A few days ago we compared Amlogic A311D to Rockchip RK3399 since both the top-of-the-line processors from Amlogic and Rockchip are currently available. Rockchip RK3588 will even be faster, but we need to wait until Q1 2020 at least before it becomes available, and delays are not unheard of, so I’d expect it may take about one year before I can get my hands on a sample.
Another comparison is against Amlogic S912, the previous high-end processor from the company. Amlogic A311D and S922X-B are newer and will be faster but it’s interesting to find out just how much. Note the Amlogic S922X found in ODROID-N2 is clocked at a lower speed compare to A311D/S922X-B, so performance will be somewhat lower. Since I recently benchmarked Khadas VIM3 with Amlogic A311D processor, I decided to dust off my old Khadas VIM2 Amlogic S912 development board, fit it a large heatsink, install the latest Android 7.1 firmware for the board, and run the benchmarks again. You’ll find screenshots of the results at the end of this post.
Amlogic S922X-B/A311D vs Amlogic S912 – Key features
|Amlogic A311D & S922X-B
|CPU||Quad-core Cortex-A73 @ 2.21 GHz
Dual-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz
|Octa-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.51 GHz|
|GPU||Arm Mali-G52MP4 with OpenGL ES 3.1 support||ARM Mali-T820MP3 with OpenGL ES 3.0 support|
|NPU||Yes (5.0 TOPS)||No|
|– 4K 10-bit HEVC decode||Up to 60 fps|
|– 4K VP9 decode||Up to 60 fps|
|– 4K H.264 decode||Up to 30 fps (8-bit only)|
|– Encode||1080p60 H.264/H.265||1080p60 H.264|
|– HDR||Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and PRIME HDR||Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG
Amlogic S912 is an octa-core processor so people who do not follow the market, may think it will be faster than Amlogic S922X-B hexa-core processor, but the latter comes with more powerful Cortex-A73 cores and Cortex-A53 both clocked at a higher frequency thanks to a 12nm manufacturing processor. The GPU is also more modern with OpenGL ES 3.1 support.
Amlogic S912 was launched at a time when nobody had ever heard of NPU (Neural Processing Unit) in Arm SoCs. Multimedia features are similar, but Amlogic A311D/S922X-B does have support for H.265 encoding, and more HDR (High Dynamic Range) options.
Amlogic S922X-B vs Amlogic S912 – Benchmarks
|Amlogic A311D/S922-X||Amlogic S912
|Overall exc. OpenGL 3.1 “Refinery” (1)||114,335||51,640||2.21x|
|GPU exc. OpenGL 3.1 “Refinery” (1)||18,253||4,902||3.72x|
|Web Browsing 2.0||6,450||3,286||1.96x|
|Photo Editing 2.0||7,164||4,814||1.49x|
|3DMark – Sling Shot (OpenGL ES 3.0)
(1) Refinery does not run on Khadas VIM2 / Amlogic S912 since OpenGL ES 3.1 is not supported, and as such the score was 0, while Khadas VIM3 got 17,220 points in the same test. This distorts the results, so I’ve also presented results without Refinery, which give a more realistic view of the performance difference.
Amlogic A311D is way faster than Amlogic S912, roughly doubling the CPU performance, web browsing scores, and so on. I can remember I was disappointed when Amlogic S912 with Mali-T820MP3 was not that much faster compared to Amlogic S905 with Mali-450MP3 GPU in games and benchmarks. But in their latest SoCs, Amlogic did not mess around, provided a proper upgrade with Mali-G52MP4 GPU providing 3 to 4 times 3D graphics performance, and making it suitable as a gaming platform.
So if you have an old Amlogic S912 SBC or TV box and wonder if it’s worth upgrading to Amlogic S922X-B or A311D, don’t hesitate anymore, unless all you do is watching videos in which case the experience should be similar. Amlogic S922X will also provide a significant upgrade over S912, but just a little slower compared to A311D due to the 1.8 GHz maximum CPU frequency.
Addendum – Khadas VIM2 / Amlogic S912 Benchmark Data (Android 8.0, August 2019)
PCMark 10 Work 2.0 performance
3DMark Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Benchmark
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
Since folk have a fascination with the red hot RPI 4, wonder if Amlogic would ever allow over clocking of the s912, s905x, s905w ?
Have Amlogic released the Linux drivers for the G52 GPU yet?
there are wayland and fb drivers for G52
> S912: Octa-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.51 GHz
One cluster is artificially limited to just 1.0 GHz (which can’t be adjusted due to ‘firmware’) so with multi-threaded loads it’s more like eight Cortex A53 at 1.25 GHz. With single-threaded loads it’s even worse since with vendor kernel the scheduler often sends tasks to the slower cluster so in fact S912 with single-threaded loads is often way slower compared to quad core A53 allowed to clock higher than 1 GHz (and this literally applies to every quad core A53 out there).
If the Mali-G52 in those chips is the same as the one in the S922X, then the config should be either mp2 (dual cluster), or mp6, since it’s 2 clusters by 3 engines each. I think mp2 makes more sense, since its purpose is to compare across G52 setups (which come in 3 engines per base config), and not across totally different Malis, IMO.
I’m very confused by Arm GPU nomenclature with regards to the numbers after “MP”, but in Amlogic A311D datasheet, one can read:
Most likely a typo, as mp4 cannot translate to 6ee.
Can 6EE be 2+4? I’ve seen previous GPUs with like 2 fragment cores, and 4 vertex cores (I may have mixed up names here). But based on your previous comment, it does not seem to be organized that way for Mali-G52.
After refreshing my memory with Bifrost launch info, arm’s MP officially stands for number of execution engines:
That said, it turns out G52 could come in either 2EE configs or 3EE configs, so mp4 is a possibility, and would signify 4EEs. So mp4(6EE) continues to be a clear contradiction. That said, s922x’s G52 is said to be 6EEs. Which should be easily verifiable /note to self
A s922 MP32 tv box sounds fun
this slide shows MP number equals shader cores count
and in the G52 bifrost architecture, one SC can feature either 2 or 3 EE (execution engine) per shader core
so it doesn’t seem to me that MP “officially” stands for the EE count number, despite amlogic decision to just do that…
i might be wrong, but i also think A311D G52 packs 2 EE per SC (2 SC total), while S922 G52 packs 3 EE per SC (2 SC total)
> i might be wrong, but i also think A311D G52 packs 2 EE per SC (2 SC total), while S922 G52 packs 3 EE per SC (2 SC total)
That’s a possibility. Though if we go by the wording in the official A311D pdf, the use of G52 mp4 vs the use of G52 mp6 is 2:1, so there’s 66% chance of it being 4EE and 33% chance of it being 6EE ; )
It is profoundly strange:
– Beelink’s PR data lists it as an MP6 based on the 6 execution engines
– A311D calls it MP4.
Considering A311D is basically an S922X, id say its confusing as heck.
Same goes for the earlier S905. So many sites called it a pentacore Mali 450 (MP5) but i have also seen MP3.
Stuff like this should have been clear a long time prior.
Besides, Mali T820MP3 obviously is no match considering Mali G31 MP2 out performs it aswell. But i love the coverage of this regardless.
G52mp6 heftily outperforms T860mp4, so T820mp3 does not have much of a chance here ; )
Still that GPU is quite capable, as is T760MP4 in RK3288. We really ought to have more coverage on these – in the beginning of this year it was known that RK3288 would recieved Android 9.0 upgrade. So i am wondering what it can run in terms of modern games. As i recall, RK3288 and Allwinner A80 are the only 2014 SoC’s that would still do really well on modern titles, disregarding more recent SoCS. Especially if you bought one with 4 GB DDR3, you could even run ARK. Imagine buying an UGOOS RK3288 device with 4 GB DDR3 in… Read more »
I wonder about the video encoding capabilities of the A311D/S922X-B and whether it is more of a gimmick than a feature as many more powerful Intel SOC’s can struggle with quick X265 encoding.
I am also curious to know whether they can manage transcoding within TVHeadend PVR recording functionality, which no previous generation of AMlogic SOC was capable of.
Sorry, what? Why would it be a gimmick? They most likely use ARM’s video encoder engines, which is what is most likely used in your smartphone as well (unless you use an Apple device). Can your phone encode H.265 video in real time from the camera? If so, then Amlogic’s chips can encode H.265 video in real time.
Is it going to be comparable in quality to doing it the hard way with multiple CPU cores? No. It’s going to be more similar to Intel’s Quick Sync technology, but this is good enough for most consumers.
It’s not using ARM’s codec IP.
S912 costs half what S922X costs so performance is expectly much faster. 28nm + A53 cores were a poor combination but CPU core count was all the rage those days (3 years ago)
S912 have HEVC encoder too
From the specifications linked in the post, I can only see JPEG encoding and H.264 video encoding for Amlogic S912.
Hard to find anything on the web about HEVC/H.265 encoding, as all search results are about decoding.
Apparently the mainline kernel won’t support video encoding/decoding? http://linux-meson.com/doku.php
I find it frustating that RPi is pretty much the only choice if one wants mainline kernel support for video.
> RPi is pretty much the only choice if one wants mainline kernel support for video
That’s wrong : mainline kernel support for video decoding is on its way
I’m not sure about the encoding situation though
And AFAIR, allwinner video encoding/decoding should already be supported in mainline
Would be interesting to include S905X2 to the comparison, as it is widely sold.
I don’t have any S905X2 platforms, but based on what we know about S905X2: https://www.cnx-software.com/2018/10/21/comparison-s905x-s905x2-s905x2-processors/, I’d expect S905X2 and S912 to have similar performance.
In some tests s912is a head of s905x2
That’s mainly for console emulation.
Android PC TV did a comparison with it, and it shows Mali G31 MP2 outperforming Mali T820MP3, albeit not by much: https://androidpctv.com/comparative-amlogic-s905x2-s905y2/
Still, its a huge step up as new common place SoC instead of the overly popular S905/Mali 450 combo.
Etaprime on YouTube too tests the s905x2
I recently discovered that channel for exactly that reason, unfortunately tv box gaming is very uncommon, and playing games that aren’t the usual suspects is even more uncommon.
But i appreciate CNX making more items regarding these lately, the more info, the better.
If you have a s905x 2GB or s905x2 try Real Racing 3, Asphalte ariborne, Freedoom, OpenArena , Dead Trigger and Riptide GP Renegade from Google app store. The age of console gaming on cheap, less then £40.00, TV boxes is here.
Nvidia shield TV is still king but costs £175.99
The down voter will be a long shortly ?
Really doubt you’ll be playing anything in a “enjoyable” way on a S905x2/x3 box.
With the S922x yeah,you might get a decent experience(similar to what a entry level Xiaomi Redmi 7(not note 7) phone can deliver these days)BUT at the moment those S922x boxes cost between 90$-120$…Way over 40£ and way overpriced IMO.
You should pop over to YouTube and look up gaming on s905x2 , you will be surprised.
Sadly CNX has no s905x2 TV box to test due to his countries laws.
He could try them on his s912 but he is busy with reviews and site ect, I would imagine.
Gaming on Amlogic S912 TV box at a time when I could still easily import TV boxes from China: https://www.cnx-software.com/2016/08/21/using-m12n-android-amlogic-s912-tv-box-as-a-game-console-video/
I “popped”:)over to YouTube and noticed that most of those gaming review videos have affiliate links in the description(basically marketing/publicity videos).
Suppose it depends on what you understand by “enjoyable way” but let’s not mislead potential customers…”The age of console gaming on cheap” is NOT really here with the S905x/x2/x3.
Some cheap parents might believe you and get some S905x instead of a Xbox.
Can you imagine the childrens reaction?LOL
Your answer is both wrong and correct. It isn’t really here because gamepad support is flaky, but that can be circumvented. However, in terms of feature set support, console level gaming is definitely a reality with the new low end SoC’s. You gotta understand about mobile GPU’s: Because they have to work with limited bandwidth (and shared with the main memory), mobile GPU’s tend to be rather great at pushing effects, but lack behind in pushing geometry. This is why OpenGLES 2 based titles (which are usually for Mali 400 etc) tend to look like PS2/OG Xbox titles with a… Read more »
Agree that there is gaming potential BUT there is one(or two) more thing you missed… Usually these SOCs have overheating issues and the ones that put together these boxes tend to cut a lot of corners when it comes to materials quality(basically using the cheapest of the cheapest) and don’t spend much (or any) time to make a decent firmware. You mentioned the H6, well as far as I know that’s underclocked because of it’s heating issues,S912 the same story. The new 12nm ones should theoretically be better in that respect but from past experiences Chinese Android boxes don’t perform… Read more »
There are only a few fan cooled boxes out there (That much i do know), but i do know that a lot of these boxes come with passive heatsinks, which is definitely something more than what you have in a phone. Yet another relatively unresearched field – How long can TV boxes cope with gaming before overheating? Indeed, materials are fairly basic (plastic, really) and often enough the board does not even occupy the full space of the enclosure, but that is to be expected when you cater the low end. Its the same kind of industry that makes those… Read more »
I don’t have any of those personally, but those are still rather ”known” titles, don’t you think? 😉 My parents have an S905X based TV box though but they do not game on it. So my only own personal experience is that of my own phone. Fortunately, its exactly the same as an Allwinner H6 (so 4x A53, Mali T720 MP2). It does stuff like PUBG (OpenGLES 3 support!) and Shadowgun Legends aswell as Modern Combat Versus decently. Ofcourse, this is at 720p. I do believe that with the S905X2/X3, the lowest common denominator devs to support games has risen… Read more »
Real Racing 3 happily plays on my Vim1 2GB ( I would mention I got it free from Khadas when they first launched ) My s912 2GB box played games great too. It need relashing at moment.
My £32.00 a95x F2 s905x2 4GB 64GB plays all the previous games I listed and PUBG , it scored higher than H6 in tests online. ( purchased of Aliexpress , shenzhen ACEPC store. )
You can get a s905x3 4GB 32GB for around £34.00 on Aliexpress.
Yes Bluetooth controller support is missing as mainly games target touch screens.
This is for demonstration but CNX might delete it.
Here is GTA, Real Racing 3 , Asphalt 8 airborne on a beelink s912 .
Its not PS4 but how much did your PS4 and games cost?
Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 8 airborne are freemium in the Google Playstore.
Here is where we need more technical verification like Digital Foundry does:
– What is the common resolution used on TV boxes on these games? Because on tablets/phones, they usually are the screen’s resolution.
– What is the performance in frames, and how long does it sustain?
In the same way that PC and console games are researched, so should TV boxes, and mobile games in general.
I don’t have a PS4, i am not sure what made you say that. 😉
Well yeah, but we need a site/articles for this stuff, and lesser known games! You can see now that certain titles demand more than 2 GB ram – Excellent for those Mali G31 boxes that usually come with 4 GB RAM, and DDR4 even.
Try Dead Effect and Dead Effect 2 from Google Play
I tried both on my phone and my earlier device (4x Cortex A7, Mali 400 MP2). They ran very decently, though shadow quality would be mixed.
A x96 ( s905x ) TV box 2 years ago playing dead effect 2, for anyone who has not seen it on a TV box.
Amlogic s912 Khadas VIM2 android 8 oreo? Looks like spelling errors, s912 max sdk 7.1.2
Sorry, my bad. It’s Android Nougat (7.1) @ https://docs.khadas.com/vim2/FirmwareAndroid.html
If you go to Khadas forums Superceleron has done several ROMs ATV
Some other benchmark(phorenix) from ubuntu will be nice too
I think that Khadas provide ubuntu for both or not?
I think that balbes support at least VIM2
Yes, Ubuntu for both VIM2 and VIM3. I’ve stopped testing for now. I’m waiting for the fan.
The board runs at 1GHz for multi-threaded benchmarks right now.
Put you rpi ice tower on it?
> The board runs at 1GHz for multi-threaded benchmarks right now
Measured in Android or Linux? Wrt fan I would believe any reasonable fan blowing laterally through the tiny heatsink fins on those VIM heatsinks should do the job.
Ubuntu image from Khadas. I’ll wait for the official fan, and switch to reviewing something else in the meantime.
khadas amlogic VIM3 is faster and Edge SBC high performance !!!
What about the S912 3GB DDR4 RAM model? Isn’t it faster than the 2GB DDR3 model?
The larger memory may feel Android faster, as some app may not be killed in the background as fast. If you switch apps with 2GB, the app may have to be restarted, but with 3GB it may still be running in memory.
In most benchmarks, however, there will be few differences. Having said that, the faster DDR4 bandwidth may lead to faster 3D graphics and smoother 4K HDR videos.