The Nintendo Switch’s latest major update, Switch Firmware 8.0.0, was released last week and it included a ton of additions like a software sorting function and Save Data transferring to another system function. There was another addition however that Nintendo didn’t mention in the patch notes – “boost mode”.
After the firmware released, homebrew enthusiasts quickly began looking for under the hood changes and additions. Super popular emulator Retroarch’s discord discussed the update in detail with one of the devs mentioning the addition of “boost mode”.
This boost mode essentially allowed the Nintendo Switch’s CPU to overclock itself to 1.75GHz in certain situations, a huge jump from its stock 1GHz speed. The addition made more sense when updates for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey were released. Apparently when Breath of the Wild 1.6.0 and Super Mario Odyssey 1.3.0 updates were installed, the games loaded faster.
Folks over at GBATemp concluded thanks to the updates for the games working with the new Switch firmware, loading data would work much faster. The games were essentially overclocking the CPU to 1.75GHz during loading sections and going back to 1GHz stock when the sections loaded.
According to Brawl345 the load times in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild noticed the following improvements:
- Loading save file: 31 seconds -> 21 seconds
- Fast travel: 19 seconds -> 11 seconds
- Entering shrine: 10 seconds -> 7 seconds
The improvements are quite substantial and it’ll be interesting to see what other games get updates to take advantage of the new clockspeed.