Homebrew Question Switch Lite charges slowly under "stress" conditions

MrSandstorm

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My Switch Lite seems to charge at a reduced current when under "stress" conditions (the quotation marks are there because by stress I simply mean more demanding titles). When playing with a charger connected the battery level will still go down, albeit slower than it would if disconnected, and this seems to be triggered by temperature. The battery dains while connected whenever SoC temperature (as shown by the Status Monitor overlay) reaches around 45ºC or above, which happens more easily when running overclocked, as would be expected.

I've observed this happening when playing BotW and FE Three Houses, and haven't tested with anything else at the moment. Also, we've been experiencing unusually hot weather where I live (upwards of 38ºC at times, which is almost unheard of over here), so I've seen the device hitting 45~48ºC within minutes of stating playing.

I know this kind of behavior makes sense, and Nintendo probably made it so that the device wouldn't get too hot or loud, or the battery wouldn't have it's service life reduced by excessive current or high temperatures. My question is whether anyone else has noticed anything similar, since 45ºC isn't particularly hot and it seems like a bit of an exaggeration to trigger thermal protection this soon.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 
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pcwizard7

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more demanding titles will pull more current from the battery and the battery will take longer to charge while playing them

are you using the adapter that came with the switch as that will give the best result
 

Rahkeesh

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Don't have a lite but even on a docked v1 switch high overclock will cause the battery to actually drain a little rather than charging. Overclock is just plain using more power but the usb-c current is not going to rise to meet that demand so it has to pull from the battery. The lite may well have lower limits for how much power it can draw since it is never expected to hit even docked clocks.
 
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MrSandstorm

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more demanding titles will pull more current from the battery and the battery will take longer to charge while playing them

are you using the adapter that came with the switch as that will give the best result

I'm aware of what you described but it's not really the situation I'm dealing with. What I've observed is that starting a playing session with 100% battery and a charger connected the battery will still be drained, sometimes rather quickly.

Don't have a lite but even on a docked v1 switch high overclock will cause the battery to actually drain a little rather than charging. Overclock is just plain using more power but the usb-c current is not going to rise to meet that demand so it has to pull from the battery. The lite may well have lower limits for how much power it can draw since it is never expected to hit even docked clocks.

Yes, this pretty much sums up what I'm experiencing. Problem is, the Lite shouldn't, in theory at least, use enough power to actually drain the battery so fast while plugged-in, even under stress.

The Lite's battery is rated for [email protected], and allows for roughly 3h of gameplay at high brightness, meaning the device is using about [email protected] Even if the overclock were to double the power usage, that would still be just over 9W. From what I could gather, when connected to a USB-A charger the Lite is capable of drawing up to [email protected] Considering cable and conversion losses on top of the overclock I'd understand the system draining the battery, but not as fast as it is.

The kind of battery usage I'm observing is close to what you'd expect from an unplugged system, which lead me to believe there may be some kind of thermal protection kicking in and forcing the device to actually draw significantly less than [email protected]

That's normal if you are using a standard usb ac adapter. The one that comes with your switch outputs about 2x as much amps.

The original Switch adapter offers up to [email protected] or up to [email protected] I'm not considering it for a few reasons:
1. It offers 15V to the device, meaning more power at lower currents, adding a whole new layer of factors to consider;
2. the Lite is an exclusively portable device, and as such it's expected to work well with power banks, the overwhelming majority of which only have USB-A ports, which are 5V (or 9V if QC, but the Switch is not QC-compatible and works at 5V with those as well);
3. at least on paper, the Lite shouldn't use anywhere near the 10W it's capable of drawing from a USB-A charger;
4. the thing is bulky, has a non-detachable cable and is not USB-PD compliant due to not offering 9V and 12V when there's 15V, making it basically useless for anything other than the Switch and therefore not travel-friendly and better left at home.

Thank you all for your replies. It may very well be that I'm grossly underestimating the Lite's power usage, so I'll try some more combinations of chargers, clocks and loads to see if anything changes. I'd still appreciate any further input anyone might have, though.
 
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Hayato213

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My Switch Lite seems to charge at a reduced current when under "stress" conditions (the quotation marks are there because by stress I simply mean more demanding titles). When playing with a charger connected the battery level will still go down, albeit slower than it would if disconnected, and this seems to be triggered by temperature. The battery dains while connected whenever SoC temperature (as shown by the Status Monitor overlay) reaches around 45ºC or above, which happens more easily when running overclocked, as would be expected.

I've observed this happening when playing BotW and FE Three Houses, and haven't tested with anything else at the moment. Also, we've been experiencing unusually hot weather where I live (upwards of 38ºC at times, which is almost unheard of over here), so I've seen the device hitting 45~48ºC within minutes of stating playing.

I know this kind of behavior makes sense, and Nintendo probably made it so that the device wouldn't get too hot or loud, or the battery wouldn't have it's service life reduced by excessive current or high temperatures. My question is whether anyone else has noticed anything similar, since 45ºC isn't particularly hot and it seems like a bit of an exaggeration to trigger thermal protection this soon.

Thanks in advance for the help!

Change your thermal paste if you feel the unit is getting hot, the stock thermal paste suck. You might want to stick with an official charger, not any power bank. Obviously it is going to feel slow at charging when you are playing and charging at the same time, let it charge to 100% and then play again, take a break in between.
 
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MrSandstorm

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When im playing my switch docked and overclocked it basically doesn't charge either. It'll just stay at whatever % it's at.

That's exactly the kind of information I was looking for, thanks. When docked the system has the full 39W from the original charger at its disposal, so if it still doesn't charge there's probably some kind of current limit or thermal protection keeping it from doing so.

Change your thermal paste if you feel the unit is getting hot, the stock thermal paste suck. You might want to stick with an official charger, not any power bank. Obviously it is going to feel slow at charging when you are playing and charging at the same time, let it charge to 100% and then play again, take a break in between.

I've repasted it with MX-4 after installing the modchip, and yeah, I don't expect it to properly charge at 5V while playing. What I'm finding strange is that starting at 100% the battery is still drained fast while plugged in, sometimes almost as fast as it would when unplugged.
 
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Hayato213

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That's exactly the kind of information I was looking for, thanks. When docked the system has the full 39W from the original charger at its disposal, so if it still doesn't charge there's probably some kind of current limit or thermal protection keeping it from doing so.



I've repasted it with MX-4 after installing the modchip, and yeah, I don't expect it to properly charge at 5V while playing. What I'm finding strange is that starting at 100% the battery is still drained fast while plugged in, sometimes almost as fast as it would when unplugged.

Keep in mind that the modchip also drains power from the unit, and Breath of the Wild draw a lot of power when playing it, it is because whatever you are charging it with are not supplying enough amp to keep it charging fast enough or steady pace. The official charger output 15V/2.6A.
 
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The Real Jdbye

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I'm aware of what you described but it's not really the situation I'm dealing with. What I've observed is that starting a playing session with 100% battery and a charger connected the battery will still be drained, sometimes rather quickly.



Yes, this pretty much sums up what I'm experiencing. Problem is, the Lite shouldn't, in theory at least, use enough power to actually drain the battery so fast while plugged-in, even under stress.

The Lite's battery is rated for [email protected], and allows for roughly 3h of gameplay at high brightness, meaning the device is using about [email protected] Even if the overclock were to double the power usage, that would still be just over 9W. From what I could gather, when connected to a USB-A charger the Lite is capable of drawing up to [email protected] Considering cable and conversion losses on top of the overclock I'd understand the system draining the battery, but not as fast as it is.

The kind of battery usage I'm observing is close to what you'd expect from an unplugged system, which lead me to believe there may be some kind of thermal protection kicking in and forcing the device to actually draw significantly less than [email protected]



The original Switch adapter offers up to [email protected] or up to [email protected] I'm not considering it for a few reasons:
1. It offers 15V to the device, meaning more power at lower currents, adding a whole new layer of factors to consider;
2. the Lite is an exclusively portable device, and as such it's expected to work well with power banks, the overwhelming majority of which only have USB-A ports, which are 5V (or 9V if QC, but the Switch is not QC-compatible and works at 5V with those as well);
3. at least on paper, the Lite shouldn't use anywhere near the 10W it's capable of drawing from a USB-A charger;
4. the thing is bulky, has a non-detachable cable and is not USB-PD compliant due to not offering 9V and 12V when there's 15V, making it basically useless for anything other than the Switch and therefore not travel-friendly and better left at home.

Thank you all for your replies. It may very well be that I'm grossly underestimating the Lite's power usage, so I'll try some more combinations of chargers, clocks and loads to see if anything changes. I'd still appreciate any further input anyone might have, though.
[email protected] applies to the OG Switch with fully drained JoyCons. I'm not sure if that same figure applies to the Lite. It might only be charging at like [email protected] for all we know, with the JoyCons taken out of the equation. You can measure it with a cheap USB power meter.

You can use USB-PD compliant chargers, as long as they are USB-PD 1.0 and offer 15V (that is not a very common combination, but according to professionals, should not harm the Switch), including some Anker powerbanks.
For obvious reasons, a 5V charger is not recommended. If you insist on using a 5V charger then you'll just have to deal with the limitations.
 
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PiracyForTheMasses

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Pointless thread. Of course your battery is going to drain when you overclock. A battery can not be charged and discharged at the same time. The charger does not supply enough wattage at higher overclocks to charge the battery and power the system at the same time. Therefore the battery can not be charged and has no option other than to be in discharging state. It has absolutely nothing to do with the temperature.
 

MrSandstorm

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[email protected] applies to the OG Switch with fully drained JoyCons. I'm not sure if that same figure applies to the Lite. It might only be charging at like [email protected] for all we know, with the JoyCons taken out of the equation. You can measure it with a cheap USB power meter.

You can use USB-PD compliant chargers, as long as they are USB-PD 1.0 and offer 15V (that is not a very common combination, but according to professionals, should not harm the Switch), including some Anker powerbanks.
For obvious reasons, a 5V charger is not recommended. If you insist on using a 5V charger then you'll just have to deal with the limitations.

That's pretty much what I'm thinking too, but the few pieces of information floating around all indicate that the Lite will pull [email protected], at least under optimal conditions. Under stress, though, it may be limited by thermal or over-current protections, which is why I'm asking if anyone else has noticed similar behavior.

Pointless thread. Of course your battery is going to drain when you overclock. A battery can not be charged and discharged at the same time. The charger does not supply enough wattage at higher overclocks to charge the battery and power the system at the same time. Therefore the battery can not be charged and has no option other than to be in discharging state. It has absolutely nothing to do with the temperature.

Pointless reply. As I mentioned before, the behavior is easier to notice when overclocking, but does happen at stock clocks as well, especially with high ambient temperature.

Also, I never suggested that the battery would charge and discharge at the same time. It'll simply supply or draw current depending on the overall power consumption of the system and available power from the charger. What I'm questioning is why it's draining from 100% almost as fast as it would when unplugged, indicating that current draw from the charger is being limited to something well below what the system is capable of.
 

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That's pretty much what I'm thinking too, but the few pieces of information floating around all indicate that the Lite will pull [email protected], at least under optimal conditions. Under stress, though, it may be limited by thermal or over-current protections, which is why I'm asking if anyone else has noticed similar behavior.



Pointless reply. As I mentioned before, the behavior is easier to notice when overclocking, but does happen at stock clocks as well, especially with high ambient temperature.

Also, I never suggested that the battery would charge and discharge at the same time. It'll simply supply or draw current depending on the overall power consumption of the system and available power from the charger. What I'm questioning is why it's draining from 100% almost as fast as it would when unplugged, indicating that current draw from the charger is being limited to something well below what the system is capable of.

Question though do you let the battery died often? if so it might indicate your battery is dying, the more you let the battery died you shorten the life of it, since the cell in the battery die, lowering the overall battery capacity.
 

MrSandstorm

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Question though do you let the battery died often? if so it might indicate your battery is dying, the more you let the battery died you shorten the life of it, since the cell in the battery die, lowering the overall battery capacity.

The battery is fine. When unplugged I usually get 3-5h worth of gameplay on BotW from a full charge, but I never let it go below ~35% in order to preserve it's lifespan.
 

Hayato213

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The battery is fine. When unplugged I usually get 3-5h worth of gameplay on BotW from a full charge, but I never let it go below ~35% in order to preserve it's lifespan.

Then the answer would just be that it is not getting enough amp to charge the battery when you are playing, what ever you are using aren't supplying enough amp needed.
 
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MrSandstorm

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Then the answer would just be that it is not getting enough amp to charge the battery when you are playing, what ever you are using aren't supplying enough amp needed.

Yes, that much I could gather. What I'm trying to find out is whether the Switch is simply drawing significantly more than the 10-ish Watts it should be able to pull at 5V, or there's some protecting kicking in and limiting current draw. Or both.

From all the replies so far it's probably as you said, and it's simply the case of the system needing more power than a 5V charger can supply. The only thing is, if it's drawing that much power, I'd expect it to get much hotter than 45-48C, especially with ambient temps as high as 38C.
 

Hayato213

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Yes, that much I could gather. What I'm trying to find out is whether the Switch is simply drawing significantly more than the 10-ish Watts it should be able to pull at 5V, or there's some protecting kicking in and limiting current draw. Or both.

From all the replies so far it's probably as you said, and it's simply the case of the system needing more power than a 5V charger can supply. The only thing is, if it's drawing that much power, I'd expect it to get much hotter than 45-48C, especially with ambient temps as high as 38C.

The official charger supply 2.6A so that is more than that 2A that you are currently getting. The temperature doesn't really affect how the battery performs.
 

MrSandstorm

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The official charger supply 2.6A so that is more than that 2A that you are currently getting. The temperature doesn't really affect how the battery performs.

True. [email protected], so 39W. But again, the Tegra X1 should draw, at most, about 10W under full load at its highest clocks, and the Lite won't ever clock that high, even if overclocked.

Also, that kind of power draw would put out a lot more heat. For reference, I have a laptop with a Celeron N4000, which is a 6W part, and it'll easily go up to ~75C under prolonged full loads. It's thermal solution isn't as good as the one on the Switch, but its enough to put things in perspective.
 

Hayato213

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True. [email protected], so 39W. But again, the Tegra X1 should draw, at most, about 10W under full load at its highest clocks, and the Lite won't ever clock that high, even if overclocked.

Also, that kind of power draw would put out a lot more heat. For reference, I have a laptop with a Celeron N4000, which is a 6W part, and it'll easily go up to ~75C under prolonged full loads. It's thermal solution isn't as good as the one on the Switch, but its enough to put things in perspective.

Well if you have two chargers at 15V and one at 1A and the other at 2.6A obviously the 2.6 one would charge the switch battery faster, same concept goes for laptop charger, charger with the same required voltage with higher amp would always charge faster, as it supplies more amp, similar concept would be 5V/4A phone charger charge faster than a 5V/1A charger. On the back of the switch, it stated 15V/2.6A.

Normally I have the unit fully charged then I play, it does get a little bit hotter than usual when you play and charge at the same time. If your thermal paste isn't dry up then you shouldn't worry too much about the temperature too much, not like it would shut off on it own. Heavy CPU clock usage obviously would make the unit hotter, and the battery drains faster.
 
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