Amlogic have released the successor to the immensely popular Amlogic S905X – the Amlogic S905X2. The new chipset add support for USB 3.0 for faster data transfers and HDMI 2.1 – allowing for higher resolutions. So how does the new Amlogic S905X2 compare with Amlogic’s other popular chipset – the octa-core Amlogic S912 SoC.
Let’s compare the S905X2 vs S912 to find out which is the best chipset.
Let’s take a look at the specifications of these two popular Android TV box chipsets:
||Octa-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53
||Quad-Core Cortex-A53 up to 2.0GHz
- 4K 60fps HW decoding, supports multiple formats including H.265/VP9 10-bit, H.264 and AVS+
- Supports HDR10 and HLG HDR processing
- FHD 1080p 60fps HW encoding, supports H.265/H.264
|AVS2-P2, VP9 and 10bit H265/H264 video decode, up to 4K 60fps
H.264/AVC up to 4K 30fps
H.264 MVC, MPEG-4 ASP up to 1080p 60fps
Supports HDR10, HLG HDR and Dolby Vision processing
- S/PDIF, I2S and PCM input and output
- Stereo analog output
- Digital stereo MIC input
8 channels I2S/PDM interface, supports 8 channels Mic array
- HDMI 2.0, CVBS and RGB888 output
|HDMI 2.1 for 4K@60Hz with HDCP 1.4/2, CVBS
Support conversion between Rec.2020 and Rec.709
- TS stream input
- 10/100M MAC+PHY
- TS stream input10/100/1000M MAC+10/100 PHY
|Ultra HD/4K Output
|HDR Video Playback
Amlogic S905X2 vs S912: Performance
It’s interesting to see that despite the Amlogic S912 chipset boasting more cores thanks to its 8 Cortex-A53 ARM cores in a big.LITTLE design, the Amlogic S905X2’s 4 cores are clocked faster at up to 2.0Ghz.
Whilst this means that the Amlogic S912 performs better in multi-core workloads such as multi-tasking, the faster single core performance of the Amlogic S905X2 should provide a slightly better experience when using Android apps, navigating the UI and other day-to-day tasks.
It’s also important to call out that the Amlogic S905X2 is the first Amlogic processor to include support for high-speed USB 3.0, offering much faster transfer speeds – perfect for playing high resolution movies from your USB drive or hard drive.
Amlogic S905X2 vs S912: Video Playback
As the Amlogic S905X2 and Amlogic S912 targeting Android TV boxes, it’s no surprise that video playback performance is excellent between both chipsets.
Both chipsets have the ability to decode Ultra HD 4K video content at up to 60 frames per second for H.265, VP9 and H.264 video codecs.
Additionally, full HD playback of VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, and VP8 videos are also supported.
Both can also decode High Dynamic Range video (HDR) when connected to compatible TVs for improved picture quality. Both HDR10 and HLG formats are supported. However, Dolby Vision is only supported on Amlogic S905X2 TV boxes.
It’s important to note that 10-bit H.264 videos (popular for Anime releases) isn’t supported by either processor so you’ll need to rely on Kodi’s software decoding which struggles to keep up on these processors at resolutions higher than 720p as I found during my review of the Mecool KM9.
Amlogic S905X2 vs S912: Gaming Performance
Gaming performance on the Amlogic S905X2 is surprisingly good, with the new Mali G31 GPU offering significant performance gains compared to the Mali-450 included on the last generation Amlogic S905 family of processors.
As seen in the 3DMark Ice Storm benchmarks, the Amlogic S905X2’s Mali G31 edges out the tri-core ARM Mali-T820 GPU in the Amlogic S912 by around 11%. However, the 3DMark Slingshot benchmark (which relies on OpenGL ES 3.0) sees the Amlogic S912 pull ahead significantly, with a score nearly 80% higher than the S905X2.
How this translates into gameplay is far more subtle. As I’ve found in my Android TV box reviews, both Amlogic S912 and S905X2 Android TV boxes offer a solid gaming experience with most games running smoothly at playable framerates.
However, newer titles which make use of the improved features included in OpenGL ES 3.0 will likely play far better on Amlogic S912 devices.
Given the improved support for newer gaming benchmarks, I have to say the Amlogic S912 has the edge for gamers.
Amlogic S905X2 vs S912: Benchmark Comparison
First of all, it’s important to recognize that synthetic Android benchmark comparisons don’t always translate to real-world performance differences but they’re an easy way to compare different Android TV boxes in a reasonably scientific way.
To test out the Amlogic S912 vs the Amlogic S905X2, I’ve run the following benchmarks on dozens of Android TV boxes:
- Antutu: Popular general benchmark that covers everything from GPU performance to general usage
- GeekBench: CPU benchmark that tests both single and multi-core performance
- 3DMark: GPU-centric benchmark that focuses primarily on gaming performance
The below Android TV box benchmark comparisons cover popular benchmarks across a number of S905X2 and Amlogic S912 devices I’ve reviewed to see how these two chipsets stack up, with average scores being used to account for TV box differences such as firmware.
As you can see in the benchmark gallery below, the cheaper Amlogic S905X2 surprisingly outperforms the octacore Amlogic S912 in most benchmarks. generally outperforms the Rockchip S905X2 with significant leads in both CPU and GPU benchmarks.
However, the Amlogic S912’s extra cores and GPU sees it pull ahead in Geekbench’s multi-core and 3DMark’s Slingshot benchmarks.
Amlogic S905X2 vs S912: Verdict
The Amlogic S905X2 is an impressive SoC, offering excellent all round performance in a budget package.
In terms of video playback, the Amlogic S905X2 and S912 are essentially equal, with excellent video playback support including both 4K and HDR videos. However, the Amlogic S905X2’s support for USB 3.0 and Dolby Vision makes it my top pick.
However, gamers will probably be happier with the Amlogic S912’s GPU which offers better performance when using OpenGL ES 3.0.
In the battle of the S905X2 vs S912, it’s a tie!
Best Amlogic S905X2 Android TV Boxes: H96 max x2
As the Amlogic S905X2 is such a new processor, there aren’t too many S905X2 Android TV boxes out there (though they’re coming thick and fast!)
The H96 max x2 is the first Amlogic S905X2 TV box I’ve got my hands on, offering good media playback and gaming performance together with the Android TV’s TV-optimized user interface.
Specs wise, it features 4GB of RAM, 64GB of onboard storage, dual band wifi and Bluetooth 4.2. It also runs a seemingly unofficial version of Android TV 8.1.
However, Netflix is limited to 480p (though some have reported steaming 1080p Netflix via modified Netflix apps) and automatic framerate switching isn’t supported which is disappointing to home theatre enthusiasts.
Best Amlogic S912 Android TV Box: H96 Pro
The H96 pro was a sleeper hit when I reviewed it earlier this year and it’s become one of the most popular Amlogic S912 boxes available at the time of writing.
It’s one of the few Chinese Android TV boxes that run Android TV – Google’s TV-friendly OS. This means the Mecool Pro L offers a more TV-friendly user interface than the custom solutions used by most TV boxes.
The rest of the specs are solid too with 3GB of RAM, up to 32GB of onboard storage, dual band wireless AC, 100M Ethernet and Bluetooth 4.1.
The included voice remote lets you access the Google Assistant whilst support for Google’s Widevine L1 DRM means you should 1080p Netflix streaming out of the box – though users on forums are saying that Nteflix has closed that particular loophole.
Are you going to get a S912 or S905X2 Android TV box? Let me know in the comments.