It didn't take too long of us arguing for the realistic expectations to the Switch. It's a handheld device and as such there is no voodoo magic to turn this machine into some powerhouse. Especially when Maxwell architecture was pretty much "confirmed".
We have now a handheld that can connect to the TV and get a slightly better performance that way. Isn't that good enough?
Nobody really expected powerhouse, even more positive expectations were little less than XB1 power.
Double of GPU clock make huge difference, with that different you could make 720p game from portable mode running at 1080p on TV, like Eurogamer said.
I think its good enough.
It's likely the SOC is the same size as the normal Tegra X1 so I'm expecting a bit of cache memory, perhaps frame buffer memory to fill the void left by the big.little cpu arrangement being removed. I think it will be optimised a bit for gaming peformance. That might claw back so performance lost over the normal Tegra X1 running at higher clock speeds. I'm pretty happy with this because 400 gflops was my middle position and there was a possibility they would go lower. Obviously cpu performance is much lower than Tegra X1 or the Switch development kit but its still a good level I would say. It still performs in docked mode between last gen and current gen consoles its just now its much closer to last gen, perhaps about 2x the performance of 360/ps3 approx.
I have to say though I really like the Switch, the design, the concept, the VR (hopefully) it just seems like a product I will enjoy using. Maybe a bit of Skyrim on the big TV screen, perhaps a bit more as a portable and then perhaps a few sessions playing it in VR. It really appeals to me.
I'm playing skyrim on ps4 at the moment and love the game but I can't see a huge difference from xbox 360 to ps4. Yes its higher res with a few nicer textures and graphic effects but its not VR. Also the ps4 version has had a little bit of slowdown I don't remember on 360.
Real question remains what exactly Nintendo customized with chip, define the custom something so it would better optimised for gaming.
I'm just thinking of frame buffer memory within the main SOC. Pretty much same arrangement as wii u except the frame buffer memory type may not be the same and won't be on a multi-chip module so size may be more limited. This will give the Switch some very fast bandwidth memory. If they've removed the 'little arms' they have some space left and they can expand the cache memory or a specific cache in size. From what I read previously there is also a power saving to doing so. So its a double win however this costs in R&D, however the fact they didn't want to move from maxwell architecture makes me think they had done at least significant customisation. Maybe 4, 8, 16 or even 32MB in size.
Similar to the PS4 and Xbox one where Sony went with expensive external memory GDDR5 but Microsoft ripped out some of the gpu performance of the SOC so they could fit some fast frame buffer memory and then used cheaper much slower external memory.
Also there could be a high performance decompressing chip in there to assist with cartridge load times and extra security functionality plus minor functions to assist in VR and perhaps sensors.
The customisation of the wii u gpu and cpu had;
original wii gpu
2MB of frame buffer memory (wii) which also served as gamepad frame buffer memory
1MB texture memory (wii) which again served as gamepad texture memory.
Additional arm chip for DSP audio
and no doubt many other customisations too but we can see that customisation is mainly about backwards compatibility so really with Switch its all about bonus performance they can get out of it without cost.
Another factor is the Tegra X1 has power saving functionality with throttled performance when hot. All that is removed from the Switch. Its portable performance is set at one state so games perform consistantly which is probably why cpu has dropped so much and gpu performance a little. They have gone for a low thermal level which can be maintained with a small stepped or variable speed internal fan.
Probably if you want to see what they may have done their last similar design was the new 3DS so there may be some pointers there.
It's even possible it has a small arm chip to run the background operating system releasing all the power of the 4 Arm A57's for games this would give it a significant cpu performance boost over xbox 360 at least which I believe had to give one thread to audio processing, one thread to the operating system and some cpu performance to assist the more primitive gpu.