As you might know (or not), Nintendo Switch is based on cartridges and not discs, like the competitors PS4, Wii U or Xbox One. This was indeed a surprise when Nintendo revealed their console, but as we got more information about its build and concept, it made more sense. All in all, the whole point is that it’s a portable console AND a home console at the same time, so you wouldn’t want to go around carrying lots of Blu-Rays.
So what’s the deal?
Truth is that cartridges are more portable and easy to use, plus they make the games load faster. In fact, Digital Foundry reported towards the beginning of this week that the digital games for Nintendo Switch have faster loading times indeed. They tested The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and loaded various parts of the game on 4 sources: an expensive 64 GB SanDisk Extreme Plus SD card, a cheap 16 GB SanDisk Ultra SD one, a physical cart of the game and the internal memory of the console.
Digital Foundry started off assuming that the cart would be the fastest option. However, loading the Temple of Time area in Zelda took a little bit more than 30 seconds from the internal memory, while from the cartridge it took almost 36 seconds. The SD cards were somewhere in between the two times of the cartridge and the internal memory.
The results were pretty much the same, regardless of what area of the game the testers loaded. As such, the best idea is to store your games on the internal memory. The sad part here is the fact that the Switch only allows 32 GB of internal storage, out of which you can use only 25.9 GB, so you should prioritize the games you play more often.