Nintendo’s Switch reportedly gains CPU overclock mode to reduce game load times

Nintendo's Switch reportedly gains CPU overclock mode to reduce game load times

Nintendo’s Switch reportedly gains CPU overclock mode to reduce game load times

Nintendo’s Switch console is an impressive hardware platform, one which has enabled developers to bring titles such as id software’s DOOM (2016) and Ninja Theory’s Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to the handheld gaming market, something which was considered impossible when each of these games launched. 

It is incredible what the Switch is capable of achieving while consuming a mere handful of watts, but what could be done if Nintendo decided to overclock their system? What if Nintendo decided to use more of the potential of Nvidia’s Tegra X1 SoC to enable increased system performance? 

With update 8.0.0, Nintendo has reportedly added a “boost mode” to the console, a new mode which is designed to give the handheld system a hefty CPU overclock and enable faster loading speeds in games. This mode reportedly increases the Switch’s CPU clock speeds to 1.75GHz from 1.020GHz, offering a CPU performance boost of almost 75%. This high clock speed makes sense given the existence of Nvidia’s Shield TV, which can run at clock speeds of up to 1.9GHz using the same Tegra X1 silicon. 

So what is the CPU overclock for? Well, sadly it is not designed for constant use. Simply put this boost in performance would result in higher heat output, increased power consumption and lower levels of battery life in handheld mode. Right now, it looks like boost mode is designed to reduce game load times, with the latest patches for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey taking advantage of the new feature through their recent VR updates. 

Below is a video from Twitter user Alexis de Champris, which has seen Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s load times get reduced from 16.76 seconds to 11.31 seconds. Boost mode is deactivated after game loading screens end, limiting the feature’s impact on battery life. 
 

Some recent reports have claimed that Nintendo is planning to release a new revision of their Nintendo Switch console later this year, while others have claimed that a Nintendo Switch Pro console is also on the horizon.

At this time Nintendo has not hinted at any new hardware plans, though it is possible that a “New Switch” hardware revision is planned sometime in the future. It’s not like Nintendo hasn’t done that before with their handheld consoles. 

You can join the discussion on the Nintendo Switch’s new Boost/overclocked mode on the OC3D Forums.