Modder Installs Ubuntu on Nintendo Switch and Then Proceeds to Massively Overclock Its CPU and GPU to Play Modern PC Games

Image: Geekerwan

It turns out there may be a sleeping dragon lurking inside the Nintendo Switch waiting to be awakened. Techtuber Geekerwan has shown how it’s possible to take the portable handheld gaming device to new levels with some relatively easy steps for those used to tweaking their hardware settings. The modder installs Ubuntu to gain access to PC games via Steam and then modifies some config files for overlocking the device. Following those steps it becomes clear that the NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor and Maxwell-based GPU are just waiting for the chance to stretch their legs.

Geekerwan manages to overclock the 1 GHz CPU to a whopping 2.3 GHz and the GPU (768 MHz docked/460 MHz handheld mode) to 1,267 MHz. Unfortunately, even at these impressive speeds, the Nintendo Switch is still not capable of providing much more than single-digit FPS for demanding games such as God of War or GTA V in 720P at medium settings.

It’s about the journey, not the destination

Even as the modder installs Ubuntu in order to get Linux running and gain access to PC titles they explain that this experiment was more about showing what could be done with the underpowered handheld than anything else. While demanding games struggled to reach 30 FPS there were others that fared much better. The PC enthusiast, and now growing mobile gaming community are well known for taking their hardware to its limits for personal enjoyment and this is just another example of that. It also allows the Nintendo Switch, to enter an arena where it would normally never be considered to offer any meaningful use. The modding community will no doubt be on the lookout for its successor when it finally arrives.

Per VideoCardz:

“If Nintendo decides to launch a new version of the Switch, the dedicated modding community will undoubtedly ensure ongoing support for the consoles and offer access to a plethora of games, including emulated console ports, some of which were shown in the video as well. Definitely worth checking it out.”

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Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

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