Recently, the Nintendo Switch scene has been on fire (again) with many things to be excited about! First with CFW running on FW 6.2.0 after a few days of release and now, with overclocking in emulators.
An explanation as to what overclocking on the Switch means
Similar to other portables like the PSP and PSVita, the Nintendo Switch’s CPU is purposely underclocked for better thermals and battery life.
The Switch uses a nerfed Tegra X1 CPU but now, developers have taken to exploiting its full potential!
That being said, the underclocking in the Nintendo Switch is a bit different from that of the PSP/PSVita. This is because in the aforementioned consoles, commercial games can natively make use of the fastest CPU speeds available (333MHz and 444MHz respectively) but on the Nintendo Switch, they can’t.
We know this because the Nintendo Switch uses an underclocked Tegra X1 CPU that runs at 1.02GHz rather than at its stock clock of 1.9GHz. Unfortunately, Nintendo doesn’t allow commercial games to use this (until now at least) so the Switch is effectively running its CPU at half its speed at all times! As a result, Switch developers thought of this as wasted potential and decided to do something about it!
Emulation on the Nintendo Switch greatly improved
Thanks to Switch developers working close with the hardware, the following emulators now have access to overclocking:
RetroArch (which is actually a front-end). The cores that will benefit the most are
Without a doubt, overclocking on the Nintendo Switch increases the potential of the Nintendo Switch when it comes to homebrew. Perhaps, in the future, we’ll see a Reicast (Dreamcast emulator) port or maybe even a Dolphin port to run some less demanding GameCube/Wii titles (Dolphin already emulates some games pretty well on the Shield TV which uses the same SoC as the Switch).
Other than more emulators for the Switch, overclocking may also allow certain homebrew titles, like dhewm3, to run better and might even bring about ports of more demanding open-source titles/game engines!
On a concluding note, it’s important to state that ‘overclocking’ your Nintendo Switch is safe as it doesn’t exceed the limits of the CPU. That being said, the Switch’s motherboard and battery may not take too kindly to prolonged overclocking especially at 1785MHz.
With that in mind, some have recommended to stick with either 1224MHz or 1581MHz if you want to overclock for moderate periods of time which is still gets you pretty good speed boost.
My advice is to stop overclocking if your battery starts getting too hot because prolonged elevated battery temperatures could lead to quick degradation of battery life!!
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.