Quad Cores SoC Comparison: Rockchip RK3188 vs Exynos 4412 vs Tegra 3

padhz.com compared three of the fastest Quad Core Cortex A9 processors: Rockchip RK3188, Samsung Exynos 4412, and Nvidia Tegra 3. In their detailed report (in Chinese) they compare the performance, power consumption, video play back and more. As expected, it turns out RK3188 is the best, followed by Exynos 4412, and then Tegra 3, which correspond to the inverse of their release dates. Keep reading to find the details.

The Contestants

ModelTegra 3Exynos 4412RK3188
CPUCortex A9 Quad CoreCortex A9 Quad CoreCortex A9 Quad Core
Frequency1.3 GHz1.4 GHz1.6 / 1.8 GHz
GPUGeforce ULPARM Mali-400MP4ARM Mali-400MP4
GPU Frequency416MHz440MHz533 / 600 MHz
GPU GFLOPS1017.624
Level 2 Cache1MB1MB512KB
Memory Bus32-bit64-bit32-bit
HW Video Decode1080p1080p1080p
Release dateNovember 2011April 2012January 2013

They use 3 tablets for the comparison: Nexus 7 (Tegra 3), Ramos W42 (Exynos 4412), and Cube U30GT2 (RK3188).

Nexus 7Ramos W42Cube U30GT2
CPU Frequency51~1300 MHz200~1400MHz312~1608MHz
Free RAM974.5MB628.1MB1387MB
OSAndroid 4.2.2Android 4.0.4Android 4.1.1
Firmware VersionQ39 (13/2/2013)V1.2 (25/02/2013)V1.01 (11/03/2013)

That’s quite a combination of different resolutions, available memory, Android versions and battery capacities, but let’s carry on.

Benchmark Results (Antutu, Nbench, GLBenchmark…)

RK3188 is the clear winner in all categories (except flash write), even with 2D/3D tests despite the higher resolution. For some reasons Ramos W42 seems to have a dismal IO performance, but this is not the point of this test.


RK3188 is also the clear winner with NBench which test the integer and floating point performance of the CPU, as well as memory bandwidth.


GL Benchmark shows similar results for GPU performance. The benchmark has been run in 1080p offscreen mode, so the tablet screen resolution does not affect the results.

GLBenchmark_rk3188_exynos4412_tegra3padhz also ran Nenamark which puts RK3188 at the top, but this time, closely followed by Tegra 3, with Exynos 4412 a bit further behind.

Application Tests

Instead of just running benchmark to compare the best, they also performed some usual tasks, such as installing and uninstalling large applications, loading a PDF, loading games…

Comparison of Times to Install and Uninstall Large Applications.
Comparison of Times to Install and Uninstall Large Applications.

The results are quite surprising as installing large application on the Cube tablet can be about twice as slow as on the other 2 tablets. I guess this has less to do with RK3188 performance than with the poor flash performance we’ve detected in Antutu. PDF loading times are about the same in all tablet, yet slightly slower in RK3188. The guys at padhz think it’s because of the larger screen resolution, which could be a valid explanation. There’s very little difference between games loading times in either of the 3 tablets. For testing web performance, they used pages with Flash which is not supported in Nexus 7, but they still found that it’s faster to load in the Exynos based tablet than the Rockchip based tablet.

Video Playback

They’ve also testing video playback of videos with different codecs and container formats using MXPlayer. To understand the results we need to learn a bit a Chinese first. The top fields are self-explanatory, but the Chinese text in the result fields translate as follows (Correct me If I’m wrong):

  • 无 – “No”, in the sense “N/A”.
  • 不支持 – “Not supported”
  • 播放流畅 – “Play smoothly”
  • 没有声音 – “No sound”
  • 严重卡顿 – “Lots of lag”
  • 明显卡顿 – “Obvious lag”
  • 轻微卡顿 – “Minor lag”
  • 卡顿无声 – “Audio cuts”


That means RK3188 does not support 2160p videos, nor EVO container aka Enhanced VOB (this should be fixable), but would still seem to be very capable in a media player, as it supports all other files perfectly.

Game Testing

Need for Speed ​​achieved an average framerate above 30fps in Cube U30GT2, beating both the Nexus 7 (25 fps) and Ramos W42 (27fps). However in other games, such as Gangstar Rio, the RK3188 based tablet was the slowest of the three tablets, presumably because of the larger screen resolution.

Power Consumption

In the first test, they put the tablets into standby at 18:00, turn the devices on at 10:00 the following day, and let it on for a further 30 minutes, and see the battery charge levels. They did not start off with the same battery levels on all devices, so I’m not sure the comparison is 100% valid, as battery discharge may not be linear, and each device has a difference battery capacity.

Power_Consumption_rk3188_exynos4412_tegra3Yet, it seems when it comes to power consumption, the Tegra 3 easily beats the other two processors in standby mode, most probably because of the 5th companion core, and Ramos W42 appears to consume more energy when the screen is on than the other two.

Finally they ran the battery test from GLBenchmark after charging all tablets to 100% with the following results:


The 3 line is the time it took the test to fully discharge the battery, and the last line correspond to the power consumed per hour, and has been calculated by dividing the battery capacity by the time it took complete the benchmark. The Nexus 7 is clearly the best performer, followed by Cube U30GT2, and Ramos W32.

However, the battery test a above are more a tablet battery test than a processor power consumption test, as there are so many components affecting the power consumption, one of the most important being the display itself.

Rockchip RK3188 will bring us high performance devices, with great multimedia capabilities, at a much lower cost than either Tegra 3 and Exynos 4412 based designs. So I’m looking forward to putting my hands on one of the RK3188 mini PCs to do my own testing…

Via Liliputing

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