GamersNexus Tears Down a Nintendo Switch

Subject: Systems, Mobile | March 4, 2017 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: Tegra X1, teardown, switch, nvidia, Nintendo

Here at PC Perspective, videos of Ryan and Ken dismantling consoles on their launch date were some of our most popular... ever. While we didn’t do one for the Nintendo Switch, GamersNexus did, and I’m guessing that a segment of our audience would be interested in seeing what the device looks like when dismantled.

Credit: GamersNexus

As he encounters many chips, he mentions what, if anything, is special about them based on their part numbers. For instance, the NVIDIA SoC is listed as A2, which is apparently different from previous Maxwell-based Tegra X1 SoCs, but it’s unclear how. From my perspective, I can think of three possibilities: NVIDIA made some customizations (albeit still on the Maxwell architecture) for Nintendo, NVIDIA had two revisions for their own purposes and Nintendo bought the A2, or the A2 shipped with NVIDIA's Maxwell-based Shield and my Google-fu is terrible.

Regardless, if you’re interested, it should be an interesting twenty-or-so minutes.

Source: GamersNexus

March 4, 2017 | 11:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Such a weak device and insanely overpriced

March 4, 2017 | 12:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

And you're a poet and didn't even know it.

March 4, 2017 | 01:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nintendo just milks early adopters. In a year it will be half the price (and twice the battery life).

March 4, 2017 | 11:34 AM - Posted by FritzchensFritz (not verified)

Whats is the Die-Size of Tegra X1 rev.A2 ? What i can see in the iFixit Video is, that chip of rev.A2 has a Die-Size of around 10,35mm x 10,97mm, it's very similar to rev.A1 with a size of 10,60mm x 11,10mm. I think rev.A2 has only just some minor bugfixes in the chip and almost the same arrangement of the units.

Die-Shot of an Tegra X1 rev.A1 https://flic.kr/p/SjDAVS

March 4, 2017 | 12:24 PM - Posted by razor512

Seems to only have eMMC storage; cheapest available, thus commonly used on sub $100 smartphone. The cooling design is also not as efficient due to the many layers between the cooling surfaces, and the die.

The low TDP may allow it to be fine without throttling, but given the life cycle of a console and the need for active cooling, could mean that fairly early in its life when the heatsink gets clogged with dust, and it throttles whenever you run a demanding game.

March 4, 2017 | 04:24 PM - Posted by pessimistic_observer (not verified)

life cycle of consoles these days isnt as long as people would hope.

March 4, 2017 | 08:57 PM - Posted by CNote

I went through 5 XBOX 360s, one was a Microsoft replacement for another Microsoft replacement that died after 2 hrs. If only they made them like Dreamcast, I have 2 that still work.

March 5, 2017 | 01:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The console makers are a lot like Apple with their mobile products hardware being only a means to a very profitable paid closed ecosystem end! So with the money made from the services being the primary goal the hardware's costs become more inconsequential to the console makers. So M$ like Apple will fix by swapping out the hardware and swapping in new or refurbished console hardware. The phone carriers have always operated on this hardware is not that important sort of business model.

There is a definite trend towards more than the usual historical incremental improvement in console hardware as the competition in that market place increases. This is mostly driven by the games and gaming market’s need for more processing power and the beginnings of the VR market that has a higher minimal processing requirement to avoid any cookie tossing issues with VR gaming.

It looks like there will be more lower cost hardware options via AMD for the console makers to make more improvments on a shorter hardware generational upgrade timeline that was done in the past. AMD has that x86 based console semi-custom market all to itself now that both M$ and Sony are using AMD's x86 based semi-custom market/console hardware ecosystem products.

March 5, 2017 | 07:19 PM - Posted by quest4glory

Yawning at all of the negativity. Switch is a nice update to the Wii U concept. I can play a game in my office and take the game to bed with me if I'm not finished with whatever it is I'm trying to achieve. Wii U couldn't do that unless I relocated my office to within 20 ft of my bed (or vice versa.)

It's not overpriced, it's right priced, to be fair about it. When you look at *literally all* of Nintendo's past consoles, when you account for inflation, they are right in line with one another (and in fact, SNES was *more* expensive than Switch,) with subjectively more value add each generation.

Nvidia Shield TV Pro (based on similar hardware at the SOC layer) is the exact same price and doesn't include a screen or two portable controllers. It comes with a 500GB hard drive and a giant XBOX One style controller. Nobody seems to be posting these types of comments about Shield TV Pro ad nauseum. But, Nintendo, so they come out of the woodwork.

XBOX One launched at $500 with a forced Kinect, and wasn't portable. This thing is portable and has "tricks" (actually, standards) like HDMI-CEC which Sony has, but which for some reason, Microsoft won't implement.

Also, it's pretty much the perfect complimentary device for many PC gamers who actually enjoy playing games, more than they do posting on forums and reddit and the like. You know, about how other people should not be enjoying their consoles as much as they apparently are...

That's some kind of weird behavior, if you ask me.

March 7, 2017 | 05:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Cool. Enjoy your entire Nintendo catalogue of 6 games that were made for 8 year olds.

March 6, 2017 | 10:33 AM - Posted by maonayze

I think the concept of the Switch is brilliant. A console that is both portable and great on your TV...nails two birds with one stone. I just think it would have been better if the power/graphic capabilities of it were at least up to PS4 Pro standard. Then we would have had third parties doing more titles for it and it would have sold by the bucket load.

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