Nintendo Switch Spec Thread

Discussion in 'Nintendo' started by Goodtwin, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Goodtwin

    Goodtwin Well-Known Member

    Every new console needs a spec thread, am I right? Nintendo has been pretty mysterious with their specs for over a decade now. I suppose they have been a little gun shy ever since releasing real world specs with the Gamecube, when the competion was touting a bunch of meaningless figures that look good on paper, but didnt really transate to in game performance. Remember when polygons per second was the defacto way to define a consoles graphical prowess? Those were the days, but really not much has changed. A new metric in the way of Flops has taken over, and its probably tells the story nearly as poorly as polygons per second did.

    So what we do know so far is the Switch is powered by a custom Tegra processor, and the Eurogamer sources were saying the Tegra X1 specifically was in the development kits. We know its not an off the shelf Tegra X1, but it does give us a good ballpark as for what to expect. You can watch the Elemental demo for Unreal Engine 4 on YouTube, and while its certainly not matching the quality of the demo running on the PS4, it gives a good look at what types of sacrafices developers would have to make when porting to Switch. We also have quite a few games released for the Shield console that significantly outperform their PS3/360 counterparts. Doom 3 BFG edition runs at 1080p on the Shield console, over twice the pixel count of previous gen consoles, and does so with a better framerate. The same is true for Trine 2. This is without low level access to the hardware, as Android is the OS for the Shield console. So regardless if the customer Tegra chip is based on the Tegra X1 or the more recently revealed Tegra Parker, I believe the chip will sit comfortably in the middle of the previous gen consoles, and the standard X1/PS4.

    Internal storage is another area where I am hopeful that Nintendo doesnt totally cheap out. I am hoping for 128GB of internal flash memory, but I believe they will likely go with 32GB, and SD cards will be there to expand this storage space.
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  2. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    this thread will forever be speculation lol... nintendo with specs and all
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  3. GaemzDood

    GaemzDood Well-Known Member

    • Quad core ARM Cortex-A57 cores, max 2GHz
    • NVidia second-generation Maxwell architecture
    • 256 CUDA cores, max 1 GHz, 1024 FLOPS/cycle
    • 4GB RAM (25.6 GB/s, VRAM shared)
    • 32 GB storage (Max transfer 400 MB/s)
    • USB 2.0 and 3.0
    • 1280 x 720 6.2″ IPS display
    • 1080p at 60 fps or 4k at 30 fps max video output to TV
    • Capcitance method, 10-point multi-touch
    Those are the rumors. However, it can be updated. As a handheld, it's awesome. As a console, it's super underpowered. But I'm judging it as a handheld.
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  4. Goodtwin

    Goodtwin Well-Known Member

    Yep, from the perspective of a mobile based product, the specs are very good. As a console, it's specs are meager for sure. Still, we are talking about a nice bump from Wii U. Not just the GPU, but the CPU is far more modern and capable, and will likely have 3-4x memory. Basically, games like Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon can now render 1080p native, and use much higher resolution textures.

    The "rumored" specs seen suspicious to me though. It's pretty much ripped right from the Tegra X1 spec sheet. Not saying they are flat out wrong, but could be an easy assumption based on the Eurogamer info.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
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  5. tekshow

    tekshow Active Member

    I think it's going to be better than the Tegra X1. I am hoping it's Parker/Pascal based which would put it right ahead of XBO in raw performance. And in my dreams it hopefully can push a little harder to PS4 territory.

    So in trending terms about 1.5 Tflops.

    Nvidia on their blog said the custom work that went into the Switch totaled 500 human years of effort. To be straight off the shelf Tegra X1 certainly wouldn't require that development time.

    It's going to be really interesting, as we are probably going to hear more from developers on what the environment is like, before we hear specs from Nintendo.
  6. Goodtwin

    Goodtwin Well-Known Member

    Even Tegra Parker falls well short of Xbox One. Keep in mind that the newer Xbox One S consumes 50watts, Switch will be sub 20watts, most likely 10watts mobile mode. I think it's important to realize Switch is still a mobile based product, and performance is still limited because of power consumption and thermal limits.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
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  7. Shoulder

    Shoulder Beardy McShoulder chippin' In...

    Those specs were likely to be used in the dev kits, and are not likely to be the final iteration of the hardware. Also, looking at nVidia's blogpost, they mention how the Tegra in the Switch is using the latest architecture of their top performing cards, which strongly suggests Pascal, and NOT Maxwell.

    If it is indeed Pascal, instead of Maxwell, and also using Parker instead of X1, memory bandwidth will more than double right off the bat, and quantity of ram is likely to be more; probably 6-8GB I'd say.

    Yeah, Tegra Parker is by no means as powerful as the Xbox One, but performance per watt would put it above and beyond the Xbox One's own hardware. I think after you factor in color and texture compression techniques that will help keep bandwidths and performance in check, Parker in the real world would be comparable to Xbox One.
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  8. DarkKevit

    DarkKevit That old bloke from Crete...

  9. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    but guys what is it isn't tegra parker.. but rather Trey Parker... I feel that trey parker is far more powerful than an xbox one
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  10. tekshow

    tekshow Active Member

    That's exactly what I'm thinking... hopefully the Nvidia custom work they did really pays off too. Secondly I watch that vid comparing the Tegra X1 to the PS4 and it's pretty close. There's a clear difference for sure, but what isn't compared there is what Nintendo can do with all that power. They are the kings of art and style. Not only that but it supports unreal engine 4, just glimpse some of the fan made stuff running in UE4 and imagine what Nintendo could do.

    Right now I'm sitting on the edge of my seat, to be fair it's a toilet, but my next wave of Switch anxiety is waiting to hear what developers have to say. A couple indies and second parties have come out with praise, obviously Bethesda is a big move, but I think they're criticisms will tell us a lot about the Switch going forward.
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  11. Shoulder

    Shoulder Beardy McShoulder chippin' In...

    If you think about it another way, look purely from the standpoint of polygons, and their evolution:

    [​IMG]

    To be clear though, this is only taking into account the polygons themselves, and not textures, colors, shading, shadows, etc. But it is clear that diminishing returns is approaching, so when you see those tech demos comparing the Tegra X1 to the PS4, sure there's a difference, but the difference is not drastic enough to be the difference between PS2 and PS3 graphics.

    And speaking of tech demos though, there was a comparison between the PS4 and a high-end PC, and there was also a difference.
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  12. Goodtwin

    Goodtwin Well-Known Member

    I was fooled with thinking the Wii U had to be more powerful than the reports led us to believe, and I won't make that mistake again. Tegra X1 performance is my current guess, and if it's higher, great.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
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  13. Shoulder

    Shoulder Beardy McShoulder chippin' In...

    One thing I will say though is the person who put forth those specs has been wrong more so than Emily Rogers in the leaks, and this person also said earlier this year that anyone posting info that the NX was going to use Tegra was, and I quote, "uninformed."

    I do think the Tegra X1 is/was in the dev kits, but now, or at least in the final specs, it's likely something such as Parker, or even a custom version of that.


    One more thing Ill say is people keep judging the supposed specs based on either console, or handheld. If it's handheld, then it's great, but if console, then weak. The thing is this system is technically neither. It's a hybrid of the two, so a new benchmark is essentially going to be created here, and we have not had this happen before.

    So what I'm saying is maybe we shouldn't be comparing it to consoles or handhelds, and instead focus on that this will set the first benchmark for a hybrid console.
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  14. FriedShoes

    FriedShoes MLG Staff Member Moderator

    Nintendo aint ever gonna use UE4, but yes I am imagining what they can do with "more power".
    And it will look similar to what they've done on Wii U but with aliasing this time.
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  15. Odo

    Odo Well-Known Member

    Guys, considering this same rumoured power you're discussing inside Switch: how much smaller can Switch handheld device go?

    Technically speaking, is it possible for Nintendo to release an iPhone Plus size Switch in the future, running the same games?
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  16. Goodtwin

    Goodtwin Well-Known Member

    Yes, dye shrinks are always possible, and may not even be required. I'm going to a 4 inch screen may be all that's really required. I wouldn't be surprised to see a mobile only version at some point.

    As for outright performance, Emily Rodgers said back in May that her sources were saying think Xbox One more so than PS4, and even that would be pushing it. If this is true, and get info was pretty much read on, then we are probably looking at a 768Gflop like Parker. Nvidia typically gets better performance per flop compared to AMD. I could see developers feeling like it's in the same realm as the Xbox One. The gap shrinks further when taking a 900p or 1080p game from Xbox One and render it at 720p on Switch.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
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  17. Shoulder

    Shoulder Beardy McShoulder chippin' In...

    Sure, it's possible, but at what cost? The reason why the iPhone and other smartphones are so powerful, and yet don't cost an arm and a leg is due to the phone carriers subsidizing the cost.

    If the same specs were in the Switch, but at the size of a iPhone 6S Plus, the price will go up undoubtedly. Not only are there die shrinks to worry about (The Tegra chip is likely using 16nm process, which would also suggest it is definitely Parker), but then you could only fit so big of a battery, plus all the other gizmos. Packing all that into such a small device is not cheap. Sometimes, going bigger is actually cheaper.
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  18. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    the chips set should already be small enough for a phone... the problem comes with heat and battery.... but the chip itself (which is an SoC so it includes the modem, cpu, gpu, ram, and frame buffer) is no larger than what is in your phone... the actual motherboards and chips for phones are also WAY smaller than most people think.. the majority of the used space in your phone is just battery

    way back when I first talked about the hybrid concept I said making it for a larger handheld first made sense, because they could shrink it later on... shrinking wouldn't be so much for size constraints as it would be for reducing battery suck and thermal heat

    so this is the tegra x1
    [​IMG]

    this is a qualcomm snapdragon 820 (the chip use din the HTC 10, the Samsung Galaxy s6, etc...
    [​IMG]

    this is a typical phone motherboard
    [​IMG]
    and this is the Shield TV (tegra x1 based non portable console) motherboard
    [​IMG]
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  19. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    What size/capacity do you guys think the NS battery will be? We mentioned this in the Pordcast, but the Wii U's battery is tiny compared to the slot that the gamepad can support.
  20. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    wait a minute.. I didn't participate in any pordcast... and what is a pordcast anyways? lol
  21. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    A podcast made of pork! Or something along those lines I would assume.
  22. Goodtwin

    Goodtwin Well-Known Member

    Rumor of 16GB for cartridges at launch, and no external hard drive support. Im sure cart sizes will expand over time, but initially I think it's acceptable. Hopefully SD size support expands beyond the rumored 128GB as well. Nintendo seemed very concious of file size on Wii U, and perhaps that was partly due to knowing they would be using catridges again with Switch.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
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  23. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    Let's hope some developers learn what compression is, and more importantly that it does not dissuade them from making or porting games to the system. Memory usage for most game has exploded this generation.

    In regards to the system itself, I think it will be fine as long as it does support SD storage; although I hope it is relatively easy to access like the original 3DS model was (and apposed to the "New" 3DS models).
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  24. Juegos

    Juegos All mods go to heaven. Staff Member Moderator

    This. I just read earlier today that the vanilla version of Skyrim on PC used uncompressed .wav files for all its sound effects. Even compressing it to a lossless file like .flac would have saved them half the size on sound files.
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  25. FriedShoes

    FriedShoes MLG Staff Member Moderator

    Rumored to be just behind the kickstand, if you look at a photo of it from behind you can kinda make out a microSD slot.

    I expect the limit to not actually exist, just one Nintendo is pushing out since higher capacity cards could be like 80% the price of the Switch and that could damage their marketing. If the limit is there, should a dropoff occur for 256GB cards, that should be removed easily, I would think.
  26. Juegos

    Juegos All mods go to heaven. Staff Member Moderator

    This image bothers me every time I see it. This is more accurate:

    Nondiminishing Returns.jpg

    That's not to say that Graphics aren't at a very good point right now, and it's hard to see where further improvements would lead besides VR gaming, but that poster image for diminishing returns is very misleading.
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  27. TechnoHobbit

    TechnoHobbit Ash nazg durbatulûk

    I'm betting it's fake. 256 shaders (CUDA cores) at 1GHz is 512GFLOPS at FP32 (which modern games will be using).

    Also I'm extremely moderate in what I expect out of the power as I'm aware of the massive limitations caused by heat and the battery, but this rumor is even below my exceptions.
  28. Goodtwin

    Goodtwin Well-Known Member

    Even Parker uses that number of cores, it just clicks higher thanks to the smaller manufacturing process. 512Gflop to 780Gflop is pretty much the range, anything more is wishful thinking. Keep in mind that Nvidia didn't just do the hardware, but API and tools as well. So it that's a big departure from Nintendo's history of crap development tools. Also, native engine support for Unreal Engine 4 speaks volumes. Developers can also rather 720p without pause, the screen makes that the native resolution for Switch. A 1080p game on Xbox One would port to Tegra X1 at 720p with some compromises on settings. Far from impossible.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
  29. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    this.. if you look up sd card pricing right now, 128 is the cut off point for reasonably priced cards

    it goes like this

    32gb - between $8-15... lets average it around 12
    64gb - between $16-30... lets average at like 24
    128gb - between $40-60... lets say 48
    256gb - average seems to fall around 130
    512gb - not many on the market, seems to price between $250-300
    1tb - very very very few options, just came out... roughly $400

    if you look at the first 3 options, the average price doubles as the memory size does... so 32gb is $12, 64gb is $24, 128gb is $48
    then it jumps to like 130... basically the memory doubles but the price triples

    this is kind of the way sd cards always work... there is the premium tier, the 3 highest cards, which have ridiculously inflated prices, then anything bellow those fit a proportionate increase in price to match the increase in storage...

    so once the 2tb cards come out... the 256gb cards will be like $48.... then things get tricky because the current sd format (sdxc) only goes up to 2tb.... anything beyond that needs a new format, and new formats slow down the price decreases a little

    the sdxc format was introduced in january 2009... and covers all cards 64gb and up... so if the switch can have 128gb cards then it should be supporting sdxc which can go up to 2tb

    the issue might have to do with the file format of sdxc, exFAT, which is a proprietary licensed format... the only reason sdxc support has been so slow really

    but again, 128gb IS SDXC
  30. TechnoHobbit

    TechnoHobbit Ash nazg durbatulûk

    I'm not talking about just FLOPS here (it's a flawed method of comparison), but rather the overall system power. Maxwell GPU architecture, 4GB RAM, and a quad core Cortex-A57 aren't very impressive.

    Maxwell in particular would be a big disappointment, not only because it doesn't have as good real world performance as Pascal, but because it will also produce more heat and use more energy.
  31. FriedShoes

    FriedShoes MLG Staff Member Moderator

    Keep in mind these are micro SD cards.
    I didnt realize microSDXCs went up beyond 256. Didnt find any on Amazon at least, the ones I did were around 180 to 200, just real big.
  32. theMightyME

    theMightyME Editor in Chief of TVEnthusiast

    even the 3ds uses standard SD, and the switch is larger
  33. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    I wonder if Nintendo would put two SD card slots in Switch to allow for greater capacity or to offset potentially memory failure. I doubt this will happen for several reasons, but it would be neat.
  34. FriedShoes

    FriedShoes MLG Staff Member Moderator

    Is this true? My New 3DS XL sure as hell doesnt have a regular slot.
  35. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    The original model uses standard SD sized cards, the "New" 3DS series uses Micro SD cards, although from what I understand the speed and size limits are the same.
  36. tekshow

    tekshow Active Member

    Nintendo would be aiming at cool and efficient, so let's hope! I'd like to see them stick to the guns they have blazing and not skimp because of price. I'll take a tablet on par with PS4 and I'm willing to pay for it.
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  37. Shoulder

    Shoulder Beardy McShoulder chippin' In...

    If the Switch is using Parker, then it's not using Maxwell. In fact, it's pretty much a done deal that it's not using Maxwell. Some clues are in nVidia's own blogpost, and it's very possible the switch will use the 16nm FinFET manufacturing process.
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  38. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    Just how much of a difference in terms of performance would using the Parker over Maxwell provide? Or do we just not know?
  39. tekshow

    tekshow Active Member

    I just found this, seems legit.

    [​IMG]

    I've also found several rumors pointing to the fact that while the Tegra X1 is in early devkits, all signs and sources are pointing to a probable inclusion of Parker in the Switch. The latter is clearly a capable chip for what we'd want the Switch to do. It's a 50% increase on a paper and probably a lot more with the custom work NVidia has invested.

    Here's the article for that image:
    http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/08/25/report-nvidias-codename-parker-to-power-the-upcomi.aspx

    Both Eurogamer and Digital foundry are on the Parker bandwagon. DF goes as far to say that a custom Tegra X1 would still be a leap over the Wii U. They NAILED the details of the Switch long before the reveal, this is back from July and is incredibly accurate.

    I've watched this a few times:

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  40. GaemzDood

    GaemzDood Well-Known Member

    I'd rather they use the extra bandwidth for actual anti-aliasing (MSAA is off the table though since MK8 and Splatoon are fully deferred rendered games targeting 60hz on limited hardware) and anisotropic filtering. Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon already have nice materials.
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  41. TechnoHobbit

    TechnoHobbit Ash nazg durbatulûk

    It would certainly fit their strategy.

    One thing though, I would not expect a PS4 level product--or even Xbox One to be honest. It really doesn't matter how much money the NS ends up costing, I was reading through the thread and Goodtwin is completely right about power consumption and thermal limits and no amount of money can change that if the tech doesn't remotely exist.
    It's using a custom chip so who knows. However I do agree with the clues from the blog post. The supposed leak has a lot of holes.
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  42. tekshow

    tekshow Active Member

    @TechnoHobbit

    Don't worry I'm keeping my expectations in check. I know who we are dealing with ;)

    Seriously the concept they've shown with the knowledge that games better looking than the Wii U will be portable is enough for me.
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  43. Shoulder

    Shoulder Beardy McShoulder chippin' In...

    Even though the chip is custom, if you use 16nm FF, you gain nothing by sticking with Maxwell OR Tegra X1. In fact, it would become more expensive to use the older tech with a smaller manufacturing process than just to simply move over to Parker.

    Now, they could simply stick with the 20nm, but that process is being phased out n favor of 16nm, so again, it becomes more of a burden to stick with the older tech. Take the Wii U for example. Because it used eDRAM, it forced the use of 40nm manufacturing process, and was not possible to shrink it down. This is part of the reason why the chip was expensive to produce, not to mention eDRAM is being phased out in favor of eSRAM.
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  44. Goodtwin

    Goodtwin Well-Known Member

    Emily Rogers has confirmed through her sources that Switch will have 4 GB of ram. A supposed insider over at Neogaf says 3.2 GB are for games, so pretty respectable.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using genital warts
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  45. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    I know 4 GB is a lot for a console, especially a portable one, but I can't help but get the feeling that it will not be enough...
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  46. FriedShoes

    FriedShoes MLG Staff Member Moderator

    Yeah, I cant say for sure either. Its definitely more than Wii U, double that I believe, but half of Xbone/PS4 (although the usable portion of that is like 5 or 6GB RAM, not sure). I dont know if thats comfortable enough for devs or if it will be another sore point, whether real or manufactured.
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  47. Shoulder

    Shoulder Beardy McShoulder chippin' In...

    I saw that on GAF earlier today, and what is interesting is some are split on it. Some think it is enough ram, while others say it is not enough. So, I was wondering something. Up until this point, most people tend to compare ram like it is a universal standard. But I was curious to know if 4GB of LPDDR4 for a portable system running on ARM, and nVidia's own API, that the quantity of it is not so much of a bottleneck compared to if it were x86 and using GCN like the Xbone and PS4.

    In other words, that a 1:1 comparison between the PS4's GDDR5 and the Switch's supposed 4GB of LPDDR4 (which is very likely the type of ram to be used) cannot b done, and you must factor in the architecture being used.
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  48. Koenig

    Koenig The Architect

    I mean, the 360 and PS3 did pretty damn well considering they both only had 512 mb of RAM (split in half and dedicated for separate portions of the system in the case of the latter); granted I have also heard it was one of those systems biggest bottle necks. I don't think RAM on its own is going to much of a problem with 4Gbs from a technical viewpoint, but likely a point of contention in terms of developers jumping through hoops in order to accommodate the smaller amount of RAM when down scaling from the PS4 and X1 (Which lets be honest, is how most Switch ports are likely going to be done)
  49. TechnoHobbit

    TechnoHobbit Ash nazg durbatulûk

    If true I take 4GB's as a bad sign. It indicates the whole system is weaker than I anticipated, unless Nintendo is potentially bottlenecking the system (which is equally as bad).

    Pascal based GPU - 256 cores - 1.3GHz - 665.6GFLOPS
    6GB LPDDR4 RAM - 128-bit BUS - 50 GB/s
    Duo Core Cortex-A72 @ 1.75GHz - Quad Core Cortex-A57 @ 1.2GHz - Coherent HMP big.LITTLE architecture (the ability to run both clusters simultaneously when needed)

    Hopefully enough to run most third party AAA games at 720p @ 30FPS (vs. X1's usual 900p and PS4's 1080p) with relatively lower settings than the Xbox One.
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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  50. Juegos

    Juegos All mods go to heaven. Staff Member Moderator

    I ran a few games to see how much RAM they used on my computer. My settings are usually med-high, at 1080p and with the highest texture resolution that my graphics card allows (usually not Ultra).
    Idle: 4100-4400 MB
    Titanfall 2: 6740 MB
    Overwatch: 6430 MB
    Street Fighter V: 5240 MB

    Modern AAA games generally list 6-8 GB of RAM as a requirement on PC, but I think that's because of the way people use computers today, which is to have multiple windows and tabs of video on Chrome running at all times. So I think the Switch will be fine as long as the OS is light and they don't try to do any fancy livestreaming or gameplay recording stuff. I was hoping for party-wide videochat, but I think that is out of the question right now.
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