Hacking Question How safe is overclock?

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As an user that use the Switch to play Retroarch almost everyday, I'm kinda worry of the lifespan of my Switch. What frequency will you recommend me to use that can't damage the Switch? Like, I had hear that 1.78 GHz is the tegra chip limit before being in risk. Its that true? Thanks
 

hartleyshc

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It's safe. Nintendo underclocks it for the sake of battery life.

The chip was designed to run at 1.9ghz. 1.7ghz is just the limit available in Horizon OS.

Even if you did something like totally remove the cooling from your switch and have literally nothing on the chip, the worst that's going to happen is it's going to shut off if it gets too hot. And "too hot" is well below what the chip can handle to cause damage to it.

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ZachyCatGames

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Higher speeds = higher voltage = lower lifespan
It shouldn't really matter too much though.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

The chip was designed to run at 1.9ghz. 1.7ghz is just the limit available in Horizon OS.
1.7ghz is the max speed in HOS because it's the max intended/designed/binned speed of the chip.
The Tegra210 chips Switch/ODIN use aren't intended to be ran any higher.
 
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Higher speeds = higher voltage = lower lifespan
It shouldn't really matter too much though.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


1.7ghz is the max speed in HOS because it's the max intended/designed/binned speed of the chip.
The Tegra210 chips Switch/ODIN use aren't intended to be ran any higher.
So what its safer?
 
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TunaKetchup

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Overclocking will generate more heat which will require the switch fan to spin faster than normal

More heat = More stress put on the CPU and Fan and all that stuff.

It will reduce the lifespan of your Nintendo Switch. How much will it reduce the lifespan? I dunno
 

hartleyshc

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Higher speeds = higher voltage = lower lifespan
It shouldn't really matter too much though.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------


1.7ghz is the max speed in HOS because it's the max intended/designed/binned speed of the chip.
The Tegra210 chips Switch/ODIN use aren't intended to be ran any higher.

A speed set by Nintendo in the OS. It's not limited by the chip. Yes, it's a T210 chip in the V1. There's many more Erista chips in Nintendo Switch's than the other devices combined. (Shield TV, Jetson, Pixel C, etc). Saying that they're binned for slower speeds means that most of the chips manufactured are under spec for the chip. It's been proven it's the same chip and it's not a different sku. But you mentioned it being binned, and not a different chip.

It's been mentioned before that the chips were binned. However, none of it is known as fact, since none of the packaging information on the way Nvidia sells to Nintendo is known. But it's heavily speculated, based on Nvidia manufacturing process since the Tegra 4, there is no binning at all being done for any of the Tegra series. There's no proof it's being done for Nintendo, and the clockspeeds set by Nintendo are most likely there from an engineering viewpoint for thermals and battery consumption. More towards battery life, since even when running at 1.7 the temps are still far away from when the chip starts throttling. (A good 20°C btw). Maybe a comfort thing since you will be holding the device in handheld mode was also considered.

The point is there is no proof that any binning was being done at the Nvidia fabs for the Erista chip, or Mariko for that matter. Also let's say it actually was binned at 1.7, that means it's still perfectly safe to run at 1.7 since it's with spec and even at those speeds runs under the ~83°C that throttling kicks in, and well below the 90°C tjmax.

We've had the chip for years. There's enough linux nerds out there that I know there's at least one guy thats been running an Ubuntu server clocked at 2.0/2.1 (which is above even the 1.9 spec) and no damage reports have come in from a damaged SoC based on OC.

These aren't desktop components. This is a 15w mobile processor. It can take a lot of crap.


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miss_nakano

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@hartleyshc

Wow that was such a detailed explanation! I was going to ask about this too since I overclock a lot for variety 60fps mods and my next 60 fps mod will be xbde in which the developer said it require cpu speed to be 1785 and gpu at 921. Hearing your explanation relieve me a lot! So it is safe, but may ruin the battery life faster right?
 

hartleyshc

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@hartleyshc

Wow that was such a detailed explanation! I was going to ask about this too since I overclock a lot for variety 60fps mods and my next 60 fps mod will be xbde in which the developer said it require cpu speed to be 1785 and gpu at 921. Hearing your explanation relieve me a lot! So it is safe, but may ruin the battery life faster right?
Right, and granted, I'm only talking about the SoC. I'm not talking about any of the other components of the system board.

But if running at 1.7, in the dock (which can have less airflow than handheld mode), the SoC only gets to the low 60s°C. Being that the chip is the hottest, those temps should be fine for all of the components in the system.

The only thing I can say might shorten in life from an OC is battery life (both in how long a cycle lasts, and as far as over all battery life, since you'll be charging it more often). I thought maybe some of the power delivery chips, from the increased power draw of the SoC. But after looking at their specs they all can operate well above what the switch will ever use. Both in power and temps. So if any of those components fail, it would just be a failed chip and not due to higher clock speeds. Sometimes stuff just dies.

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r5xscn

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@hartleyshc

Wow that was such a detailed explanation! I was going to ask about this too since I overclock a lot for variety 60fps mods and my next 60 fps mod will be xbde in which the developer said it require cpu speed to be 1785 and gpu at 921. Hearing your explanation relieve me a lot! So it is safe, but may ruin the battery life faster right?
Although I don't disagree with hartleyshc answer, a long answer is not equal to a detailed answer.

To answer your question, an IC can degrade faster if the voltage applied to it is too high because of electro migration. Assuming the voltage is the same even with higher clock and stable, the risk of degradation should be the same CMIIW, you can google electro migration if you want to know more.

Also a sample size n=1 is bs, just because 1 guy is okay, doesnt mean it is okay for all. Some chips might be okay and some might not survive. Its a silicon lottery after all.

Like the other member said, do it at your own risk. Running everything outside of the spec has its risk. How big is the risk? No one knows because there is no datasheet for these chips. You can make an educated guess tho. Do your own research before trying something.
 
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hartleyshc

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Although I don't disagree with hartleyshc answer, a long answer is not equal to a detailed answer.

To answer your question, an IC can degrade faster if the voltage applied to it is too high because of electro migration. Assuming the voltage is the same even with higher clock and stable, the risk of degradation should be the same CMIIW, you can google electro migration if you want to know more.

Also a sample size n=1 is bs, just because 1 guy is okay, doesnt mean it is okay for all. Some chips might be okay and some might not survive. Its a silicon lottery after all.

Like the other member said, do it at your own risk. Running everything outside of the spec has its risk. How big is the risk? No one knows because there is no datasheet for these chips. You can make an educated guess tho. Do your own research before trying something.

Absolutely correct. You shouldn't go by one person on a forum. Especially with a sample size of 1. But my statement was based more on documents than just anecdotes.

I touched on some of these issues with specifically the power management and power delivery ic's. As for my original lengthy post (which definitely could have been more succinct), The discussion was what is the spec of the X1 itself, not the other components. Even if for some reason reason it is a binned chip. No one is stating that the spec of the SoC is 1ghz. Just from a manufacturing process, that's simply not the case.

Here are the data sheets of those chips: (M92T30, since as you said the datasheet for the M92T36 isn't available).

https://www.ti.com/product/BQ24193
http://rohmfs.rohm.com/en/products/databook/datasheet/ic/interface/usb_pd/bm92t30mwv-e.pdf

As for electromigration, while it is a real thing, it's more or less planned in the design of modern chips. It's tested using High-temperature operating life (HTOL), which, looking at the above spec sheets, those ICs are rated for much higher temps than they ever will be used in the switch. Using the same formula as used in the development of those same ICs, we can assume the life of the chips will actually be longer, even in an "overclocked" state.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromigration

Also, I'm aware you don't disagree with my statement, just trying to give a more detailed answer, with sources. Instead of just being lengthy.


Edit: of course as I said before, stuff just breaks. Manufacturing isn't perfect and it's always a possibility to get a crap component somewhere. In my opinion, the components that are susceptible are still likely to fail early, whether your system is running at higher clocks or not.


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r5xscn

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Absolutely correct. You shouldn't go by one person on a forum. Especially with a sample size of 1. But my statement was based more on documents than just anecdotes.

I touched on some of these issues with specifically the power management and power delivery ic's. As for my original lengthy post (which definitely could have been more succinct), The discussion was what is the spec of the X1 itself, not the other components. Even if for some reason reason it is a binned chip. No one is stating that the spec of the SoC is 1ghz. Just from a manufacturing process, that's simply not the case.

Here are the data sheets of those chips: (M92T30, since as you said the datasheet for the M92T36 isn't available).

https://www.ti.com/product/BQ24193
http://rohmfs.rohm.com/en/products/databook/datasheet/ic/interface/usb_pd/bm92t30mwv-e.pdf

As for electromigration, while it is a real thing, it's more or less planned in the design of modern chips. It's tested using High-temperature operating life (HTOL), which, looking at the above spec sheets, those ICs are rated for much higher temps than they ever will be used in the switch. Using the same formula as used in the development of those same ICs, we can assume the life of the chips will actually be longer, even in an "overclocked" state.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromigration

Also, I'm aware you don't disagree with my statement, just trying to give a more detailed answer, with sources. Instead of just being lengthy.



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Thats why I said you can make an educated guess but its still a guess. And like you say dont trust a random guy on the internet and do your research. I do commend your research on Switch's tegra and hardwares. That chip that you linked is the pd right? Im not sure if it also handles the vcore of the tegra. But its a 15w chip anyway. The vrm mosfet probably wont blow up unless its ultra bad tier. Disclaimer: I have no experience with switch hw, just some ocing experience during eth boom.

Running it above the spec will always have a risk. The only thing that Nintendo guarantee is 1 year for the base clock (1GHz?). Anything above is not covered by warranty. Though, no one knows what will happen during warranty claim.
 

miss_nakano

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Thank you guys for the explanations. I will do it at my own risk. I wont blame anyone should anything bad happens. It is YOLO for me I guess..for 60 fps xenoblade DE, etc XD.
 

ZachyCatGames

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A speed set by Nintendo in the OS. It's not limited by the chip. Yes, it's a T210 chip in the V1. There's many more Erista chips in Nintendo Switch's than the other devices combined. (Shield TV, Jetson, Pixel C, etc). Saying that they're binned for slower speeds means that most of the chips manufactured are under spec for the chip. It's been proven it's the same chip and it's not a different sku. But you mentioned it being binned, and not a different chip.

It's been mentioned before that the chips were binned. However, none of it is known as fact, since none of the packaging information on the way Nvidia sells to Nintendo is known. But it's heavily speculated, based on Nvidia manufacturing process since the Tegra 4, there is no binning at all being done for any of the Tegra series. There's no proof it's being done for Nintendo, and the clockspeeds set by Nintendo are most likely there from an engineering viewpoint for thermals and battery consumption. More towards battery life, since even when running at 1.7 the temps are still far away from when the chip starts throttling. (A good 20°C btw). Maybe a comfort thing since you will be holding the device in handheld mode was also considered.

The point is there is no proof that any binning was being done at the Nvidia fabs for the Erista chip, or Mariko for that matter. Also let's say it actually was binned at 1.7, that means it's still perfectly safe to run at 1.7 since it's with spec and even at those speeds runs under the ~83°C that throttling kicks in, and well below the 90°C tjmax.

We've had the chip for years. There's enough linux nerds out there that I know there's at least one guy thats been running an Ubuntu server clocked at 2.0/2.1 (which is above even the 1.9 spec) and no damage reports have come in from a damaged SoC based on OC.

These aren't desktop components. This is a 15w mobile processor. It can take a lot of crap.


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Erista has 11 CPU binning:
upload_2020-8-12_10-53-2.png

Switch/ODIN is 3, at least do some research before calling me wrong, lol.

GPU Also has multiple binnings
upload_2020-8-12_10-55-10.png



EDIT:
> There's enough linux nerds out there that I know there's at least one guy thats been running an Ubuntu server clocked at 2.0/2.1
And I've gone to 2.3ghz, doesn't mean it's intended/fine.
 
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RednaxelaNnamtra

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If I remember it correctly, there is even a system call nintendo uses in breath of the wild, which increases the cpu clock while loading, to speed it up.
This should show, that atleast that cpu clock must be save and reachable on every switch.

In generell I would say it depends on just how far up you try to go with the cpu and gpu clock, if you stay within a reasonable range, it should be no problem.

Also, didn't the sysclock devs do some testing with multiple peoples, to check the safety of the main clocks. I think they did some recommendations based on the test results.
 

hartleyshc

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Erista has 11 CPU binning:
View attachment 221222
Switch/ODIN is 3, at least do some research before calling me wrong, lol.

GPU Also has multiple binnings
View attachment 221223


EDIT:
> There's enough linux nerds out there that I know there's at least one guy thats been running an Ubuntu server clocked at 2.0/2.1
And I've gone to 2.3ghz, doesn't mean it's fine.

That's not what binning means.

Binning is a process that's done at the fabrication plant where chips are rated due to quality of the chips. Where higher/lower quality chips are "binned" to be used for different products/uses. We'll use Intel wafers as an example. The dies in the middle of the wafer are typically higher quality and are binned for server chips. The silicon on the outside of the wafer will be used for consumer chips. Silicon that have flaws are used for lower clocked chips or or lower cored chips.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_binning

What you're referring to is Dynamic frequency scaling.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_frequency_scaling

You're looking the frequency table and what looks like kernel code or governor code for controlling the speed of the chip based on the base clock times (*) what the pll is. This is used on pretty much every cpu and SoC. You can look at the linux kernel source code and see this same type of code. When Nintendo is writing the code for horizon os, they can set those values to whatever is mathematically possible based on the values of the chips. They're not going to go above spec of what the chip or device can handle, even during a development process. The X1 is rated at 1.9ghz. going above that is actual overclocking. And can be done by adding additional frequency steps in the kernel (such as the 2.0).

Back to my original point, the 1.7 limit was put in by Nintendo for whatever engineering/design reasons they figured. But it's not above what the chip can handle. Nintendo could have put a hard limit of 1ghz if they wanted to. It wouldn't change at all what the chip is rated at and what it can handle, all within spec of the hardware.


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ZachyCatGames

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That's not what binning means.

Binning is a process that's done at the fabrication plant where chips are rated due to quality of the chips. Where higher/lower quality chips are "binned" to be used for different products/uses. We'll use Intel wafers as an example. The dies in the middle of the wafer are typically higher quality and are binned for server chips. The silicon on the outside of the wafer will be used for consumer chips. Silicon that have flaws are used for lower clocked chips or or lower cored chips.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_binning

What you're referring to is Dynamic frequency scaling.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_frequency_scaling

You're looking the frequency table and what looks like kernel code or governor code for controlling the speed of the chip based on the base clock times (*) what the pll is. This is used on pretty much every cpu and SoC. You can look at the linux kernel source code and see this same type of code. When Nintendo is writing the code for horizon os, they can set those values to whatever is mathematically possible based on the values of the chips. They're not going to go above spec of what the chip or device can handle, even during a development process. The X1 is rated at 1.9ghz. going above that is actual overclocking. And can be done by adding additional frequency steps in the kernel (such as the 2.0).

Back to my original point, the 1.7 limit was put in by Nintendo for whatever engineering/design reasons they figured. But it's not above what the chip can handle. Nintendo could have put a hard limit of 1ghz if they wanted to. It wouldn't change at all what the chip is rated at and what it can handle, all within spec of the hardware.


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Yeah. And Nvidia does bin Tegra X1s.
Some Tegra X1 device(s) use 2.2ghz officially (see speedo_id 2), and yet some Switches cannot handle said speeds (and even on the Switches that can handle it, ridiculously high voltage is required, while devices that use it officially can do so with normal voltages).
And we also know Switch hardware is tested at 1.7ghz during manufacturing, which would make that the maximum speed that is absolutely guaranteed to work
 
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ZachyCatGames

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Oh, also forgot about the value in FUSE_CPU_SPEEDO_0_CALIB, which pretty much directly determines what voltage a given CPU needs to be able to function at a given clockspeed (higher speedo = lower voltage needed), and is assigned per-SoC.
EDIT: Basically determining the quality of the chip ;)
 
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Goku1992A

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If it is retroarch I think you are fine playing an old game isn't going to put stress on your system. If you are overclocking a switch game then yes it will be more intensive
 
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@Goku1992A I don`t think you understand overclocking. Overclocking will degrade your system regardless of what you`re doing. It works by, well, making the clock go over what it normally is so the system will run at a higher voltage so the energy can handle the clock speed, which makes it degrade faster. You`re thinking of when manufacturers change the clock to lower speeds so it will save energy, applying the same logic to overclocking. With overclocks, your system will degrade your system regardless of anything. No matter if idle or at full load. A clock speed will always degrade the same in a certain unit (not model, not all CPUs or GPUs of the same model are made equally).

TLDR? Overclocking will degrade your system the same regardless of load.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

@Goku1992A I don`t think you understand overclocking. Overclocking will degrade your system regardless of what you`re doing. It works by, well, making the clock go over what it normally is so the system will run at a higher voltage so the energy can handle the clock speed, which makes it degrade faster. You`re thinking of when manufacturers change the clock to lower speeds so it will save energy, applying the same logic to overclocking. With overclocks, your system will degrade your system regardless of anything. No matter if idle or at full load. A clock speed will always degrade the same in a certain unit (not model, not all CPUs or GPUs of the same model are made equally).

TLDR? Overclocking will degrade your system the same regardless of load.
 
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