Today we present our comparative and benchmarks of the new Amlogic S905X3 SoC against the rest of the SoC of the current market used in TV-Boxes. This new SoC is a Quad Core with ARM Cortex-A55 processors that integrates a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU and allows native H.265 and VP9 video decoding up to 4K@75fps with support for advanced HDR. A chip intended for mid-range TV-Boxes that faces the options of Allwinner, Rockchip, Hisilicon or Realtek.
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SPECIFICATIONS AMLOGIC S905X3
To perform the comparative of this SoC, we will use the TV-Box Beelink GT1-MINI 2 TV-Box that includes the AMlogic S905X3 Quad core SoC. Ttis model have versions with 2/4GB of DDR4 RAM and 16/32/64GB of eMMc storage memory. At the level of wireless connectivity Wifi aC dual band and Bluetooth 4.0, a USB 2.0 port, another USB 3.0, analog audio and video port, a Gigabit Ethernet connector and an HDMI 2.1 video output with 4K@75fps support with HDR. The operating system is Android 9.0 and includes a remote control with microphone compatible with google assistant.
- The Beelink GT1-MINI 2 can be purchased at Gearbest, Aliexpress and Geekbuying with the coupon 3ZCPSWXA only for €51 ($ 56.99) with free shipping for the 4/32GB model.
- If you are looking for a more cheap box you can go for the low-cost model A95X F3.
As we say the new Amlogic S905X3 SoC has four ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores manufactured in 12nm, it integrates a Cortex-M4 processor with Neural Network Accelerator functions that provides improved performance as Virtual Assistants. It has native connections for HDMI 2.1 that reaches up to 4K@75fps compatible with multiple DRM security systems, USB 3.0 support, internal storage up to eMMC 5.0, Gigabit Ethernet and audio capacity up to 8 channels of audio input and output. In the graphic section we have an important leap in the GPU since now a Mali-G31 MP2 is integrated that far exceeds the previous Mali-450MP5 of the S905X as we will see. In the video section on your VPU we now have the Advanced Video Engine Gen10 processor.
The new Amlogic S905X3 Quad Core SoC has four ARM Cortex-A55 cores, it is capable of reaching 1.9 GHz and the manufacturing process is only 12nm which gives us improvements in performance by lowering the consumption / thermals.
- As we see the system supports only ABI armeabi-v7a which limits us to install applications in 32bit.
For the graphical section we have a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU with a maximum speed of 650Mhz and performance up to 1.3 Gpix/s per core = 2.6Gpix/s (0.65 Gpix the Mali-450). It has support for OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan 1.0. We also have support OpenCL 2.0 FP, Render Script, support L2 Cache up to 512MB and bus AMBA 4 ACE-LITE. With this GPU we can play powerful titles like PUBG in low / medium settings.
In this SoC we find the Advanced Video Engine Gen10 for decoding that supports h.265 and VP9 codecs, compatible with HDR, Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR10, HDR10 +, HLG, PRIME HDR formats and support for REC709 / BT2020 profiles. This system allows us to take video up to UHD 4K@75fps resolutions without problems thanks to its HDMI 2.1 video output that theoretically can be compatible with automatic refresh refresh synchronization, but this will depend on the implementation in the firmware and the technology of our TV.
The system that we find in this first Box that we are going to review is based on Android 9 Pie (API 28), the kernel that controls the system is kernel 4.9.113, a fairly modern version and that luckily leaves kernel 3 behind we had in the models with Android 7 and SoC S905X. As we have said before due to API limitations, we can only install 32bit Android apps, perhaps to avoid incompatibility problems.
We perform several performance tests with the Amlogic S905X3 SoC’s, we make a VS against Soch Rockchip RK3328, RK3399, Nvidia Tegra X1, Realtek RTD1296, Amlogic S922X, S912, S905X, S905X2 and the Allwinner H6.
Possibly the best known test (we use version 6 for compatibility), with this test we get an idea of the overall performance of the device and can buy it with others. This test is greatly influenced by internal storage and other general performance values, as we can see in the results this new S905X3 SoC works fine and surpassing the Amlogic S912 and S905X2.
A test that gives us some very interesting values of the raw power testing of the CPU in mono core and multi core in addition to GPU computing. As we see in the results, they generally outperform the previous SoC S905X2 and the S912.
The graphical performance test par excellence with a fairly solid continuity in terms of results which helps us when comparing GPU performance historically. As we can see, the GPU Mali-G31 MP2 defends itself well and surpasses the low range of its rivals and is at the level of the Mali-T820 MP3 of the S912, surpasses by little the previous S905X2.
This test gives us an idea of the performance level for desktop applications of this hardware performing tasks such as video editing, managing text or audio files, something that is increasingly used in Android. The results are quite good, it is above the S905X2 thanks to the improvement in efficiency provided by Cortex-A55 cores.
VPU and Sound
We passed a series of performance tests at the level of video playback on the Amlogic S905X3 to check the formats supported by the integrated Advanced Video Engine Gen10 VPU. As we can see the results are very good both in h.265 and in VP9 P2 in 10bit color formats and with HDR, even in KODI we can watch 8K videos. We are surprised by this GPU with the correction in 1080i video that did not work well in S905X2, with the VC-1 codec we only have correct results with the Amlogic native player.
- Image quality: Good colors and acceptable processing.
- HDR compatibility: Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR10, HDR10 +, HLG, PRIME HDR and support for REC709 / BT2020 profiles.
- HDMI-CEC: Works with the firmware Android 9. It depends on each model.
- Auto framerate: By default it does NOT included in the options menu. It depends on each model and brand.
- Sound: In this firmware we have supports up to DD and DTS 5.1. See review of the concrete model.
|VC1 / 1080p / 8bit||OK (only in native player)|
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||Frameskip (SW)*|
|h.265 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||OK|
|h.265 / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P1 / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 4K / 10bit HDR||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 8K / 10bit HDR||OK (only in KODI)|
|Max. Bitrate||100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s|
- SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have have some frameskip in very heavy files.
As we can see in our comparison, the new Amlogic S905X3 SoC is a contained improvement over the S905X2 but with interesting upgrade in AI that accelerates the use in apps that use these routines, it also has more energy efficiency and power. The gross monocore performance improves thanks to the new Cortex-A55 cores and improvements in multicore are also appreciated. At the level of graphic power the Mali-G31 MP2 maintains its performance, defends itself quite well and is left with good figures to allow gaming even in titles such as PUBG at medium level.
In new Amlogic S905X3 SoC we also have improvements in video playback with the Advanced Video Engine Gen10 video engine, we have support for H.265 and VP9 with various HDR formats, the interlaced video playback 1080i has been fixed and compatibility increased with 8K. This new S905X3 SoC that is pin-to-pin compatible with the previous S905X2 will replace it totally in the market as we are already seeing with an infinity of models that already integrate it.