Today we present our comparison of the new Rockchip RK3566 SoC against the rest of SoCs in the current market integrated in TV-Boxes, an interesting chip that we will see in countless products soon.
This new RK3566 SoC manufactured in 22 nm is a Quad Core with ARM Cortex-A55 processors that integrates a Mali-G52 MP2 GPU and allows native decoding of H.265, VP9 video up to 4K@60fps, although unfortunately it does not seem to have HDR support. This Soc does not support the new AV1 codec that its main competitor in the sector, the new S905X4, does. A chip intended for mid-range TV-Boxes that faces against the options of other manufacturers such as Allwinner, Nvidia or Amlogic.
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SPECIFICATIONS ROCKCHIP RK3566
To perform the analysis of this SoC we will use the TV-Box X88 PRO 20 includes the new SoC RK3566 from Rockchip, a Quad Core with ARM Cortex-A55 processors of low power consumption and 64 bits that in theory reach up to 1.99 GHz, with a Mali-G52 MP2 GPU and an NPU for iA with a power of 0.8 TOPS. RAM is 4/8 GB DDR3, storage is 32/64/128 GB eMMc, and we have a micro SD card reader.
The new Rockchip RK3566 processor is manufactured in 22 nm, has four ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores up to 1.8 GHz, it also has an NPU for iA with a power of 0.8 TOPS. It has native connections for HDMI 2.0a up to 4K@60fps, USB 3.0 support, internal storage up to eMMC 5.1, Gigabit Ethernet and audio capability up to 8 channels of audio input and output. On the graphics side we have the Mali-G52 MP2 GPU with Vulkan 1.0 support.
The new Rockchip RK3566 Quad Core SoC has four ARM Cortex-A55 cores, is capable of reaching 1.8 GHz and the manufacturing process is 22 nm, leaving behind the 28 nm that Rockchip used until recently for all its SoCs.
- As we see the system supports ABI armeabi-v8a, so we can run 64bit applications.
- CPU revision r2p0 = RK3566 / r0p1 = RK3288 / r0p4 = RK3328.
For graphics there is a Mali-G52 MP2 GPU with a maximum speed of 850 MHz and performance up to 6.8 Gpix/s, per core 3.4 Gpix/s (0.65 Gpix Mali-450 / 1.3Gpix Mali-G31). Support for OpenGL ES 3.2 and up to Vulkan 1.0 is available. We also have OpenCL 2.0 FP support, Render Script, L2 Cache support up to 512MB, AMBA 4 ACE-LITE bus and AXI. With this GPU we can play powerful titles like PUBG at medium/low settings.
In this SoC we find the video decoding engine that supports h.265, VP9 codecs and does not support AV1 codec or HDR formats and we do not see anything special to control color profiles. This system allows us to take video up to UHD 4K@60fps resolutions without problems thanks to its HDMI 2.0a video output, we also have the usual image quality settings in Rockchip.
The system that we find in this first Box that we are going to analyse is based on Android 11 (API 30), the kernel that controls the system is the kernel 4.19.172, a fairly modern version and that fortunately leaves behind the kernel 3 that we had in the models with previous SoC.
We performed several performance tests with the Rockchip RK3566, VS them against the Nvidia Shield TV’s Tegra+ SoC, the Fire TV Stick 4K’s Mediatek, the extended Allwinner H616 and the latest and most popular Amlogic SoCs in the industry.
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 overall results are at a similar level to other similar processors such as the S905X3 and S905X4, the NPU seems to improve the results in computation, but the CPU has lower overall performance it is noted that we stay in 22 nm and does not reach the 12 nm of AMLogic SoCs.
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 Mali-G52 MP2 GPU has a performance far superior to what we see in the S905X3 or X4, this is the aspect where this SoC stands out compared to the Amlogic SoC’s.
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 figures of this test reveal that the new RK3566 as we can follow the performance line of this range of products such as the Amlogic S905X3/4.
VPU and Sound
We ran a series of video playback performance tests on the Rockchip RK3566 to check the formats supported by the integrated VPU. As we can see the results are good with h.265 and VP9 P2 codecs up to 4K@60fps resolutions, we do not have support for the new AV1 codec. We have no problems with 10bit color formats, but we do NOT have HDR support, videos in this format will play at basic colour level.
- Image quality: Correct colours and acceptable processing / WITH image quality adjustments.
- HDR support: Not supported, they are reproduced in basic SDR color.
- HDMI-CEC: Not available in base firmware.
- Auto framerate: Not available by default.
- Sound: By default, the firmware does NOT support DD or DTS sound. See review of the specific model.
|h.264 / 1080i / 8bit (IPTV)||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 4K / 8bit||OK|
|h.264 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||Frameskip (SW)|
|h.265 / 1080p / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 1080p / 10bit (anime)||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|h.265 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK (No HDR, SDR)|
|VP9 P1 / 4K@24fps / 8bit||OK|
|VP9 P2 / 4K@60fps / 10bit HDR||OK (No HDR, SDR)|
|VP9 P2 / 8K@60fps / 10bit HDR||Frameskip (SW)|
|AV1 / 4K@24fps / 10bit||Frameskip (SW)|
|Max. Bitrate||100 Mbps = 12,5 MB/s.|
- SW = does not have hardware acceleration and may have some frameskip in very heavy files.
CONCLUSIONS ABOUT RK3566
After performing our benchmark tests, we can say that the new Rockchip RK3566 SoC offers slightly more 3D graphics power with its integrated GPU compared to its direct competition. The raw monocore and multicore performance of the Cortex-A55 is very similar to the Amlogic with which it competes, but with 22 nm it is below the 12 nm of the competition. In terms of graphics power the Mali-G52 MP2 GPU has better 3D performance than the Mali-G31 of the Amlogic, defends itself quite well and is left with good figures to allow gaming even in titles like PUBG at medium/low level.
This new Rockchip RK3566 processor is not a very attractive platform in terms of video playback, on the one hand we do not have support for the new AV1 codec that is called to occupy an important place, also we do not have support for HDR or HDMI-CEC communication, we can play that if h.265 or VP9 content in 4K@60fps quality without problems. As a basis for this new SoC we have Android 11, as usual in Rockchip its firmware is not especially good for use in a TV-Box or for multimedia content.
As we have seen, the new Rockchip RK3566 offers an interesting improvement over other Rockchip SoCs and an increase in 3D power somewhat higher than the Amlogic, but in the video/audio aspect this SoC is very disappointing.
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