Android Amlogic S912 PK S905 of tv box

Android Amlogic S912 PK S905 of tv box

Amlogic is one of the biggest chipset manufacturers for Android TV boxes, with some of best Android TV boxes packing their processors.

The Amlogic S912 and Amlogic S905 family of processors are the most common so it’s only natural that we’d want to know which chipset reigns supreme when it comes to the S912 vs S905.

A Note on the Amlogic S905 Family of Processors

The Amlogic S905 is just one of whole family of similar chipsets, with each offering similar performance but slightly different feature sets:

  • Amlogic S905: A quad-core ARM Cortex A53 SoC with a Mali-450 MP3 GPU. It supports hardware decoding up to 4K@60fps for various formats including H.265 10-bit and H.264
  • Amlogic S905X: Similar to the Amlogic S905 but adds support for 4K@60fps VP9 hardware decoding, hardware decoding, HDR, HDMI 2.0a and a built-in DAC.
  • Amlogic S905L: Similar to the Amlogic S905X but supports HDMI 2.0b while missing VP9 decoding, a camera interface and TS inputs.
  • Amlogic S905D: Similar to the Amlogic S905X, with an added DVB interface.
  • Amlogic S905W: A cheaper version of the Amlogic S905X that limits video decoding to up to 4K@30fps.
  • Amlogic S905Z: Similar to the Amlogic S905X but there is limited information about how it differs.

There are also -H variants (such as the Amlogic S905-H that appears in the Xiaomi Mi Box) which includes the appropriate Dolby/DTS licences to allow Dolby support in all apps.

Amlogic S905 vs S912: Specifications

Let’s take a look at the specifications of these two popular Android TV box chipsets:

Amlogic S912 Amlogic S905
CPU Octa-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 Quad-core Cortex-A53
GPU ARM Mali-T820MP3 ARM Mali-450MP5
Video Decoding
  • 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
  • UHD 4K 60fps HW decoding, supports multiple formats including H.265 10-bit, H.264 and AVS+ (Limited to 4K 30fps on Amlogic S905W)
  • FHD 1080p 60fps HW encoding, supports H.264
Audio Processing
  • S/PDIF, I2S and PCM input and output
  • Stereo analog output
  • Digital stereo MIC input
  • S/PDIF, I2S and PCM input and output
  • Digital stereo MIC input
Display
  • HDMI 2.0, CVBS and RGB888 output
  • HDMI 2.0 and CVBS output
Connectivity
  • TS stream input
  • 10/100M MAC+PHY
  • TS stream input
  • 10/100/1000M MAC
Ultra HD/4K Output Yes Yes
HDR Video Playback Yes Yes

Amlogic S912 vs S905: Performance

The Amlogic S912 is a far more powerful chipset so you’d expect increased performance. It features 8 Cortex-A53 ARM cores in a big.LITTLE design (4 cores running at 1.5Ghz with 4 lower power cores running at 1Ghz)

Meanwhile, the Amlogic S905 features a more typical quadcore configuration, with 4 ARM Cortex-A53 cores running at up to 1.5GHz.

This difference translates to a decent performance gap between the two processors, with the more expensive Amlogic S912 showing 26% higher performance vs the Amlogic S905 in multicore benchmarks.

This means that you’ll see better performance on an Amlogic S912-powered Android TV box, including faster app loading times, smoother UI and more.

Amlogic S912 vs S905: Video Playback

The Amlogic S912 and S905 offer excellent video playback capabilities, with the two platforms offering similar support for the most popular video formats.

Both chipsets have the ability to decode Ultra HD 4K video content at up to 60 frames per second for H.264, H.265, and VP9 (though only on the S905D/S905X variants), in addition to full HD playback of VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, and VP8 videos are also supported.

Support for High Dynamic Range video (HDR) in HDR10 and HLF formats are also supported when connected to compatible TVs for improved picture quality.

Encoding is stronger on the Amlogic S912, with 1080p H.265 video encoding supported whilst the Amlogic S905 family are restricted to the older 1080p H.264 format.

Amlogic S912 vs S905: Gaming Performance
play games use S912 h96 pro tv box

As with general performance, there’s a big difference in gaming performance between the Amlogic S912 and Amlogic S905.

The Amlogic S912’s tri-core ARM Mali-T820 GPU is much more powerful compared to the much weaker pentacore ARM Mali-450 inside the Amlogic S905.

In real world performance tests, the Amlogic S912 offers an excellent gaming experience with most games running well at playable framerates.

However, gaming performance of the Amlogic S905 is average. Whilst 2D games won’t pose any issues, you’ll probably need to lower graphic settings on 3D titles to keep gameplay smooth.

Amlogic S912 vs S905: Benchmarks

Whilst synthetic benchmark scores don’t always match up with real-world performance differences, they are an easy way to show differences between two chipsets.

To test out the Amlogic S912 vs the Amlogic S905, 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

These benchmarks have been run on dozens of Android TV boxes with each chipset, with results being averaged out to account for TV box differences such as firmware.
S912 vs S905 H96 Pro plus lots video google search box set top boxS912 vs S905 H96 Pro plus HDR google search box smart tv boxS912 vs S905 Antutu Score google search box tv boxS912 vs S905 GeekBench Multi Core 4K google set top boxS912 vs S905 GeekBench Single Core HDR hd media player ott box

Looking at the benchmark gallery, we can see the Amlogic S912 outperforms the Amlogic S905 in pretty much all tests. Interestingly, the Amlogic S905 did appear to have slightly higher single core performance which is unexpected.

In terms of GPU performance, the Amlogic S912 predictably outperforms the Amlogic S905 by a wide margin which matches up what I’ve seen when running real-world gaming tests.

Amlogic S912 vs S905: Verdict

If you’re looking for a dedicated media player, an Android TV box packing either the Amlogic S912 or S905 will cover you due to similar media playback capabilities.

However, if you’re wanting better overall performance or want to play games on your TV box, the Amlogic S912 is your best option.

In the battle of the Amlogic S912 vs S905, the Amlogic S912 is the winner!

Best Amlogic S905w Android TV Box: H96 Mini Box

There’s actually quite a few strong choices when it comes to Amlogic S905 boxes and I found it difficult to choose between the popular Xiaomi Mi Box and the impressively flexible WeTek Hub.

H96 Mini Box
H96 mini HDR 4k smart tv box

The H96 mini is packing the quadcore Amlogic S905W so Dolby licences are included for improved audio compatibility. It also has 2GB of DDR3 RAM, an (admittedly small) 16GB of onboard storage, dual band wireless AC and Bluetooth 7.1. It also runs Android TV so you’re getting an excellent TV-optimized experience out of the box including remote-friendly versions of Netflix and YouTube.

Netflix users will also be happy with support for 4K Netflix out of the box for improved picture quality on supported TVs.

Best S912 Android TV Box: H96 Pro
H96 Pro android air smart tv box

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.
Amlogic S912 vs Amlogic S905 high dynamic google search box ott box
Are you going to get a S912 or RK3328 Android TV box? Let me know in the comments

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