would be. They'll need to go all-out on the CPU and SSD so the system can play some next-gen games (like has come to be expected of the Switch line), so I could see them going with a somewhat lesser GPU and relying on a smaller resolution jump to make up for it. Like, maybe the handheld mode targets only reconstructed 1080p, and docked mode does what it can from that baseline. Then, a GPU only as strong as the PS4's could still punch above its weight.
 
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modiz

Member
Oct 8, 2018
8,563
I dont know much about nvidias tegra chips, but AMD renoir has a better CPU and GPU than a PS4 and doesnt consume much power (although its bandwidth is worse than a PS4)
 
OP
OP
ItWasMeantToBe19
Oct 26, 2017
9,433
It would still be heavily memory limited.
To keep a relatively good battery life, they would have to use at best lpddr5, wich would give a bandwidth around 50gb/s.
ANd that's where you see TF means absolutely shit.
If they weren't as concerned with battery life, could they use DDR5? (Not LP, just the normal DDR5)
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,265
4K would be better left to an optional dock. Not everyone cares about 4K, so the dock being a design aspect of the Switch is a perfect way to let people who want 4K have it but pay for it. Fair is fair.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,265
It actually might be easier for a Switch 2 to keep pace with a PS5/XBSX ... because those systems have to render at 4K, if Nintendo can maintain a baseline of 720p undocked, 900p-1080p docked that gives them more leeway. And if PS5/XBSX games are also taking a performance hit from ray tracing there's another area the Switch 2 could take advantage of.

Right now Switch to PS4/XB1 both still render at somewhat similar resolutions.

And then if you really want you could sell a separate 4K dock with separate hardware inside of it.
 

kami_sama

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,226
No way we get something like that.
The most I think we'll have is a 3x increase in GPU, and maybe a 2x in CPU.
 

LuigiV

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,701
Perth, Australia
uh, twice the OG would be around XBO level due to Switch tech being more modern than what’s in an XBO(ex: Mixed precision modes and high performance for half-floats) and nVidia’s gpu being more efficient in general
It's really not. Even with Arm's and Nvidia's architectural advantages, the XBO is still probably closer to 3x the Switch's performance than double. And even then, double is being very optimistic for 12/10nm. I did say "at best".
 
OP
OP
ItWasMeantToBe19
Oct 26, 2017
9,433
It actually might be easier for a Switch 2 to keep pace with a PS5/XBSX ... because those systems have to render at 4K, if Nintendo can maintain a baseline of 720p undocked, 900p-1080p docked that gives them more leeway. And if PS5/XBSX games are also taking a performance hit from ray tracing there's another area the Switch 2 could take advantage of.

Right now Switch to PS4/XB1 both still render at somewhat similar resolutions.

And then if you really want you could sell a separate 4K dock with separate hardware inside of it.
Pretty sure almost all Next-gen games are going to do 1440p that is reconstructed up to 4K.
 

ShadowFox08

Member
Nov 25, 2017
2,546
On 7nm and a move to more modern CPU and GPU architectures, we could be looking at something that's around an XBO docked though battery life concerns would limit portable performance to around half that. That said I wouldn't count on it happening. Nintendo rarely chases the cutting edge like that. Realistically, if a Switch Pro does happen, it'd be on a 12nm or 10nm node and twice the performance of the OG at best.
switch just needs 2-2.5x the raw power of OG switch to reach xbone levels in CPU, GPU, and bandwidth. That can be done with a 7nm.
I don't see the point of using 12nm in 2021, especially when mariko switch is 16nm/12.

7nm would have already matured to the point it should be practically guaranteed for next year. 7nm chips were already being mass produced in mid 2018, and the first 7nm chip from TSMC was on Iphone XS/AR via A12 bionic chips in October 2018.

Maybe they could go with a 12nm turing in 2021, but if ampere comes out mid summer, ampere shouldn't be ruled out.. or even a 7nm turing/volta. Considering TX1 was about 2 years old when it was release don Switch, 7nm is almost a lock.

To answer OP, 2-4x is definitely doable, and that puts us at around xbone base to above ps4 base levels in GPU (and likely CPU) after you count nvidia architecture efficiency and tech over old AMD from early 2010s. Something like a 7nm+ on Ampere could keep it on the higher range (3-4x).

For those worried about heat dissipation or power draw.. On Mariko revision of the switch, games like botw went from 11 watts to 7 watts in handheld mode. The mariko should be capable of playing in docked specs in portable mode, likely at the same battery level as handheld OG switch or more (3 hours or more). The Switch pro could have a handheld mode to match current docked specs (393 GFLOPs speed) and that's all we need, while the docked specs could be twice or more of that (~800 GFLOPs to 1.6 TFLOPs). As far as power draw goes, we know that on a 12nm volta, an 845 GFLOPs chip can run at 15 watts or less thanks to nvidia xavier NX. Volta is an old architecture mind you..Older than tuing. so something newer like Ampere which is claimed to have 50% more power than turing AND potentially half the power watt usage. Even turing would be a big jump from TX1 in performance efficiency. I'm not expecting a 1.6 TFLOPs ampere.. but a 1.3 TFLOPs 7nm turing isn't impossible if a switch pro exists and comes out next year.
 
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DSP

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,643
snapdragon 865 is almost twice as fast as Tegra X1 on GPU and way way way faster on CPU side and supports LPDDR5 so it has more than 2x memory bandwidth of Tegra X1 on DDR4. The cpu is comparable to Intel quad core U series. It would be very powerful with decent cooling and higher TDP than what a phone allows.

I think nintendo could go that direction. Mobile parts are probably way cheaper than a custom low volume nvidia soc. Compatibility can be addressed in software.
 
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Pottuvoi

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,605
Turing based GPU could give some nice upgrades in features. (Mesh shaders and so on.)
 

domthybomb

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,964
uh, twice the OG would be around XBO level due to Switch tech being more modern than what’s in an XBO(ex: Mixed precision modes and high performance for half-floats) and nVidia’s gpu being more efficient in general
It wouldn't. XB1 is about 3 times that of Switch Docked. 720p > 1080p is 2.25 times the pixels.
XBSX is looking to be 8 times that of XB1, 1080p > 4K is 4 times the pixels.
It is gonna be far greater of a gap then it was with Switch and XB1.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,265
Nvidia can do way, way better than just 2-3x the current Switch, lol.

The Tegra X1 (top of the line for the time) was on part with the Apple A9X circa 2015, Apple's newer mobile (A13X) chip is on par with an XBox One (1.2-1.4 TFLOPS), Nvidia's graphic engineers are the best in the business, they can keep pace with that IMO. Just because they're not showing everyone a roadmap (likely at Nintendo's request) doesn't mean they don't have tech that absolutely demolishes the Tegra X1.
 
OP
OP
ItWasMeantToBe19
Oct 26, 2017
9,433
So let's say a 5x more powerful Switch is released in 2022.

-How expensive would this have to be?
-How bad would the battery life be?
-How bad would the heating issues be?

Just give very rough estimates...
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,265
So let's say a 5x more powerful Switch is released in 2022.

-How expensive would this have to be?
-How bad would the battery life be?
-How bad would the heating issues be?

Just give very rough estimates...
5x increase is easy for Nvidia, it wouldn't cost that much more nor would the battery life be much different or at all from an OG Switch. We're talking 7nm Ampere GPU, that's light years beyond a 20nm 2015 Maxwell era chip.

If Nintendo really wanted that they could sell that for $300 probably without much fuss at all. 5x leap is very modest.
 

ShadowFox08

Member
Nov 25, 2017
2,546
It actually might be easier for a Switch 2 to keep pace with a PS5/XBSX ... because those systems have to render at 4K, if Nintendo can maintain a baseline of 720p undocked, 900p-1080p docked that gives them more leeway. And if PS5/XBSX games are also taking a performance hit from ray tracing there's another area the Switch 2 could take advantage of.

Right now Switch to PS4/XB1 both still render at somewhat similar resolutions.

And then if you really want you could sell a separate 4K dock with separate hardware inside of it.
a switch pro can help for two years by getting identical ps4/xbone ports.. But once 2022-2023 comes along and xbone/ps4 base gets phased out... sony and ms will really take advantage of their more powerful CPU and it could keep Nintendo from getting many current gen ports again. I don't know if hercules can narrow the gap to making it the same as switch vs base xbone/ps4, which was 2-.5x. Perhaps we need to wait for switch 2 for that
 

Simba1

Member
Dec 5, 2017
2,813
How much powerful can be and how much powerful will Nintendo make it are totally different things.

Also 1080p screen dont make sense for Pro, but it does for Switch 2.
 

UltraMagnus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,265
Tegra X1 was top of the line for summer 2015, Nintendo was aiming to have that in the Switch for holiday 2016 but missed it due to software not being ready. Tegra X1 was top of the line comparable to an Apple A9X in 2015.

If Switch is 2022, an Apple A14X which will come out this fall probably (2020), might be a good ball park level performance to look at. By 2022, a chip in that range is going to be very easy for Nvidia to provide on a maturing 7nm process.

Keep in mind Apple says the older Apple A13X that's been on market for a year already is on par with an XBox One S (1.4 TFLOP performance).

 

KrisReyn77

Member
Nov 25, 2017
250
If you look at something like a Snapdragon 855 soc that can be found in phones costing only a bit more than a switch does today, that wipes the floor with a switch in terms of raw power. It's just that mobile phone hardware is hardly ever put to good use . So a switch in 2021 should at least bevonca par with that power wise
 

z0m3le

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,288
There is no tech discussion going on in this thread. Incoming.
 
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