Optimistic Nintendo Switch 2 specs leak puts forward huge CPU and GPU changes that would render Tegra T239 obsolete

The Nintendo Switch 2's likely Nvidia Tegra processor could be much more powerful than previously expected. (Image source: Nvidia/eian - edited)
The Nintendo Switch 2’s likely Nvidia Tegra processor could be much more powerful than previously expected. (Image source: Nvidia/eian – edited)

The Nintendo Switch 2 specs could be greater than previously imagined if a new leak from a well-known tech YouTuber ends up being accurate. Apparently, the CPU and GPU components of the Switch 2 SoC might be considerably beefed-up by Nvidia, with the Tegra T239 chip now potentially past its best before date.

RedGamingTech has jumped aboard the Nintendo Switch 2 leak train, which has been gathering pace recently. While discussing the already reported details about the keenly awaited hybrid console, such as its DLSS support, the YouTuber also offered up some new information that he apparently received via a combination of “I was told” and “another one of my sources”. So, a big pinch of salt is required here, especially considering just how amazing this Switch 2 specs leak is in terms of what the CPU and GPU could consist of, but in host Paul Eccleston’s defense he does label the potential specs as “low confidence”. He also mentions that some devs are under NDAs with Nintendo, indicating that things are really starting to happen in the Switch successor space.

Eccleston reasonably opines that there would have been numerous hardware revisions throughout the Switch 2 development process, and so it is fair to report that at some point the Tegra T239 “Drake” processor might have been involved in the mix. While this chip would still be a huge upgrade over the OG Switch’s Tegra X1 SoC (system-on-chip), it can be argued that its specs are starting to become dated – its chip family, Tegra Orin, was announced in 2018. If the Nintendo Switch 2 release date is in the second half of 2024 that would leave a six-year gap between console and SoC architecture. The OG Switch was released in 2017 while its X1 processor was unveiled by Nvidia in 2015 – an acceptable two-year gap (around 22 months).

The video continues that Nvidia might have proposed an updated SoC configuration to Nintendo, which if true would leave the rumors of the Switch 2 matching PS5 and Xbox Series S gaming performance even more believable. The Switch 2 CPU component could be MediaTek-based with 2x Cortex-X4 cores, 2x Cortex-A720 cores, and 4x Cortex-A520 cores for a blisteringly fast and efficient chip that would leave any T239 SKU in the dust.

The Drake chip was believed to sport ARM Cortex-A78AE cores, but ARM claims the newer Cortex-A720 cores can deliver 10% more performance than Cortex-A78 – and this is not even considering the might of the two Cortex-X4 cores leading the alleged CPU part. As for the Cortex-X4, it utilizes a much more efficient architecture than the A78 (ARMv9.2 vs ARMv8.2) and max in-flight instructions rise from 160 for the older model to 2×384 for the newer series. This potential CPU component is a huge upgrade over what was previously rumored for a Nintendo Switch successor.

If that wasn’t enough, the Nintendo Switch 2 GPU component is guessed at having 12 to 16 streaming multiprocessors (SM) but with Ada Lovelace microarchitecture. So, while a chip like the Nvidia Jetson AGX Orin 32GB has a similar amount of SMs (14), it has to rely on the older Ampere architecture. Once again, T239 Drake looks obsolete here with its Ampere knowhow, as this mysterious Switch 2 processor would provide the console with more power, greater efficiency, DLSS 3 frame generation, and fourth-generation Tensor cores, if it is based on the Ada Lovelace microarchitecture.

Last but far from least, there is talk of 12 to 16 GB of RAM for the Nintendo Switch 2 and Tegra X1 backwards compatibility. It’s a heady mix that RedGamingTech has served up here, which can be taken as either reckless optimism or with a level of skepticism that reduces expectations but maintains hopes.

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Potential Switch 2 SoC specs. (Image source: RedGamingTech)
Potential Switch 2 SoC specs

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