With the hotly anticipated release of Android TV boxes featuring Rockchip’s new quadcore RK3328 processor, everyone’s been wondering how it compares to Amlogic’s popular octa-core Amlogic S912 SoC.
Let’s compare the RK3328 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 1.5GHz
- 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
- 4K VP9 and 4K 10bit H265/H264 video decode, up to 60fps
- 1080P other video decoders (VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP8)
- Supports HDR10 and HLG HDR processing. Supports conversion between SDR and HDR
- 1080P video encoder for H.264 and H.265
- S/PDIF, I2S and PCM input and output
- Stereo analog output
- Digital stereo MIC input
- Audio DAC
- 8 channels I2S/PDM interface, supports 8 channels Mic array
- HDMI 2.0, CVBS and RGB888 output
- HDMI 2.0a for 4K@60Hz with HDCP 1.4/2.2
- Support conversion between Rec.2020 and Rec.709
- TS stream input
- 10/100M MAC+PHY
- Embedded CVBS, HDMI, Ethernet MAC and PHY,TS in/CSA2.0, support DTV function
|Ultra HD/4K Output
|HDR Video Playback
There’s no doubting that the Amlogic S912 chipset is the more powerful chip of the two, boasting 8 Cortex-A53 ARM cores in a big.LITTLE design. This features 4 cores running at 1.5Ghz with 4 lower power cores running at 1Ghz.
This dwarfs the Rockchip RK3328’s four Cortex-A53 ARM cores running at 1.5GHz, meaning that the Amlogic S912 tends to outperform Rockchip’s processor in CPU-based tasks.
This translates to improved performance when using Android apps, navigating the UI and other day-to-day tasks.
RK3328 vs S912: Video Playback
With both the Rockchip RK3328 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.
Please note that neither chips support the 10-bit H.264 codec favored by Anime fans so those will need to be software decoded in Kodi which often leads to a poor video playback experience.
Those needing to encode videos get access to 1080p video encoding in both H.264 and H.265 formats.
RK3328 vs S912: Gaming Performance
Whilst RK3328 vs S912 video playback is remarkably similar, there’s a significant gap in gaming performance favoring the octa core Amlogic S912.
The tri-core ARM Mali-T820 GPU inside Amlogic’s processor significantly outperforms the weaker ARM Mali-450MP2 inside the Rockchip RK3328.
As I’ve found in my Android TV box reviews, Amlogic S912 devices offer a solid gaming experience with most games running smoothly at playable framerates.
The same can’t be said with Rockchip RK3328 devices that I’ve tested, with most games being barely playable aside from the simplest titles.
If you’re a gamer, opting for an Android TV box powered by the Amlogic S912 is a no brainer compared to the RK3328.
RK3328 vs S912: Benchmarks
Synthetic benchmarks don’t always translate to real-world performance but they’re an excellent way to show performance differences between different chipsets.
I’ve run a number of popular benchmarks on both RK3328 and Amlogic S912 devices I’ve reviewed to see how these two chipsets stack up, with average scores being used.
GeekBench 4.0, 3DMark and Antutu 6.0 were all used to measure RK3328 vs S912 performance.
As you can see in the benchmark gallery below, the Amlogic S912 generally outperforms the Rockchip RK3328 with significant leads in both CPU and GPU benchmarks.
Interestingly, the Rockchip RK3328 performed about 15% better in Geekbench’s single core benchmark. However, multi-core performance was slightly better as we’d expect thanks to the additional 4 low power cores in the S912.
In terms of GPU performance, the Amlogic S912 significantly outperforms the Rockchip RK3328 – confirming what I’ve experienced when doing my gaming tests. In both 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited and Ice Storm Extreme benchmarks, I saw the Amlogic S912 offer 2.4 to 2.6 times the graphical performance of the RK3328.
RK3328 vs S912 Verdict
When in comes to video playback performance, both the Amlogic S912 and Rockchip RK3328 are almost on equal footing, with excellent video playback support including both 4K and HDR videos.
However, the Amlogic S912 pulls ahead once we factor in CPU and gaming performance, with Amlogic S912 devices likely offering a better user experience.
In the battle of the RK3328 vs S912, the S912 is definitely the victor!
Best RK3328 Android TV Box: H96 max plus
There hasn’t been too many RK3328 Android TV boxes released and none have really impressed me so far.
However, the Ugoos UM4 has the most potential with some solid hardware under the hood.
Specs wise, it features 2GB of DDR4 RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, dual band wifi and Bluetooth 4.0. It also runs Android 7.1 so you’re getting a modern version of Android compatible with the latest apps.
Ugoos also has an excellent track record of supporting their Android TV boxes with regular firmware updates so we’re likely to see my criticisms addressed in future patches.
Best S912 Android TV Box: H96 Pro
The H96 Pro has long been a favorite for those wanting a solid performing Android TV box with quite a few unique features.
Aside from its unique hexagonal design, it also features a multi-color LED strip and a small LED display to show the time.
It also runs Android 7.1 and solid connectivity options including dual band wifi, gigabit ethernet and Bluetooth 4.0.
It’s available in two configurations, one with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage and a more powerful version with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
Whilst you do miss out on features such as HD Netflix and advanced Kodi features such as automatic framerate switching, those wanting a powerful streaming media player for Kodi or playing games should enjoy the H96 Pro.
Are you going to get a S912 or RK3328 Android TV box? Let me know in the comments