X96 Max TV Box Features Amlogic S905X2 Processor, Android 8.1 OS

Just a few days after covering Amlogic S905Y2, S905X2, and S922X reference boards from the silicon vendor, we can now see one of the first consumer devices powered by Amlogic S905X2 processor with X96 Max TV box now up for pre-order on Aliexpress for $48 and up, and with shipping scheduled for the end of October. [Update: X96 MAX can also be found on GearBest for about the same price]

Amlogic S905X2 TV Box

X96 Max looks to be inspired from Amlogic S905W based X96 Mini design, but with one extra optical S/PDIF port, and improved internal specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905X2 quad core ARM Cortex-A53 @ up to 2.0 GHz (TBC) with Mali-G31 MP2 “Dvalin” GPU
  • Three configurations with System Memory / Storage / Networking
    • 2GB LPDDR4, 16GB flash, 2.4G WiFi, 100M Ethernet
    • 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB flash, dual band AC WiFi, Bluetooth 4.x, Gigabit Ethernet
    • 4GB LPDDR4, 64GB flash, dual band  AC WiFi, Bluetooth 4.x, Gigabit Ethernet
  • External Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a output with HDR, AV port (composite)
  • Video Codecs –  VP9 Profile-2 up to 4K 60fps, 10-bit H.265 up to 4K 60fps,   AVS2-P2 up to 4K 60fps,  H.264/AVC  up to 4K 30fps,  H.264 MVC up to 1080p60,  MPEG-4 ASP up to 1080p60 (ISO-14496), etc..
  • Audio Output – HDMI, AV, optical S/PDIF
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Misc – IR receiver, IR expansion port, front panel display, LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A
  • Dimensions – TBD

H96 Max TV Box

The box runs Android 8.1 with Neural Network API support, and ships with a remote control, a power supply, a  HDMI Cable, and a user manual. The 10W power adapter looks a little underpowered if you plan to connect an external USB 3.0 drive to the device. Compared to devices based on Amlogic S905X, you may get a bit more CPU performance if the max frequency is really 2.0 GHz, and improved graphics (visuals, but not necessarily performance) with a brand new Mali-G31 GPU that supports OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan. If memory serves me well, Amlogic S905X2 is also the first processor from the company with a USB 3.0 interface.

Via AndroidPC.es

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dave
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dave

The S905X is also their processor to support HDR+, the old one supported HDR and HLG i believe. I’m not sure if HLG support has been removed or not. Not sure whether it supports dolby vision or not either, maybe that is resevered for the S922X due to the licensing cost.

Da Xue
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Da Xue

Those chips with special licensing have special suffixes, eg S905X-X printed instead of only S905X.

Redneckerz
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Redneckerz

Ah, lovely. Do note that this is a particular ”rebrand” model – Its very generic and tons of company will use these, in contrast to companies like Vorke.

In this case however, the brand name is Vontar. They only are on Aliexpress and they are your ”typical” Chinese shop – using tons of generic models under their ”Vontar” brand, and even ”borrowing” models from brands that atleast built their own models, like the aforementioned Vorke.

DDR4 memory should do well for gaming, and a 4 GB option? Thats even more than most, RK3399 only pushes DDR3 for the most part, and only certain Amlogic S912 models do DDR4, but 3 GB of it (Which is enough to atleast run ARK.) So a 4 GB DDR4 version of this might be interesting as a games machine in the sense you can run most games then, including those that demand more than the usual 2 GB ram.

Since this takes a month before it gets released, i am fairly certain more reputed brands like Beelink will introduce their S905X2 based solutions soon, perhaps even by the end of the week, but certainly in the forthcoming month before this Vontar X96 Max is released.

That being said, again that ”Cortex A53 at 2.0 Ghz” claim… perhaps they now run at the actual speed?

Da Xue
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Da Xue

Clock speeds are locked via ATF which is closed source for Amlogic. Never read into the claims because the SDK is the same for everyone and the ATF is a blob.

nobe
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nobe

is it still the case with g12a & g12b socs ?

i hoped it wouldn’t be since i’ve seen operating points defined in device tree files in the latest buildroot releases.

tkaiser
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tkaiser

It’s important that the kernel reports high clockspeeds so these cpufreq OPP need of course to be defined in DT. Then Android tools like CPU-Z and Geekbench will report these high cpufreq OPP accordingly. And that’s all that’s needed for their marketing attempts.

If Geekbench reports 1.9 GHz then people believe into this number even if it’s maybe just 1.5 GHz in reality: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/search?utf8=✓&q=g12b_w400 (same SoC, same clockspeed, totally different numbers — for AES numbers an explanation is possible, for the others… well, let’s see

The numbers as usual make no sense at all when looking at the total scores. But if you look at individual results it gets interesting and I would suspect we see the same as in the past. The firmware running on an Cortex-M core dictating CPU clockspeeds while the kernel gets BS numbers through a mailbox interface.

Ron
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Ron

So no AndroidTV?
We thought that from now on, new AmLogic boxes would only come with the TV variant of the OS…
And at IBC, they showed version 9 and not 8.
So maybe the information that is published about the X96Max in aliexpress is not accurate?

Curmudgeon
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Curmudgeon

Until the Netflix compatibility issue is convincingly resolved, I won’t be considering Android TV OS again.

Da Xue
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Da Xue

It’s best to skip these fake boxes because they might never get Android 9. Google is clamping down on TV boxes.

fossxplorer
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fossxplorer

Looks good on the “paper”! @balbes150, will we get Armbian Linux support for these? 4GB DDR4 and GbE is interesting…

L.Peter
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L.Peter

For 10 USD more you get +2GB ram+16GB emmc+5GHz Dual Wifi+BT4.x+1000M, i cant see any reason to buy the basic model…

theguyuk
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theguyuk

I wonder if this comment about the s905D2 clock speed will reflect the true s905X2 clock speed
https://www.cnx-software.com/2018/05/01/amlogic-s905d2-quad-core-cortex-a53-processor-coming-soon-with-google-fuchsia-support/

Interesting list from sztomato that makes easy comparison.

What is difference between Amlogic S905D2 & Amlogic S905X2 and Amlogic S912?

The following is for everyone to sort out:

FREQ:
Amlogic S905D2 & Amlogic S905X2 is 2.0 Ghz.
Amlogic S912 is 1.5Ghz.

GPU:
Amlogic S905D2 & Amlogic S905X2 is Q31 MP2
Amlogic S912 is Mali-T820MP3

Memory:
Amlogic S905D2 & Amlogic S905X2 is DDR3/4/3L, LPDDR3/4
Amlogic S912 is DDR3/4, DDR3/4, LPDD2/3 (MAX [email protected] DDR2400)

GPU API
Amlogic S905D2 & Amlogic S905X2 is OpenGL ES3.2, Vulkan1.0 and OPenCL2.0
Amlogic S912 is OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.1, DirectX11 FL9_3, OPenCL1.1/1.2

Video Decord:
Amlogic S905D2 & Amlogic S905X2 is 4k2k H.265&VP9&AVS2-P2
Amlogic S912 is 4k2k H.265&VP9

Video interface:
Amlogic S905D2 & Amlogic S905X2 is HDMI1.4, HDMI2.0, HDMI2.1
Amlogic S912 is HDMI1.4, HDMI2.0

Audio interface:
Amlogic S905D2 & Amlogic S905X2 is I2S, PCM, SPDIF, Audio, DAC
Amlogic S912 is I2S, SPDIF

USB:
Amlogic S905D2 &Amlogic S905X2 is USB3.0
Amlogic S912 is USB2.0

Tomato will release new android tv box with Amlogic S905X2 and Amlogic S905D sooner, please pay attention to our website.

theguyuk
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theguyuk

Well just been reading Amlogic PDF and yes true clock in that docuement is 1.896G Hz for both.

tkaiser
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tkaiser

> yes true clock in that docuement is 1.896G Hz for both

‘true clock’? LOL! That’s what the device tree entries for the kernel define (Linux has a cpufreq framework so you need stuff like this to be compliant to recent kernel versions).

What happens in reality is something entirely different on some platforms.

And as we all know ‘true clock’ on Amlogic devices is something the Linux kernel has no control over. With current Amlogic SoCs there’s Cortex-M core(s) living inside the SoC that get a firmware BLOB injected and then control ‘true clock’. And while the kernel thinks it runs at 2016 MHz the Cortex-M chooses 1480 instead (S905 situation)

Theguyuk
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Theguyuk

Took along time for professionals to spot Amlogic clock report cheating.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

> Amlogic S912 is 1.5Ghz

BS

S912 is just the usual cheating thing like any other Amlogic SoC so far. S912 pretends to run at 1512 MHz while being limited on 4 cores to 1 GHz and on the other 4 cores to 1416 MHz.

S905X pretends to run at 1512 MHz but clocks at 1408 MHz in reality.

S905 pretends to run at 2016 MHz everywhere https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/search?utf8=✓&q=s905 while being limited to 1480 MHz in reality (only Hardkernel managed to get boot BLOBs from Amlogic allowing for non cheating mode)

Simply check the Amlogic entries here: https://github.com/ThomasKaiser/sbc-bench/blob/master/Results.md (right column contains the details with exact clockspeed measurements)

S912 –> Vim2, S905X –> Le Potato, S905 –> NanoPi K2

Da Xue
Guest
Da Xue

If you want good Linux support, S905X2 is still two years away. Libre Computer and BayLibre spent a lot of time getting GXL into shape and S905X2 doesn’t offer much improvement besides USB 3.0.

fossxplorer
Guest
fossxplorer

So let’s move on to RTD1296 and hope Orange Pi’s board will have good Linux support 🙂

Theguyuk
Guest
Theguyuk

Orange Pi always do build and forget. Orange Pi’s own support is a joke,

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

You should look at the SoC (family) and not board makers (if the board vendor is not RPi Trading, FriendlyELEC, Libre Computer or Hardkernel). I don’t get why situation with RTD129x and Linux should be encouraging. Realtek just recently opened kernel sources and there’s zero community around these devices. And majority of board makers usually just throw the BSP they got from the SoC vendor at their respective customers.

theguyuk
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theguyuk

Have you received anymore payment from Orange Pi for working for them?

madaudio
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madaudio

If hi-res multi-channel audio (flac, alac or whatever) is an issue, any android box is useless: regardless of the app you use, you will get your multi-channel hi-res flac files reduced to either 2 channel hi-res, or multi-channel down sampled to 48khz.

theguyuk
Guest
theguyuk

Don’t want a s905x2 in square plastic box, well now you have a brand with a s905x2 in a round plastic box ! Bet you cannot contain yourselves.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/HOT-T95Q-4GB-32GB-64GB-Android-8-1-Amlogic-S905X2-TV-BOX-Quad-Core-Wifi-BT4/32945810574.html?

theguyuk
Guest
theguyuk

You cannot trust Chinese cut and paste specs but this is a odd statement, on Chinese supply site

” H96 Max TV Box
The box runs Android 8.1 with Neural Network API support, and ships with a remote control, a power supply, a HDMI Cable, and a user manual. The 10W power adapter looks a little underpowered if you plan to connect an external USB 3.0 drive to the device. Compared to devices based on Amlogic S905X, you may get a little CPU performance if the max frequency is really 2.0 GHz, and improved graphics (visuals, but not necessarily performance) with a brand new Mali-G31 GPU that supports OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan. If memory serves me well, Amlogic S905X2 is also the first processor from the company with a USB 3.0 interface. “