Amlogic S905X2 vs S912: Which Chipset is better for TV Box?

Posted in Oct 16, 2019 in Tutorials, no comment

Today, I would like to talk about Amlogic S905X2 vs S912. When talking about them, the first impression may be one is four cores, while the other one is eight cores.

S905X2 vs S912

It’s interesting to see that despite the Amlogic S912 chipset boasting more cores thanks to its Octa-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53, the Amlogic S905X2’s quad cores are clocked faster at up to 2.0Ghz.

Whilst this means that the Amlogic S912 performs better in multi-core workloads such as multi-tasking, the faster single-core performance of the Amlogic S905X2 should provide a slightly better experience when using Android apps, navigating the UI and other day-to-day tasks.

It’s also important to call out that the Amlogic S905X2 is the first Amlogic processor to include support for high-speed USB 3.0 and HDMI 2.1, offering much faster transfer speeds – perfect for playing high-resolution movies from your USB drive or hard drive.

Gaming Performance
Gaming performance on the Amlogic S905X2 is surprisingly good, with the new Mali G31 GPU offering significant performance gains compared to the Mali-450 included on the last generation Amlogic S905 family of processors.

As seen in the 3DMark Ice Storm benchmarks, the Amlogic S905X2’s Mali G31 edges out the tri-core ARM Mali-T820 GPU in the Amlogic S912 by around 11%. However, the 3DMark Slingshot benchmark (which relies on OpenGL ES 3.0) sees the Amlogic S912 pull ahead significantly, with a score nearly 80% higher than the S905X2.

How this translates into gameplay is far more subtle. As I’ve found in my Android TV box reviews, both Amlogic S912 and S905X2 Android TV boxes offer a solid gaming experience with most games running smoothly at playable framerates. However, newer titles which make use of the improved features included in OpenGL ES 3.0 will likely play far better on Amlogic S912 devices. Given the improved support for newer gaming benchmarks, I have to say the Amlogic S912 has the edge for gamers.

Video Playback
As the Amlogic S905X2 and Amlogic S912 targeting Android TV boxes, it’s no surprise that video playback performance is excellent between both chipsets. Both chipsets have the ability to decode Ultra HD 4K video content at up to 60 frames per second for H.265, VP9, and H.264 video codecs.

Additionally, full HD playback of VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, and VP8 videos are also supported. Both can also decode HDR when connected to compatible TVs for improved picture quality. Both HDR10 and HLG formats are supported.

Benchmark Comparison
First of all, it’s important to recognize that synthetic Android benchmark comparisons don’t always translate to real-world performance differences but they’re an easy way to compare different Android TV boxes in a reasonably scientific way.

To test out the Amlogic S912 vs the Amlogic S905X2, I’ve run the following benchmarks on dozens of Android TV boxes:
– Antutu: Popular general benchmark that covers everything from GPU performance to general usage
– GeekBench: CPU benchmark that tests both single and multi-core performance
– 3DMark: GPU-centric benchmark that focuses primarily on gaming performance

The below Android TV box benchmark comparisons cover popular benchmarks across a number of S905X2 and Amlogic S912 devices I’ve reviewed to see how these two chipsets stack up, with average scores being used to account for TV box differences such as firmware.

As you can see in the benchmark gallery below, the cheaper Amlogic S905X2 surprisingly outperforms the octa-core Amlogic S912 in most benchmarks. generally outperforms the Rockchip S905X2 with significant leads in both CPU and GPU benchmarks. However, the Amlogic S912’s extra cores and GPU sees it pull ahead in Geekbench’s multi-core and 3DMark’s Slingshot benchmarks.

Conclusion
The Amlogic S905X2 is an impressive SoC, offering excellent all-round performance in a budget package. In terms of video playback, the Amlogic S905X2 and S912 are essentially equal, with excellent video playback support including both 4K and HDR videos. However, the Amlogic S905X2’s support for USB 3.0 and Dolby Vision makes it my top pick.

However, gamers will probably be happier with the Amlogic S912’s GPU which offers better performance when using OpenGL ES 3.0.

Did this article help you? If so, please tell me in a comment what do you think about it.

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