Nintendo Switch Tech Speculation discussion

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by ToTTenTranz, Oct 20, 2016.

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  1. Blazkowicz

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    HDR is an extremely bleeding edge feature, on displays. Like, you need to peak at 1000 cd/m² or something locally (at that'd be preliminary HDR displays) while keeping strong blacks (very high contrast ratio) while your screen is calibrated and the room appropriately and predictably dark or something? This has zero chance of working on a handheld LCD.
    Do you need the game to use an FP16 (per component) framebuffer to really exploit this? I don't know, but if so this will murder your precious fillrate and bandwith if you wanted to do that when docked.
     
  2. Blazkowicz

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    I'm sure the customization is setting the clocks, power curve, voltage i.e. no customization at all besides tweaking firmware values. Perhaps unused blocks are "laser cut" (camera controller, PCIe?) unless firmware is enough to wall them off anyway.
     
  3. ToTTenTranz

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    Calibration plays no part in any kind of HDR standard or certification.
    1000cd/m2 is the requirement for UHD Alliance's Premium certification, which is extremely limited and not that smart because for example doesn't refer to the kind of local dimming which is a lot more important unless you're planning on using the TV on very bright rooms.

    For example the mid-end Samsung KS7000 has that certification whereas some OLED models can't get it.

    HDR is simply a term that encompasses the usage of 10bit (or more) per sample in the image data.
    All they'd need for credible HDR is a 10bit panel or at least one with 8bit + FRC and an LCD driver that accepts that data, together with local dimming.
    It shouldn't be that much expensive, really. Edge-lit LCDs are probably cheap-ish to make, even more if they're small.

    For the Switch I agree that should be in the bottom of the priority list, though I feel exactly the same about expensive rumble motors, MEMS and IR distance sensors in the joycons.
    Imagine if all that money had been spent on a decent 16FF SoC instead.


    If firmware customization is all that nvidia did, then they're throwing away a substantial area of the chip.

    One would think the volume for the Switch should be enough to make a new, smaller chip without that stuff.
    Or maybe nvidia already knew this thing was going to tank hard so they didn't even bother.
     
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  4. Shoujoboy

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    So despite being marketed as a console, a lot of people seem to be thoroughly impressed
    by it's potential use as a handheld which leaves me curious. Based on the rumored specs
    how far or close are the high end IOS and Android devices people carry around everyday
    to the Switch ? Could an Iphone 7 offer competitive performance ?
     
  5. ToTTenTranz

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    The iphone 7 is probably substantially more powerful than handheld switch if the 2 SM @ 300MHz are confirmed. In fact, I think the Switch in handheld mode is in the range of a Snapdragon 800 if GFXBench and 3dmark results are anything to go by.

    The problem in Android and iOS ecosystems for gaming is the lack of non-casual games and a properly enforced gamepad standard (akin to windows' x-input standard, for example).

    Breadth of the Wild will most probably be the most elaborate game available for a handheld platform for many years to come.
    And that's such a shame for Android and iOS, IMO...
     
    #1345 ToTTenTranz, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
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  6. Lalaland

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    So Digital Foundry's John Lineman and Richard Leadbetter posted their capture footage from the Switch event and had a bit of a chat. The footage is 900p30 docked and 720p30 on the go, pretty close to locked with two noted drops. One is alpha or DoF relate and another was sort of out of the blue and ascribed to streaming. JL had particular beef with the poor AF on display too. They commented that Splatoon2 is 720p in both modes but confirmed 1080p docked for MK8 docked.

    IIRC from the Durango/Orbis threads DoF, alpha effects and AF are all very b/w heavy effects could this be the limited b/w available to TX1 rearing it's head?
     
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  7. CSI PC

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    Might be worth looking at what the Nvidia Shield TV (last year) could do with actual optimised games to answer that, such as Borderlands 2, which does run nicely.
    Cheers
     
  8. DieH@rd

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    Digital Foundry has mentioned that TVs at Switch event were really awfully set up, crankned up Vivid mode and sharpness that really elevated appearance of aliasing.


    But no mic support. Cheap bastards.
     
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  9. sebbbi

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    Splatoon2 didn't seem to have any AA. Edges shimmering a lot in the Nintendo video.
     
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  10. ToTTenTranz

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    Video in question:


    To summarize, as a home console the Switch is pretty terrible offering 10 year-old visuals. As a successor to the 3DS it would be great, but the sky high prices of both hardware and software make it an attempt of being a premium experience that it really isn't.

    They claim it's an equivalent to a present-day Vita, but it really isn't IMO. The Vita was much more advanced in 2011 than the Switch is in 2017. The Vita could actually offer almost visual parity to the PS360 at lower IQ and resolutions, but for the Switch EA had to go fetch the 10-year-old console engine for FIFA.

    I think this leaves a huge gap for Sony to come up with a handheld next year using e.g. LPDDR4X and a decent 10nm SoC just to get 720p ports from the 2013 consoles with relatively low effort.


    I'm not sure about the other effects, but DoF was/is extensively used in Vita titles.



    While I do believe the 30% higher GPU clocks in the Shield TV are probably compensated by low-level optimizations, the CPU cores are running at twice the speed.
    There's a good chance the Switch might simply not be able to run Borderlands 2 as it exists in the Tegra Android version.

    Is the game available for the Tegra K1 tablet? Perhaps that would be a more realistic approach at least for the handheld mode.
     
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  11. CSI PC

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    His context was specifically the X1 and an interesting point, which is where I am coming from.
    I would ignore earlier iterations of the Tegra and stick to the Maxwell Shield, however you must consider optimised games because there are quite a few that are a bit of a dogs mess in their porting.
    Borderlands 2 is a nice port that had tweaks for the Shield/Android, and its visuals/'open world' environment is probably the closest game I can think of on this platform to compare to the Nintendo Switch.
    Worth noting the problems Lalaland touched upon were also with the Switch docked and using a TV rather than purely in handheld mode, yeah I appreciate that is a minor difference but closer to operation of last years X1 Shield Android TV that runs Borderlands 2 well.
    Cheers
     
    #1351 CSI PC, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  12. ToTTenTranz

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    Whose context? Maybe I misunderstood.

    You could, but if the Switch has a 2SM GPU at 300MHz then the performance will be a lot closer to the Shield Tablet K1's 1 SMX at ~750MHz.
    Compute is definitely a win for TK1, textured pixel fillrate has 16 TMUs at 300MHz vs. 8 TMUs at 750MHz and total fillrate is 16 ROPs at 300MHz vs. 4 ROPs at 750MHz.
    The only obvious loss is fillrate and memory bandwidth.
     
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  13. CSI PC

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    Where are you getting the fact the Switch is not the X1 Tegra but a custom new fab SoC that Nintendo paid for?
    Until then it is more than likely the X1, which is what most publications also say.
    A leak in December showed it with 256 Cuda cores (which would mean the X1 as we now know it is not Pascal related).

    Anyway like I said Borderlands 2 is a good comparison because it is optimised for Nvidia Shield/Android and runs well natively (not requiring Grid) on the Maxwell Shield Android TV, while also using similar visuals and also an 'open world' of sorts that help to compare to Breath of Wild and what is happening with regards to some of the effects and if hardware restricted specifically to the X1 as raised by another poster and also in the past by others, key point being with the Switch docked.
    Cheers
     
    #1353 CSI PC, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  14. ToTTenTranz

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    Where is this coming from? Where in my post did I ever suggest it wasn't a TX1? I specifically wrote 2 SM at 300MHz, which is the GPU of a TX1 together with eurogamer's rumored clocks.
    Are you replying to the wrong post or something?


    I only mentioned the TK1 in the Shield K1 as a better measurement to Switch's handheld capabilities than Shield TV's because the theoretical performance numbers are much closer than the Shield TV.
    Borderlands 2 just happens to be available for the Tegra K1 tablet, so again the tablet's performance with this game might be a better benchmark on what to expect on handheld Switch.
     
  15. CSI PC

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    It is better to say it is a Tegra X1 underclocked when undocked.
    It infers you are suggesting it is different hardware (whether someone does not know about the 128 cores per SM or alternatively that you raise it like this because something about the architecture is different.)
    You started arguing about my post that was in response to someone wondering if the issue was to do with the X1 Tegra, and I chose the situation where it also happens docked for the latest Zelda.

    IMO comparing Switch to the older Kepler architecture does not help, especially when the Switch has the behaviour even when docked and clock speeds increased.
    The K1 has less cores, no accelerated FP16, 8 texture units rather 16, 4 ROPs rather than 16 and so raster that is 4 pixels per clock rather than 16, etc.

    I agree the issue may be related to clocks even when docked for Zelda as the GPU clock is still around 23% slower according to leaks (and if true), but then the pixel fill-rate is meant to be 90% (edit might be they meant pixels/clock) that of the full X1 and identical memory bandwidth according to same leaks, but that does not mean the issue is with the X1 architecture/HW implemented in the Switch.

    Also in comparing Borderlands 2 on X1 Shield to the Zelda Switch docked (locked demo mode has reduced world-environment), worth noting that there would be a lot more happening in the Borderlands 2 game than when we saw the drop in performance for Zelda.
    I still think Zelda needs more refining for launch.
    Will they really launch Splatoon 2 without AA?

    Cheers
     
    #1355 CSI PC, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  16. Goodtwin

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    Splatoon doesn't come out for at least 6 months, and with MK8 being 1080p 60fps, I fully expect Splatoon to follow suite as well.

    The results scream stock Tegra X1 that benefits from a low level API. It's very impressive as a portable gaming device, but as a home console, not so much. If you aren't really into Nintendo games and find the ability to play portably, then this product is probably very unattractive. The pricing is the biggest issue in my opinion. They are selling it and it's accessories at a premium price.

    Sent from my SM-G360V using Tapatalk
     
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  17. Rikimaru

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    I do not remember cases where nintendo game improves graphically after reveal. Zelda was downgraded a lot.
    Also they often like to release supersampled bullshots.

    Also MK8 still does not have AA and AF, does it?
     
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  18. CSI PC

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    Even the games are pretty eye watering in rrp, considering it is a hand-held console, according to Digital Foundry Zelda will be $20 more on the Switch than the Wii-U version.
    Your right about Splatoon, quite disappointing that for March the only real games worthy of a launch is Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Skylanders Imaginators, bah and I guess I better say as well Just Dance 2017 as it has its fans :)
    Nintendo will need to wake up and smell the coffee at some point and realise unless they lower their HW and game prices this is not going to be a major success, doubt that will happen for at least 6 months if at all sigh.
    Cheers
     
  19. Blazkowicz

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    Thanks for explaining this.
    I've read some summary for non technical people about HDR TV on some random site. So, it's a low hanging fruit, kind of, to exploit untapped range that current LCD tech can attend to.
    I can see how a high end handheld might have it, in this case though over 90% people would plug their Switch into the TV, see different non HDR graphics and be confused at best.
     
  20. Malo

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    I can't fathom that HDR actually came into discussion for the Nintendo Switch. We all were assuming they would be using aged tech, knowing Nintendo. Irrespective of the hardware, I really don't see a company like that looking to something like HDR as a selling point for a mostly mobile gaming platform where support for it wouldn't matter at all.
     
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