Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Nintendo Switch 2GB or 4GB?

Miyamotoo said:
bonzobanana said:

There is no confirmation of that surprisingly at this stage. Nintendo announced the 2GB memory of the wii u quite freely but with Switch they aren't being as clear. It's also higher than the more powerful competition using the same chipset and rumours also suggested it was originally going to be 2GB but the retail version would match the development kit with 4GB. I'm not totally convinced and won't believe it until Nintendo states 4GB or we see it in the tear-down. It just seems too much for a console of this performance level. With the Nvidia shield box only having 3GB yet meant to be a gaming centric box supporting 4k and hdr  and yet the lower spec Switch has more memory all of which needs to be powered by battery in portable mode and lowering runtime it just makes no sense at all. The Switch has its 4 main cpu's running at half the speed of the Shield and doesn't feature the other 4 little arm chips at all yet needs even more memory?  It's a strange design choice if nothing else. It made total sense the dev kit had 4GB as headroom for developing and a final retail version would be down to 2GB to extend battery life and reduce costs. In a few weeks we will know anyway. 

Only reason they reveal Wii U RAM is because Wii U had more RAM than PS3/Xbox360, but Switch with 4 GB will again have twice less RAM than XB1/PS4 so its not something to brag about compared to Wii U vs PS3/Xbox360.

Evre believable rumour said 4GB, actually I don't recall that any rumour suggested 2GB of RAM. More RAM is always better and prices of RAM today are very low.

No the original design was 2GB only the developer versions were 4GB but then it was stated 4GB was expected for retail versions.

http://www.idigitaltimes.com/nintendo-switch-ram-specs-leaked-insider-say-more-ram-wii-u-565975

If this March launch is a soft launch just to milk early adopters and they always planned for a signficant price drop later then a lower price for manufacturing of 2GB will clearly help to maintain a profit margin. Clearly it would never be as cheap to make 4GB compared to 2GB in reality you have to pay more and RAM is always a signficant cost on a logic board after the main chipset or even sometimes above it.

Knowing the surprises that have come out in the past with Nintendo products this wouldn't surprise me. I'm not saying it isn't 4GB but as Nintendo decisions go making the Switch 2GB doesn't seem a particularly bad one especially when your actual games come on cartridges anyway its not like its directly comparable to a console with an optical drive.

I would of thought it quite rare for a development kit and final retail hardware to have the same memory capacity. Makes optimising games to use all memory difficult if you have other background resources due to game development also taking memory.  



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The foxconn leaks are reliable as far as whatever can be seen by the naked eye, all of which were proven accurate. It's only the architecture stuff are all still just speculation.
However, the clockspeeds, 1.8GHz CPU w/921MHz GPU, during the stress test doesn't seem unrealistic for the retail unit. He said, the console has been stable on the stress test for 8 days straight. Knowing that, I don't see any reason why Nintendo would choose the low clockspeeds that eurogamer reported as their maximum frequencies for dock-mode.

Now for memory, Eurogamer said 4GB ram.
The foxconn guy speculated 4GB for the retail version, he saw 2 chips and assumes 2GB each. He saw 2 more on the devkit version and says it has 8GB. Now if the reason for going 1GB per die is cost, there would be no reason Nintendo would do that for the devkit version.
And if we look at switch Zelda, it clearly had better textures and more objects at a distance than theWiiU version, both of which points to switch having more RAM. Also, about bandwidth, Maxwell 2 in X1 is several steps head of the rv7xx in wiiu, it uses tile-base rendering, color compression, and more gpu cache than WiiU. All of which helps it reduce memory bandwidth requirements.
As for WiiU, we still don't know how much bandwidth the eDRAM provides. What extra graphical power was it suppose to bring? We haven't seen anything special such of free MSAA or 4x AA. If anything, imo, it's just there to offset the low main memory bandwidth and help with backward compatibility. It helps Nintendo use cheaper memory, reduce power, and provide BC, it met all their requirements.



bonzobanana said:

Surely its in Nintendo's interest to impress us with the games on a technical level but most look so poor and are struggling to show distance between the wii u. It really feels like there is a bad surprise coming with regard performance with the Switch. Worse even than are current already low expectations. 

It would be in their interest, yes, but it's not the first time they have failed to do so; neither Wii nor Wii U had any visually ambitious first party games in their launch windows. 

This first batch of Switch games mostly started as Wii U projects; give them some time to get the hang of the hardware and build software from the ground up for it, then we'll see games start to look better.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series X will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

bonzobanana said:

You have gone totally over the top with the claim effiiciency improvements and we are already getting a good idea of the Switch performance level by what we have seen. There are compromises made with mobility chipsets.

Disagree.
If you think Delta Colour Compression, Polymorph Engines, Tiled based Rasterization, Packed Math is going "over the top" then you are incorrect... And regardless of what I say, will likely not change your mind anyway.

However... The Wii U uses an AMD VLIW architecture with a 320:16:8 core layout, the closest GPU to that is the Radeon 4650, but that still has twice the Texture Mapping Units.

Now we know that Maxwell is significantly more efficient than Graphics Core Next 1.0.
How much more efficient is Graphics Core Next compared to AMD's older VLIW architectures?

Well. Take a Radeon 5870, 1600:80:32 core layout (Shaders, Texture Mapping Units, Rops) with 153.6GB/s of bandwidth and 2.720 Teraflops of FP32 performance.
Then we take the Radeon 7850 with a 1024:64:32 core layout, 153.6GB/s of bandwidth and 1.761 Teraflops of FP32 performance.

The 7850 should loose every time right? Wrong. It is superior to the Radeon 5870, despite having  almost a Teraflop of extra FP32 performance.
THAT is what efficiency does.
But don't take my word for it: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1062?vs=1076

And here is the added spanner in the works. Maxwell, which Tegra is derived from is a more efficient architecture than even Graphics Core Next that the Radeon 7850 uses.

But let's look at the difference between Maxwell and Graphics Core Next 1.0 shall we? Aka. Geforce 780 and Radeon 7970. (Using the 7970 because it doesn't have newer tech like Delta Colour Compression.)

The Geforce 970, Maxwell, 1050mhz core clock, 1664:104:56 core layout, 196GB/s of Bandwidth and 3.494 Teraflops of FP32 performance.
The Radeon 7970, Graphics Core Next 1.0, 1ghz core clock, 2048:128:32 core layout, 288GB/s of bandwidth and 4.300 Teraflops of FP32 performance.

The 7970 should in theory have the lead right? It does have more shaders, more texture mapping units, more bandwidth, more flops.

But nope. Thanks to the efficiency that Maxwell Brings, it slaps it around.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1031?vs=1355

And you somehow came to the conclusion that Tegra isn't a massive leap of efficiency over the Wii U's VLIW architecture? Can I ask... How? The evidence says otherwise.

bonzobanana said:

I've a feeling once the hype dies down we may see that indeed the humble wii u actually can perform to a higher level than Switch in some areas. That 70GB/s 32MB of edram memory which gave the wii u a significant performance boost graphically may actually help deliver some surprises against the shared memory of Switch with more minimal cache memory.


Considering that at the end of the Wii U's console generation it's managing to put out titles like Zelda, is pretty great.
But that end-of-generation-game is a launch title for the Switch. Think about that for a moment.

I am sure you are aware, but as a console generation progresses, developers learn the various nuances of the hardware and extract more out of the platform, Zelda is a port, it's not built from the ground up for the Switch.

It's not going to be the best looking Switch game, but it *will* be one of the best looking Wii U games ever.

As for eDRAM, it does help, but it's not a cure for everything, keep in mind that RAM and Caches feature no processing capabilities, it doesn't process anything.
In a worst-case-scenario if the data the Wii U requires isn't in the eDRAM (This happens more often than you think) then the amount of bandwidth tanks to just 12.8GB/s.
And if these fast caches were such an amazing revelation, then the Xbox One wouldn't be struggling in the face of the Playstation 4.
It helps. But it's not a dramatic game changer.

bonzobanana said:

It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds again. Most people are saying how much better Zelda looks on Switch but as some detailed comparisons have shown its not all one way there are advantages on the wii u too some big advantages with lighting effects and shadows. Whether this continues to the final retail games is uncertain.


Of course. But, it's still early days, as I pointed above.
Zelda on the Switch did have better, more stable framerates which is good, better texturing... Better sound, shorter load times, And from what I could tell better LoD too.

And when docked, Switch is rendering it all at a higher resolution.

We will need to wait for the release and a full break down from digital foundry for some real pixel counting as I have zero intention of buying either consoles.

bonzobanana said:

I still believe in the Eurogamer spec based on the speech to developers rather than the Foxconn leak that could be stress tests etc while manufacturing. Certainly looking at the performance of many games it almost feels like the eurogamer spec is too high and perhaps the max mhz of the gpu while docked will be lower at retail.


Eurogamer stated the clocks were a "Theoretical Maximum". So it could certainly be lower in retail, but clockrate is only telling part of the story.

bonzobanana said:

Surely its in Nintendo's interest to impress us with the games on a technical level but most look so poor and are struggling to show distance between the wii u. It really feels like there is a bad surprise coming with regard performance with the Switch. Worse even than are current already low expectations.

This we can agree on. I like hardware and would have wished Nintendo would have set out to impress the world a little harder on the hardware front.
With that said, I was unimpressed with the Xbox One and Playstation 4 as well on release.

Still, remember that it is early days.




--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

bonzobanana said:
Miyamotoo said:

Only reason they reveal Wii U RAM is because Wii U had more RAM than PS3/Xbox360, but Switch with 4 GB will again have twice less RAM than XB1/PS4 so its not something to brag about compared to Wii U vs PS3/Xbox360.

Evre believable rumour said 4GB, actually I don't recall that any rumour suggested 2GB of RAM. More RAM is always better and prices of RAM today are very low.

No the original design was 2GB only the developer versions were 4GB but then it was stated 4GB was expected for retail versions.

http://www.idigitaltimes.com/nintendo-switch-ram-specs-leaked-insider-say-more-ram-wii-u-565975

If this March launch is a soft launch just to milk early adopters and they always planned for a signficant price drop later then a lower price for manufacturing of 2GB will clearly help to maintain a profit margin. Clearly it would never be as cheap to make 4GB compared to 2GB in reality you have to pay more and RAM is always a signficant cost on a logic board after the main chipset or even sometimes above it.

Knowing the surprises that have come out in the past with Nintendo products this wouldn't surprise me. I'm not saying it isn't 4GB but as Nintendo decisions go making the Switch 2GB doesn't seem a particularly bad one especially when your actual games come on cartridges anyway its not like its directly comparable to a console with an optical drive.

I would of thought it quite rare for a development kit and final retail hardware to have the same memory capacity. Makes optimising games to use all memory difficult if you have other background resources due to game development also taking memory.  

I think you got too much in what was before in developer versions.

Switch is more stronger than Wii U in any way, so totally make sense that Switch also has more RAM than Wii U (even Wii that was just little more powerfule than GC had more RAM). More RAM is always better and prices of RAM today are very low.

Rumours about hardware were almost all true, and they said that final hardware has 4GB of RAM.



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Just for the price discussion:
4GB will be ceaper sooner or later than 2GB. Yes. Because of manufactuing numbers and stuff like that. It's already not that much more expensive.
As for RAM bandwidth, sense or nonsense of eDRAM or ESRAM, TFLOP/s:
That depends on the specific architecture!
Do not compare Wii U's very likely 352GFLOP/s to whatever Switch has.
Best indicator right now is Mario Kart 8 as it seems. Even in handheld mode it performs with constant 60fps instead of Wii U's 59 frames. With 720p.
In home console mode it's 1080p. So even if Switch only has 384GFLOP/s those would be worth way more than Wii U's 352. Because it's simply not comparable.
You could as well look into PC-benchmarks and see the same.

About the rumours:
Eurogamer's source is probably month's older than that Foxconn leak. Either might be right or wrong. But looking at how late hardware often get's finalized i'd probably go with the Foxconn leak because it's the newer hardware iteration.



bonzobanana said:

I've a feeling once the hype dies down we may see that indeed the humble wii u actually can perform to a higher level than Switch in some areas. That 70GB/s 32MB of edram memory which gave the wii u a significant performance boost graphically may actually help deliver some surprises against the shared memory of Switch with more minimal cache memory. 

Switch seems to have no trouble running Mario Kart 8 at 1080p and Breath of the Wild at 900p and a more stable framerate, and those are two of the best looking games on Wii U. Similarly, Fast Racing Neo was arguably the most technically advanced game on Wii U, and the Switch version seems to run it at 1080p with ease.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series X will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.