Hacking Why we couldn't overclock the Old3DS as PSVita/NSwitch did?(To push it over its firmware limits)

Homejogger

New Member
OP
Newbie
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
4
Trophies
0
XP
46
Country
China
'Why we couldn't push 3DS's CPU clock over its firmware limits?'
I'm a total newbie who doesn't understand a line of code. This noob question has bothered me for a few days, so I decide to open a thread to ask about it.

I have searched for 3DS and PSVita's SPECs recently:
(Correct me if my memory goes wrong.)
The SoC of Old3DS was manufactured by TSMC's 40nm process. It is under the same generation of transistor technology as PSVita(Toshiba's 40nm process)
In their OFW, Old3DS has its dual-core ARM11mp clocked at 268Mhz while PSVita has quad-core ARM cortex-a9 clocked at 333Mhz(444Mhz if WiFi was turned off). If we hack both of the devices, PSVita could easily boost to a 500/222/333Mhz(CPU/BUS/GPU) clock speed.
Considering ARM cortex-a9(2.5 DMIPS/Mhz)is a 'stronger' and more power consuming architecture than ARM11mp(1.31 DMIPS/Mhz), the Old3DS could've been higher in its hardware clock speed(in theory though). So I was wondering why Old3DS wasn't able to overclock as PSVita did, is there something wrong with its hacking process?(Maybe the CFW doesn't yet have the permission to adjust its CPU scheduling.)

Then the New3DS series proved me wrong:
There was a so called 'overclock mode' for New 3DS series, and it sounds more like a 'recovery mode' to me since it basically brings the N3DS back to its (designed)Maximum frequency.
With the New3DS of course, a lot of things are different:
Its manufactured by TSMC's 28nm process. It has a double 256MB RAM with double RAM bandwidth. It has extra L1(partially) and L2 Cache. It runs at a much higher clock speed(804Mhz). And it is a quad-core CPU design:
(16KB L1 Cache) Core 1: Application/Game
(16KB L1 Cache) Core 2: System mostly(30% could be used for Gaming)
(32KB L1 Cache) Core 3: Cut off for better production yield
(32KB L1 Cache) Core 4: Advanced 3D only(Super-Stable function)

Frankly speaking, I truly appreciate the 'overclock mode' for New3DS. The improvements for non-N3DS optimized games was obvious.
Thanks for bringing tons of great homebrew apps and plugins for 3DS owners.
I understand Nintendo has done enough for Old3DS as they made extended memory mode and unlocked 30% of Core 2 for gaming usage in its later OFW.
I wouldn't think of running any New3DS exclusive on Old3DS(that wouldn't work because of hardware differences).
Just wondering if a true overclocking would be possible for all 3DS series.
Because some games especially Metal Gear Solid 3D runs horrible on Old3DS(it was locked at 20fps, and it barely holds at 15fps in some intensive scenes). Others like Hyrule Warriors, Splinter Cell 3D and Chronicle 3 have noticeable frame drops also.
20200731144415.jpg
20200731144415.jpg
 

Attachments

  • 20200731144004.jpg
    20200731144004.jpg
    36.5 KB · Views: 204
  • 20200731144109.jpg
    20200731144109.jpg
    32 KB · Views: 208
  • 20200731144146.jpg
    20200731144146.jpg
    32.8 KB · Views: 208
  • 20200731144213.jpg
    20200731144213.jpg
    34.2 KB · Views: 215
  • 20200731144248.jpg
    20200731144248.jpg
    43.6 KB · Views: 214
Last edited by Homejogger,

Shadow#1

Wii, 3DS Softmod & Dumpster Diving Expert
Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
10,502
Trophies
1
XP
6,071
Country
United States
'Why we couldn't push 3DS's CPU clock over its firmware limits?'
I'm a total newbie who doesn't understand a line of code. This noob question has bothered me for a few days, so I decide to open a thread to ask about it.

I have searched for 3DS and PSVita's SPECs recently:
(Correct me if my memory goes wrong.)
The SoC of Old3DS was manufactured by TSMC's 40nm process. It is under the same generation of transistor technology as PSVita(Toshiba's 40nm process)
In their OFW, Old3DS has its dual-core ARM11mp running at 268Mhz while PSVita has quad-core ARM cortex-a9 running at 333Mhz(444Mhz if WiFi was turned off). If we hack both of the devices, PSVita could easily boost to a 500/222/333Mhz(CPU/BUS/GPU) clock speed.
Considering ARM cortex-a9(2.5 DMIPS/Mhz)is a 'stronger' and more power consuming architecture than ARM11mp(1.31 DMIPS/Mhz), the Old3DS could've been higher in its hardware clock speed. So I was wondering why Old3DS wasn't able to overclock as PSVita did, is there something wrong with its hacking process?(Maybe the CFW doesn't yet have the permission to adjust its CPU scheduling.)

Then the New3DS series proved me wrong:
There was a so called 'overclock mode' for New 3DS series, and it sounds more like a 'recovery mode' to me since it basically brings back its designed frequency.
With the New3DS of course, a lot of things are different:
Its manufactured by TSMC's 28nm process. It has a doubled 256MB RAM(124MB available vs 64MB available of Old3DS) and RAM bandwidth. It has extra L1(partially) and L2 Cache. It runs at a much higher clock speed(804Mhz). And it is a quad-core CPU design:
(16KB L1 Cache) Core 1: Application/Game
(16KB L1 Cache) Core 2: System mostly(30% could be used for Gaming)
(32KB L1 Cache) Core 3: Cut off for better production yield
(32KB L1 Cache) Core 4: Advanced 3D only(Super-Stable function)

Frankly speaking, I truly appreciate the 'overclock mode' for New3DS. The improvements for non-N3DS optimized games was obvious.
Thanks for bringing tons of great homebrew apps and plugins for 3DS owners.
I wouldn't think of running any New3DS exclusive on Old3DS(that wouldn't work because of hardware differences).
Just wondering if a true overclocking will be possible for all 3DS series.
Because some games especially Metal Gear Solid 3D runs horrible on Old3DS(it can barely hold at 15fps).
O3DS just does not have the hardware to "overclock"
 

Zense

GBARunner2 config: Touch touchscreen -> Press R
Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
1,852
Trophies
1
XP
3,157
Country
Italy
I'm not an expert on the field, but first thing I would say is that overclocking is different from increasing the clock speed to clocks that are intended for the hardware. Afaik none of the software solutions for psvita and switch overclock it but grants you access to other clock speeds of the processors. I'm guessing the o3ds doesn't have this since nobody has made it possible.

Also the new3ds clock speed is not a recovery mode.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Homejogger

tfocosta

GBAtemp Z-Warrior
Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
618
Trophies
1
Website
nooooooooooooooo.com
XP
1,236
Country
Canada
Because some games especially Metal Gear Solid 3D runs horrible on Old3DS(it can barely hold at 15fps).

I don't know much about overclocking, but I can assure you I have MGS3D running absolutely fine on o3DS. Both legit (original cartridge) and non-legit versions of the game. :D
 
Last edited by tfocosta,

Homejogger

New Member
OP
Newbie
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
4
Trophies
0
XP
46
Country
China
I don't know much about overclocking, but I can assure you I have MGS3D running absolutely fine on o3DS. Both legit (original cartridge) and non-legit versions of the game. :D
How is it going with cut scenes and graphically intensive areas? I couldn't even finish the first chapter on my Old3DS:sad:. The 'overclock mode' for New3DS does make a difference. It was finally playable on New3DS.
 
Last edited by Homejogger,
  • Like
Reactions: Shadow#1

tfocosta

GBAtemp Z-Warrior
Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
618
Trophies
1
Website
nooooooooooooooo.com
XP
1,236
Country
Canada
How is it going with cut scenes and graphical intensive areas? I couldn't even finish the first chapter on my Old3DS:sad:. The 'overclock mode' for New3DS does make a difference. It was finally playable on New3DS.

I have two o3DS (EUR + JPN) and they work both well!

The EUR is still with the OFW (stock) and I've played the legit version of the game there (cartridge) and the JPN has CFW and a non-legit version of the game installed.

I've finished the game in both more than once and didn't feel any issues with the cut scenes or graphical intensive areas. In fairness, you shouldn't feel it, since the game was released for the o3DS in 2012, around 2-3 years before the New 3DS console was released (2014/2015). So it's expected that the game is optimised for the o3DS, however you may find the graphics and dinamics of the game slightly better and more appealing in the New 3DS console, but not in a way that would affect the gameplay as it may do with New 3DS exclusive titles.
 
Last edited by tfocosta,

Homejogger

New Member
OP
Newbie
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
4
Trophies
0
XP
46
Country
China
I have two o3DS (EUR + JPN) and they work both well!

The EUR is still with the OFW (stock) and I've played the legit version of the game there (cartridge) and the JPN has CFW and a non-legit version of the game installed.

I've finished the game in both more than once and didn't feel any issues with the cut scenes or graphical intensive areas. In fairness, you shouldn't feel it, since the game was released for the o3DS in 2012, around 2-3 years before the New 3DS console was released (2014/2015). So it's expected that the game is optimised for the o3DS, however you may find the graphics and dinamics of the game slightly better and more appealing in the New 3DS console, but not in a way that would affect the gameplay as it may do with New 3DS exclusive titles.
I tried it on both Old3DS(OFW, legit cartridge) and New3DS(CFW with overclock mode enabled, non-legit copy).

The Metal Gear Solid 3D itself was locked at 20fps in most scenes, but it wouldn't hold a stable 15fps on my Old3DS(especially the cut scenes) .That's killing me for the gameplay.

With the New3DS however, framerate was significantly higher with 'overclock mode' enabled. It can finally maintain an average 18-20fps in most scenes(may still drop down to 15fps somewhere). Besides, I didn't notice any difference in graphics on both Old&New3DS(They were meant to be identical in visual effects)

I used to play Metal Gear Solid: Peace walker on my PSP2000. I would say a stable 18-20fps is fine to me but not what I have got from my Old3DS. And that's why I bought my New3DSLL.

You may refer to this link:
(That's about what I got by running MGS3D on my Old3DS)
 
Last edited by Homejogger,

FAST6191

Techromancer
Editorial Team
Joined
Nov 21, 2005
Messages
33,887
Trophies
2
Website
trastindustries.com
XP
22,639
Country
United Kingdom
Overclocking usually stems from one of a few processes.

1) More clock speed = more power consumed and more heat made so many devices will run under the factory assigned speed (a whole different discussion there, though do look up something called binning and that speaks to the stuff with manufacturing you were on about). If you can handle the heat (which remember will be designed to work from the high 30s probably, Japan and various important markets do dip into tropical and sub tropical locations, so if you are somewhere cold you have a bonus) and deal with the lower battery life/always having it on charge then some hackers will up this value and if code is made to handle it (older code might not be* but any device where it is possible will tend to be) then you get smoother gameplay as it is more likely to be able to render the frame in time or maybe turbo speed (more on that in a bit).

*if on an old console you are guaranteed to have so many millions of cycles per second you can use that as a timer. If it might vary depending upon what the CPU is doing, heat and power then you get to make an external timer, and this is also why some people assume framerate = better consoles as many things will check control inputs during frame related matters even though most modern stuff decouples it and polls more often than that or maybe even uses interrupts.

2) They tinker with the internals to either increase an internal clock speed (time was a clock chip/timing crystal was an important thing, today with fairly basic electronics I can generate a clean clock pulse of whatever speed I like and feed that in instead) or a multiplier chip (many clock crystals will be far slower than the CPU ends up being so the rest of the device can operate more slowly but the CPU will increase this speed by some multiple to operate more quickly as it can handle it). Depending upon what goes with the hardware and where this faster speed is injected then this can cause all sorts of problems as now everything else might be being run harder than it is supposed to and you start getting troubles with screens, memory maybe not being designed to operate that fast, carts and other bits and pieces, and if you isolate the CPU it may go out of sync with everything else and cause issues with software that expects things to be there that aren't.

http://problemkaputt.de/gbatek.htm#3dsarm9timers covers some interesting stuff but if those above reckon there is no option for a software clock then I have no ability to argue otherwise and then you get to look at hardware approaches. We did see some for the GBC and GBA at some points but such things are tricky to make great use of so they are rare modifications and not seen as commonly as some home consoles
 

Bazooka_Face

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2018
Messages
108
Trophies
0
Age
75
XP
374
Country
United States
'Why we couldn't push 3DS's CPU clock over its firmware limits?'
I'm a total newbie who doesn't understand a line of code. This noob question has bothered me for a few days, so I decide to open a thread to ask about it.

I have searched for 3DS and PSVita's SPECs recently:
(Correct me if my memory goes wrong.)
The SoC of Old3DS was manufactured by TSMC's 40nm process. It is under the same generation of transistor technology as PSVita(Toshiba's 40nm process)
In their OFW, Old3DS has its dual-core ARM11mp clocked at 268Mhz while PSVita has quad-core ARM cortex-a9 clocked at 333Mhz(444Mhz if WiFi was turned off). If we hack both of the devices, PSVita could easily boost to a 500/222/333Mhz(CPU/BUS/GPU) clock speed.
Considering ARM cortex-a9(2.5 DMIPS/Mhz)is a 'stronger' and more power consuming architecture than ARM11mp(1.31 DMIPS/Mhz), the Old3DS could've been higher in its hardware clock speed(in theory though). So I was wondering why Old3DS wasn't able to overclock as PSVita did, is there something wrong with its hacking process?(Maybe the CFW doesn't yet have the permission to adjust its CPU scheduling.)

Then the New3DS series proved me wrong:
There was a so called 'overclock mode' for New 3DS series, and it sounds more like a 'recovery mode' to me since it basically brings the N3DS back to its (designed)Maximum frequency.
With the New3DS of course, a lot of things are different:
Its manufactured by TSMC's 28nm process. It has a double 256MB RAM with double RAM bandwidth. It has extra L1(partially) and L2 Cache. It runs at a much higher clock speed(804Mhz). And it is a quad-core CPU design:
(16KB L1 Cache) Core 1: Application/Game
(16KB L1 Cache) Core 2: System mostly(30% could be used for Gaming)
(32KB L1 Cache) Core 3: Cut off for better production yield
(32KB L1 Cache) Core 4: Advanced 3D only(Super-Stable function)

Frankly speaking, I truly appreciate the 'overclock mode' for New3DS. The improvements for non-N3DS optimized games was obvious.
Thanks for bringing tons of great homebrew apps and plugins for 3DS owners.
I understand Nintendo has done enough for Old3DS as they made extended memory mode and unlocked 30% of Core 2 for gaming usage in its later OFW.
I wouldn't think of running any New3DS exclusive on Old3DS(that wouldn't work because of hardware differences).
Just wondering if a true overclocking would be possible for all 3DS series.
Because some games especially Metal Gear Solid 3D runs horrible on Old3DS(it was locked at 20fps, and it barely holds at 15fps in some intensive scenes). Others like Hyrule Warriors, Splinter Cell 3D and Chronicle 3 have noticeable frame drops also.
View attachment 219585 View attachment 219585
Where did you get that fps viewing pkugin?
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    p1ngpong @ p1ngpong: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA