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The OLED Switch Is Pretty Different On The Inside

Nintendo’s newest portable sports a bunch of internal changes, too

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A photo showing the new Nintendo Switch — OLED Model broken down to its component parts.
Now put it back together. Blindfolded.
Photo: iFixit

Of course, the biggest, most noticeable difference between the original Nintendo Switch and the new OLED Switch is the display, but there are quite a few changes inside the console’s plastic housing as well. Our friends at iFixit cracked open one of the latest models, discovering redesigned circuit boards, modified cooling, and no-longer-modular storage inside the OLED beauty.

Aside from the display, the outside of the OLED Switch sports some cool new design features. There’s the console-wide kickstand, the redesigned speaker wells, the less-curvaceous cartridge slot, and more stable Joy-con rails. All of those fancy new outer bits mean the insides of the OLED Switch had to change as well. The brave team of tech teardown experts at iFixit found several space-saving changes made to accommodate things like the hinge for the new kickstand.


In the image below you can see the original Switch heatsink and fan on the left, with the newer, smaller versions on the right. The cooling system has shrunk, which iFixit thinks is either a space-saving move or dialing back what it referred to as the “cooling overcompensation” of the previous models.

A photo showing the cooling, storage, and headphone jack of the original Nintendo Switch versus the OLED version.
Old Switch on the left, OLED Switch on the right.
Photo: iFixit

You can also see an example of consolidation. The SD card reader, headphone jack, and game card reader, previously on two separate boards, have been grouped together in one fancy, electric guitar-looking piece.

Those fancy new speaker slots were made for fancy new speakers. The OLED Switch’s new speakers, on the bottom of the image below, have been enclosed to allow for better sound in a smaller space.

A photo showing the difference between the rounded speakers of the original Switch and rectangular enclosed speakers on the OLED Model.
Top: Original Switch speakers. Bottom: OLED Switch speakers.
Photo: iFixit

Perhaps the most disappointing change to the insides of the OLED Switch is the internal storage. In the original Switch the 32 GB internal storage drive was a modular part, which gave some hope that they’d be able to upgrade it at some point. The larger 64 GB storage drive in the OLED Switch is now part of the motherboard, quashing those hopes.

Check out iFixit’s YouTube video for a complete teardown of Nintendo’s new console. Marvel as a man much braver than I unplugs tiny ribbon cables, detaches taped-down wires, and removes an expensive, wafer-thin OLED screen with a heating pad and a suction cup.