Budget chip maker Rockchip offers a range of processors for low-cost Android tablets, TV boxes, and other devices. A few years ago the company’s RK3188 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor was all the rage, offering decent performance at a low price. Last year the company’s RK3288 ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core processor stepped up the game with even stronger performance.

This year Rockchip launched its first 64-bit, octa-core chip. The RK3368 is an ARM Cortex-A53 processor with PowerVR G6110 graphics

But according to some early benchmarks, you might actually get better performance from last year’s model.

rk3368

CNX Software ran a series of benchmarks on the RK3368 and RK3288 processors and found that in most tests, the older processor outperformed the newer model.

While the new chip is based on newer ARMv8 technology (instead of ARMv7), it has a lower clock speed and users PowerVR G6110 graphics instead of ARM Mali-T764 graphics. The RK3368 scores a little lower in the AnTuTu benchmark, and far lower in the Vellamo and 3DMark tests.

A handful of TV boxes with Rockchip’s new octa-core processor are starting to go on sale in China. But while they use a newer version of ARM’s CPU architecture, they don’t necessarily offer better performance. And that could explain why Google and its hardware partners chose the older RK3288 chip for some of the first Rockchip-powered Chromebooks.

On the other hand, CNX Software does note that Rockchip’s new processor should have two advantages over the older RK3288 chip: It supports Android 5.1 Lollipop and it’s supposed to support 4K, 60 Hz video decoding… but the latter doesn’t actually seem to work properly.

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19 replies on “Rockchip’s RK3368 chip: Not as fast as last year’s RK3288?”

  1. a gross, thank you for this info, seems to reflect several oterh sources – its true. Sticking to buying Riko Magic (lmfao) with 3288.

  2. You say “Rockchip’s RK3368 chip: Not as fast as last year’s RK3288”, well you have half a point there. But only half! Not more not less. Keep in mind though:
    1. The 3368 is future proof (64 bit). Android is moving to 64bit (albeit on shaky legs with LP) – and
    2. Most application (including bench marks) are ment for 32bit even if they support/run on 64bit. There are big design changes from the old to the new. Actually I am surprised the RK3368 does so well in the old RK3288 environment. Wait another year or so for the software developers to catch-up and we should talk again 🙂
    Oh, and yes, I agree with “realjjj” and “Tired8281”.

  3. A53 isn’t a successor to A17, it’s a successor to A7. A57 is the successor to A17. Confused yet?

    1. Hi performance: A15 -> A57 -> A72
      Mainstream: A9 -> A12 (A17)
      Low cost: A7 -> A53
      Low power A5 -> ??

      1. I don’t think they could have done this in a more confusing way. Maybe if they just called them all “A”, and left it at that.

  4. I doubt they are going to keep making “higher” end soc since they have a partnership with Intel now. They shouldn’t be competing with the Atom SOC.

    1. Partnerships don’t necessarily mean they stop competing, like Samsung’s previous dealings with Apple never stopped them from pushing their own products.

      Especially, when the products target different parts of the market… In the end Rockchip has to worry about its own bottom line and besides, Intel’s dealings with them are already reduced…

      Like sometime next year, they’ll be moving the X3 (SoFIA) SoC production away from the ARM based 28nm FAB back to their own 14nm FAB and the eventual replacement for SoFIA will be entirely based on their own Intel based technology and not a hybrid ARM design…

      Intel does want many of the China based companies to switch from ARM to Intel SoCs but they’ve got a long way to go to convince them to actually do that yet… So it would be foolish for Rockchip to close off their alternatives and leave themselves dependent on Intel when that’s still a very uncertain future…

      1. Rockchip can’t really compete at the “higher” end soc market these day. Rockchip and AMlogic were the cheap alternative to Qualcomm or Samsung. They made $200 tablet possible when everyone was pushing $400-$500 tablets. I been buying rockchip soc tablet since their rk2918 days. In fact, I had like 3 Ainol tablets. This all change when Intel decided to sell their Atom Z series for dirt cheap. Now i can get an z3735f tablet/tv box for the same price or cheaper than rk3288 tablet. Heck, just go to Geekbuying or any of these China e-retailer and you will see a lot of the tablet makers has switch to Intel.

        1. It was never Rockchip’s goal to compete at the “higher” end SoC market, this is a company that started out making media/mp3 players and similar low cost devices!

          Making chips are also not Rockchip’s only business and they cover a pretty large range of products and product logistics…

          While Intel SoCs is making progress, they still don’t cover the full range that ARM covers and until they push out the Goldmont architecture update next year they don’t have a platform that is as flexible and customizable as ARM offers…

          Right now, Intel is only competing with certain ranges for specific usage SoCs and mainly are competing on price/cost against equivalent solutions but that is just one of the last barriers that Intel is starting to overcome to truly compete head to head with ARM…

          Besides, it’s not like the X3 (SoFIA) is competing in the higher range either and the Z3735F is pretty bottom of the barrel for the Bay Trail line up and newer high end ARM SoCs are exceeding it, and it won’t be until Broxton comes out next year that the performance will again jump for Intel solutions…

          Keep in mind this is still very much an ongoing race and there is no one clearly pulling ahead yet, more like shifting positions but the race is far from over yet…

    2. Corporations often simultaneously partner with others while competing at the same time. In fact, one part of a company can be embroiled in a lawsuit with a competitor while another is collaborating with them on something else. Things rarely get personal when there is enough money for both parties to make a nice profit.

      1. Eh, that might be true for big companies like Samsung and Apple but Rockchip is a tiny company compare to Intel.

        1. Well, since they’re that small, then Intel won’t be worrying about them competing with the Atom processors. Rockchip wasn’t going to agree to nuking their high end chips, and I very much doubt Intel even thought of asking them to.

      2. Yes, but you shouldn’t build 2 components that compete with each other.

        1. So McDonalds should only sell one burger, since the Big Mac loses sales to the double cheeseburger and Quarter Pounder. And they shouldn’t have mall and food court locations, since they steal sales from stand-alone restaurants. No, if you can sell two different products in overlapping target markets, sometimes you should. Of course you have to project sales and account for outside competition and development costs, but offering different flavors to fit different tastes is often a good srategy. That’s why GM still has 4 brands that sell essentially the same cars, and Toyota sells both the Avalon and the Lexus ES, and various Scions that compete with their other small cars. Diversity in the marketplace is good.

    3. lol since when is Atom high end? Plus the version that Rockchip makes is even lower end and that partnership is about the modem so they can try to get into phones but Intel doesn’t have a competitive core. The core is too slow for high end and way too big(so too costly) for mid and low end. Rockship also payed for an ARM Cortex A72 license, you don’t waste good money on things you won’t use.

  5. 3288 on the Chromebook Asus 201 (which I have) is a really nice combination of power and battery life for a Chromebook.

  6. What exactly is surprising? Was it surprising that SD410 is slower than SD801? The 3288 was more of a lower high end chip ,the 3368 is mid to lower midrange. The 2 are addressing very different markets.The model number tells you that too, 3168 was dual core, 3188 was quad. I actually remember that when you posted the news about the 3368 being releases, i was wondering if there is a 3388.

    If it’s any consolation Rockchip does have a license for A72 so we might see some of that next year.

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