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Himedia Q5 Pro
Successor to the Himedia Q5 4K3D. Based on new Hisilicon Hi3798C V200 SoC with much upgraded performance. 3D-ISO, 7.1 HD-Audio, ARM A53, Mali-720, 10bit colour, dual Gigabit Ethernet, 192/24bit audio, 4K60.
£tba / €tba
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A Brief History of Chipsets

We began this site in 2008 as a way to group and index media player products according to 'chipset'.

Modern media and computing products (media boxes / phones / tablets / HTPCs) are built around a single chip, containing the CPU, graphics processor (GPU), audio hardware and all other functions. This type of integrated design is called SoC (System on a Chip), or simply 'chipset'.

All products with the same chipset will have the same core performance and features. There will be some differences in terms of software (firmware) but these will be relatively minimal.

When we started in 2008 we concentrated on the specialist media player chipsets that were prevalent at the time. At around 2012 the market for media players switched to the Android operating system and the chipsets became Cortex based. These same Cortex chipsets are used in phones and tablets. At the start of 2015 a new breed of HTPC based on SoCs from Intel were launched running Windows, creating a viable alternative to Android.

This site lists all three types of chipset together in one index and has pages explaining chipsets for each category:

Cortex Android Chipsets (2011-) : Mini-HTPC Chipsets (2014-) : Specialist Media Chipsets (2006-2013).

Android Chipsets

This section runs through the common Android chipsets. All products based on a chipset will be generally the same in terms of core performance and features. Click on the chipset name to see a list of all products in our database using that chipset.

We use rough Antutu benchmarks as an indicator of performance.

The Kodi column gives each chipset a rating of poor, average or good for Kodi features+performance. For newer chipsets the rating might change as firmware and/or Kodi are improved.

Ratings are updated regularly (last SEP-2015) and are a factor in the index ranking.

ChipsetRelease DateCPUGPUFeaturesKodiAntutuRating
Rockchip RK33992016 JunCortex A72 (x2) +
Cortex A53 (x4)
Mali-8644K60. H.265. 10bit???
HiSilicon Hi3798C V2002016 MarCortex A53 (x4)Mali-T7204K60. H.265. 10-bit. VP9. 3D-ISO. 7.1 HD-AUDIO. Dolby Vision. HiVXE 2.0???
Amlogic S9122016 MarCortex A53 (x4)?4K60. H.265. 10-bit. VP9. Dolby Vision???
Amlogic S9082016 AprCortex A53 (x4)?4K60. H.265. VP9. 10-bit???
Rockchip RK32292016 FebCortex A7 (x4)Mali-400 (x4)4K60. H.265. 3D ISO. 7.1 Audio. 10bit???
Amlogic S9052015 OctCortex A53 (x4)Mali-450 (x5)4K60. H.265. 10bit.Good30,0004
Rockchip RK33682015 AugCortex A53 (x8)PowerVR 6110 (x64)4K60. H.265. 3D ISO. 7.1 AudioGood (custom)38,0004
Allwinner H32015 MarCortex A7 (x4)Mali-400 (x2)4K30Poor17,0003
Allwinner A802014 DecCortex A15 (x8)PowerVR 6230 (x64)4K30Average36,0003
Rockchip RK31282014 DecCortex A7 (x4)Mali-400 (x2)Average16,0002.5
HiSilicon Hi3798M2014 DecCortex A7 (x4)Mali-450 (x4)7.1 Audio, 3D ISO, H.265, 4K30Good17,0004
Rockchip RK32882014 SepCortex A17 (x4)Mali-T764 (x4)4K60Average40,0003.5
Realtek RTD11952014 SepCortex A7 (x2)Mali-400 (x2)7.1 Audio, 3D ISOAverage12,0002.5
HiSilicon Hi3798C2014 OctCortex A9 (x4)Mali-450 (x8)4K30. 7.1 Audio. 3D ISO. H.265Good25,0004
Mstar MSO9180D1R2014 AprCortex A9 (x4)Mali-450 (x8)HDMI input, recordingPoor16,0003.5
Amlogic S8052014 AprCortex A5 (x4)Mali-450 (x4)H.265. 1080pGood17,0003.5
Amlogic S812-H2014 NovCortex A9 (x4)Mali-450 (x8)H.265. 4K30Good25,0004
Amlogic S802-H2014 FebCortex A9 (x4)Mali-450 (x8)4K30Good25,0004
Amlogic S8022014 FebCortex A9 (x4)Mali-450 (x8)4K30. No hardware 5.1 audioGood25,0003.5
HiSilicon Hi3716C2013 AugCortex A9 (x2)Mali-400 (x1)7.1 HD-Audio. 3D BD-ISOPoor5,0002
Allwinner A202013 MayCortex A7 (x2)Mali-400 (x2)Poor5,0002
Rockchip RK31882013 AprCortex A9 (x4)Mali-400 (x4)Average20,0003
Allwinner A312013 FebCortex A5 (x4)PowerVR SGX544 (x2)Poor12,0002.5
Actions ATM70292013 JanCortex A9 (x4)Vivante GC1000 (x2)Poor12,0001
Rockchip RK30662012 AugCortex A9 (x2)Mali-400 (x4)Average9,0003
Amlogic 8726-M6/MX2012 JunCortex A9 (x2)Mali-400 (x4)Good8,5003.5
Allwinner A132012 NovCortex A8 (x1)Mali-400 (x1)Poor2,5002
Wondermedia WM88502012 AugCortex A9 (x1)Mali-400 (x1)Poor3,0001
Amlogic 8726-M32012 AprCortex A9 (x1)Mali-400 (x1)Good3,0002.5
Amlogic 8726-M12012 FebCortex A9 (x1)Mali-400 (x1)Average2,0002
Allwinner A102011 NovCortex A8 (x1)Mali-400 (x1)Poor2,5002

Android Chipsets

Single Core
Android Box
Cortex chipsets running Google's Android operating system are increasingly used in today's Android Boxes. The versatility of the Android operating system offers web browsers, Youtube, games. etc.

Cortex A53, Cortex A17, Cortex A9, Cortex A8, Cortex A5, Cortex A7? WTF?!
You will often see Cortex chipsets advertised as 'Cortex A8' or 'Cortex A9'. All this means is that the main processing part of the chipset uses either the A8 or A9 Cortex core. In theory the Cortex A9 core is faster than the A8 but in reality it is not that simple. Other aspects of the chipset design are more important than the Cortex core used.

1.5Ghz must be better than 1.2Ghz, right?
Clock speed is important in a chipset's performance but it cannot be used to make reliable comparisons. A quad-core RK3188 chipset running at 1.2Ghz will be many times more powerful than a single core WM8850 chipset running at 1.5Ghz. Manufacturers give misleading information regarding clock speed. Theoretical maximums are often quoted rather than the speed the device actually runs at on the default firmware.

Dual Core
Android Box

What about the GPU?
The other major factor when looking at Cortex based chipsets is the graphics co-processor (GPU). This is more important than the processing core for decoding HD video streams, and is completely separate from it. For GPU intensive apps it is important that the GPU is compatable with the app. So for Kodi you want a GPU supported internally for hardware decoding. Similar for 3D games. You'll need to do some research here for your chipset / app combination.

Which chipset is the best?! That's all I want to know!
Calm yourself. There isn't a 'best', they're all different. See the specific Android chipset listing above for info.

Quad Core
Android Box

I want Kodi! Which is best for that?
Kodi support in Android is a lot better than it used to be. Most recent boxes will run Kodi capably as long as you're not pushing the boundaries with 4K, HD-Audio, or BD-ISOs. For the widest format support and best performance have a look at the table above. The chipsets rated 'good' are the ones to go for. But.. do your research! The Kodi forum has a hardware section which is a good place to start.

Hardware quality.
Manufacturing an Android box is actually fairly easy and hence many Chinese manufacturers are now doing it. Beware!, the vast majority of the products you'll find are basically junk. The hardware will be built badly so it will break, the manufacturers have no idea how to get the firmware running properly on the hardware, and the products will lack the legally required European (CE) or American (FCC) safety certification. We recommend sticking with the more well known manufacturers or reputable retailers operating out of your locality.

Quad Core
Android Box

Android Chipset Links

Actions Semiconductor Wiki
Allwinner Wiki
Rockchip Wiki
WonderMedia Wiki
HiSilicon Wiki
Actions Semiconductor Official
Allwinner Technology Official
Amlogic Official
RockChip Official
WonderMedia Official
HiSilicon Official
Himedia H8
Octa-core 64bit GPU and 64-core GPU Android 5.1 box with 4K60, 7.1 HD-Audio, 3D BD-ISO and H.265 support, including from within Kodi. Pre-installed custom Kodi 15.2. Powerful multi-purpose box suitable for media or gaming.
£84.99 / €113
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