Amlogic S905, S905X, and S912 Processors Appear to be Limited to 1.5 GHz, not 2 GHz as Advertised

When I compared the performance Amlogic S905 and Rockchip RK3368 processors  last year, I noticed Amlogic S905 single thread performance not being much faster than the one of Rockchip RK3368, despite the former allegedly clocked at 2.0 GHz against the latter 1.2 GHz. But early this month one member (koschi) on ODROID forums started a thread entitled “No performance difference between 1.5, 1.75 & 2GHz” about ODROID-C2 board.

Amlogic_S905_1.5-GHz

The first post link to Ant-computing website about choosing a processor for a build farm, and one of the tables comparing various ARM and x86 processors with the claim that Amlogic S905 was listed to 1.536 GHz, because “the device claims to run at 2.016 GHz but the kernel silently ignores frequencies above 1.536 GHz!”

ARM_x86_CPU_Comparison_TableSo koschi did his own tests with 7z and sysbench, using cpufreq-set -u $FREQ to set a fixed frequency between test, and could confirm the issue:


So it looks like Amlogic is cheating with the frequencies, and anything above 1.536 GHz does not change the results… There has been many comments in the thread with others confirming the issue. Hardkernel investigated the issue, and the answer while truthful is disappointing:

Please don’t waste your valuable time.
All the Coretex-A53 based Amlogic SoCs have the same issue. S905, S905 Rev-C(S905H), S905X and even S912.
The kernel clock frequency 1.75 and 2Ghz do not exist in the BL3x blobs.
It must be Amlogic’s fault. But we should detect it earlier in our internal development stage. Really sorry about that mistake.

We’ve been modifying/testing the BL3x code to find a maximum feasible/stable clocks like 1.53Ghz, 1.58Ghz, 1.61Ghz, 1.65Ghz, 1.68Ghz, 1.71Ghz, etc for a couple of weeks.
But 1.65Ghz seems to be the maximum one due to some power and heat issues. We will run the burnA53 on Ubuntu and the Stress app on Android with 10 set of C2 boards in this weekend (for 48 hours stability test) to make sure it.
Once we will have a test result, we will report it on this thread with update package for further sampling test in early next week.

If we disable two cores, the SoC can run up to 1.75Ghz probably. But we need further stability test too.
And yes. I fully agree most people don’t like this approach.

Anyway, we know well 1.65Ghz or 1.75Ghz is still very far from the 2Ghz. So we will change the C2 specification in our home page next week as per the test result.
And we must consider some compensation for C2 users. But we need to check what we can do first.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the mistake and kindly understand our situation.

The only good news is that the limit might not be 1.5 GHz, and possibly closer to 1.7 GHz, with the final number pending Hardkernel burn-in test results. That issue will not only affect ODROID boards, but also any other devices based on Amlogic S905, S905X, and S912 processors.

Thanks to Tim for the tip.

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Christian
Christian
4 years ago

On one side I am always amazed how cheap Allwinner and Amlogic offer their SoCs if you see what they offer especially regarding accelerated video performance comparing to what you have to pay for that in the x86 camp (often there you also have gaming performance, but I am not interested in that at all).

On the other side they don’t play fair. All those BLOBs, license violations, lacking support for mainline kernels and now outright cheating …

Ned Scott
Ned Scott
4 years ago

@Christian

While Amlogic has done something very shady/bad here, I still wouldn’t consider them as bad as Allwinner. That’s two very different levels.

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

This has knock on effects if proven true, 3Dmark on results graph shows my mini m8s s905 (firmware 03 ( from freaktab.com update ) ) running up to 2GHz at end of tests.

So that would mean 3Dmark tests results are in doubt too?

Here is result screen on tinypic, right of screen

http://i68.tinypic.com/11ce9vl.png

I captured the result screen but don’t know how to post it here.

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

And resulting 2GHz graph from 3Dmark Ice Storm Unlimited,

http://i67.tinypic.com/dr34g0.png

neomode
neomode
4 years ago

This is like Rockchip with the RK3188-T.
Nobody where aware they exist and then it turn out they only run @ 1.4 GhZ stable.

diegor
diegor
4 years ago

Ned Scott :
@Christian
While Amlogic has done something very shady/bad here, I still wouldn’t consider them as bad as Allwinner. That’s two very different levels.

Do you mean that there is no gpl violation in amlogic firmware? Or are you talking about something else?

Just wondering…

Andrew
Andrew
4 years ago

Use an efficient cooling system ( big heatsink & fan ) to make sure temperatures stay low at all times,
then repeat the test.

All this may be caused by an internal CPU safety feature to prevent CPU burn. Makes sense for this mechanism to kick in as we all know how POOR is factory thermal design in all those mini systems

mrmaso
mrmaso
4 years ago

Amlogic wants to ruin their reputation? Just like allwinner did? If rockchip would get their software part right the two A Company’s could dissappear….

RK
RK
4 years ago

@Andrew

My thoughts exactly. Embedded customers glue these chips to their boards and throw them into an oven post SMT while stress-testing functionality, sensor readings & performance. This isn’t something a fab would have any hopes at getting away with so they wouldn’t even try.

A more likely scenario is that it’s a cooling issue, software issue or even, a voltage scaling issue. Hell, for all we know they have something like Intel Trubo Boost mentioned in the Chinese fine print that didn’t carry over the translation or something… Happens all the time.

mdrjr
mdrjr
4 years ago

@RK

Nope, its not a cooling issue.

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

@mrmaso Rockchip for me have been a pain. I had a 3188 TV box that I sent back ( under eBay, not as advertised ) because it was really a crippled 3188T as mentioned above. Had terrible video playback problems too. I had a RK3066 stick PC, for over a year for browsing and Kodi, internet TV. That was stable after I update to a unofficial firmware with same Bluetooth, WiFi chip. My s905, mini m8s, has been and so far is stable ( I updated to 03 firmware off freaktab, but not by the suggested method ). The box… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
4 years ago

@mdrjr

Possible. Saying again. Possible.

Yet, it should take much more than a statement “Nope its not that”

It takes a test conducted with a decent PSU that will be providing a stable voltage even if there is a demand for high amperes, and an infrared external measurement tool pointed at the CPU during test, to make sure cooling heatsink is within reasonable limits at all times

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago


Does that work in the other direction too, can manufactures fool 3Dmark, by running a tweaked special one off product at 2.5GHz, but report 2GHz to 3Dmark test, to bump their product up the scores?

Who knows?

mo123
mo123
4 years ago

@theguyuk
Yes
Here is how Allwinner cheated Antutu Benchmarks
http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/01/11/so-this-is-how-allwinner-a80-cheats-at-antutu-benchmark/
A user there also mentioned Amlogic has background services that detect Antutu or 3DMark and overclock the device for a while to bump up the score while the device can’t run for more than a few minutes at that speed normally.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) Same with RPi 3, kernel reports running at 1200 MHz while SoC in reality already throttled down to a way lower frequency. There you can never trust what’s reported through userspace utilities or sysfs (/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/cpuinfo_cur_freq) but you have to call vcgencmd measure_clock arm 1 vcgencmd measure_clock arm instead which reports the real cpufreq the ARM cores are running (the whole thing happens in ‘firmware’ — in other words the VideoCore does cpufreq and dvfs scaling and the kernel on the ARM cores is pretty much clueless about all of this). Regarding S905/S912: I don’t understand why users… Read more »

RK
RK
4 years ago

@Andrew And don’t forget it could be a specific bad batch. Samsung & Motorola had a few notorious examples of those back in the day. But they happen all the time and you just don’t hear about it since the OEM calls up the sales rep, tells them they think it’s a bad batch, they hand him over to an engineer which comes over on the next airline flight and inspects the test facilities and collects samples for conformation. There’s procedures to these things… Not sure what gives people the impression a factory just orders 40-100k chips at 10-20$ a… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

ARM DVFS = We just lie to customers by having the software report wrong facts.

I am waiting for next years ARM 900099 GHz DVFS soc. ?????

Marius
4 years ago

From my X86 experience every chip has a sort of a ceiling where it needs a higher core voltage to go faster. The problem is even with a higher core voltage there’s a certain point where you just don’t get any further and sometimes for 100 MHz more in clock speed you have to increase the core voltage to really high levels where it’s probably not worth it.
More voltage and better cooling will only take you so far but of course with water or liquid nitrogen you could probably get 2 GHz on this 🙂

xsi
xsi
4 years ago

Hardkernels response seems to indicate they knew about the issue but kept quiet aboiut it until now, when people questioned it…Why ? Were they worried about the potential impact on sales of the C2

blu
blu
4 years ago

That reminds me of the RK3368 geekbox where the product is advertised as 1.5GHz, but that happens only for the big cluster, and only when the LITTLE cluster is limited to 1.1GHz, which is not what happens when you set cpufreq governor to performance – then LITTLE cluster tops at 1.2GHz and big at 1.296GHz.

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@Andrew / All: It’s not a cooling issue. The ODroid C2 has a proper heat sink on the S905. Additionally, Hardkernel (ODroid’s manufacturer) has confirmed that the boot blobs are capping the clock at 1.5ghz and just ignoring any values above that. Hardkernel is being rather polite about this publicly but my guess is that they’re pretty pissed and Amlogic just lost a vendor unless they can come up with a really good explanation about what’s going on, and I can’t imagine what that would be. I won’t complain if Hardkernel goes back to Exynos based ODroids, a 7870 or… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@theguyuk – Don’t conflate ARM with vendors implementing questionable ARM chips. There are good vendors out there (Samsung, Apple, Nvidia, etc), the problem is they charge more for their chips which prices them out of this market. The new Cavium based servers are a good example, they’re very fast for most applications but they also cost a few grand (http://www.servethehome.com/gigabyte-r270-t61-2u-96-core-cavium-thunderx-server-review/)

blu
blu
4 years ago

@theguyuk
DVFS has nothing to do with this.

boudyka
boudyka
4 years ago

isn’t this always the case……with everything….dodgy cache chips (Xray’ed empty), Fake Caps with amazing uF, Bios tricked to report stuff that doesn’t exist or speeds that were never possible, DTS audio without the chip being capable and hard wired 2 channel, 4K/with all sorts of codecs speced but audio only, HD Ready, UHD Ready, HDCP compliant that just isn’t. For the British and buying TV’s that are Iplayer ready that are either not or die before the next update. Co2 emissions, say no more. If you believe the written spec, you are a sucker waiting to be caught, you could… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

@blu
Are AMLogic acting within ARM licence rules?

Do ARM have any clause banning venders misleading customers?

Allwinner H3 over heats does not do the original suggested 1.6 GHZ

AMLogic s905 now also seems not to do the claimed speed.

DVFS chip shut down cores when to hot, yet chips are sold at claimed higher speeds than can be run for long periods. ARM design!

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

I was curious whether the old generation Cortex-A9 boxes from Amlogic had the same “problem”. Tested a S812 box, which is sold as “2.0 GHz”. The kernel says it has these frequencies: 96000 192000 312000 408000 504000 600000 696000 816000 912000 1008000 1104000 1200000 1296000 1416000 1512000 1608000 1800000 1992000 From 1.6 GHz to 1.99 GHz there’s only a 6% speedup (but should be 24%). 1.8 GHz benchmarks much slower than both (why?). The other frequencies behave pretty linear compared to 1.6 GHz. So the actual frequency is really only 1.7 GHz and not the advertised 2.0 GHz. I ran… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@theguyuk
DVFS has nothing to do with this. This is a hard set cap that’s kicking in at startup. It doesn’t matter how many threads your running or what type of heatsink is in place. Your question about ARM licensing is a good one, even though this is not Arm’s fault, if enough vendors do this is makes ARM over all look bad.

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

@thesandbender
I hear what you say but Digital Voltage Frequency Scaling was originally designed to save battery power by lowering power used. ARM and Licence holders are selling Soc chips rated at high GHz when in truth they only run at such speeds for micro seconds, longer periods and heat causes GHz to lower by design. Hence I allege they conspire by design.

nobitakun
nobitakun
4 years ago

And all of this is caused because the damn companies don’t want to move to 14nm. It is nonsense to make chips in 2016 with 28nm, a tecnology from 5 years ago. The reason is to save 5$ per chip? nonsense?

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@xsi No, Hardkernel’s response indicates that they are investigating and trying to determine exactly what’s happening. There’s a big difference between saying 7-zip see’s no performance increase between 1.5ghz and 2.0ghz and having specific confirmation that the clock speed is locked at 1.5ghz (not to belittle the person who originally found this, good investigative work). There could be some reason we haven’t anticipated, HK is just trying to figure out exactly what’s going on so they can fix it or have enough proof to go back to Amlogic and get a refund/recall/etc. You’ll note that HK is already talking about… Read more »

mlinuxguy
mlinuxguy
4 years ago

The key issue with the C2 is that there are no entries for frequencies higher than 1.5ghz in the binary blob from Amlogic On a previous issue with lockups they had to work with Amlogic to change DVFS voltage entries and fix the buggy PWM driver (controls the CPU voltage). At the time I assumed Amlogic let them see the volt/freq tables and adjust those for the thermal issue. Having missing entries for freq > 1.5ghz suggests otherwise, that instead Amlogic did the tables for them and HK fixed the PWM driver. Hiding frequency control in signed binary blobs is… Read more »

blu
blu
4 years ago

@theguyuk
Conspire by design? As proven by DVFS? You’re jesting, right?

GanjaBear
GanjaBear
4 years ago

Odroid/HK is a scam, C1’s USB problems have never been fixed and now this! False marketing all day long with some bait-and-switch tactics thrown in. (C1 had problems handling certain brands of SD cards so hey, they introduced C1+, all the while marketing that crap as some sort of Rpi alternative).

cruz
cruz
4 years ago

As a C2 owner this is disappointing. More from a hardware enthusiasts perspective. The only reason I went for the C2 instead of the Pi3 was the perceived higher performance, and I paid double, and more with customs and taxes. If it was 1.5 it would have been a closer decision. I don’t regret it, we can only make decisions with the information we have, but I don’t see how I can trust Amlogic moving forward and while I still trust Hardkernel I am disappointed their QA process did not get this, so this taints them slightly too. On a… Read more »

rasz_pl
rasz_pl
4 years ago

@boudyka Yes, Chinese LIE all the time. Its called Face (mianzi). https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/culture-matters-chinese-asians-liars-dr-vivencio-ven-ballano http://www.china-mike.com/chinese-culture/understanding-chinese-mind/cult-of-face/ Someone at amlogic assumed their SoCs would be able to reach 2GHz after tapeout, this turned not to be the case, but it was already too late, marketing got hold of 2GHz number and retracting would be a HUGE blow to their image (in china). Lying is perfectly acceptable, after all who are you going to believe? some laowai idiots on on internet or successful national company? Chinese mAh battery ratings, gadgets spontaneously combusting because someone omitted overvoltage circuit altogether, 50W LED lights that consume 20W from… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@GanjaBear
Right… because RPi’s work with every SD card out there (hint – they don’t http://elinux.org/RPi_SD_cards). SD cards aren’t just a hunk of flash memory, they have an embedded controller and sometimes there are compatibility issues. Even $3000-4000 Canon and Nikon camera’s have some cards they won’t work with and those companies have a much bigger testing budget then smaller groups like HK or even RPi have. I have few C2’s and RPi3B’s… both have their strengths and weaknesses but neither is perfect.

Pepe
Pepe
4 years ago

GanjaBear what are you talking about? USB problems on C1? WTF? Post here forum link or visit us on IRC #odroid.
False marketing? Are you sure? Please tell me that you’re not troll. It’s because of AMLogic. This isnt HK fault!
Read it again!

GanjaBear
GanjaBear
4 years ago

@pepe Sod off HK shill! I know exactly what I’m talking about, go read the shitty forum yourself if you need proof.

Marius
4 years ago

I think this is deviating from the subject here. I’m not sure what problems HK has or doesn’t have as I’ve always avoided them due to the high shipping charges. The main problem here is Amlogic and their lies. I remember thinking 2 GHz, who, nice, I wonder how they’re doing this when everyone else is at 1.6 max ( a fake 1.6 too from what I understand ). Now we know how Amlogic was getting those high clock speeds. What surprises me is that their competition didn’t expose them ( probably because they were too busy with their own… Read more »

MarkW
MarkW
4 years ago

Why is this a surprise for anyone? When was the last time you’ve seen any Chinese product with accurate specs? It’s all gross exaggerations and bad translations. Safer to assume nothing works as advertised until proven otherwise.

RK
RK
4 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) With enough time on dev lists and irc channels, you’ll learn that knowing the issues doesn’t mean squat. Even experienced engineers & devs who should know better talk trash all the time. A one liner “it’s not the cooling” might be right. But take 10 minutes to go through just the irc logs of people git bisecting issues and you’ll see how fast those “it’s the x” or “it’s not the y” turn a 180. Personally, my money is on a simple bug in the blob. Nothing nefarious. Maybe even a bug limited to some blob releases… Read more »

noone
noone
4 years ago

Amlogic is an *American* company. They just do the majority of their business in China.

I can’t wait for Risc-V to be a thing so I can put all this ARM nonsense behind me.

bob
bob
4 years ago

@nobitakun

You’re complaining about AMlogic using 28nm while Broadcom is still using 40nm with the rpi3?

Pepe
Pepe
4 years ago

@GanjaBear
Obvious troll w/o proof. 🙂
@Marius
Buy it from distributor ( http://www.hardkernel.com/main/distributor.php ) some distributor like RLX provides 24 months warranty

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) My issue with ARM DVFS and this AMLogic outing is Soc with DVFS cannot run constant all the time at their supposedly claimed higher speeds. Its like driving from London to Paris in a car and speeding at 200 miles a hour for 2 minutes then driving the rest of the trip at 50 miles an hour, but when you get to Paris you tell people that you drove the whole journey at 200 miles an hour. Now it seem AMLogic are driving the whole London journey to Paris at 50 miles an hour but claiming they… Read more »

JotaMG
JotaMG
4 years ago

Marius :
What surprises me is that their competition didn’t expose them ( probably because they were too busy with their own cheating ?

Yes and Yes !

GanjaBear
GanjaBear
4 years ago

@pepe Silence fanboy! Odroid is crap, I will never buy that shit again.

Benjamin
4 years ago

This really doesn’t surprise me. I was always skeptical about 2Ghz A53 core (especially for a lowbudget SoC like S905). That coupled with no heatsink whatsoever on most designs.

Looks like my suspicion has been confirmed after all.

Shimon
Shimon
4 years ago

I must agree with the Odroid bashing, I used to own a C1 but it was unstable, with many issues, the most egregious of which was freezing on mere usb keyboard disconnect or other usb devices getting dropped on connect/reconnect.

@cnx I don’t believe the company behind odroid is doing that well or they would’ve hired a competent kernel hacker a long time ago. The announcment is mere posturing, need I remind you about that official S905x frequency spec? (1.5ghz, so it was never a secret)

mdrjr
mdrjr
4 years ago

Shimon : I must agree with the Odroid bashing, I used to own a C1 but it was unstable, with many issues, the most egregious of which was freezing on mere usb keyboard disconnect or other usb devices getting dropped on connect/reconnect. @cnx I don’t believe the company behind odroid is doing that well or they would’ve hired a competent kernel hacker a long time ago. The announcment is mere posturing, need I remind you about that official S905x frequency spec? (1.5ghz, so it was never a secret) Thank you for calling me incompetent 🙂 I could go for a… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@mdrjr fique tranquilo. Unfortunately some people will never be happy.

JotaMG
JotaMG
4 years ago

@thesandbender
@mdrjr

Hardkernel is responsible for what it sells, independent if it is others fault or not, ok?
So, in this case people have EVERY RIGHT to complain and blame Hardkernel.
You just have to be humble, apologize and compensate the one’s who feel deceived.

mdrjr
mdrjr
4 years ago

JotaMG : @thesandbender @mdrjr Hardkernel is responsible for what it sells, independent if it is others fault or not, ok? So, in this case people have EVERY RIGHT to complain and blame Hardkernel. You just have to be humble, apologize and compensate the one’s who feel deceived. Would you mind reading the official answer from us about this on the forums? (Linked in the main article) Not only we were the only ones making this public while everybody is quiet but there’s also the information that we are working on a compensation process for it. One thing is being mad,… Read more »

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

@mdrjr

Don’t feed the trolls mate, you do a great job.

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

I am reminded of the old Windows PC days where the only reliable CPU and combined GPU test that the average public could rely on was, could it play the latest, highest, version of DOOM, at a playable, acceptable speed.

Not scientific, and hardware venders still cheated, but it was the main test for game playing, and the average home use, the public had.

We need a Doom like test, Soc makers cannot cheat!

We are all flamed, angry, bad taste in mouth, feeling deceived I suggest.

cortex-a72
cortex-a72
4 years ago

Amlogic “forgot” to say that 2.0 GHz isn’t the option. Big deal. xD
Frequency should be chosen in Non-secure world (arm recommends that), so no secure firmware components should lock the frequency. They, amlogic, should just honestly document and advertise appropriately what frequencies their SoC CPU does support.
And for those blaming Hardkernel, I, as not having any connection to it, and looking at your whining, want to say the only thing – you are so dumb assholes, believe me, noone wants to know how stupid and neurotic you are, noone needs to look at at your annoying hysterics.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

theguyuk : We are all flamed, angry, bad taste in mouth, feeling deceived I suggest. LOL, not at all, I ordered an hour ago an ODROID-C2 since it’s simply a great device since the Hardkernel guys care also about the important stuff (eg providing ultra-fast eMMC modules/modes — our use case is a database mirror and C2’s random IO performance is magnitudes faster than anything else available at this size) A few notorious SBC overclockers are upset now and that’s understandable since they do not care about real performance but only tweaking frequencies. I prefer tweaking compiler switches, settings and… Read more »

wpcprez
wpcprez
4 years ago

@JotaMG i’m pretty sure hardkernel has owned up to any issues that amlogic brought to the table. If you made a thing (table) and the screws you bought from vendor 1 broke, you would own up to it but flaming @mdrjr and calling him incompetent is just childish. @Shimon grow up, things happen but in the grand scheme of things this isn’t a deal breaker. It’s still way faster than a rpi3 so you’re still ahead of the game

NIPSZX
NIPSZX
4 years ago

I have a s812 and all I do is run Kodi at 720 max resolution. I am waiting for the s1712 in 2021 when Kodi goes to 1080

Steven
4 years ago
tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Steven Huh? It has already been confirmed that S912 is also affected and even the post title mentions S912? But who should care? Since your use case seems to be OpenSSL why not trying it with ‘work smarter not harder’? By getting Amlogic’s crypto engine to work or by choosing another SoC that supports AArch64’s crypto extensions you get not laughable 33 percent more performance as when switching from 1.5 to 2.0 GHz completely ruining the ‘performance per watt’ ratio but OpenSSL on steroids regardless how high cpufreq can be adjusted 😉 Are aes, sha1 and sha2 listed when you… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

@tkaiser
Come on tkaiser do you really think Soc designers and hardware venders should lie to customers and get away with it?

Look at all the time and effort you and Armbian, helpers have had to spend getting Allwinner H3 boards to run at a sensible GHz and not over heat, as well as sorting drivers out.

Would really have that the norm for Socs ?☺

I still think Doom series, Quake, Unreal and Doom 3 pushed Windows PC CPU maths, GPU graphics, faster memory, bigger memory and faster Hdrives, faster DVD, better monitors, for the average public. ☺

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@theguyuk Unfortunately you don’t understand the whole problem 🙂 H3 was overheating and known for instability for only one reason: Since the only person preparing working OS images for Orange Pis in the beginning came from ODROID’s overclocker camp before. It was loboris relying on his work done for ODROIC-C1 before to start with these insane overvolting/overclocking settings that even showed lower performance when no annoying fan was used. The whole mess started with silly overclocking on H3 since Allwinner’s defaults were 1200 MHz max. It took the linux-sunxi community not that much time to come up with reasonable settings… Read more »

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

@tkaiser I benchmarked the DMA crypto engine on S812. It didn’t provide the expected benefit with DM-CRYPT disk encryption. It was much slower. The reason is DM-CRYPT can distribute the work to multiple processors. Quad-core ARM NEON AES totally crushes the (one) DMA crypto engine. That’s why Amlogic disabled this in the kernel for all SoCs after the MX. The DMA crypto engine is still there, even in Amlogic ARM64 SoCs, so they can claim “hardware crypto acceleration” in marketing and datasheets, but it’s useless. The ARM crypto extensions (AES* instructions) for the CPU itself probably cost $$ for each… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Tim Thanks for the (discouraging) update on Amlogic’s crypto engine. Anyway: in case it’s useable with a mixed workload (again eg. an SSL enabled web server) it could still make sense to use it since it frees up the CPU cores. Benchmarking mixed workloads is not that easy but if the mix is appropriate and the workload gets somehow bottlenecked by CPU already then delegating a part of the process to the crypto engine might increase performance. If not then the overclocker camp has won: higher clockspeeds –> higher performance if already highly optimized software is used (if not replacing… Read more »

Steven
4 years ago

@tkaiser
Actually aarch64 crypto extension is under my radar for a long time.
Amlogic S905X/S912, Rockchip RK3368, did support crypto extension and you can accelerate AES/SHA by using OpenSSL with EVP.

The AES benchmark here is just to show that CPU frequency did not scale above 1.5GHz.

Steven
4 years ago

tkaiser : If I want to set up a fast web server on an SBC (needs SSL, low network latency and high random IO) the route to go is to check whether crypto engines/extensions can be used on the device of choice (since it’s plain silly to let this stuff run with unoptimized code on the CPU cores anyway) and check network tunables/performance and IOPS. And then I choose an ODROID-C2, downclock the CPU cores to 500 MHz and replace a cluster made of 10 RPi 3 since the single S905 device will be faster. This might only change when… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

Steven :
Just a reminder that Amlogic S905 used by Odroid-C2 did not support armv8 crypto extension.

Sure, I was talking about RPi 3 here since some people believe they would get ARMv8 crypto extensions as soon as the cores are brought up in aarch64 state and I didn’t look into this yet at all (considering RPi 3 quite uninteresting due to lack of other features). Since you wrote only about S905X/S912 regarding crypto extensions useable with OpenSSL… does this mean no acceleration on C2/S905?

Steven
4 years ago

@tkaiser tkaiser : Steven : Just a reminder that Amlogic S905 used by Odroid-C2 did not support armv8 crypto extension. Sure, I was talking about RPi 3 here since some people believe they would get ARMv8 crypto extensions as soon as the cores are brought up in aarch64 state and I didn’t look into this yet at all (considering RPi 3 quite uninteresting due to lack of other features). Since you wrote only about S905X/S912 regarding crypto extensions useable with OpenSSL… does this mean no acceleration on C2/S905? 1. armv8 crypto extensions is optional for armv8 SoC. 2. crypto extension… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@Steven And just to clarify for all reading, the S905 does support some hardware crypto acceleration, just not the ARMv8 extensions (as Steven stated). From the S905 spec sheet (Section 27.1):

– AES block cipher with 128/192/256 Bits keys, standard 16 bytes block size and streaming ECB, CBC and CTR modes
– DES/TDES block cipher with ECB and CBC modes supporting 64 Bits key for DES and 192 Bits key for 3DES
– Hardware key-ladder operation and DVB-CSA for transport stream encryption
– Built-in hardware True Random Number Generator (TRNG), CRC and SHA-1/SHA-2 (SHA-224/SHA-256) engine

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

I just went through the whole S905 spec sheet and there are only two places where it addresses 2.0ghz (that I can find).
Section 2 : The quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU can be overdriven to 2.0GHz
Section 3 : Quad core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2.0GHz (DVFS)
In both cases emphasis is mine. Ominously I can’t find anything else that specifically addresses how to “overdrive” the chip or how DVFS is implemented (but I’m not an electrical engineer and have been previously banned from using a soldering iron by coworkers so take that with a grain of salt).

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

@thesandbender Yes, these are what I benchmarked. It’s kind of an extension of the DMA controller, which has a plain copy mode or a copy + encrypt + hash mode. This is only interesting for working on larger blocks or when you need to do a copy, anyway. Which is exactly the use case of DM-CRYPT. To clarify further, one needs to compare 4 things here: 1. Amlogic proprietary AES/SHA via DMA engine (CONFIG_CRYPTO_AML_HW_CRYPTO) 2. ARM crypto extensions via new instructions, separate optional IP license from ARM (CRYPTO_AES_ARM64_CE*) 3. ARM NEON assembler-optimzed crypto code (CONFIG_CRYPTO_AES_ARM* or CRYPTO_AES_ARM64_NEON_BLK) 4. Plain C… Read more »

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

@Tim
I forgot to mention that #1 needs CONFIG_CRYPTO_AML_HW_CRYPTO **and** a DTB entry. Otherwise it’s not activated.

DTB for S8xx:

aml_aes {
compatible = “amlogic,aes”;
dev_name = “aml_aes”;
};

aml_tdes {
compatible = “amlogic,des,tdes”;
dev_name = “aml_tdes”;
};

DTB for S9xx is similar, but needs “amlogic,aes_dma”, “amlogic,sha_dma” and “amlogic,des_dma,tdes_dma” in the compatible lines. I haven’t tried. In some other thread mentioned above there’s a fix for the ARM64 kernel driver, since it’s broken.

blu
blu
4 years ago

Re the crypto ISA extension, it can’t be that costly an IP, given Rockchip have had it since their first ARMv8. Apparently Amlogic think whatever they have (i.e. the DMA crypto engine) is sufficient for them to not have to license anything. That’s just a guess here, of course.

Winston
Winston
4 years ago

It looks like the addition of the S912 to this benchmark table might be interesting: Amlogic S905 vs S812 Benchmarks Comparison http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/01/29/amlogic-s905-vs-s812-benchmarks-comparison/ Of course, just be sure to get rid of their bogus 2GHz claim in the heading. Because they’re all apparently limited to the same maximum clock speed, I begin to think that there’ll be little significant difference in benchmarks between any of the S812/905/912 SOCs as long as they all have the same amount of RAM (2G seems to improve things). The S905 looks significantly better than the S812 in that benchmark table linked to above ONLY in… Read more »

Winston
Winston
4 years ago

Do 3D game emulations push the 1G RAM limit? If not, considering that at least in my case I’d be running one app at a time, would 2G be worth the additional expense?

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago


Do the CPU and GPU share system memory?

If GPU has own memory then fine, but if shared and as resolution of display increases the shared 1GB ram gets squeezed with the GPU needing more memory, in old Windows PC design.

Is ARM GPU memory use the same?

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@theguyuk CPU, GPU and video engines share access to DRAM (that’s the reason why memory bandwidth for CPU increases if you set framebuffer size and depth to the minimum or even disable display/GPU completely which is something that gives you even a bit more performance on headless devices/servers based on cheap tablet/OTT SoCs). BTW: My Odroid-C2 arrived in the meantime 🙂 Super fast eMMC (really rocks). Tried out the NEON optimized Linpack (OpenBLAS-0.2.18/hpl-2.2), 20 runs with passive cooling only: average SoC temp 48.2°C and 3.9424 GFLOPS: [email protected]:~# cat 1536.txt 2016.txt | awk -F" " '{print $7}' | sed -e 's/e+00//'… Read more »

no_spam_for_me
no_spam_for_me
4 years ago

@neomode
Not only RK3188… also the RK3288 doesn’t support the max frequency they promise (only with a hack)… anyway, all ARM SoC throttles down after a few sec because of heat… so what…

blu
blu
4 years ago

@tkaiser
What you’re observing could be as “trivial” as compiler version/control options. For the record, A64 NEON has outperformed A32 NEON on every platform I’ve tested yet. If you really want to load your C2 with densely-executed NEON code for reference purposes, drop me a line via Jean-Luc – I wrote to him once about microbenchmarks, so he has both my email address and the relevant links.

Winston
Winston
4 years ago

no_spam_for_me :
@neomode
Not only RK3188… also the RK3288 doesn’t support the max frequency they promise (only with a hack)… anyway, all ARM SoC throttles down after a few sec because of heat… so what…

I think what should come from this is widespread notice to the audience of SBC and Android TV box reviews that the claimed clock speeds are effectively bogus and that newer SOCs aren’t necessarily better and can actually be worse performers than older SOCs. Example: the S812 vs S905 benchmarks found elsewhere here.

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

@Winston
Very well put true points.

I was becoming a s905 recommender by purchase experience but now, I wonder what other corners have been cut or lied about.

Sound?

True ROM size?

Electrical safety?

Security of user data in AMLogic Android, the list could go on.

Once AMLogic lie and cheat the doors to customer abuse are forever open.

IMHO.

JotaMG
JotaMG
4 years ago

@theguyuk

It is not only AMLogic, it is many more corporations (VW/Audi/etc) that lie about their specs…
That is becoming as a normal part of life.
The important is whether it is intentional or just incompetence, and how they react and compensate.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Winston The target audience of this type of SoCs is absolutely clueless what matters and buys numbers. 64-bit is ‘better’ than 32-bit since twice as much, more CPU cores are better than less since ‘much’, 2 GHz are better than 1.8 since… Everyone who put a finger on one of these SoCs knows that ‘octa-core’ or now ‘deca-core’ combined with 2GHz in TV boxes does not work. It’s either all cores at low clockspeed or few at full clockspeed since TV boxes are neither equipped with cooling capabilities based on liquid nitrogen nor 40W PSUs. We know how this works… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

It says a lot about how are customers to be able to know or recognise the truth when this has took so long to come out and so many technical people and benchmark software writers have been fooled.

no_spam_for_me
no_spam_for_me
4 years ago

Winston : no_spam_for_me : @neomode Not only RK3188… also the RK3288 doesn’t support the max frequency they promise (only with a hack)… anyway, all ARM SoC throttles down after a few sec because of heat… so what… I think what should come from this is widespread notice to the audience of SBC and Android TV box reviews that the claimed clock speeds are effectively bogus and that newer SOCs aren’t necessarily better and can actually be worse performers than older SOCs. Example: the S812 vs S905 benchmarks found elsewhere here. hmmm, the S812 isn’t really faster than the S905 because… Read more »

cortex-a72
cortex-a72
4 years ago

@JotaMG Of course it’s intentional. They, amlogic. wanted to run it on 2.0 GHz. They start to advertize it as 2.0 GHz. Then, they saw, it burns at such speeds. Then they put modifications in early stage blobs to silently ignore establiching anything higher than 1.65 GHz (and voltages possibly too). And still they contiinue to sell it as 2.0 GHz capable. It’s an intentional cheating and lying. I don’t know how DVFS is done in linux, but it should be done exactly in the non-secure OS, not in the secure blobs. as opposed to resetting. Seems linux asks these… Read more »

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

It’s intentional, no doubt about it.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@cortex-a72 There is no ‘DVFS in Linux’ since it depends on the SoC in question. On the recent Amlogic SoCs a Cortex-M is doing the job just like on RPi 3 (there the primary OS called ‘firmware’ running on the VideoCore IV does everything, the ARM cores also have not the slightest idea what’s going on and the kernel also cheats on you reporting running at 1200 MHz while it’s already at 900 MHz due to throttling!), on Allwinner SoCs it’s different and the kernel controls behaviour: SoCs for mobile usage like A64 have an accompanied PMIC that does voltage… Read more »

Marius
4 years ago

@tkaiser By following this (AM)logic they should have stated it runs at 3 GHz and then run it at half because well it doesn’t matter for the users of TV boxes anyway, right ? People do buy specs because they expect better spec mean better performance and when you see the same A53 but at 2 GHz as opposed to 1.5 GHz you go … I’ll get this one. OK there might be a thing with overheating and stuff so even if it’s 2 GHz capable it will run at 1.5 GHz if the manufacturer doesn’t provide proper cooling. This… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Marius Remember those times in x86 land? When Pentium IV clocked at 4.0 GHz and you needed nothing else to heat up your home in Winter than 1 or maybe 2 PC? And then this small company Intel bought came up with x86 designs that were faster at a fraction of clockspeeds? And even Intel realized they had to shut down their radiator business to focus on performance instead? What’s this clockspeed hype all about? Yeah, now we repeat the same mania with ARM. And it’s as silly as back then to focus on clockspeeds instead of real performance. One… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Marius Ah, almost forgot: ‘TV box, aluminium enclosure, heatpipe, thermal pads’… Why on earth? We’re still talking about SoCs made for a specific purpose, aren’t we? 🙂 The CPU cores in a TV box SoC are the most irrelevant parts. They have to be there and their specs have to look beefy since the target audience knows nothing. Take a rather expensive RPi 3 and an $8 Nano Pi NEO and start the TV box contest decoding HEVC. The old and incapable SoC (RPi’s BCM2837 which is the the same as BCM2836 which is the same old boring BCM2835 just… Read more »

Winston
Winston
4 years ago

“For the average TV box customer this whole CPU MHz thing is of no relevance at all.” I agree with everything you said except that. In a way, it does make a difference when they choose to pay more for a new box with a “new and improved” SOC that isn’t necessarily better at a claimed higher clock speed that’s bogus. However, this marketing issue certainly isn’t unique to Android TV boxes. There’s the pixel race in cameras, a bazillion pixels in a puny sensor, noisy pixels though requiring all kinds of digital noise reduction which can then lead to… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

The AMLogic venders cheating customers might have another cheat developing. A internet search show some suppliers advertising Kodi 17 installed , as far as I know that version and above is still beta and in development. I joined Google Beta testing option in Google Play under a month ago, and I have Kodi beta 17, with bugs and still some function don’t work. It is still in development. As Google tell all testers! I only have a 2GB s905 Android 5.1.1. I cannot comment on the other socs. Is this yet more customer cheating, with unstable software which is not… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

@tkaiser
So is what that translates in to, that customers just wanting browsing and video viewing, playing, might as well just buy the cheapest 2GB, stable, Android TV box they can? Even Android 4.1 – 4.4 .

I suggest 2GB, due to I feel more memory, does help slightly with buffering in video?

xxx
xxx
4 years ago

What is about S912,very bad antutu results.I think it not have 2.0 ghz.

mo123
mo123
4 years ago

@xxx
Please read the headline.
It also only supports 1.5Ghz.

roel
roel
4 years ago

tkaiser : @Marius Remember those times in x86 land? When Pentium IV clocked at 4.0 GHz and you needed nothing else to heat up your home in Winter than 1 or maybe 2 PC? And then this small company Intel bought came up with x86 designs that were faster at a fraction of clockspeeds? And even Intel realized they had to shut down their radiator business to focus on performance instead? What’s this clockspeed hype all about? Yeah, now we repeat the same mania with ARM. And it’s as silly as back then to focus on clockspeeds instead of real… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

There is a 95 min video with Steve Furber, he is one of the people who brought use RISC ARM CPU. He comments the important part is how fast the CPU can get instructs to and from memory and how little time it take the CPU to do instructions. With present day CPU in built memory cashe helps too.

If you are interested here is a link to the video, http://armdevices.net/2016/08/22/arm-architect-steve-furber/

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

@cnx-software Hello ☺ Well I have a Remix Os mini here at my home, purchased off Gearbest. I ran 3Dmark and given the Remix Mini is a Allwinner 4 x A53 at 1.2GHz and only a Mali400 MP2 scores are a lot lower than a cheating s905 AMLogic. I have updated Remix Os to latest version based on Android 5.1.1 I desided out of random curiosity to download free version of Riptide GP2 off Amazon underground and found the Remix mini can run at all the highest settings my mini m8s s905 can. The Remix mini top gets slightly warm… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

@Theguyuk
Should read Mali 450 claimed Penta cores.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Theguyuk Great that you start to look into the right direction 😉 Your Remix Mini is said to run at 1.2 GHz but THS/dvfs/cpufreq default settings limit the CPU cores to 1152 MHz max (so it’s time to start the next cheating campaign, right?) Since we all (at least in the meantime should) know CPU cores are not relevant for TV boxes from a technical point of view (it’s only about sales, clueless people demand cores and GHz). You might be surprised but even 8 year old slow and boring Mali400MP2 is able to produce insane amounts of heat. When… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@tkaiser I don’t know why you guys keep on saying that core speed and core count aren’t useful for TV boxes. Under ideal cases this is true but in practice it’s not. VPUs are awesome when they implement a codec and implement it completely/properly. When you get a video that has a codec that is not fully implemented or not implemented at all, you have to fall back on the CPU to do the decoding and this is when cores and clock speed count. Hardware always lags behind software so you’re not going to find many affordable VPU IP’s that… Read more »

Winston
Winston
4 years ago

@tkaiser This sounds like a job for water cooling! 😉

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@thesandbender Ah, ok. That was new to me that it’s even possible to decode VP9/H.265 in software (in a way it doesn’t suck due to artefacts, fps too low and so on). I thought if one has a S905 based TV box and wants to watch VP9 he throws the S905 box in the bin and buys one with S905X instead (even if blogs like this reported S905X would be slower). BTW: somewhat disturbing reading me questioning Amlogic SoCs exceeding the 1.5Ghz 5 weeks ago. This is cnxsoft’s blog post with benchmark results showing S905X being slower than its predecessor:… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

@tkaiser Claiming 2GHz when it only does 1.5GHz is a much bigger cheat. ☺ People are buying more cores and alleged better GPU because of 4K TV chasing and Android TV boxes are starting to fill the promised casual game console market Ouya promised and aimed for. Others are cable cutters, going straight to source. The AMLogic sham 2GHz fooled more than casual buyers, they fooled the Benchmark software and product reviewers people trust. If people just want video players they can buy a NowTV, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon, box. At the moment my interest is outside failed, cheated benchmark… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

I don’t understand the logic that just because Android is on version 7 older GPU’s don’t have a use. Android doesn’t drop support for them and Android 7 will still leverage a Mail 400 for GPU acceleration. It’s more than fast enough to improve the user experience for most applications (even simple things like a drop down box are hardware accelerated if possible… when you press the drop down, the content behind it is bitblt’ed off and then bitblt’ed back when you close the drop down. Generally the application doesn’t need to do a redraw. Similar things are done for… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

@thesandbender
Older devices when in Google play get sometimes told this app does not support your device. 12 to 24 months is a long time in ARM hardware, hence older stuff out dates quicker.

You can still watch TV and Kodi on a Android 4 .0 , RK3066 1GB TV dongle / stick PC. But would you recommend one over today’s Android TV device ? Even if it meets all your needs newer hardware and Android version cost the same or very little more.

It all depends what you are wanting to do with the device.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

thesandbender : I’m guessing the market for a ~$200 board with proper SATA, upgrade-able RAM, etc really isn’t there. Closest you can get is a Tegra TX1 which is $600 and doesn’t even come with a SATA port (just M.2 though you can add a controller via the PCI-Ex4). Upgradeable RAM not but the closest you get is based on ARMADA 38x or i.MX6 then. Solid-Run’s ClearFog Base/Pro show excellent SATA/USB3/GbE performance and you can use mechanical converters and some u-boot voodoo to use both M.2 and mPCIe slot(s) with normal SATA disks. The quad-core i.MX6 variants show way slower… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@tkaiser The ClearFog is a nice piece of kit but it’s intended for networking, it’s a dual core 32-bit A9 with 1GB of ram. Not trying to knock it, it’s a great router platform, but it’s purpose built for networking.

Winston
Winston
4 years ago

@Theguyuk “We don’t need water cooling jokes” Somewhere on YouTube, I saw a water cooled Pi3. I thought the idea of water cooling a $30-40 SBC to be so absolutely absurd that it was funny. Apparently, so did the video’s creator. When I mentioned this clocking fiasco to an on-line reviewer of cheap Chinese Android TV boxes, he replied, “But look at what you get for $30” and that gave me a much better perspective on the issue. My philosophy is that there is no use getting upset over things that simply will not change no matter how much we… Read more »

Marius
4 years ago

@Winston Forget water cooling, this chips are for TV boxes. This have a relatively large surface size and with an extruded alu case this would be more than OK. I’ve seen 15W low power Intel chips cooled passively using only an extruded Alu case. Of course you need good contact between the case and the soc, maybe even a sort of a heatpipe or something and this would increase costs quite a bit. I do believe for an extra $10-$20 you can get proper passive cooling that would allow these SOCs to run with everything at max, CPU and GPU.… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago


You would have to to explain to me how to do that.

Also I am on the latest version of Remix OS.

I have the free Amazon underground GP2. ( unsure if updated or different to Google Play version )

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

Dismissing cheating just means honest companies go broke.

Before UK food standards people added chalk to flour, put candle wax in chocolate for kids. If you accept fraud you weaken the competition.
What next? Heart tablets that are flour, boob implants that are industrial silicone, cars that have no crash safety, planes with defective engines. Fraud is fraud even if it is just stealing 1 dollar from every charity box.

@Winston

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago


Way back when we had Intel, AMD and Cyrix , the Cyrix CPU were cheap but terrible slow in 3D maths games Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem 3D etc. So I paired mine with a 3DFX graphics card.

Just like you mention the card took the hard 3D graphics work off the CPU meaning the game became playable.

Roel
Roel
4 years ago

@Marius
They shoud all put the SOC on the “bottom” side of the board like the banana pro and the NEO. It’s much easier to cool it that way in a alu or steel enclosure. In that case the cooler isn’t in the way for add-on boards. On my odroid C1 the cooler is touching the bottom of my witty-pi board. I should mill of the cooler to make it fit properly, didn’t do it yet as I assume it will influence the cooling.

Roel
Roel
4 years ago

@Theguyuk
Problem is all company’s do it, it’s only a public scandal through the media (as with volkswagen) that can have a influence (fines). Does this mean they don’t do it anymore? Probably not, they just search for another way to cheat.
But I agree with you: Fraud is fraud even if it’s only 1 dollar.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Theguyuk Food standards? Do you consider clockspeeds an ‘ingredient’?! I think the main mistake people make is still looking at the wrong numbers. SoCs/CPUs running at lower clockspeeds are able to outperform those running at higher clockspeeds. Why? Since efficiency and since performance matters and not clockspeeds. Seems we must use the car analogy: You want mph (performance) but are only talking about rpm (clockspeed) and totally forget the gearbox in between (SoC architecture, efficiency, software). And while most benchmarks are fooling users no benchmark has been fooled. The benchmarks reported the performance (mph) and these numbers remain the same… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) Cheers and yes above 720 the MP2 Mali400 suffers terrible frame drop on the Remix Mini, I tested both 50 and 60 Hz screens at 720 and 1080. I also did the milk run 4 x at each resolution ( very boring! ). A separate problem my Bluetooth rubber keyboard does not map the stunt button on Remix mini but does on the Mini M8S s905. On mini m8s s905 supplied remote control and my Bluetooth keyboard work, ( remember I am using the free Amazon underground app which is mapped to the Amazon remote and Amazon… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

@tkaiser Hello tkasier ☺ I used food example to highlight that with out standards you don’t know what you get. Same as 100 dollars are 100 not 98 and to old tin cans. You mention power but countries have different electrical standards a USA charger is different to a UK charger. You need agreed defined terms and standards. A millimetre is a set size and not changeable. As to benchmark software they have been fooled they reported the score as x amount with Soc at 2GHz but the AMLogic can not do 2GHz, that reported speed was false and undetected.… Read more »

NIPSZX
NIPSZX
4 years ago

Why are there so many comments on this page? I have been following CNX for 2 years and I have never seen so many comments. What is going on? Is this why the tech sector in the stock market went up so much today?

wpcprez
wpcprez
4 years ago

what does the tech sector have to do with cnx comments? people care because they feel cheated so they are commenting. I’m fine either way and if it can go 2ghz im happy, if not the boxes weren’t that expensive so oh well.

blu
blu
4 years ago

thesandbender :
I’m guessing the market for a ~$200 board with proper SATA, upgrade-able RAM, etc really isn’t there. Closest you can get is a Tegra TX1 which is $600 and doesn’t even come with a SATA port (just M.2 though you can add a controller via the PCI-Ex4).

ClearFog ARMADA 8040 ($300 for all the features you wish) should be out next month. Mine is preordered.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@blu
8040 is also headless, I would assume @thesandbender is interested in an OTT box solution that does not suck regarding storage (and as already written a few meters above: ARMADA 1500 might then get interesting but I’ve no idea if devices with these SoCs already exist).

BTW: after reading the comments here and seeing so many people being focused only on irrelevant numbers I also wonder how many readers think clockspeeds would be an absolute performance indicator? Thinking an S805 clocking at 1.5 GHz would be as fast as a S905 since… 1.5GHz!

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

@tkaiser
A very valid point and question, we are lucky because cnx-software looked into the subject before in 2015 !

http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/04/09/relative-performance-of-arm-cortex-a-32-bit-and-64-bit-cores/

Now where are those A17 and A15 quad TV boxes running Android 5, 6, 7. Mind you there is power consumption and heat too, although a TV box has no battery to bother about..

RobBrownNZ
4 years ago

blu :
ClearFog ARMADA 8040 ($300 for all the features you wish) should be out next month. Mine is preordered.

I think the Inforce 6410Plus board looks like a good contender at $143, although the RAM is not upgradeable.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Theguyuk Do you really think replacing one BS number with another does help understanding anything or educating users? Dhrystone has been invented 30 years ago. It might have been useful back then but in the meantime it’s just a nice test for compiler switches but does not tell that much about processor capabilities. But since people fear using their brain and compare numbers without meaning instead questionable DMIPS scores are collected over time and used. Just in case you want to get the idea how stupid DMIPS/MHz ratings based on different compilers and optimizations are: http://www.brendangregg.com/blog/2014-05-02/compilers-love-messing-with-benchmarks.html In the meantime even… Read more »

paul
paul
4 years ago

@tkaiser
Like your post. I just commiserate the difficulty of finding one or more useful CPU benchmarks that one can use to compare ‘universally’ over many years – perhaps impossible. For some years I try to rely on notebookcheck.net rankings for Intel/AMD.

Even worse scenario appears to be a lack of standardized Range/Speed benchmarking of WiFi performance, both on miniPCs and other platforms. Perhaps you have some thoughts on that ?

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@tkaiser The title of that blog entry is misleading and though its primary conclusion is correct (compilers should match for benchmarks) the statement that compilers “mess with benchmarks” is just wrong (at least for gcc and clang). The compilers are doing their job, which is to look for inefficient code and optimize it. A better title would have been “compilers expose poor benchmarks”. i.e. if your benchmark just adds 1 to a variable one million times and then doesn’t use the variable, the compiler is going to strip that “dead” code out. They do the same thing with branches that… Read more »

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@blu @RobBrownNZ Thanks guys, both boards look very interesting.

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@thesandbender Whether the title is correct or not I don’t care that much. It’s all about that passive benchmarks produce only numbers without meaning (you have to check the benchmark itself what it actually does and whether this translates to anything useful if you have a look at reality. And while it seems like using the same bench for over 30 years since ‘consistent results’ quite the opposite is true). And of course if CPU cores can clock higher performance should improve. In an ideal world or environment. A TV box or an SBC is the opposite by design (when… Read more »

mo123
mo123
4 years ago

Lots of Amlogic S905 boxes also don’t have a full 2GB RAM.
But it is probably manufacturer and RAM supplier dependent.
If you check you will see something in the region of 1750-1785MB RAM.
That is the experience on a MiniMX S905.

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@mo123 Nothing nefarious there, the “missing” ram is allocated for the video card and firmware to use. With some boards you can allocated how much memory is allocated to the video card, e.g. if you’re using it headless you can set it to the minimum to free up more RAM. This applies to almost all SoC systems. You’ll see the same thing on any x86 systems using an IGP, some of the system RAM is set aside for the IGP (generally you can control how much in the BIOS).

JotaMG
JotaMG
4 years ago

Hey guys…
the giveaway has ended so you don’t have to enter any more comments…
just joking! hehe

mo123
mo123
4 years ago

@thesandbender
I thought it might be used for the VPU/GPU.
But it is just strange since Rockchip devices report the full 1.99GB RAM available to be used by apps.
Not sure how it works on their devices.

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

@thesandbender You will never get away from compiler difference on Reduced Instruction Set Chip by design RISC put the work back on the compiler, code writer. If I recall right. And Intel, AMD chips get to complex, eat energy for fun and burn. Putting the complex instruction on the chip use more clock cycles per instruction. The quick fix for over heating would be add a system board bus to the Soc and split the GPU, VPU back to a separate chip with own memory. But Bill Of Materials and power use climbs. So cheaper to under clock a 2GHz… Read more »

blu
blu
4 years ago

Theguyuk :
@thesandbender
You will never get away from compiler difference on Reduced Instruction Set Chip by design RISC put the work back on the compiler, code writer. If I recall right.

Absolutely nothing to do with RISC/CISC.

thesandbender
thesandbender
4 years ago

@Theguyuk The line between CISC and RISC has blurred a lot. The initial idea of RISC was to have a minimal amount of instructions and push complex instructions, instruction ordering etc. onto the compiler (as you described). The original MIPS chip had something like 70 instructions (the Berkeley RISC chip had 32!). The latest iteration of AArch64 has ~200 I think (including NEON and Crypto). Also, the Intel “Core” line of chips are actually “RISC” chips internally. The chips only support a smaller set of operations referred to as microcode by Intel. Part of the pipeline is decoding the CISC… Read more »

DarthMaul
DarthMaul
4 years ago

If you’ve only spent 30 or 40 dollars on an Android TV box, hen it’s no big deal you got an absolute bargain for your cash providing you purchased one of the better cheap china devices that now have good LE support like MiniMX and some nexbox models etc. When your spend 100 dollars or more on the expensive brands sometimes with less RAM and flash than the cheap china boxes , you should be angry that you have been short changed and not recived the spec you paid for. Minix, Tronsmart, Wetek etc… You pay more money for supposedly… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
4 years ago

@AMLogic

There is hope you 1.5GHz limited Socs might run at 2GHz yet

Extreme temperature specialist Vorago Technologies says its VA10800 microcontrollers have now been operating successfully in a temperature controlled oven for more than 4000 hours at 200˚C. During this time, the CPUs – based on the ARM Cortex-M0 core – have performed more than 7200trillion sequencial error free operations and exhibited consistently low current consumption.

??????

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@theguyuk
That says it all. Comparing an absolutely limited microcontroller running at 50MHz/200°C with TV box SoCs (read as: more than just CPU cores) at 1.5GHz or above where environmental conditions prevent them running at their theoretical maximum. Ignoring completely the relationship between voltage, temperature and clockspeed. I think I already posted this link here in the comments: http://asic-soc.blogspot.de/2008/03/process-variations-and-static-timing.html (I know, it’s useless, people affected by GHz hype don’t want to get the basics. You really think every chip is the same as long as ARM is written on it?)

blu
blu
4 years ago

cnxsoft :
Details about the new Amlogic S905 / ODROID-C2 frequencies options with the latest Linux 3.14.77-80 kernel @ http://odroid.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=en:c2_set_cpu_freq.
Short summary:
* 1.920 GHz stable with one core, and can boot with 2 cores.
* 1.656 GHz stable under all conditions.
Frequencies and cores count can be selected via boot.ini text file.

Not bad, actually (for a 28nm chip with hypothetical limit of 2GHz)

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
4 years ago

For those not technical but wanting to try playing with, changing some Android setting not available in the provided setting, I have tried a few Google play apps that can change things. I only used free options or advert passed. Warnings first !!!!!!!!!!! I am not responsible for any damage caused, I give nor claim any warranty or technical ability on my actions or part. Using, trying anything I write about is clear indication you take your own responsibility for your actions. AMLogic s905 -s912 is locked by vender to 1.5GHz I am not aware you can change that on… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

Too funny. While the whole SBC world complains about ‘2 GHz cheating’ by Amlogic/Hardkernel the most careless SBC vendor ever uses still the 2 GHz when producing his usual fake comparison charts: http://forum.banana-pi.org/t/banana-pi-bpi-m64-vs-raspberry-pi-3-vs-odroid-vs-pine64/2070 They also don’t get it that their own product has VPU support (at least when running Armbian on it — any Pine64+ image will do it), that Android 6.x and 7.x is available for A64 in the meantime, that Pine64 has no separate Micro USB OTG port and so on. Could be funny if not the very same careless person producing this marketing chit chat would also… Read more »

Abraham
Abraham
4 years ago

Hello
Gpu Amlogic S905X (Mali-450 GPU up to 750MHz+)
4.2.2 Images show?

There decoding of images 4.2.2?

klimek stanislaw
klimek stanislaw
4 years ago

Hi, I have a question I bought something I zoomtak UPLUS No Yes enter SETUP in Kodi and broke my complete beginners

tkaiser
tkaiser
2 years ago

It seems Amlogic limited maximum cpufreq in their BL3x blobs to just 1.4 GHz for S905X and S912 already 2 years ago: http://forum.khadas.com/t/s912-limited-to-1200-mhz-with-multithreaded-loads/2311/41?u=tkaiser Back at that time those SoCs were advertised as being 2.0 GHz capable. And then the S912 little.LITTLE SoC for whatever reasons limits 4 CPU cores to only 1.0 GHz so when trying to make use of all 8 A53 cores the clockspeed on average is around just 1208 MHz (4 x 1416 MHz and 4 x 1000 MHz). Adding to this at least kernel 4.9 as used by Khadas shows scheduler weirdness and demanding tasks do… Read more »

blu
blu
2 years ago

edit: I’ve started repeating myself : /

johnny
2 years ago

1.4ghz? now it’s even slower than this post which said 1.5ghz? geez… So far my s912 box has been fine and hasn’t felt slow so I guess it’s not a big deal.

tkaiser
tkaiser
2 years ago

> 1.4ghz? Yes, it’s confirmed also by utilizing willy’s nice mhz tool: http://forum.khadas.com/t/cpu-frequency-up-to-2ghz/2010/5?u=tkaiser 4 A53 cores are limited to 1416 MHz and the other 4 to just 1 GHz. So on average this is an octa-core A53 thing running at 1208 MHz. But unfortunately with Khadas’ 4.9 kernel the HMP/SMP scheduler behaves weird and demanding tasks end up often on the slower cores so with normal workloads that not run on all 8 cores in parallel performance is often limited by being bottlenecked through the artificial 1.0 GHz limit of 4 of these cores. Shouldn’t matter for the ‘TV box… Read more »

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