Wii U: latest system update has increased CPU, GPU speed – rumour

Friday, 10th May 2013 12:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Nintendo’s latest Wii U firmware update has boosted the console’s GPU and CPU speed, according to a new rumour.

The rumour comes from a poster on TV Tropes who hasn’t cited any sort of source or provided any evidence, so please do treat this as rumour for now.

Their post reads:

CPU: IBM PowerPC 7xx-based tri-core processor “Espresso” clocked at 1.24 GHz before the 3.0.0 update, 3.24 GHz after the 3.0.0 update. This is an evolution to the Broadway chip used in the Wii, is 64 bit and uses Power6 technote When IBM has said that Nintendo has licensed the Power7 tech from IBM, Nintendo is not using it for the Wii U, explaining its backwards compatibility.

GPU: AMD Radeon High Definition processor codenamed “Latte” with an eDRAM cache built onto the die clocked at 550 MHz before the 3.0.0 update, 800 MHz after the 3.0.0 update.

So following the 3.0.0 update, it is claimed that both the CPU and GPU have seen a clock speed increase. Do you think this is likely? Let us know below.

Thanks Nintendo Life.



  1. The_Red

    Wait, what? Why didn’t they do it in the first place? Every dev was whining about clock speeds and now they are proving that it could go more without worries about heat and other stuff? Then why not do it in the FIRST PLACE?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DrDamn

    1.24GHz -> 3.24GHz is ridiculous to suggest. People are suggesting improvements in lots of games but I’d like to see some proper technical assessment.

    One point I would make is that perhaps the original figures were wrong, or misreported. The figures for CPU at least were extracted which the WiiU was in Wii emulation mode – and potentially underclocked temporarily.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    1.24 to 3.24?

    =/ wut? Why they locked so much speed? for what purpose? Or their OS was the shittiest thing ever?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Karooo

    You aren’t writing for Nowgamer anymore, Dave.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. JavelinX

    BOOM!! Nintendo teleported a new cpu? You’re patetic! Die with a little of glory!

    #5 2 years ago
  6. pandulce1

    @1: I own the San Francisco Bridge. I’ll sell it to you for $1000. ;)

    “Espresso” clocked at 1.24 GHz before the 3.0.0 update, 3.24 GHz after the 3.0.0 update” A 2GHz CPU overclock? On a chip with such a wimpy heatsink to begin with? And to top it off a 250MHz bump on the GPU. I highly doubt it, but just for the sake of it: what color will this Light of Death be?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Belazur

    God VG24/7 you are embarrassing!
    Why in the hell are you even posting that crap “rumor”?
    You don’t even need a brain to realize that the (so called) rumor is BS!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. CPC_RedDawn

    That is a pretty big increase. The cooling and TDP of the chip would skyrocket if they were to increase the clock speed like this.

    My desktop PC has an i7 3770K and its a 3.4-3.8GHz chip rated at 77W I have it overclocked to 4.8GHz with 1.38vcore and obviously the temps skyrocket which is why I have a water cooler on it (I know that X86/64 CPU’s are different from PPC CPU’s).

    Why would they gimp the system specs at launch and then increase them after… it makes no sense. Its possible, very possible but the heat increase would be a serious issue.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. KrazyKraut

    i think this is bullshit. Maybe some Pikmin came last night and changed my Wii U hardware….

    #9 2 years ago
  10. The_Red

    I’m not that naive. I know it’s worth at least $2000. Plus there is a perfectly logic explanation for the insane overcloking as KrazyKraut said. We all know Pikmin 3 has been in development for so long. It should have been out much sooner but it’s not. Why?
    It’s obvious. Miyamoto has send them to the houses of every Nintendo owner to change their CPUs and GPUs. They’ve done it with the help of Wonderful 101′s heroes who were also mysteriously delayed.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Monkee_Nutz

    @4 Now that’s a bit of a cunty thing to say.

    Dave practically plastered cautionary warnings all over the fucking article as to how accurate (or not) it could be.

    As a news writer, its his vocation to keep us up-to-date on the significant goings on in the rumour mill as much as it is on everything else.

    Pull your head out of your rectum.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Karooo

    @11 I respect Dave as a journalist, but reporting such a thing when you know it’s clearly a fake is really unprofessional.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. darkshale

    The only reasons I can think of for under clocking this system was do to an OS crash caused at higher clock speeds do to changes in hardware late in development.

    Someone wrote down the amplitude wrong and they let it ship.

    They shipped in power save mode!?! My tablet down clock for me in power save mode.

    (cough bullS4!7 cough)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. deathm00n

    @12 Can you prove me that it’s fake? Do you work for Nintendo or something? If you can’t, then yes, this is news about a rumour, and it’s valid jounalism.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Karooo

    @14 It’s common sense.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. OlderGamer

    Impressive if true. Could be a number of factors as to why? However, as with all such things, I would want proof before either praising or dismissing it.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. OnionPowder

    I don’t see how this is possible. Unless Nintendo has been gimping releases and fucking over devs on purpose for months for no goddamn reason. You can’t just MAGICALLY increase the clock speed with no extra power consumption or heat. They’ve already designed it for as low power consumption as possible so an increase sounds dangerous as hell. Especially a 45% increase on the GPU. Just running 10% increases is dangerous FFS.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. elem187

    Crap like this makes Nintendo fans look desperate…. pretty much any modern CPU/GPU can be overclocked strictly via software, but would Nintendo really take the chance of breaking retail games already released?

    Also the CPU clock speed going from 1.2ghz to 3gz is unbelievable for any processor. IF the rumor said 1.2 to 1.6/1.8 it might believable hardware wise, but it still remains horsecrap because no way Nintendo would change something like this without talking to every single third party developer for the system (granted thats not many, but something would have leaked by now)

    Further more overclocking a CPU doesn’t really do very much for games. The GPU overclocked would actually increase the performance of games slightly.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. OlderGamer

    But how do the Fans look desperate, elem187? Fans didn’t do anything. Nintendo did. Fans don’t have to own up to Nintendos actions. Fans just enjoy games.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. elem187

    because Nintendo fans are making up silly rumors to make the console seem more than it is. I love my Wii U and it does exactly what it was designed to do. it was designed for 720p gaming, and it will do that just fine it doesn’t need any bump in performance… in fact it does 720p far better than my ps3, or my brother x360 (ps360 were pretty much subhd most of the time)

    #20 2 years ago
  21. OnionPowder

    @19 I’m assuming he’s saying because fans created this rumor because they are so desperate for the Wii U to take off that they’ll make this up.

    Not that I agree with that statement I’m just trying to translate.

    EDIT: Nailed it

    #21 2 years ago
  22. theevilaires

    Maybe that statement DICE made about frostbite engine 3.0 not being on the Wii U made Nintendo bump up the speeds.

    Then again I can see rabid Nintendo fans making this up after being humiliated their favorite console of choice couldn’t run Frostbite 2 properly enough let alone frostbite 3. I just want my Zelda HD and Metroid HD please.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OlderGamer

    But clearly all Nintendo fans can’t be lumped together like that. Not as if millions of gamers conspired together. Sorry guys, all I see is more anti Nintendo hate.

    I am sure light will come of this true or not.

    Seems pretty far fetched to me, but I would like more info before forming a solid opinion.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. OnionPowder

    @23 Expecting anything but anti-microsoft, nintendo is doomed and sony are gods circlejerks on these comments is ridiculous at this point. Oh and the PC Master Race that plagues the entire internet now, but that’s just an end of the cycle trend that will be ditched in a year or 2 and resurrected near the end of the next generation.

    Personally I like my Wii U, but it’s also just a damn piece of harddware and not an extension of myself.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. OlderGamer

    Good point OP.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. stretch215

    How does a random post (w/ no source or evidence!) from some random forumite qualify as news? I’m actually surprised this is being reported on.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Clupula

    @23 – Millions of people didn’t make this rumor up. Probably one or two.

    What then happens is a few dozen rabid Nintendo fans, eager to justify their purchase of a Wii U, spread the rumor in order to feel better about the gameless box in their living room.

    A few hundred people hear this, see it as gospel, and then start citing is as proof of the Wii U’s superiority over the PS3 and 360.

    You don’t need a million people for something like this to spread like wildfire.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Cobra951

    Oh, come on. 1.24 -> 3.24? More than double the speed, out of the blue? The numbers after the decimal point just happened to stay the same? Here, let me start a rumor too, so you have something else to post: The Durango will feature a cup holder on the side. There is no charge.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. DeVitowned

    The cup holder can only be used if you’re an XBOX LIVE Gold member.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Clupula

    The cup you put in it, though, has to always be online.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. OnionPowder

    You also have to use brand new cups, no washing cups and re-using them.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. monkeygourmet

    Are they saying it has increased speeds after the update we just installed?

    Thats bullshit, even after the update, my Wii U is still slow as a mother fucker.

    I can still make a cup of tea before it loads back to OS and the games all seem exactly the same.

    Also, if they did this remotly without telling anyone, then one faulty unit overheated and set fire to someones curtains then, BOOM! LAWSUIT!!!!

    If you change the speed potentially causing something to overheat without official warning… yeah… not going to happen.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. CPC_RedDawn


    Whilst I still think this is complete BS. It is very possible to do this. The fact that the numbers after the decimal point stayed the same is a complete and utter pointless argument. You can increase a CPU’s clock speed to whatever you want as long as it is enabled by the manufacturer of that CPU or GPU (in this case its IBM & AMD). My CPU in my PC like I said before is an i7 3770K and it comes clocked at 3.4GHz with a 3.8GHz turbo speed. I have it overclocked by my self to 4.8GHz oh look the number after the decimal point stayed the same… I wonder how I did that?

    Its always funny reading a lot of comments on here or other game sites as 80-90% of the members are always console gamers who know nothing about hardware and how it actually works.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. OnionPowder

    @MG No that was the first of 2 updates. This is in reference to the upcoming update that is supposed to increase speeds even further for the OS. This article is just claiming that the system is going to be overclocked on top of making the OS faster.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Kabby

    How did they verify these so called clock bumps?

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Richenbaum

    They didn’t. That’s the magic of completely unsubstantiated internet rumors.

    Funny thing is now you can suddenly see all these Nintendo fans on the web reading this and going “oh, now that you mention it my random game DOES seem slightly faster!”. Placebo effect in action.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. gameoholic007

    Nin making the Wii U makes no sense alone, then this on top of it. If this is true, I don’t see it making a huge difference in the games.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. OnionPowder

    @38 While nobody is advocating this to be true, but how would a 45% boost in GPU clock speed and over 150% overclock on the CPU NOT make a huge difference in what’s possible? There’s no way the Wii U could get on the level of a PS4 or Durango but to say it wouldn’t provide an increase is just ridiculous.

    EDIT: I just want to make it clear that I think this story is 100% impossible and will not happen and I am not white knighting Nintendo. Just based on pure technical speed it would make a damn difference and to claim the opposite is ridiculous.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. redwood

    BS rumour is BS!!! they can’t possibly block out that much speed.. or maybe let’s assume they are over-clocking this much. (which is absurd) than get ready fro some fried wiiUs

    #39 2 years ago
  40. The_Red

    While there could be some placebo effect, right now the opposite has happened. The whole thing began when people noticed how much better Epic Mickey 2 after the patch. That is one of the things that got most attention before this rumor though it is entirely possible that they just fixed some broken / buggy elements.

    Epic Mickey 2 on Wii U ran much worse than 360 version. Insane frame drops in some of the paint erasing scenes compared to Xbox. Right now, it seems to run much better. With that said, this still seems rather crazy. One part impossible (1.2 GHz to 3.2GHz) and one part dumb (Why would you do this?).

    #40 2 years ago
  41. malethief

    I’m surprised many Wii U systems didn’t melt after such overclocking.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. Clupula

    @41 – Well, that would require this to be nonfiction.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. cacadj

    Super overclocking! I do not believe it!

    #43 2 years ago
  44. Cobra951

    @33: Even if overclocking can be dialed to any arbitrary number (often it can’t, because it involves a clock multiplier) the chance that it would leave 2 numbers to the right of the decimal the same is very low–1 in 100, to be exact. It’s just one more indication of complete bullshit. I agree it’s not proof.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. Freddell

    For a normal processor, the updated speed sounds ridiculous, agreed.

    However, it is plausible that the core is infact an IBM A2 related PPC core.

    If so, a three core variant running at 3GHz in 45nm would not use more than est 10-15W. As the core and chip design supports running at a multitude of frequencies, “overclocking” is not the right word here.

    #45 2 years ago

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