Firmware Update for CS868 mini PC Version 2.06 (Android 4.1.1)

If you’ve got a Rockchip RK3188 mini PC, there’s usually no issue with finding firmware updates, or even custom ROMs. But if you’ve bought an AllWinner A31 mini PC, such as CS868, you may feel everybody dropped the ball, as the system is not stable, and it seemed there would never be any upgrade. I’ve recently been made aware that there’s some activity on a Chinese bulletin board, and a new firmware is available for CS868: V2.06-4.1.1-20130610. As the name implied, the firmware is based on Android 4.1.1, and has been release on the 10th of June 2013. Here’s the Changelog against V2.05: Add video color brightness, contrast and saturation settings Output to HDMI output by default Other systems optimization and the Changelog against V2.04 (22nd of May): Reduce DDR frequency to improve system stability. Fixed potential sound failure. Optimize USB OTG interface to fix issues with Air mice. Increase […]

Quick 3D Game Performance Comparison – Rockchip RK3188 vs AllWinner A31 HDMI TV Sticks

When comparing SoCs, most like to look at the overall score, and as I mentioned this morning, Tronsmart T428 (based on RK3188) easily beats Kimdecent CS868 (Based on A31) in Antutu benchmark, the former scoring 15207 points against 10559 points for the latter, both using stock firmware, and similar resolution (1280×720 vs 1280×672). The difference in resolution is because the status bar was hidden in T428. If we look at GPU performance, both the 3D scores in Antutu are about the same for both devices: T428 CS868 2D Graphics 1549 998 3D Graphics 2696 2866 But according to an earlier GPU comparison post, PowerVR SGX544 MP2 should be much faster than Mali-400 MP4. So I’ve decided to perform two quick tests: Epic Citadel benchmark and Real Racing 3 game. T428 could render Epic Citadel 1.07 at 41.3 fps in high quality, but I failed to install Epic Citadel, either via […]

Review of Kimdecent CS868 mini PC Powered by AllWinner A31

Kimdecent sells some cheap RK3188 mini PCs such as QC802 for $76, but instead of sending me yet another RK3188 device, they agreed to send CS868, an HDMI TV dongle powered by AllWinner A31 quad core processor, so that I could review it. This mini PC comes with 2GB RAM and 16GB Flash, the latter being larger than the 8GB flash found in most other devices, and is available for $95 on Kimdecent Aliexpress store. More details about the specifications are available on Unuiga U28 post since the hardware is the same. In theory, AllWinner A31 has a much slower CPU than Rockchip RK3188, but its PowerVR 544MP2 GPU should outperform the Mali-400 MP4 found it the Rockchip processor, and A31 supports 4K2K video decoding. In this post, I’ll show some unboxing picture, give my first impressions, test Wi-Fi performance, video playback capabilities, and run some benchmarks. CS868 Unboxing Pictures […]

How-to Upgrade Firmware on AllWinner A31 mini PCs

I’ve just received a mini PC powered by AllWinner A31, and I had to (re-)install the firmware, so I’ll explain the steps I followed in this post. The procedure is for CS868 mini PC, but it should be similar for all Android HDMI TV dongles, and media players based on AllWinner A20 or A31.The procedure below only works in Windows, and has been tested in Windows XP. I’ll mention a possible method in Linux at the end of the post. Download the latest CS868 firmware and tools, and extract “cs868 firmware and update tool 20130507.rar” file Download PhoenixUSBPro tool in English, and extract This is optional as the Chinese version is included in rar file above. Double-click on PhoenixUSBPro/PhoenixUSBPro.exe to start the program Click on Update to upgrade the tool to the latest version if need be. Click on Key to to load the key file (AW_LCTOOLS.key), on Image to […]